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Why Not
Mar 28, 2004, 03:23 PM
Okay, I have what will sound like a very odd case, but I figure someone here might just have an idea that will help me.

Here goes...

If a person were to take an iPod to the North pole, the two biggest factors that need to be considered are the following: temperature and battery. I can handle the battery with some fancy solar panels tricks, but the temperature issues is the one that scares me. Apple lists supported temps as low as 0F, which is far from the cold temps that can potentially hit the poles. I have to assume part of this is going to be in regards to the lcd screen, which lcds do not fare well in extreme temps, hot or cold.

Anyone have any other ideas as to the nature of the low temp limitations? Has anyone tried using the iPod at extreme conditions? What have you experienced?

Timeliness is very important, as the expedition begins in a couple weeks and this was a last minute addition that I would very much like to include.

-jason

iMeowbot
Mar 28, 2004, 03:47 PM
Another limitation will be the disk drive, those little ones aren't happy spinning below about 40F or being on and idle below about 0F. Disks are mechanical beasties and have lubricants that will become more viscous, then harden, at low temps.

If you're going to keep your toy inside your clothing, it might be fine.

Dippo
Mar 28, 2004, 04:57 PM
Put the iPod in your freeze and see what happens.

If it won't turn on after hours in the freeze then you'll have you answer...

SiliconAddict
Mar 28, 2004, 05:02 PM
Put the iPod in your freeze and see what happens.

If it won't turn on after hours in the freeze then you'll have you answer...

Brilliant :rolleyes:

SiliconAddict
Mar 28, 2004, 05:23 PM
jason,

You should consider a solid state MP3 player. Its obviously not the solution you are looking for but as iMeowbot stated the hard drive on your iPod is the biggest thing other then the battery that is effected by the cold. (The LCD is as well but it won't actually kill the LCD to have it in -20* or more weather.)

I know that I recommend to the users in our office to let their laptops warm up for an hour before they turn it on due to the amount of stress going from a cold state (In this case the state of a MN winter.) to a warm hard drive. Over time such stress can kill a hard drive and this includes the hard drive in the iPod.

MacBandit
Mar 28, 2004, 05:29 PM
I took mine snow camping this last winter and well it didn't work so well. Basically you need to keep it against your body for it to work at all. It started having problems in temps as high as 20-25 F. The problem is not the LCD which does stop displaying properly in the single digits but actually the battery. The batter is incapable of discharging properly at those temperatures so it can't develop enough capacity to power the iPod. There are two solutions the first is the easiest which is to keep it close to your body at all times. The second is to use reusable heating packs to keep it warm.

So you know I saw no lasting damage from it being exposed for overnight in sub-zero temperatures.

rainman::|:|
Mar 28, 2004, 08:03 PM
Okay, here's my experience. I left one overnight in a glove compartment during an Iowa winter... i'd say it probably got -10 or -20F. I had a lot of problems after that, eventually lead to a new iPod. I think the low temperature did screw some things up, and the screen had a bit of bleeding coming in on the top and bottom... it was not a happy iPod. I'd say, it's not a device you're going to want to take, if you don't have a place to keep such items warm... some expeditions have special heated cases for electronics. Treat it the same you would a laptop computer, which I assume you guys may be bringing as well... And, if there's no way to keep it warm during nights/travel/etc, you'd need to keep it warm with your body...

the two biggest problems i can see, would be-- moisture (even minute, like humidity) on the internal components freezing and causing cracks to the circuit boards, or damage to the drive because the oil got too thick. The battery may also be affected, since it's chemical based... It's enough that i don't think you could effectively weatherproof it for exposure to those temperatures. Again, i'd keep it at a minimum of 0-20F at all times, resting or playing.

paul

wdlove
Mar 28, 2004, 08:19 PM
I does seem that protective care is needed to keep your iPod running at peak performance. It sounds like the iPod is very resilient.

warcraftmaster
Mar 28, 2004, 09:39 PM
maby a really good case could do the trick. this one looks good very good i may get when i go fishin at the lodge. http://www.lilipods.com/lilipods.html
take a look :)

crazzyeddie
Mar 28, 2004, 10:07 PM
The second is to use reusable heating packs to keep it warm.

That sounds like a great idea... even if that thing stays warm just a little, it will help insulate the iPod against the cold, combined with your body heat, I bet that would do the trick. Have a good expedition. :D

Raid
Mar 29, 2004, 10:57 AM
Hey Why Not, I'm just curious, but how are you planning on listening to your iPod up there? I hope you've got really good ear-muffs! :D It's going to be damn cold. Right now Iqaluit has an average high of about -10 degrees Celsius and a average low around -20... and that is pretty far south of the pole. Maybe if you kept to using it indoors it would be fine, but out doors you'd have to set up some sort of ear protection for you and the ear-buds.

Oh and have fun, and remember to bring sunglasses!

javabear90
Mar 29, 2004, 01:04 PM
maby a really good case could do the trick. this one looks good very good i may get when i go fishin at the lodge. http://www.lilipods.com/lilipods.html
take a look :)

nice...... very nice....

rainman::|:|
Mar 29, 2004, 02:10 PM
maby a really good case could do the trick. this one looks good very good i may get when i go fishin at the lodge. http://www.lilipods.com/lilipods.html
take a look :)

While it's a lovely case, it won't protect against temperature-- give it overnight, and the iPod will still be as cold as the place it's kept. A case like this can prevent water and snow from getting in, which is important, but doesn't overcome the major issue here.

paul

OutThere
Mar 29, 2004, 03:21 PM
I'll let it pass that this got posted in the Current Events board - everyone else did. I would suggest that if you really want to take your iPod with you (how are you planning to charge it?) You should,

1) Get some sort of thick foam case with a belt loop.

2) Put a strap of cloth through the belt loop, and secure the iPod around you, under your clothes, in a warm, confortable place.

3) You'll always have to keep it on you, (iPods don't have body heat)

4) Don't take it out, just use the remote control, and make sure to have playlists and stuff set up so you don't have to browse and actually look at the screen.

5) Only ever take it out in your sleeping bag, in a tent or however you are sleeping, and don't move it anywhere where the temp goes below 0 C. In other words, keep it in your sleeping bag if you have to check on it, or select a different playlist.

6) Have the mindset that there is a good chance that it could have some problems.

7) Have Applecare that extends until after you get back.

Why Not
Mar 29, 2004, 04:01 PM
First of all, thanks a million everyone for the help. I had no idea how many people were from the midwest like myself. I think my only solution is going to be possibly to build an all-enclosed holder/heater for it.

The whole reason was to try to document the trip with it, not really to listen to any music on it. I am trying to start a small foundation that gives iPods to nursing homes and other organizations that will help spread all of our yesterday's history to todays and tomorrow's generations. I figured this might be a great way to kick it off. The "icePod" is actually going to go with a veteran climber/adventurer Alison Levine (see http://www.alisonlevine.com/ for more info). I could use a solid state player, but it would negate the entire kickoff idea. I hope you all can understand that.

Thanks a million again. This might just become a reality once I have a few technical issues worked out.

-jason

bennetsaysargh
Mar 29, 2004, 06:39 PM
i used it at -5f for about 1/2 hour this past january, and i actually didn't notice anything except the headphone wires froze solid.
amazing :o