Mac mini in car heat issue?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by xxredxpandaxx, Apr 30, 2013.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Apr 3, 2013
    I want to put a computer in my car and I know there is a whole community who put mac minis in their cars but I live in Florida and during the summer it gets really REALLY hot while your car is parked in a parking lot. So I looked on the apple website and it says 116F max storage temperature. Im sure that it can handle more but I would say it can get over 140 in a car in the summer. Now I would install it under the dash somewhere so it would be out of the sun but Im just worried that if I buy one and put it in my car that it would mess up and I would be out like $600. Any thoughts?
  2. macrumors regular

    May 2, 2002

    If you do, post pics!
  3. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 3, 2013
    I will for sure. My plan is to build a classic civic and put a more modern civic engine in it for more power. Then restore the car and mold a custom dash in it with a 13'' or 15'' 720p screen in it, and hook up the mac mini to it. Possibly do a dual 1tb HDD in it also.
  4. macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    you may want to put in an ssd to make the mini more shock resistant.
  5. macrumors 65816

    Mar 23, 2013
    You could re-route the air con to run over the mini? It wouldn't help when the car is parked (unless you leave your air con running!) but would help to give it cool air if it is in an enclosed space?
  6. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 3, 2013
    I was thinking about that but for the amount of space I want it would be far to expensive. But if the HDD shaders and is totally ruined I will go for a SSD :)

    I hope to have it mounted in an open space so I don't think that heat while its running should be a problem. Also I don't really want the air conditioning running directly at the mini because I would be afraid of condensation inside of it.
  7. macrumors 68000


    Jun 20, 2010
    Twin Cities
    Why would there be condensation inside it?
  8. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 3, 2013
    Cold air can create condensation, and I would rather just not take the risk. Plus It will be in the same air as I am not in a compartment so running heat is not the problem, just when I'm not using the car.
  9. macrumors member

    Mar 20, 2013
    Automotive MacMini

    I have my UHF/VHF radio mounted in the trunk where it tends to be cooler than in the enclosed passenger arrea where the sun beams through the windshield. That might be a better location for your Mini. Also more secure.
  10. macrumors member

    Nov 11, 2011
  11. macrumors 6502

    Sep 14, 2011
    Since money seems to be of little importance in this endeavor, you could just add UV protection to the windows of the car to keep the temp down.

    I want to do this to my car just to avoid some of the summer sun in central California. I haven't been able to convince myself to pull the trigger yet. If I recall correctly, it's about a $350 upgrade to your car.
  12. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 3, 2013
    I've never seen this before but it seems like it would help. I will look into it. thanks.
  13. macrumors member

    Aug 15, 2009
    Must be one of the most idiotic community ever. A mini mounted on a car? LOL.
  14. macrumors newbie

    May 2, 2013
    Apple TV

    Why not just use an AppleTV?
    Fewer components and the ARM architecture is designed to work under a higher thermal load.
  15. macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    I guess you should tell that to Brabus. Then again you probably can't afford them anyway....

    (Cliff notes: they make a custom Mercedes S600 with a Mac Mini mounted inside)
  16. macrumors member

    Aug 15, 2009
    Leave the darn mini in your home, get 128gb IPads for your car, put your movies/Music on it. If you need more space you can use plex on your house as your media center to stream media to the pads. If you don't want to use data, build a wifi Nas in your car and access it from the pads.

    Explain me your right from the Stone Age solution, please. Even if you manage to touch enable your mini, it just suck. Would love to see a person trying to get emails from macosx while driving LOL. Even changing songs would be a drag, you need to edit docs, play WOW on traffic jams? Torrent addicted?

    Your idea would be great in 1997. Lol this post made my day. This solution would baffle even the least tech savior person. What else you got installed in your car? A blender? Shower? Ventilators? LOL
  17. macrumors member

    Aug 15, 2009
    Well who you think you are to patronize me, you are clueless about what I can or can't buy. Typical

    Being rich shouldn't be a free pass for stupidity. If OP is talking about a limo or something for executives on board play or for his kids use it is another story, if OP is talking about a media center, or solution HE could use while driving it is out of the question. It is 2013 already, a PC as a car solution is anacronic to say the least.
  18. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 3, 2013
    Your solution is far more complicated than it should be and would easily cost twice what I am doing. Just the iPad that you are talking about is more than the mini and screen put together. And streaming movies from home would not work all that well at all.

    I am not going to use a touch screen, I will have the magic track pad and a wireless keyboard. The computer would be only for music and movies/tv shows. There is no need for internet access. I have an iPhone for emails if I need to check them. Also changing songs would be extremely easy with this product that apple makes called the apple remote.

    As for the stone age part of your comment is that why car manufactures are starting to put 50gb and up HDD in the car along with larger touch screens in the dash? It sounds to me what they are putting in cars is getting more and more like a computer.

