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Ask Slashdot: Keeping Personal Tech Cool In Extreme Heat?

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the we'd-like-to-know-in-middle-texas-too dept.

Hardware 165

An anonymous reader writes "I live in the Middle East. Summer temperatures occasionally reach 60C/140F, well over the operating specs for most consumer tech. Quite a number of work and residential compounds are secured, prohibiting everything from computers to cameras to phones to USB sticks to car remote controls. When I know that I'm visiting one of those compounds, I end up leaving all the tech I can at home or in the office, and only bringing a cell phone, and leaving it in my car. However, "only a cell phone" has quickly morphed into "only two cell phones, a car MP3 player and remote, and .... ooh, shiny... a new tablet... and an electric razor just in case I have to touch up before a party in a compound." I'm wondering what kind of technologies we have for keeping all this tech cool for four hours in the car. Overnight events might last longer, but won't be as hot."

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Jet Airplane (4, Insightful)

the_Bionic_lemming (446569) | about 2 years ago | (#41196745)

Get on a jet and get to where it's cooler!

Re:Jet Airplane (1)

noh8rz8 (2716593) | about 2 years ago | (#41196967)

ice. or a frozen lunch pack. done and done.

Re:Jet Airplane (5, Informative)

TheLink (130905) | about 2 years ago | (#41197239)

Try put the stuff in the boot. There's no "green house" effect in the boot. It will get hotter than ambient, but it won't get as hot as in the passenger compartment: []

If you want to test it out to be safe, put a candle (melts at about 60-70 C, beeswax melts at a lower point) at an angle in a container in the boot and in the compartment. If it melts or bends after the whole day that means it's probably too hot.

Re:Jet Airplane (1)

epyT-R (613989) | about 2 years ago | (#41197249)

you are obviously a master of floppy candles sir..

Re:Jet Airplane (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41197297)

Boot? is that a trunk or the engine compartment or a glove box? I know its not a piece of footwear.

Re:Jet Airplane (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41197403)

Wouldn't a thermometer be easier and more accurate?

Re:Jet Airplane (2)

TheLink (130905) | about 2 years ago | (#41197435)

Only if you have a thermometer that records the maximum temperature, AND still works properly at those temperatures. Easier and cheaper to use a candle.

If you open the trunk or passenger compartment to read the temperature it will affect the test.

You could of course assume the temperature is max by a particular point and then take the reading then. Up to you.

Re:Jet Airplane (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41197575)

I'd just toss a cooking thermometer in there and periodically check it. Opening the trunk will affect the test, but not quickly enough to get a fairy accurate reading. For the passenger compartment, just look at it through a window.

Not 60 C or 140 F (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41196757)

Re:Not 60 C or 140 F (5, Insightful)

Aranykai (1053846) | about 2 years ago | (#41196803)

Official temperatures are always measured in shade. A car parked in direct sunlight, even with windows open could easily hit 10F above officially recorded temperatures.

Re:Not 60 C or 140 F (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41196835)

I've measured 140F in my car on days that were only in the upper 90s.

Re:Not 60 C or 140 F (5, Informative)

PrimaryConsult (1546585) | about 2 years ago | (#41196921)

It is amazing how many people don't understand this. A car parked in sunlight all day, and they refuse to open the window for the first few minutes after getting in because "the A/C is on". It cools off a hell of a lot faster if you drive for a minute with the windows down so that you're starting with the cooler outside air as the baseline!

Re:Not 60 C or 140 F (1)

ortholattice (175065) | about 2 years ago | (#41197245)

I think even more people believe their house cools down faster if they set the A/C thermostat all the way down to the lowest temperature. And they (e.g. my wife, my son) continue to do it even after you explain to them repeatedly how a thermostat works.

Re:Not 60 C or 140 F (2, Insightful)

TheLink (130905) | about 2 years ago | (#41197301)

It does depend on where the thermostat is. If it's in the airconditioner itself and not in the room, the airconditioner could switch from cooling at max once the temperatures around it becomes cooler even if the rest of the room isn't cool enough yet.

Past tense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41197321)

That was always and still is generally true. New green/smart/buzzword friendly systems do adjust the power output according to need, as it consumes less energy to run a system at a low idle than to spin up the compressor and fan over and over.

