I think I've decided on how to keep myself cool in this suit. I'm going to try installing small case fans in a few areas inside the suit.
At first, I experimented with the idea of taking apart my old mini travel fridge that stopped working for some reason. It plugged into the cigarette lighter in my car.
[A little backstory: I used this fridge when I moved and drove cross country in my Civic. It was tiny, but it kept a decent amount of food and water chilled during my 10 days across the US (I took my time). Even after I arrived in California, I still kept it as my main fridge since my apartment didn't come with a fridge, and I didn't have the money to buy one (my priorities were towards a new TV, dvd player, and 5.1 surround sound, lol). I used this fridge for SIX MONTHS before I broke down and got a bigger fridge (college dorm room size). Then I took it to work and plopped it on my desk and used it until it died mysteriously. Ah, the memories...]
Since I otherwise had no use for it, I took it apart. At first, I tried to do it neatly in case I managed to fix it and wanted to use it again, but the majority of the screws were set about 4 inches deep, and the holes were too narrow for any of my screwdrivers, so used brute force and pried and ripped it open with a pair of screwdrivers. [So sad...] What I managed to salvage from it was some kind of heat exchange plate/heatsink thingy, a case fan, and the plug/power switch. I plugged it in and, as expected, nothing. I took a closer look and couldn't find anything obviously wrong, so I clipped the wires and connected the heat exchanger directly to the 12v power. Worked like a charm. Did the same thing to the fan, and that also worked again. Yay! I still can't figure out what was wrong with the switch/circuitboard, but oh well. While I was tinkering with the heat exchanger, I left the fan blowing on my knee, since that was as convenient a place to put it as any while it was running. After discovering the heat exchanger was far too localized for cooling abilities and too big to be of practical use in my suit, I noticed that my knee was quite cool. I think that's when I decided to just use case fans instead of anything (more) elaborate. Now, I'm trying to find some that are as cheap, small, flat, and quiet as I can get. Anyone have any suggestions? I found a bunch of 80mm ones for $2 on Newegg. One of them even gets down to $1.29 with free shipping if you order in bulk (10+ fans). With that deal, it's oddly cheaper to buy 10 than to buy 3. Go figure. The only problem is its size. At 80mm x 80mm x 25mm (or approx. 3"x3"x1"), they're kinda big to try to incorporate into a somewhat skintight suit. I found another one that's 40mm x 40mm x 10mm that's $3 each. Not as good a deal, but much smaller. The other downside is that the reviews are saying they're pretty loud.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Posted by Hero at 11:00 PM