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View Full Version : My warning to NZ: When your stuff stops working / intermittent this summer



Chilling_Silence
28-08-2009, 03:19 PM
OK so it's that time of year again - Summer!
What an awesome time it is, sun, taning, the beach, scantily dressed people, icecreams, and best of all: overheating electrics!

Yes, thats right, I believe todays the second "nice" day we've had in a while here in Auckland, and already I've had 3 devices fail on customers of mine due to overheating.

So, a word of warning:
1) Move your routers out of the sun -- They don't like it there. Yes a window may be best for WiFi signal outside, but when you're cursing and muttering under your breath about why it won't work at all the next fine sunny day, I promise you thats why. Less signal may mean slower wifi, but I promise slow wifi is better than no wifi!

2) Watch the air vents -- Especially on laptops / routers! If your room gets even slightly warm, and you leave your laptop powered on under / next to a cushion on the sofa, there's a darn good chance its going to get *very* hot, *very* quickly... So just be careful!

3) Blow out that dust from those fans / heatsinks -- If your PC's been on the carpet all winter, under your desk, there's a good chance the CPU fan is probably (at least slightly) clogged with dust. Blow it out, a can of compressed air won't set you back much, $30 from DSE. Don't be so cheap that you use the Vacuum cleaner, at least once a summer I have somebody come to me who knocked their motherboard with the end of their vacuum cleaner and broke of something. It's too big and clumsy, so just do the right thing and get a can of compressed air.

Other than that, enjoy the summer, and don't be surprised when your budget D-Link router gives way entirely from overheating, it happens... Get yourself something nice like the NetComm NB6Plus4Wn instead :)

So, with that out of the way, has anybody else got similar stories already for the spring / summer of '10?

:D


Chill.

pctek
28-08-2009, 03:27 PM
I believe todays the second "nice" day we've had in a while here in Auckland, and already I've had 3 devices fail on customers of mine due to overheating.


I remember "nice" summer days up there.
I don't miss them.

wainuitech
28-08-2009, 03:36 PM
Aucklands " nice warm Days" are what we have here most of the time in Wellington-:p

All joking aside - yeah over heating is one of the main killers of PC gear.
often you get a few hot days, and systems crash all over the place, internet goes down and so on.

People stick PC's under desks, surrounded with Junk, paper, the dog / Cat and god knows what else with absolutly no Idea about air flow needed, then wonder why the PC stops working.

Give it a Blow job ( keep it clean ;) - Family show here) with compressed air and dust and crap flies every where - and they run so much better.

DeSade
28-08-2009, 03:43 PM
I turned up one of my fans by 3 notches and the rest are ready to go when it heats up :)
As for cleaning, well I cover all my vents with fibremesh so nothing gets in anyway but clean it once a month regardless.

Good post Chill, lot of that stuff gets forgotten.

wratterus
28-08-2009, 03:52 PM
A+ info and advice there! :D As for giving PCs blowjobs, great idea, be careful though the internals are a wee bit delicate. No good banging around in there with a industrial grade air compressor or vacuum cleaner.

We always see a few devices with overheating problems, very commonly notebooks and wireless routers.

Had someone pop in the other day, their 'almost new' laptop was overheating. Turns out he had been using it on the floor in front of the open fire :horrified all winter, now when the sun comes out it was overheating. Heatsink and and fan were clogged 100% with dust and cat hair, cleaned it out, lappy was again running at 45 degrees instead of 80. :D

nofam
28-08-2009, 05:06 PM
A+ info and advice there! :D As for giving PCs blowjobs, great idea, be careful though the internals are a wee bit delicate. No good banging around in there with a industrial grade air compressor or vacuum cleaner.

I was always told that you should use a bit of masking tape (or your finger!) to hold the heat sink fan in place when using a compressor, as the air can spin the fan faster than it should go, and seize the bearing?

wratterus
28-08-2009, 05:10 PM
I was always told that you should use a bit of masking tape (or your finger!) to hold the heat sink fan in place when using a compressor, as the air can spin the fan faster than it should go, and seize the bearing?

Very true. Newer fans seem to be a bit more resilient to that kind of treatment though, it's not odd that they spin up to 3500rpm anyway, I'm just careful not to let it spin up too much. If the heatsink is really dusty I just sit one of my fingers in the middle of the fan to stop it rotating while the dust is being cleaned out. :thumbs:

pctek
28-08-2009, 05:11 PM
Had someone pop in the other day, their 'almost new' laptop was overheating. Turns out he had been using it on the floor in front of the open fire

You think thats bad? I had a guy with (what I found was an overheating laptop) who I discovered was using it on his bed on fluffy blankets. OR was that in his bed? Considering the content on the laptop and the unmentionable condition of the screen.

Eeeooooo........(takes shower after repair)

wratterus
28-08-2009, 05:13 PM
Feel sorry for you pc! That is never nice... :( I always get out the cleaning solution and a massive cloth and go nuts before touching machines like that, just gross to work on. :waughh:

nofam
28-08-2009, 05:16 PM
Feel sorry for you pc! That is never nice... :( I always get out the cleaning solution and a massive cloth and go nuts before touching machines like that, just gross to work on. :waughh:

Yes - found animal porn on a laptop last weekend.

