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 Post subject: don't put external cooling pad under laptop
 Post Posted: Sat Nov 17, 2007 12:32 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2007 10:36 am
Posts: 208
Put your laptop on a wire frame, maybe two inches high. Don't use a pad. Let air circulate.

To see why, click http://www.forum.scottmueller.com/viewtopic.php?t=292 , which has a bad title, which I gave, which I don't know how to edit.

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Nick


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 Post Posted: Sat Nov 17, 2007 1:26 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2007 11:44 am
Posts: 6097
Nick, I edited a couple of your recent posts to make the links "clickable". If you don't put any characters except spaces immediately before or after a URL (i.e. no "<>" or ","), then it automatically becomes clickable on this board. Examples:

<http://www.upgradingandrepairingpcs.com> is not clickable.

http://www.upgradingandrepairingpcs.com, is clickable, but the comma makes it a bad link.

http://www.upgradingandrepairingpcs.com is clickable, and works correctly.

Scott.


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 Post Posted: Sat Nov 17, 2007 3:37 pm 
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Merci beaucoups, as we say in Hungarian. When I saw after I posted it that it wasn't clickable, I looked for a remedy and didn't see one because I gave up too easily. I think maybe I heard a green fire-breathing monster calling my name and did something else. Now it's clickable as intended. Thanks for fixing it.

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 Post Posted: Sat Nov 24, 2007 11:02 am 
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I got a wiry frame, even though my temperature findings were unreliable because the internal fans turn out to intermittently fail (discussed below). Now I'm not sure whether any choice makes much difference, provided you use one of these choices (don't use nothing): frame, fan pad, or frame and fan pad.

The wire frame I got is a "Chafing Dish stand" for 99 cents plus tax, complete with instructions you won't need. It's up about 6", thus plenty of air can flow under the laptop. It's wobbly, but since it's designed to support "Chafing fuel" and a "Full-size" "Water pan" to which the user should add up to 3/4-inch of water "to create a steam table effect", plus food, it seems designed to hold as much weight as the laptop has without falling on the chafing fuel, such that failure would risk fire.

On the other hand, it's wobbly, which means if someone (possibly you, whoever's reading this) walks around and bumps into things your laptop might take a midair journey and the laptop's warranty won't apply. That spiderweb look on your screen can be quite upsetting to discover. Calling Microsoft about a "crash" won't help.

Putting a closed laptop on it and then opening the lid could make it tip backwards, till you pull the machine toward you, which you'll be inspired to do pretty quickly.

Also, I bought it in a 99-cent store, which means it might have been defective.

It doesn't fold but it's very, very light.

If it had been a bit smaller, I probably would have used pliers to bend the handles down; but as it is the laptop fits easily, almost snugly, between the handles. I'll probably have to bend the handles down anyway so I can use the CD/DVD tray and a PC card slot, or else do without the wire stand part-time.

On a regular-height tabletop, this may put your laptop keyboard uncomfortably high. Maybe use a chair as a table; the 6" may make the keyboard comfortable again. When you go to the opera, buy two tickets, start laptopping on the next seat, and ignore the scowling patrons and ushers. They're just jealous.

All in all, so far, I like it.

Tell your favorite computer store to carry it for $14.89, instead of 99¢. Compared to $19.00 for a cooling fan pad, why not? The computer store could even put it in a bubble pack with a 4-color photo of giddy customers. And the space for the chafing fuel is just the right size for a small stack of floppies, which makes this the super model, a steal at $59.99.

My pad's fans push air to the laptop's bottom. I wonder if that's the better direction, since there's not much room where air can go once it's been warmed. This model doesn't offer reverse flow.

The temperature error was due to my not knowing that the internal fans weren't always working. They're worth about 25-50 degrees F. of cooling on this machine (Dell Latitiude C840). If they don't run, I usually have to reboot or cycle power, maybe a few times, till they start. When one runs, both run. They pull air out; sometimes the air coming out feels cool and strong; sometimes, warm and weak. They have no setup/BIOS user control.

Here are corrected Fahrenheit figures, being after discovery of the intermittent failures:
-- With pad but pad's fans off: 104.
-- With pad and pad's fans on: 98-102.
-- Without the pad: 100-105, usually closer to 100.
-- All numbers are rounded down. Measured only when the laptop's own fans are strongly pulling air out (output cool). Measured indoors; environmental temp stable. Measurements generally with low user activity; I suspect some user tasks demand more from the processor, thus raising temp; processor usually at 1.20GHz, not 2.00GHz; FDD & CD drive not in use; HDD probably spinning continuously; desktop kept visible on monitor; login as Linux root; gkrellm factor 1 (setting to 0 auto-restored to 1).

All these temps are too close to each other, I think, to indicate any consistent advantage. Given prior concern about the pad drawing possibly excessive power from the computer, the wobbly wiry frame (chafing dish stand, 99¢) may be better than the pad at $19.

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Nick


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 Post Posted: Sat Dec 15, 2007 12:13 pm 
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If the chafing dish or similar, made with thin metal, is on a slippery or slightly angled surface, the laptop's weight may make it slide more easily than the laptop would by itself or on books or such. Also, it may slide very slowly, moving especially as you pound the keyboard, operate the CD tray, etc., till suddenly it falls. Add something to keep it from sliding.

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