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Old 06-16-2004, 05:10 PM   #16
J.W.
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Quote:
Originally posted by Electro
You can use an infrared beam to sense if the fans in your system are moving at a decent speed. If they are not moving, output an audible sound.
Electro -- Could you please explain what you mean here? What "infrared beam"??? Is this a product that is commercially available, and if so, can you include a link to the manufacturer's website? Sorry, but it seems you frequently include comments in your posts that are just plain confusing, and your (apparent) suggestion that people should buy and install some kind of "infrared beam" to monitor the PC's fans has me utterly baffled, since I have never heard of such a thing. Of course, it's possible that I just haven't been looking in the right places.

Where would this "infrared beam" device be installed? Inside the PC cabinet? Facing the backside of the PC cabinet? If this infrared beam device does detect that the fans are not keeping the system sufficiently cool, how would it be connected to the system's speakers so that it could emit a warning, or does it come with speakers built in? I am curious to find out. -- J.W.
 
Old 06-16-2004, 07:06 PM   #17
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Electro- you sound like an electrical engineer , I agree with you on all except the system load (software part). IMHO software accessing all of the hardware all of the time could overload a weak power-supply that could ordinarily run just fine during ordinary activity. To prove my point I will use the temperature in my office, when I am compiling a new system (approx 12hrs. to 3 days 98% cpu load) the temp can raise 5-10 degrees (no window). Meaning that more current is being used, generating heat as a byproduct. Voltage alone doesn't make heat, current does. This game "far cry" sounds even nastier than a compile, using not just 99% cpu but 99%- mem, agp bus, agp card, pci bus and audio card at the same time for a long time. The overloaded power supply may brown itself out internally causing amps to skyrocket and fry and or cause a short in a mosfet or transistor.
Power supplys have a current (amps) limiting device to prevent frying the rest of the computer, but it is not instant. If the power supply is shorted it may try to complete the ciruit through the other pieces of the computer in series, the initial burst would go though causing the fans to jump for a ms and the speakers to thump or snap, then the current limiter clamps down and cuts the power. The burst also travels though the other hardware as well, but may naot be apparent.
One factor that is vastly neglected is the length, gauge, type of wire running inside the walls from the breaker or fuse box to the outlet the computer is plugged into. Some older buildings have light gauge (18ga.) wire 100 ft. from computer to main line which was originally installed for older electrical devices, like at most a 150w light bulb and a small radio or tv, 300w at most, even worse (IMO) is aluminum wire found in many suburbs. When the wire is thin and long voltage starts to drop due to resistance (ohms), but the electrical urge is too strongh and the electricity forces its way to ground causing the current to rise. The wires get hot but its unusually for them to burn or even get damaged, but the strongh current will fry the delicate parts of an electrical device plugged into it.
I used to work at a tool rental center where I maintained generators, and many was the time a customer brought back a fried floor sander or drill from useing a 300ft. 12ga. ext. cord, nothing happened to the generator or the ext. cord.
If you can, make sure you are on a circuit independant from other heavy load devices, like TV's, elec. heaters, refridgerators, etc., a $30-50 circuit tracker can help. Get a Belkin power supply, one of the (1500 joules) $70 variety if you are serious about your investment. And If you are made of money Belkin has a $400 true power cleaner (spike and sag correction) with voltage and current readouts (drool). Only use an extension cord if absoluitly nessesary. Do not use any extension cords smaller than 12ga. (18ga. = thin, 8ga. = massive) and no longer than 20-25ft. And correctly grounded, you must check, many landlords, or previous owners put in 3-prong outlets but don't ground them to get past building codes.

PS ifrared beam= the door bell thingy that chimes when you enter the quike-mart, an led and a photo-resitor or photo-transitor hooked to an innoying noise maker.
 
Old 06-16-2004, 07:13 PM   #18
itsjustme
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Quote:
Originally posted by Skitzo
PS ifrared beam= the door bell thingy that chimes when you enter the quike-mart, an led and a photo-resitor or photo-transitor hooked to an innoying noise maker.

Last edited by itsjustme; 06-17-2004 at 08:38 AM.
 