Re:Not 60 C or 140 F (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41197387)

What compounds the problem is when you discover it is so low and turn it back up, the house feels much hotter than normal because the AC has not been running for a while and the humidity builds as the temperature slowly rises. I catch my family doing that same thing all of the time. I normally keep the AC at 78-80, kids/wife crank it down to 72 or lower because they felt "hot" for some reason. I turn it back up and we all suffer until it gets to 79 and turns back on. I tell them to turn it down a single degree at a time to get the AC to come on and they will notice a change in a few minutes. They just don;t understand that concept. I gave them the full explanation of but as usual, they claim I am an idiot and I claim I have Asperger syndrome.

Re:Not 60 C or 140 F (1)

Mad Merlin (837387) | about 2 years ago | (#41197679)

I normally keep the AC at 78-80, kids/wife crank it down to 72 or lower because they felt "hot" for some reason.

Well no wonder, 72F is still too hot.

Re:Not 60 C or 140 F (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41197711)

I gave them the full explanation of but as usual, they claim I am an idiot and I claim I have Asperger syndrome.


Re:Not 60 C or 140 F (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41197791)

I gave them the full explanation of but as usual, they claim I am an idiot and I claim I have Asperger syndrome.


I presume that's the accepted standard emoticon to communicate "sad, but true". It's rough being an aspie, but at least he found a woman to tolerate him on an open ended basis.

Re:Not 60 C or 140 F (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41197157)

Right, but that is not what "Summer temperatures occasionally reach 60C/140F" means.

Of course a car is going to be much hotter. A car will reach 60C if left in the sun on a 35C day. That was not being questioned.

Re:Not 60 C or 140 F (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41197781)

Leave the windows wide open, and your problem will probably go away.

(Slashdot, I'm logged in, why am I Anonymous!)

Re:Not 60 C or 140 F (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | about 2 years ago | (#41196827)

Texas never listed. Have personally recorded several days over 110. Couldn't be that Wikipedia missed something?

Re:Not 60 C or 140 F (1)

srwood (99488) | about 2 years ago | (#41196843)

Re:Not 60 C or 140 F (1)

DirePickle (796986) | about 2 years ago | (#41197561)

It only lists the highest temperatures for each country. The US temperature listed is from Death Valley.

"North America: 56.7 ÂC (134 ÂF) Death Valley, California, United States"

Re:Not 60 C or 140 F (1)

T-Bone-T (1048702) | about 2 years ago | (#41197671)

All it takes to see that operating temps are crap is a year in Texas. Most of my electronics are rated for 32-100F yet Texas exceeds both ends. In DFW, I've seen the temp range from 15 to over 110. What is the point when most places easily exceed one or both limits?

Re:Not 60 C or 140 F (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41196951)

inside a car fucktard

Re:Not 60 C or 140 F (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41197667)

You blathering moron.

"Summer temperatures occasionally reach 60C/140... inside my car, duurrr."


Re:Not 60 C or 140 F (1)

Cmdrm (1683042) | about 2 years ago | (#41197111)

Temperature extremes for the USA are strangely absent from that list.

Re:Not 60 C or 140 F (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41197251)

You mean the lists where USA was the hottest place in North America, or the one where Alaska was listed as the coldest place in USA? Or some other list? Or did you think USA deserves more results than any other country because U S A, U S A, U S A?

Re:Not 60 C or 140 F (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41197305)

USA is the only decent country on the planet. All the others are full of cunts.

Heat and technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41196763)

Keep it shaded if you can, because the glass can heat more quickly in direct sunlight. Your glovebox should work.

Of course, the best thing to do is not keep it in the car.

Re:Heat and technology (4, Informative)

The Mighty Buzzard (878441) | about 2 years ago | (#41197367)

Or just buy a cooler and keep your tech in it. No ice necessary just to avoid sealed car baking.

If you need it cooler than ambient air temp, put a layer of bricks in the bottom first thing in the morning. They'll keep the temp a little cooler without having to worry about condensation.

Drive to the pool (1)

bugs2squash (1132591) | about 2 years ago | (#41196767)

there will be an air conditioner outdoors next to the sun loungers, park the car under one.

No problem. (4, Funny)

Black Parrot (19622) | about 2 years ago | (#41196769)

Personal tech is inherently cool, and makes you cool too. Don't worry about it.