I try not to be judgmental about these things, but Jeez. . . . . :eek:

wratterus
28-08-2009, 05:17 PM
I try not to be judgmental about these things, but Jeez. . . . . :eek:

:lol: :lol: :yuck:

Chilling_Silence
28-08-2009, 05:25 PM
Yeah dust / hair builds up so quick, even on laptops .... :-/

Scouse
28-08-2009, 06:55 PM
Re: can of compressed air won't set you back much, $30 from DSE

Recently got a can from Mega Mitre 10 in Nelson for just under $11. In the tools/compressors dept.

wainuitech
28-08-2009, 07:17 PM
My Better half brought me one of those "Home user" compressors from Mitre10 about 4 years ago for around $150.00. Similar to this one (http://www.mitre10.co.nz/shop/power_tools/air_compressors/gforce_air_compressor_24l_267323.cfm)

I put on an air filter, turned the pressure down - works a treat. Turn it on, throw the air hose out the workshop window- take the PC out side - by that time its got enough air built up to blow out the crap.

convair
28-08-2009, 07:58 PM
Are those compressed air cans one time use only?

CliveM
28-08-2009, 08:33 PM
Are those compressed air cans one time use only?

No but as with any other pressurized can (Fly spray for example) it will run out after it has been used for a while

Scouse
28-08-2009, 08:39 PM
Re use of can. Mine has lasted some time. I use it to blast dust and fine shavings out of small wood-turnings - saves starting the compressor up with its ensuing racket.

Chilling_Silence
28-08-2009, 09:30 PM
I used to use my fathers air compressor when I lived at home, a little *too* powerful, but very quick n easy!

beeswax34
29-08-2009, 12:07 AM
PC Blowjobs? Muy interesting :p

chiefnz
29-08-2009, 10:50 AM
Well I usually do a complete overhaul of my boxes this time of the year.

I remove everything out of the case and clean it thoroughly.

Remove the heatsinks/fans for the CPU as well as any other fans in the tower and give them a good once over, with compressed air.

Since I started doing this I haven't had too many instances where the fans are going hard out to keep the temps down.

Another thing I do is switch the PC's off when not in use... espeically during the day, when I'm at work.

This year's gonna be an experience as it will be the 1st time I'm going to be cleaning out my server... she's a good 60-70cm in height, dual PSU's, 7 hard drives... what fun I can't wait.

Thanks for the advise Chill...

I've just recently acquired a server rack which I hope to install downstairs in the basement... also planning to install my 3550 Catalyst switch and Catalyst 2600 router. If all goes well, I will be cabling the entire house with UTP so that you can hook in to the network from any room in the house... will also save heaps of space and minimise the clutter.

Cheers,

Chilling_Silence
29-08-2009, 01:31 PM
If all goes well, I will be cabling the entire house with UTP so that you can hook in to the network from any room in the house...

*drool*

I'd love to have that ... one day when I get a place of my own and me and the Mrs arent renting :)

Blam
29-08-2009, 02:15 PM
*drool*

I'd love to have that ... one day when I get a place of my own and me and the Mrs arent renting :)

Yea me too:(

wainuitech
29-08-2009, 03:38 PM
All the rooms in the house have Internet running to them - The lounges actually have 2 connections each, the only rooms that don't are the loo, and the Bathroom ( could if I wanted to) -- The kitchen will one day, the cables under the house just waiting for SWMBO to decide where she wants it exiting - and what she wants to connect to it.

Under the house is a real "flow" of cables, all hooked up out of harms way -- Funny-- I thought a 300Mtr roll would have done it -- Nope :D

gary67
29-08-2009, 05:19 PM
I'm about half done on wiring my house 2 bedrooms done, garage done, router is in a kitchen cupboard with cables running through the bottom into under house area then run from there, garage is under the house hence having a connection there, only have lounge left to wire up one day when I get some more cable, so far has cost only the connection boxes, amazing how much off cuts of cabling can be picked up on building sites these days

convair
29-08-2009, 08:38 PM
Is this the compressed air to get?

http://www.dse.co.nz/dse.shop/4a98d92d01de64ea273fc0a87f3b070f/Product/View/N1238

Blam
29-08-2009, 08:43 PM
Looks fine to me!

R.M.
29-08-2009, 09:18 PM
Is this the compressed air to get?

http://www.dse.co.nz/dse.shop/4a98d92d01de64ea273fc0a87f3b070f/Product/View/N1238

Their own brand is cheaper 'Himself' says. Got some today... About $20 he said.

nedkelly
29-08-2009, 11:27 PM
I helped my dad wire up our 3 story house after we finished renovating, nearly every room in the house has two lines to it, even one to my parents bathroom for the phone in their fancy shower :lol:.
We bought a whole box of Cat5e because we did not know how much we would need. Its perfect apart from the fact the the plasterer plastered over the wiring plan of which wire goes where :mad::mad::mad:. So now I got the fun job of trying to find where all 24 or so wires go. In 3 years only got about 6 mapped out.
Got a pic of the wiring cupboard somewhere if people want to see.

wainuitech
29-08-2009, 11:46 PM
Got a pic of the wiring cupboard somewhere if people want to see. Sure - Why not - always good to see what others are up to :)

nedkelly
30-08-2009, 09:27 AM
http://www.imagef1.net.nz/files/IMGP1318.JPG