    So I don't understand your ridicule, It would have been better if you just did not post anything instead of making yourself look dumb. Your entire post has nothing to do with what I was asking in the original post so you were no help.


    I does not have the options I am looking for.


    First off I am not rich, nor am I stupid. I am building it for me as I have a rather large collection of music and I can only cary about 10% of it on my iPhone. Also if I want to watch a movie or TV show while I am waiting in my car I can. I would just like to have a computer in my car. I do not think that this is that odd, "stupid", or anachronic, if you look at my longer response above this you can see that car manufactures are getting closer to having a computer in the car. Also I did not post this on this forum to be ridiculed, I posted it here because every time I look at this forum it is usually very helpful. Perhaps I was wrong though.
  19. macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    Well can you afford it? I summize that if you can afford a tricked out Mercedes S600, you probably have better things to do than come to a forum multiple times a day....
    Thanks for proving I was right. :rolleyes:
    The OP said nothing of the like. Until his most recent post, you had no idea what he wanted this for. Frankly, I've considered putting a Mini in my car for this very reason because I have a child and I would never have to worry about what movies we have on the iPad for her to watch as they would always be with us. Further, there is no reason you can't use the Mini as a music server. Many have been doing this with computers for years.

    Lastly, use anacronic in a sentence, because I have no idea what it means and Google doesn't either.
  20. macrumors regular

    Feb 3, 2013
    He spelled it wrong. Forgot the H

    a·nach·ro·ny ( -n k r -n ). n. Discrepancy between the chronological order of events and the order in which they are related in a plot.

    i also went the carputer route for a while, was a real pain in the ass. Ended up getting rid of all the equipment and hacking up a netbook. Ended up tossing that in the trash after a few months as well. The fact that you are doing this in a Honda tells me that you are a car scene guy in which case you need to install it where you can put all your neon and flashy **** around it to highlight your ICE. Dont forget the drift toy!
  21. macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    Umm yeah I know. I was making a point.
  22. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 3, 2013
    Im not really a car scene guy, I like cars but none of the stuff that the Honda people do to their cars (neon, rims, lowering it, all that stuff) I just want my car to be faster than stock because it is very slow. I want it to be almost stock. Also I wanted to do this in a classic Mini but they are to expensive in the US at the moment, maybe down the line I will restore one of those.

    Also could you tell me the reasons that you took out the carputer? I'm curious to hear what you had problems with.
  23. macrumors regular

    Feb 3, 2013
    the first issue was the software. Windows ran like windows does so that was a pain in the butt to maintain on a regular basis. The hookup for the autosleep never worked right even after some forum help online and in person. So there were a lot of hard shutdowns from loss of power, accept for the one time when it kept it live and drained the car battery.

    Also at the time the touchscreens were about as crappy as you can get. I had the slide out and it kept breaking. Cheaply made and I didnt want to go to a dbl din to get a static install. Also a car enviroment is harsh for that type of enviroment. The software available at the time was hack work at the very best and random keystroke coding at the worst. Everything ran slow and I was never able to get the full effect that I desired.

    That was when I decided to try out a small laptop. Hacked it up to install the screen and then put it back together and tried another external screen. Again because it was a cheaper laptop the specs were poor and upgrades were nill to say the least. It eventually ended up being so unreliable that I couldnt operate it while driving (changing tracks and playlists mainly). I had planned to go the macmini route but eventually became so frustrated with the whole thing that I just gave up. Solid state at the time was so expensive it was just dumb to dump $2k into a computer install for software that wouldnt run properly anyways.

    if I were to do it today I would do a solid state NAS with an AppleTV and an airport express. Not sure what I would use as a monitor as I am sure they have improved. I know for certain I would go with a static monitor setup with touchscreen, but then that leads me to think I should just install a iPadmini with the same airport and solid state NAS if I really wanted to go all out.

    Basically an iPad mini at max size in a removable enslosure would just about do it.
  24. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 3, 2013
    Hmm interesting, well the power isn't going to be a problem for me because the new mac minis run on 12v and I'm going to use a DC to DC converter that is made for use in a car (link). Also its going to be a mac so no problem with windows or software, Ill use iTunes and XBMC. Also I don't think that I will need solid state storage, a HDD should be fine, maybe I will mount it externally from the mini to make it more resistant to the acceleration and braking of the car? Im not sure if I need to do that yet. But thanks for the info, no I know of some of the problems of dealing with a carputer.
  25. macrumors regular

    Feb 3, 2013
    You will want that solid state drive. 1 small bump during a write or read and the drive could be toast. It's a worth while investment for sake of data and stability. Either that or get a few drives and clone them regularly and get ready to swap them out regularly.

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