1990's Mercedes S500 (2)

stox (131684) | about 2 years ago | (#41196775)

with the optional refrigerator in the rear, accessible through a panel in the rear seat. This was a factory option in the W140's.

Thermometer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41196781)

Firstly invest in a better thermometer. The hottest temperature ever recorded on the planet's surface was 57.7 degrees C in Libya, in 1922.

Re:Thermometer (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41196973)

its inside a car numbnuts

Re:Thermometer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41197181)

"I live in the Middle East. Summer temperatures occasionally reach 60C/140F"

Reading comprehension, you dribbling nincompoop. Summer temperatures do not reach 60C in the Middle East.

They reach well over 60C inside a car in many places in the world. That has nothing to do with what "summer temperature" means.

Re:Thermometer (1)

Yoda222 (943886) | about 2 years ago | (#41197335)

I live in western Europa. Winter temperatures occasionally reach 200ÂC. For you that's true if I have an oven ?

Re:Thermometer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41197701)

Yep. Inside my car's cylinders, summer temperatures in Europe have been known to reach over 1000 degrees C.

Re:Thermometer (-1, Flamebait)

kenh (9056) | about 2 years ago | (#41197807)

So wait - if the warmest temperature ever recorded was way, way, way back in 1922, that would argue against global warming (because it's never been hotter than it was 90 years ago), AND it would explode the connection between auto emissions and rising global temperatures, since there were almost no cars (comparitively) in 1922.

Thank you for that very informative factoid! ;^)

Texas & iPhone 4S (2, Interesting)

kenh (9056) | about 2 years ago | (#41196789)

I was in Texas at the end of July, and the average temperature was about 105 degrees F. I left my cellphone in the car to charge while I was out and about, came back an hour later and found my phone displaying the Termperature warning (which apparently kicks in at 113 degrees F [] )...

Re:Texas & iPhone 4S (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41196883)

Very insightful post. Thanks for adding nothing to the discussion... dickweed.

Also happens with the iPhone 4 (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 2 years ago | (#41197453)

The article mentioned the 3g & 3gs specifically, but I'm pretty sure it happens with all Apple phones - I have a dash mount for the iPhone 4, and in really hot weather with the sun coming through the window, in about an hour or two the device can get too hot and issue the warning.

If you keep it down out of the sun, it usually cools off enough to operate in a few minutes. It will also let you make emergency calls too, but all running apps suspend.

12v Thermo Electric Cooler (3, Interesting)

Aranykai (1053846) | about 2 years ago | (#41196793)

Never owned one myself, but they claim they cool 40F below ambient. Not sure what kind of drain this would put on your battery, but perhaps a marine battery could handle it.

Re:12v Thermo Electric Cooler (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41196819)

Now we're talkin'. I wonder if they make a powerful one that will (eventually) recharge via PE panels. I can't imagine he/she will have trouble getting enough sunlight.

Just a cooler. (4, Informative)

pepty (1976012) | about 2 years ago | (#41196959)

For an hour or two an insulated lunch bag (under the seat) would be fine. For all afternoon a cooler (big enough for a 12 pac- er, nevermind) with an ice pack wrapped in a towel would do the trick.

Re:Just a cooler. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41197221)

Did you just recommend he put his electronics in a cooler with melting ice? You know what happens to melting ice right? It melts.

The more important question really pertains to the OP. Why the piss would you go to a residential compound which doesn't allow electronics devices? Obviously I understand the corporate situation, however most of those would have a security desk with lockboxes or similar.

Re:Just a cooler. (2)

khallow (566160) | about 2 years ago | (#41197411)

Shouldn't you come up with a better idea first before shooting down the current one? If the ice is in a ziploc bag and wrapped in a towel, then it's unlikely to leak. One can protect the electronics in a similar way.

Why the piss would you go to a residential compound which doesn't allow electronics devices?

I imagine that's what he's getting paid to do. One could ask similarly why my current employer doesn't have me flying cool spaceships.

Have you tried that? (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 2 years ago | (#41197469)

If the ice is in a ziploc bag and wrapped in a towel, then it's unlikely to leak.

So I can tell you've never actually tried that.

Because I've had ice leak through TWO ziplock bags, when stored in a cooler in a car. Cars get lots of shocks and bumps, things shift.

