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Room temperature for a switch

Posted on 2006-07-09
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Last Modified: 2007-12-19
I want to setup a switch in my attic where currently it is 115 degrees F and approx 35% humidity. The specs for the linksys router I am looking at state the follwoing:

Operating temp: 32F to 122F
Storage Temp: -4F to 158F

Operating Humidity: 10% to 85%
Storage Humidity: 5% to 90%

Has anyone had experience setting up a router in similar conditions? I expect the temp could raise another 10 degrees on some days which would put me over the maximum operating temp.  Are these "safe" temps provided by the manufacture or absolutly maximum?

In the future I would like to add a few more vents to my roof, currently there is 1 vent about 5x6in in size!
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Question by:JF0
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7 Comments
 
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Assisted Solution

by:scrathcyboy
scrathcyboy earned 80 total points
ID: 17069599
Dont let any electronics get too much over 100F, the likelihood of failure goes up geometrically after that.  But you can get around this with a good 90 MM case fan.  Use a 12V DC adapter, plug the fan in, and leave it running all the time, preferably with the top of the switch off and the fan blowing right on the components.  It will consume a little juice, but this is the price you pay for putting a switch or router in the attic.  Ive burned out routers, hubs and switches, as well as TV decoders in temps over 100 and especially in direct sunlight, when the surface temp can get over 150 fairly quickly.  The humidity is not an issue unless the contacts start to corrode, usually 85 % or more.
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Expert Comment

by:jhance
ID: 17069650
Rather than guess at this, use the manufacturer's specifications to determine whether or not the proposed location is suitable.  If the attic is currently at 115F, is this a worst case day?  I'm guessing not and it would not be uncommon for an attic to reach 125F or even higher.

Two ideas:

1) If the attic has insulation, put the switch BELOW the insulation resting on the ceiling below.  It will be MUCH cooler on the house side of the insulation.

2) Put the switch in a closet or utility room (but in your living space) rather than in the attic.
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LVL 34

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by:
PsiCop earned 120 total points
ID: 17069690
They're pretty serious about those temp limits. I've fried components and boards going over them so unless you have an infinite supply of these switches, I'd think long and hard about putting one in such a hot place.

Put one in your living space. You and it will be much happier. I dunno if I agree with the suggestion of burying it under the insulation. Its inability to dissipate heat will rapidly overcome any cooling received from the living space. The insulation will also act to TRAP the heat that the switch generates.
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LVL 5

Expert Comment

by:Titanium_Sniper
ID: 17069983
if you are following jhances suggestion I would recomend against it because the switch will not get any airflow under the insulation which insulates against heat.
From personal experience switches of any size do output a little heat and if insulated this could raise the temperature inside the cavity under the insulation to unacceptable levels.
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Author Comment

by:JF0
ID: 17070388
Thanks everyone - I have decided to ditch the idea of the switch in the attic for now. I do still have cable running up there and have been streaming video for about 2 hours with no problems, althought Im not sure if heat even has an affect on network cable.
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Expert Comment

by:jhance
ID: 17071518
>>althought Im not sure if heat even has an affect on network cable.

Yes it would but not at the temps you'll get in the attic.  Unless the insulation starts melting the performance of the cable will be unaffected.
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by:Titanium_Sniper
ID: 17073020
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