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Old 04-28-2010, 08:45 PM
Marcus Priesch
 
Default looking for a embedded platform with extended temperature range

Hi embedded gentooists

i am looking for a small embedded board with extended temperature range
- ideal from -20 to +60 degrees celsius - i know "extended" is far more,
but for my project it's sufficient to have -20 to +60 ... it will be
installed outdoors in the wild - here in austria

to be honest, i am looking for two solutions ...

one could/should either be kind of "standard" x86 platform - preferably
fanless - with usb, ethernet, hw watchdog and sata at a minimum ...

and the second one could be any embedded device with usb (host),
ethernet, hw watchdog and the possibility to run python code ...

after some research i am stuck with atom based mini-itx platform for the
first - 0 to 60 degrees - which could be realised by utilizing a heater
inside the outdoor housing ... but fanless ...

for the latter, gumstix look promising but i am a little unsure how they
perform ... and they only sell directly from the us. ...

as i am in austria - some distributor within europe would be great !!!

any (great) ideas, hints, experiences ?!?!

thanks a lot,
marcus.
 
Old 04-29-2010, 01:51 PM
Ed W
 
Default looking for a embedded platform with extended temperature range

On 28/04/2010 21:45, Marcus Priesch wrote:

for the latter, gumstix look promising but i am a little unsure how they
perform ... and they only sell directly from the us. ...



Have you looked through all the routerboard range?

The "Linux Devices" website is great for checking out what industrial
boards are out there. Probably your needs are satisfied by some
industrial solution?


Note I would have thought min temp is not a problem. I would think that
the main issues with cold are simply icing, frost, fans freezing and
other mechanical things like HDs?


Patrick who makes the Alix boards is very approachable - you could ask
him what modifications are necessary to meet those targets? You would
at least get an explanation of the practical issues?


Also consider the cost of simply running the units out of operating spec
and estimating failure costs over X years... Might be cheaper to buy
twice as many and just let them fail?


Good luck

Ed W
 
Old 04-29-2010, 03:43 PM
"Peter Bell"
 
Default looking for a embedded platform with extended temperature range

-----Original Message-----
> From: Ed W [mailto:lists@wildgooses.com]
> Sent: Thursday, April 29, 2010 9:51 PM
> To: gentoo-embedded@lists.gentoo.org
> Subject: Re: [gentoo-embedded] looking for a embedded platform with >
extended temperature range
>
> On 28/04/2010 21:45, Marcus Priesch wrote:
> > for the latter, gumstix look promising but i am a little unsure how they
> > perform ... and they only sell directly from the us. ...
> >
>
> Have you looked through all the routerboard range?
>
> The "Linux Devices" website is great for checking out what industrial
> boards are out there. Probably your needs are satisfied by some
> industrial solution?
>
> Note I would have thought min temp is not a problem. I would think that
> the main issues with cold are simply icing, frost, fans freezing and
> other mechanical things like HDs?
>
> Patrick who makes the Alix boards is very approachable - you could ask
> him what modifications are necessary to meet those targets? You would
> at least get an explanation of the practical issues?
>
> Also consider the cost of simply running the units out of operating spec
> and estimating failure costs over X years... Might be cheaper to buy
> twice as many and just let them fail?
>
> Good luck

I can say from personal experience that HDDs do not like subzero
temperatures - in many cases they will simply refuse to start up if the
ambient temperature is too high or too low. Even the ones that will try to
start up sometimes fail because of sticktion - or, in one case, actually do
start to run, but then rip the heads off! There are also potential issues
with condensation if the humidity is high.

You can generally get away with it if the drive is constantly powered up and
you only start up when it's warmer, but even of the drive shuts down due to
power management it can be problematic to restart. You can use a heater to
keep the temperature up, but obviously this has a detrimental effect on the
power consumption.

Regards

Pete
 
Old 04-29-2010, 03:54 PM
Bob Dunlop
 
Default looking for a embedded platform with extended temperature range

> Note I would have thought min temp is not a problem. I would think that
> the main issues with cold are simply icing, frost, fans freezing and
> other mechanical things like HDs?

To go to -40C you have to be careful with a lot of other components.
Capacitors especially electrolitics will have to be carefully selected.
-20C is probably on the edge for standard components. We also fit disk
heaters although these days we'd suggest solid state data storage.

Several of the big little board manufacturers offer extended temperature
ranges, but they charge premium prices for them, and are expensive for
one off projects.

I'd suggest going with best domestic range board you can get and then
try to protect it from the extremes in some way. Bury it a few feet
under ground snuggled up to a large thermal mass like the battery. Out
of the wind a few feet under temperatures should stablise around about
-4C.

--
Bob Dunlop
 
Old 05-05-2010, 06:29 PM
Marcus Priesch
 
Default looking for a embedded platform with extended temperature range

Hi guys,

thanks for all your great suggestions - and sorry for not having
answered you sooner ...

let me share some more info on the subject ...

for one project we will go with standard mini-itx mainboards and a
heating in the case - and of course with ssd instead of hdd ...

for the other one i found a really nice device from germany calla MoRoS:

http://www.insys-tec.de/moros-gprs/

despite the fact that this is fully linux powered and has tons of nice
features (gsm/grps/umts, rs232, 4xethernet) - the *main* feature for me
is that you can upload a so called "sandbox" image with your own linux
programs - supported by denx eldk ... its arm based, but i have not got
more detailed spec about the internals until now ...

i know this is not really "embedded" the gentoo way - but i think
this could be well suited for some nice hacked up projects

the other interesting thing i found is the fit-pc from compulab.co.il.
has any of you any experiences with this device ?

http://www.fit-pc.com

basically this is a very low power (6-8 watts) atom platform - according
to information i got from compulab the boards are also available in -20
to 70 and -40 to 85 - but only for 100+ pieces and you have to buy a
development board also - which is in the range of about $800.

the complete fit-pc (atom 1.6 ghz, 1gb ram, wlan but no hdd) is about
255eur here in austria ... and is certified from 0 to 70 ...

i will take a closer look at the igep's now ...

regards and all the best from austria,
marcus.
 

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