The towel would help with the condensation around the ziplocked ice, although I sure would not like to have electronics gear stored in the resulting level of humidity...

Re:Just a cooler. (1)

zugmeister (1050414) | about 2 years ago | (#41197369)

I don't know what the availability is in that geographical region, but about 1/4lb (or less) of dry ice wrapped a few times in a towel and stuck in an insulated (lunch) bag would probably do the trick nicely. Maybe use a rubber band to make sure it doesn't unravel and deep freeze an LCD or something. The temps will stay low and there's no water involved...

Re:Just a cooler. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41197487)

Be careful with using ice though, not because it leaks, but because it can cause condensation.

Re:Just a cooler. (1)

Mashiki (184564) | about 2 years ago | (#41197499)

Yep works fine. This is what my uncle does, he works in heavy industry and in the very rare case when he has to do this that's what he does. He gets his backside shipped all over this rock fixing heavy machinery for the company he works for, and usually get treated by "x company" while there. Sometimes they have odd rules, one of the compounds he was staying at in Jordan no less, where they put him up to stay had a rule about no electronics inside. Which of course made no sense.

All of his schematics are on his laptop, which he needs to fix the machinery but he can't bring the laptop inside to look at it to figure out what's wrong. He ended up spending an extra week there because the only time he could look at it was either out in the parking lot at night, or when he was at the site.

Re:12v Thermo Electric Cooler (1)

tylernt (581794) | about 2 years ago | (#41197015)

Tried one. Useless. You'd also come back to a dead car battery, they draw a lot of current.

Re:12v Thermo Electric Cooler (4, Interesting)

zugmeister (1050414) | about 2 years ago | (#41197425)

When I was much younger, I had a truck with a second deep cycle battery in the back. Wiring went from the hot side of the alternator to a battery isolator (think two big diodes) so when running both batteries charged, but they couldn't draw off each other. I could run the deep cycle battery completely dead and not affect the starter battery at all. Once I even trickle charged the starter battery from the deep cycle and effectively jump started myself by jumping the isolator terminals.

There's probably more practical ways of doing it for a once-off but if this was a regular occurrance a large secondary deep cycle (or trolling) battery hooked to a cooler set to a moderate temperature may fit the bill.

Re:12v Thermo Electric Cooler (1)

Maow (620678) | about 2 years ago | (#41197827)

Never owned one myself, but they claim they cool 40F below ambient. Not sure what kind of drain this would put on your battery, but perhaps a marine battery could handle it.

I have one of these, works great.

A photovoltaic solar panel to feed back into the battery (and maybe a 2nd battery) should work wonders.

Some "space blankets" shading the windows not blocked by a PV panel and it should work magically. Just watch for condensation inside the cooler - maybe put your devices inside a paper bag.

I think mine (mini fridge size) is about 50-60 watts, so it can run 4-ish hours on a well charge battery.

It may be a good idea to get a timer to keep it from actually freezing (not likely a problem in a car in the middle east), but manufacturers warn against frost.

Note, these coolers use the the Peletier effect [] which is a good read all by itself.

Think low tech (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41196851)

I'd say a good portable picnic cooler with a few ice packs would work. You'd need to worry about potential water/humidity, so get a good sealing plastic sandwich bag with a double seal for extra precaution, then put a towel or something directly on the ice packs so that your electronics are not directly in contact with the ice packs. Should keep them in the 10-20 Celcius/ 50-70 degrees F range.

Cooler (2)

srwood (99488) | about 2 years ago | (#41196859)

I live in Texas and worked in a prison where I could not bring my cell phone. I sealed it in a plastic bag and put it in an ice chest.

Not too hard (1)

MrLogic17 (233498) | about 2 years ago | (#41196863)

Keep it out of direct sunlight, and crack the windows. 4 hours isn't too bad at 140 F. It's the direct sunlight that you should fear.

But you're keeping things our of sight for teft protection, right?

Seriously? Get a styrofoam cooler. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41196895)

You don't even need ice in it. Just the insulation will keep it far cooler than the rest of the car.

What's the next Ask Slashdot going to be, "How might I keep some refreshing beverages chilly at the beach?"

Ye Olde Thermodynamics (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41196915)

[clippy voice] Sounds like you've been deployed to Iraq! Let me help you with that...