Old 06-16-2004, 08:20 PM   #19
J.W.
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Quote:
Originally posted by Skitzo
PS ifrared beam= the door bell thingy that chimes when you enter the quike-mart, an led and a photo-resitor or photo-transitor hooked to an innoying noise maker.
Ummm...... photoresistors operate in the visible light spectrum, of which the infrared band is not a part. I'm fairly well acquainted with infrared motion detectors (and doorbells), but I am still curious as to the specifics of the infrared beam device Electro mentioned that could be used to monitor the PC's fan speed and sound an alarm if the fan was moving too slowly. Any information about what this device actually is, and how you would connect it to a PC, would be of interest. -- J.W.
 
Old 06-16-2004, 11:36 PM   #20
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I am wrong, a photo-resistor is not used to detect infra-red light. Thankyou for the correction J.W. I looked through my old books and I think I found the correct term: thermistor.
To detect the spinning of a fan or stoping of a fan with light, a missing-pulse detector (alarm) would be used since the beam would flicker through the blades. I cant find my handy radio shack 555 timer book but the plans are in there. It has the advantage that it would not matter, when the fan stopped, whether a fan blade is blocking the light or not, the alarm would still sound.
The flash of light resets the timer, actually releases a charge in a charging capacitor quik enough for the next flash to prevent it from reaching 3/4 of its full capacity triggering an alarm or light or whatever. The 555 is set up as a one-shot mulvibrator, so even if the beam continues to hold the detection circuit closed (draining) the chip will still only release a specified amount of charge and continue the next charging cycle and the capacitor still reaches 3/4 and the alarm still goes off. Timings are set by using various combinations of resistors and a capacitor or 2 to achieve the correct drain/charge sequence. Takes about 30-60 min of experimenting for me to get it right.
The 555 timer/oscilator book should be found at any radio shack, (way in the back under a box in the corner). It describes the circuit way better than I can and is not as cryptic as the "electronic encyclopedia" tab books.
Adjusting the timings to detect speed changes is possible, but would take forever to get just right, at least for me.

Last edited by Skitzo; 06-16-2004 at 11:46 PM.
 
Old 06-17-2004, 01:05 AM   #21
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Yeah - I get the theory. If you position a light bulb behind a spinning fan, and a sensor in front of the fan that can detect the momentary "blinks" that the fan blade would cause, then you could measure how fast the fan is spinning. Integrating such a system onto a graphics card or the CPU however is an entirely different story, and as far as I am aware, there is no such "infrared beam device" that is commercially available that is designed to monitor heat levels within a PC generated by a graphics card and/or the CPU, and which would also generate an audible signal if the fans were not spinning fast enough to provice adequate cooling.

Suppose I am interested in buying such a device -- who manufactures it? Let me stress that I am not interested in a bunch of schematic drawings, but rather a finished product that I can purchase and install in my PC, similar to if I wanted to install a second hard drive or replace the NIC. Electro's post, and possibly your post, seem to suggest that such a device exists -- where would I be able to obtain one of these "infrared beam" devices? I am interested learning more about them. -- J.W.
 
Old 06-17-2004, 01:41 AM   #22
itsjustme
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far cry killed my computer. Don't confuse me with any facts. My mind's made up.
 
Old 06-17-2004, 02:14 AM   #23
Electro
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Go to thinkgeek.com . There is a device that you just point to an object. Then it takes the temperature. Have you watched videos at tomshardware.com. They use similar device, but much, much more accurate.

A thermistor senses temperature. It can not sense light. Any electronic component that is design with the same materials as a diode can sense light. They include a diode, led, a clear transistor, a clear field-effect transistor. A phototransisitor is used for very fast reponses. A general purpose transistor can be used as a heat sensor. Transistors have a more linear rate for temperature than thermistors.

I was thinking of a microcontroller like a basic stamp or a PIC. Then hooking up an infrared sensing circuit that outputs on and off states. The on and off states will be the fan fins passing over the sensor. The microcontroller will then be program to count the on and off states on one of its pins. Next it can either send the data through SMBus or to an LCD serial screen. The microcontroller will also hook up to a speaker when RPM gets too low to not move enough air. If using the SMBus, you can use lmsensors to get the information.

itsjustme, fine but why did you cry in this forum. You should cry to the techs that made Far Cry.
 
