[Freedombox-discuss] Environmental Limits

Roman Baertschi rbaertschi1 at gmail.com
Thu Apr 12 22:10:56 UTC 2012


I don't know why you are trying to exclude the DreamPlug or any other
device for it's environmental limits. Maximum junction temperature is
a limit that all OEMs face and we can't avoid. The rest is just
thermal management. Adding one (or a few) tiny heat sinks won't break
the bank or jeopardize a project such as this. Every supplier faces
the same problem of offering a competitive solution that will cover
the vast majority of use cases. Personally, I don't typically mount my
computers outside on a pole or some other hostile locale, but others
may need to as their circumstances warrant. The particular problems
encountered at the site are best left to the installer. It's
unreasonable to expect GlobalScale to take on our air conditioning
problems. In a hot area you would want to remove the cover and attach
an appropriate heat sink and fan. Temperature could be monitored in
software. The unit generates its own heat (while operating) so I don't
think winter will be a problem. Like all problems, testing,
consideration of the available options and discussing them with the
group is the best way to proceed so that others can implement the best
solutions for their particular needs.



On Thu, Apr 12, 2012 at 9:06 AM, Jack Wilborn <jkwilborn at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi, I was first interested in the Freedom-box because you could erect it
> anywhere and use it with only a solar panel and battery.  The picture I saw
> was taken in NY if I remember correctly, and it was outside on a pole.  I
> think for legal reasons anyone wanting 'inside' the box would need a warrant
> to be on the safe side, they could easily lose if they didn't follow
> president.  Beside that point, this box won't work where the picture was
> taken, it gets below freezing where the picture was shot and the main point
> of having a low cost 'WiFi in a Tupperware box' surly isn't viable.  Now you
> need air conditioning (which is heat or cooling) for the unit to run.  As
> far as theft is concerned a roof isn't very secure but on top of a tower,
> you limit how many are really interested in something that requires personal
> danger to get it and computer savvy to get something useful out of it.  Add
> to that many people don't realize what's possible in such a small piece of
> hardware. There are places that it could work, although not probably
> completely supported by solar, like San Diego California, where the Pacific
> limits the high heat we normally get in the SW desert.  The rest of the
> country, excluding the west cost does in fact freeze (below 0 Degrees
> Centigrade and exceed 104 Fahrenheit).
> As an example I was stoked to hear about this, but as a Hardware/Software
> specialist I now know that it's not possible to even consider this box as a
> functional part of a system that we want to depend on, unless we limit it's
> exposure to the 0 - 40 Centigrade range which it's engineered.  I assume we
> want the machine to stay up?  If so then it's imperative we constrain it's
> use to what it's limits in the environment are.  Does the device even know
> it's own temperature or do we need to add more hardware to it to make it
> possible to control some other external hardware (such as hear or cooling)
> at greater cost?
>  I'm sorry but this device may be fine for development and testing, but
> clearly not possible for use in an uncontrolled environment which is what
> attracted me.  I do believe that with some stimulation, we could get a box
> with an extended environmental limits of course with increased costs. What I
> mean by this is that if enough of us contact the devices creator and explain
> what we want, it's possible that they could come up with what could be done
> and at what unit price.  It still could end up costing too much for the
> majority of us. The only way to know is to ask.
> You speak about putting it in a controlled environment then you are paying
> for this environment and limits the ability to place units in isolated areas
> which is one of the interesting applications of the FreedomBox concept. If
> you are not going to exceed the limits or you can afford to have a device
> fail and replace it, the go ahead and use this hardware.  If you end up with
> paying users, then this concept is not a good model.  Using it as a
> development model is completely reasonable with the assurance that we will
> have an extended environmental model in the future.  To base it on this
> device, assures failure at some point and these need to be known to those
> building the complete device.
> Do we go with this model and limit where we can place these devices?  Or is
> it asking too much for those that understand this problem to get a group
> together and see what the ending cost of this device would be with extended
> limits.  You do not have to participate if you are happy with this box.  How
> we stand legally and the success of this box could really depend on how well
> it survives being placed in strange environments and it's ability to operate
> in poor environments.  All persons working on this as an end, do need to
> know and understand that the device will fail if placed in an environment
> outside the stated engineering limits.  How many and how often may be
> debated, but just one in a critical position could kill the FreedomBox
> concept over a great range.
> I have been contacted by persons in South America where they have to use
> consumer equipment with a limited range and deal with 25 to 50 percent of an
> expected life.  As the world of technology expands, engineers have to take
> this into consideration.  Devices such as this can make a very big change,
> as the FreedomBox is envisioned by most of us.  Let's not kill it off early
> because we don't want to follow instructions.
> I will take the responsibility of collection all of those that are
> interested in a 'WiFit in a Tupperware box' that will be able to put into a
> rather extreme environment and I will contact the manufacturers and make a
> bidding of what we want the device to do. Is this acceptable?  Please write
> me at "jkwilborn at gmail.com" and tell me where you live, what the range is
> and if you have one now and how many you expect to purchase when the
> software reached maturity.  If you give me Centigrade or Fahrenheit, I will
> make them all the same and contact them with a consistent Centigrade
> values.  Firm data or temps and numbers are required, so be at your best.
> Anyone who has something to add, please write if you have something to add.
> If you just want to gripe, I can't help you.  If you don't care about the
> environmental ranges, I.E. you are going to run it from inside of something
> that's fine, I don't need to know.  If I don't have enough people respond,
> that will raise the price and severely hurt the FreedomBox project, IMHO.
> Thanks for listening,
> Jack
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