First off, most Flash Ram is ony rated to retain data at up to 40 degrees Celsius. So other than the razor, this stuff will in fact fail if it reaches 60 Celsius.
Now, you can't passive-cool without a cold reservoir, so, if the ambient air temperature is actually that high, there's nothing you can do about it except active refrigeration. That means your car's air conditioner, with the engine running. If you wanna spend the gasoline to leave your car idling for four hours while you're not in it, just so you can listen to mp3s while you drive, well then, this is workable... and you are insane.

If, on the other hand, the ambient temp is only 40C or whatever and the 60C is just the temp that is reached in the car, then you could try to stop the car from heating up like that in the first place, by parking in the shade with the doors and windows wide open or some such.

But it's unclear why you would even be in this situation.
If you're not allowed to bring electronics in the destination, why bring it in the car at all? Leave it home.
What's your ulterior motive that you're not telling us about?

Re:Ye Olde Thermodynamics (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41196941)

Trying to keep things that go boom from going boom prematurely?

Keep it simple: Ice. And lots of it. (1)

metrometro (1092237) | about 2 years ago | (#41196935)

Get a big ass cooler, and start freezing liter bottles of water. LOTS of them. When you roll out, swap your ice packs. Park with your kit in a diving-style ziplock. The ice will melt quickly, but we're only aiming for, say, 40C, not actually cold.

Re:Keep it simple: Ice. And lots of it. (1)

TheSHAD0W (258774) | about 2 years ago | (#41197327)

Even better: Wrap your ice in an insulating bag, then put *that* into the cooler. It will slow down the melting of the ice, and obviously won't cool your items as effectively, but should still keep the temperature below the point of destruction.

This is easy (1)

lavaface (685630) | about 2 years ago | (#41196947)

Get a cooler bag and an ice pack. Amazing technology.

Low-tech cooling for high-tech cool stuff (1, Funny)

macraig (621737) | about 2 years ago | (#41196977)

How about a block of ice in a tub in the passenger seat? You'll have to drill a hole in the floorboard for drainage from the tub, but that's a small price, right? Requires no battery and no gasoline, and if you park next to a garden or flower bed even the drainage will be doing some good! As a bonus you can chip some off to keep your thermos of Dr. Pepper cold.

Re:Low-tech cooling for high-tech cool stuff (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41197265)

So he just needs to drill a hole in his floorboard so that he can drain the tub of ice?

I am not sure what kind of "tub" you are talking about but I was assuming that you would be talking about something maybe 5 gallons in volume, which could hold a standard block of ice like you would get at any grocery store.

I suppose you could have been talking about a lifesize ice statue of Rosanne Barr inside of an actual bathtub, which would make sense why you would consider DRILLING A HOLE IN THE FLOOR BOARD OF YOUR CAR FOR DRAINAGE.

FYI the tub that I was envisioning has this large open area at the top of the tub which is ideal for reloading additional blocks of ice as well as draining previously used ice.

Re:Low-tech cooling for high-tech cool stuff (1)

macraig (621737) | about 2 years ago | (#41197579)

Jeez, the whole thing was tongue in cheek... I was picturing a good old round galvanized metal tub. Poor folk on the frontier might have used it as a bathtub, but it ain't your kinda bathtub and wouldn't accommodate Roseanne Barr. Well, maybe just her head? :-)

marine environments (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41196979)

I live on a boat between lats 37N and 37S -

1) least expensive is to get a 12v Chiller and stick your items in there - and place it in a shady spot
2) you can increase the insulation with inexpensive bubble foam that has external reflective material - most refrigeration wholsale stores sell rolls of that stuff
3) you can also use a system of liquid frozen packs and swap them out - careful with condensation though - the lower the items are the closer they get to melting arease
4) buy industrial electronics who can stand the heat
5) if you can mount a small flexible solar panel on the inside of yoru car and connect that to your 12 v chiller you may be able to sustain the chiller - remember though to make sure the chiller is as small as possible to reduce the amount of chilling required

captain dietmar


Low-Tech Way (1)

FSWKU (551325) | about 2 years ago | (#41196987)

If you can, park the car so your windshield will be facing the sun most of the time. Then take one of those reflective sun shades, affix some decent (but not terribly strong) magnets to it, and put that on the OUTSIDE of the windshield. This way, the heat that would go into the windshield is reflected before it even enters the car. I would also crack the windows a bit, and maybe try one (or several) of those solar powered fans that go in the window. You obviously want to keep your goodies locked in the glovebox as well. This lessens the chance of someone busting a window to steal them, but also keeps them out of the direct sunlight, which is your biggest concern where heat is involved.