Old 06-17-2004, 02:38 AM   #24
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Electro -- I went to thinkgeek.com and did a search on "infrared". There were zero results. Can you provide a specific link? My question still remains, where exactly can I find one of the "infrared beam" devices that you mentioned, and who manufactures it? I'm not interested in a list of definitions from the dictionary about what a phototransistor is or what a thermistor is, but rather in some specifics about the monitoring device that you mentioned in post #15.

People may be curious about this infrared beam device -- please provide some specific information about it rather than a rambling post that simply lists definitions of various electronic components. -- J.W.
 
Old 06-17-2004, 04:24 PM   #25
Electro
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I found it in a few minutes.

Go to http://www.thinkgeek.com/gadgets/electronic/5d95/
 
Old 06-17-2004, 08:12 PM   #26
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Interesting, but this is essential just a thermometer, not something that would actively monitor fan speed and sound an alarm as you originally described, and I don't really see how someone would use this to keep tabs on how hot their graphics card or CPU was getting unless they were to hold it in their hand and aim it at the chip every 2 or 3 minutes to take another reading. That hardly seems like a practical approach to monitoring whether or not your system temps are getting too high.

I guess my main comment here is that your post #15 seems to suggest that there is an infrared beam device that can be installed inside your PC to actively monitor the system temps, but then in post #23 you change gears and talk about a method to examine the flicker rate caused by a spinning fan and compute the corresponding cooling effect, and then finally in post #25 you make reference to a hand-held temperature gauge. Sorry, but I don't see how any of these things represent practical advice. I mean really, are you suggesting that someone ought to aim this thing at the mobo/CPU/graphics card and continuously scan them for overheating? Please. -- J.W.
 
Old 06-18-2004, 02:33 AM   #27
Electro
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You can use two infrared devices. One for detecting RPM and the other detecting heat. You do not have to use infrared to detect RPM. You could use visible light but it might be annoying when the fins are passing over and you have a window on your case.
 
Old 06-18-2004, 03:34 AM   #28
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Where the heck did you get Far Cry for Linux?? My far cry box dosnt say anything about Linux on the requirements.
 
Old 06-18-2004, 03:36 AM   #29
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Dude - it is interesting that your advice seems to change from one post to another. First it was install an infrared monitor, then it was to install a photoresistor, then it was to purchase a hand-held thermometer, and now it is to (apparently) install 2 devices, one to monitor heat and the other to monitor fan speed.

All these changes in direction have me confused, so let me ask you - are you making this up as you go along or is this something that you have installed on your own PC? If it's the latter, what specific info can you provide regarding the components and how you've installed them? I am only trying to understand your recommendations, but you seem to contradict yourself from one post to another. Please clarify exactly what you are recommending. -- J.W.
 
Old 06-18-2004, 06:42 PM   #30
Electro
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Quote:
Dude - it is interesting that your advice seems to change from one post to another. First it was install an infrared monitor, then it was to install a photoresistor, then it was to purchase a hand-held thermometer, and now it is to (apparently) install 2 devices, one to monitor heat and the other to monitor fan speed.

All these changes in direction have me confused, so let me ask you - are you making this up as you go along or is this something that you have installed on your own PC? If it's the latter, what specific info can you provide regarding the components and how you've installed them? I am only trying to understand your recommendations, but you seem to contradict yourself from one post to another. Please clarify exactly what you are recommending. -- J.W.
Infrared or infra-red can be used as a flashlight to light up an area and using a CMOS CCD camera to see in the dark. You can also use it as a invisible sensor to sense who has interrupt the beam. Third it can also be used to get a temperature of something.

In my #15 post, I thought I explained it by using an infra-red to measure the speed of the fan. In #23 post, I still mention it but in more detailed how to detect the speed of the fan. In #25 post, I guess I change paths by giving you a link to a temperature meter. I should gave you a link to a techometer that you just point at stationary wheel going around and around such as a motor. You can still use infra-red to detect heat in the system. The device that I linked to cost $99, so it will be costly and a little hard to modify to put in the computer. You have to find or design an infra-red temperature meter that only needs to have measure length of a few centimeters. I have a schematic of an infra-red temperature meter. Photoresistors are too slow to detect RPM speeds, so a phototransistor have to be used.

BTW, why do people come to forums like this one and post about windows programs killing their computer.
 
  


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