Alternatively (if you can afford it), get a car that has a solar panel on the roof to run the exhaust fans even when the key isn't in the ignition.

Re:Low-Tech Way (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41197549)

The solar powered fans don't work very well. The area of the solar panel compared the area of the windows exposed to sunlight is minuscule. The energy going to the fan and keeping the car cool is way less than the energy heating up the car. (Yes, I've tried it in the summer on 100 F days. Just crack the window and you'll get an almost identical cooling effect.)

Easy solution. (2) (245670) | about 2 years ago | (#41197003)

Small cooler with dry ice. Put it in the trunk. No worries about melt-water as it sublimates straight from solid to gas. Oh, and crack the windows FFS.

Use a 12V cooler (1)

krelvin (771644) | about 2 years ago | (#41197033)

In Arizona, with a115F day, my truck can heat up pretty good... I use a small 12V cooler to store anything that can't handle the heat. I have a very heavy duty battery so the drain is not an issue. I always crack my back windows a bit to help keep the truck cooler and park in the shade if it is available.

I use a couple silicon packs in it to absorb moisture. Similar to what you put into safes to keep moisture out. I keep it unplugged if not using it. Coolers using Ice cause moisture and if you forgot to get Ice... This is always ready to use if needed.

It's called INSULATION... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41197039)

A good thermal insulator coupled with some inherently endothermic reaction will suffice.

A multilayer design of styrofoam, or better insulation, coupled with ice, does wonders for beer.

In your case, perhaps you'd want to consider a vacuum thermos? They can keep coffee or soup hot for like a day or more. Or ice cream cold.

Back in college we used to catch the helium exhaust from the SQUID, created when the liquid helium evaporated, in a vacuum thermos. Then when the thermos was nice and cold, we'd set it down for a minute and watch air condense inside. Not a lot, but enough to amuse the freshmen.

Vacuum thermoses really don't conduct heat well. Get them cold and they stay cold, even with a temperature differential of hundreds of degrees Celsius. On the down side, drop something hard in there and they shatter.

probably not a worry (1)

smhsmh (1139709) | about 2 years ago | (#41197041)

There is a difference between "operating temperature" and "storage temperature".

When the ambient temperature is high, the temperature inside the device is higher (because there is thermal resistance slowing heat transfer from the device to the ambient environment) and deep inside those little plastic chips that dissipate all the heat, temperatures are higher still.

The classic harm from high temperature is that semiconductor impurities in silicon will migrate, and the other mash that makes up some other components will age and deteriorate. But if a device is turned off, the temperature inside all those sensitive components will not be higher than the usual temperature when operating. So turn off all those devices, and place the low (e.g. under vehicle seats) where temperatures will not rise quite so high.

Check the manufacturer's storage temperature specifications (although most manufacturers no longer publish technocrud like that). And of course, watch out for cosmetic components that might be aged by moderate heat that wouldn't bother silicon.

The one component where high storage temperatures are likely to cause aging is the battery. Lithium batteries are very sensitive to heat, aging much more rapidly over time when heated. So you might have to replace your batteries more often. Of course, if some devices have removable batteries, you could perhaps take them with you.

Re:probably not a worry (4, Informative)

hawguy (1600213) | about 2 years ago | (#41197197)

There is a difference between "operating temperature" and "storage temperature".

iPhone max non-operating temperature: 113 deg F (45 deg C) []

Motorola Droid RAZR max non-operating temperature: 113 deg F (45 deg C) []

Apple MacBook Pro max non-operating temperature: 113 deg F (45 deg C) []

Re:probably not a worry (1)

Yoda222 (943886) | about 2 years ago | (#41197381)

There are probably some safety margins.

Turn it off (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41197083)

Does any of that really need to be on when you're nowhere near it?

Quite a number of [...] residential compounds are secured, prohibiting everything from computers to cameras to phones to USB sticks to car remote controls.

Dude where do your friends live? A little town called maximum security?

What do the locals do? (2)

joelsanda (619660) | about 2 years ago | (#41197123)

I can't believe people in the Middle-east don't already have tablets, MP3 players, and mobile phones. What are they doing? When in Rome ...

Re:What do the locals do? (2, Insightful)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about 2 years ago | (#41197927)

What are they doing?

Their women folk carry all the family's tech gadgets under their burqas. There is plenty of room under there, and nobody frisks a women in the Middle East. Well, at least no one who wants to keeps his hands.

And folks in the Middle East don't leave their women folk alone in cars outside the compounds either. That would cause a public outrage. So the women folk get to carry all the tech gadgets into the air conditioned compounds, and have geeky LAN parties by themselves, while the men folk are hobnobbing.

Engineer Solution (1)

TemperedAlchemist (2045966) | about 2 years ago | (#41197145)

Middle East, eh?

Attach a solar panel to a actively cooled compartment (mini-fridge or otherwise), and store your devices there. More complicated solutions include aerogel insulation and a battery to store extra charge.

Shouldn't be an issue, because if the sun isn't shining it probably isn't going to be as hot.

Re:Engineer Solution (1)

baegucb (18706) | about 2 years ago | (#41197189)

AK-47 and ammo over in the fridge --->
IEDs in the freezer over yonder. ;)

Re:Engineer Solution (1)

nmos (25822) | about 2 years ago | (#41197503)

Thermoelectric coolers use way too much current for a reasonably sized solar panel. A standard, well insulated cooler would probably be fine. Wrap it in a blanket if you need more insulation.

A shovel. (2)

siddesu (698447) | about 2 years ago | (#41197313)

You can dig a big hole in the sand, park in there, then cover the car. I think you can keep the temperatures down a lot. With a bit of trial, error and luck, you can even learn to hide the whole setup from terrarists and unsolicited aerial vehicles.

cheapest off-counter solution: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41197315)

A USB solar panel charger and one of those USB mini fridges should easily run you well under 50$.

Maybe something like this:
And maybe this:

Or maybe you can hook it up to the car battery?

A fan? (1)

hawguy (1600213) | about 2 years ago | (#41197339)

Since, as others have pointed out, the ambient temperature isn't likely at 140 degrees outside the car, how about a solar powered fan that sucks cool in from beneath the car and blows it through your electronics storage compartment?

Cut a hole in the bottom of the trunk as an air intake, and set up the blower to suck in the "cool" air from beneath the car. Use a 30W solar panel (or pair of 15W panels) to charge a battery that runs your fan so it will continue to run for a while after dark until the car cools down. A 15W panel in full sunlight will run a 1 amp fan, so with 30W you can run the fan and charge the battery. The 1 amp fan should give you around 100 cubic feet/minute of airflow.

As long as the temperature in the shade under the car stays under your device's max storage temperature it should keep the devices safe. A thermoelectric cooler would give you a better margin of safety on a hot day, at the expense of higher current draw.

Re:A fan? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41197583)

When you dive the hole in the trunk allows exhaust fumes (carbon monoxide) to enter the car and kill the occupants. There is a reason that manufacturers don't put holes in the bottom of the car.

solar fan (1)

jamesh (87723) | about 2 years ago | (#41197361)

I assume that you are talking about storing the devices in the car, not running them (you say "operating temp" so I'm not entirely sure...)

Put sun shades on the car, and get a solar fan... if it's as hot as you say (i doubt it - hottest temp ever recorded is under 60C, and even that would be a very rare event) then these should be readily available - you open the window a bit and the fan sits in the gap and helps move air through the car, keeping it a bit closer to ambient. The result will be a bit more pleasant when you get back in the car too.

The boot is a better option if you don't like all the mucking about, but I like the idea of keeping the car cool(er).

In Australia where I live, 35C is common and a few days of 40C are expected every few years (47C a few years back!), and i've never had a problem keeping my laptop in the boot when the car is parked in the sun, without sun shades or fans, even though my car is a hatchback (with a glass roof) so the boot isn't really separated from the car (apart from no direct sunshine). In some cases I have even left the laptop sleeping rather than off, although that was probably a bit dumb on my part.

Just turn them off (0)

erice (13380) | about 2 years ago | (#41197447)

For most devices, the safe non-operating temperature range is substantially broader than then operating range.

how I keep my lunch cool (1)

v1 (525388) | about 2 years ago | (#41197599)

I like to go on long rides on summer weekends here in Iowa. I keep my lunch/dinner in a jando pack on the back rack. The box is black, so it heats up pretty fast on the outside.

The walls of the box have a 1/2" foam stiffener in them, which works a bit like insulation. Inside the box I place my food and drink, and I use a 1 liter bottle for cooling. Just take an empty 1L bottle and fill it mostly with water and freeze it. You can keep several of them in the freezer so you always have one or two froze solid. They're free, and can absorb more thermal energy than any ice pack you can buy.

So get a few of those 1L chilling, and get a regular food cooler, one of those 7x9x15" insulated lunch bag coolers. Place your gadgets in the bottom of the cooler. Lay in a little hand towel over the top of them to catch any condensation from the bottles, then add one or two frozen 1L on top. Be sure to get a bag that zips shut (not fold and velcro) and if it doesn't have insulation on the top or bottom, add something there so it's got some form of insulation all the way around. (my jando pack has no foam on the top so I added some filler to the pouch that is in the lid)

Even if you don't roll down the windows a bit or shade your windows (both recommended, especially the windshield, get one of those silver reflective things to put in it when you park) you won't have melted both of those 1L by the time you get back to the car. You may even be able to use just one.

You can further optimize the cooler by placing it on the floor in the back seat area, with a white towel laid over the top. Or add other simple insulation like throwing your jacket over the top, to stop direct sunlight from hitting the cooler.

"Mil-spec" or Tough tech (1)

Aphonia (1315785) | about 2 years ago | (#41197615)

Aside from cracking open a window, some tech is designed to withstand this sort of conditions.

My Casio GZ'one Ravine 2 has (from casio's website):
High Temperature MIL-STD 501.5 Procedure I 85C 96hrs
Low Temperature MIL-STD 502.5 Procedure I -25C 96hrs

among other things (theres also a Casio smartphone called the commando which has the same test results).

Panasonic's stuff (Toughbooks) is also designed to deal with high temperatures: [] (140 F operating, 160 F non-operating)

So on, so forth - you can find versions fo a lot of devices (for a price premium) designed to work or be left in rather high operating temperatures

I have an idea! (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 2 years ago | (#41197645)

Move somewhere colder. Let me phrase that differently. Move somewhere where you can walk outside and stand there for 1 hour without dying. Animals are smart enough to do it but it seems some humans aren't.

For those of us that are clueless... (1)

sl3xd (111641) | about 2 years ago | (#41197661)

What is the motivation behind the ban? It doesn't make any sense to me; granted I'm just an ignorant westerner, but that's why I'm asking...

Re:For those of us that are clueless... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41197813)

What is the motivation behind the ban? It doesn't make any sense to me; granted I'm just an ignorant westerner, but that's why I'm asking...

al Qaeda learned that these types of devices can serve as beacons for missile strikes. Hence, he can't bring them with him.

Don't worry about it (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41197707)

I think your stuff will be fine in the car, just don't leave a laptop running. Chips are meant to get really hot, and as long as the phone isn't playing angry birds with itself, it should be fine.

Isn't it obvious? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41197721)

We now have cheap, private space access, and with modern technology, we can orbit personal sun shields that track people and create a shadow right over them as they move.

What? That doesn't make sense? But Space Elevators do?

Frio Cooling Wallet/Pouch (1)

Clancie (678344) | about 2 years ago | (#41197737)

When I'm traveling, camping, rafting, etc. I need to bring a supply of insulin pens and keep them cool. I've been using Frio Cooling Wallets for years and they do a good job of keeping my insulin within the acceptable temperature range, even under less than ideal circumstances. They are basically an inner pouch with a gel quilted into it and an outer pouch. You soak the inner pouch in water and evaporation keeps the pouches contents cool. The cooling effect lasts for days and you can reuse them over and over. Since you don't want to stick a MP3 player in a damp pouch you'd want to put your gear in a plastic bag first. You might have to get creative with something as large as a tablet though since the largest wallet is about 8.5"x6.5" but they also make other items with the same cooling gel but wrap around your head and wrists so there are options if you use your imagination... []

icebox (1)

FishTankX (1539069) | about 2 years ago | (#41197743)

igloo box with icepacks? Enough and it should stay cool.

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