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Old 2022-01-06, 15:58   #1
EdH
 
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"Ed Hall"
Dec 2009
Adirondack Mtns

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Default Counteracting Too Cold

My "farm" consists of recycled machines of all sorts. A common temperature specification is operation close to within human comfort. That works for those in the house, but my more capable Desktop machines are located in a shed that is temperature controlled by nature. The higher extremes seem to be handled adequately by throttling on those few really hot days during our two weeks of summer.

However, I find that many of them do not survive the sub-zero (Fahrenheit) temperatures of the long months of winter, unless they are kept busy, so they don't think about the cold.

I have tried running a secondary factoring routine with nice -n19 to keep one that recently crashed "warm" during its slack times of the main process(es) it is running, but even with nice, the secondary process detracts from the primary one(s) more than I would like.

Would anyone care to offer any ideas for a solution?
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Old 2022-01-06, 16:24   #2
chris2be8
 
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Is there scope to vary how much ventilation the shed has so it won't get too cold inside it in winter? Eg opening windows in spring and closing them in autumn?
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Old 2022-01-06, 16:50   #3
kriesel
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EdH View Post
I have tried running a secondary factoring routine with nice -n19 to keep one that recently crashed "warm" during its slack times of the main process(es) it is running, but even with nice, the secondary process detracts from the primary one(s) more than I would like.

Would anyone care to offer any ideas for a solution?
If it's application crash you write of, or work exhaustion, scripting to automatically launch one app after another exits may help. I have some hardware set up to do round-robin runs. Folder A chains to B to C to A. A fat (high exponent) PRP/GEC/proof-gen run at C that takes months ensures there's always enough work. I can report from and replenish work of one folder while another runs.

How much of an issue are dust accumulation, insect intrusion, rodent exploration, etc on hardware located in your shed? How reliable is AC power there? Do you sometimes see real-time-clock batteries fail in the cold? Ever try a laptop there, & if so how did its main battery fare? I've been contemplating trying some 3-season extension to my attached garage, and tonight's forecast low is -4F/-20C. I've had cordless drill batteries fail by being left in the truck (might have been NiMH). https://batteryuniversity.com/articl...w-temperatures
Recycled implies off-warranty, so any damage is your loss. Or mine here.

A thermostatically controlled fan, and a thermostatically controlled heater/light bulb when shed is too cool would both stabilize shed temperature and provide audio signal of one and visual signal of the other. Since this is for a compute "farm" in a shed, check your local farmer's supply store for economical hardware, such as Fleet Farm or Farm & Fleet or Tractor Supply Co, or your local building supply megastore (Menards, Home Depot, etc). If you need on average in winter some temperature increase, an inexpensive greenhouse kit that could be erected inside the shed to house the computing gear is another option, with a bonus of somewhat reducing risks from leaky shed roof, dust, and critters. A single wall barrier should be good for at least a few C delta, and most such will include vents in their design that you can adjust, or motorize the adjustment.

Last fiddled with by kriesel on 2022-01-06 at 17:25
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Old 2022-01-06, 16:57   #4
firejuggler
 
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"Vincent"
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This is going to be controversial, but less efficient cooling?
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Old 2022-01-06, 17:10   #5
S485122
 
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"Jacob"
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firejuggler View Post
This is going to be controversial, but less efficient cooling?
Unless the produced heat is evacuated outside the shed the efficiency of the cooling of the active elements will not change a lot.
Cooling, after all, means taking the produced heat from the components to disperse it outside the case or in the surrounding if working without a case.
With poor cooling the temperatures of the components will rise, they may then start consuming some more power and thus release more heat, but it will be marginal and dangerous for the components.

I would look in the direction of isolation and ventilation of the shed to try and regulate its temperature.
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Old 2022-01-06, 17:19   #6
a1call
 
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"Rashid Naimi"
Oct 2015
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*- Establish a Minimum operational temp, say 0 degrees F.
*- Isolate the Shed
*- Add a thermostat controlled space heater set to engage at lower temps

I would wager a virtual Canadian-Dollar that, the electrical cost of raising the shed temperature to -17 degrees C would be minimal in an insulated shed.

Last fiddled with by a1call on 2022-01-06 at 17:20
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Old 2022-01-06, 17:33   #7
EdH
 
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"Ed Hall"
Dec 2009
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Thank you for all the thoughts.

The shed is quite airy. It had been attached to the house, but years of settle have detached it such that it is not easily sealable and I'd prefer to not keep track of wide temperature shifts.

I've experienced a variety of crashes, the most recent of which manifested as the machine simply shutting its power off. The manner was not detectable. The temperature during that spell sank to about -20F. I've run laptops in the shed, but I don't recall if that was winter time frame. Although the machines are quite accessible to all types of vermin, none has caused any realized damage thus far. (knocking on wood) My main processes ATM are CADO-NFS clients, that idle while the LA stage is performed on the server. I often have a second and even third server running during LA times on the others, with scripts telling all the clients which server to support. I have also experimented with having those scripts assign other work to keep the machines busy during slack times. In one case I have machines running a db elf script that has a pause built in which the CADO-NFS servers control.

I do have a bit of trouble on the cooling front during the two warmer weeks, due to dust, etc. I also have fan trouble due to aging hardware. But, on the whole, I think these troubles have been minimal.

Less efficient cooling would probably cause even more trouble during the wide swings in temperature and I would need to stay on top of weather changes.

I'm not inclined to work on insulating the shed to control temperature swings, although I do welcome such ideas. I would especially be wary of any type of space heater being left unattended in the area (other than all those little CPU space heaters).
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Old 2022-01-06, 17:41   #8
firejuggler
 
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Last fiddled with by EdH on 2022-01-06 at 19:09 Reason: Fixed Link
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Old 2022-01-06, 18:11   #9
pinhodecarlos
 
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"Carlos Pinho"
Oct 2011
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How do you heat your house and what type of heating distribution system you have in place? What's the layout of your shed?

Last fiddled with by pinhodecarlos on 2022-01-06 at 18:13
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Old 2022-01-06, 18:38   #10
kriesel
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EdH View Post
I would especially be wary of any type of space heater being left unattended in the area (other than all those little CPU space heaters).
Consider a thermostat in the space heater, plus a series plugin thermostat and a smoke alarm. https://www.menards.com/main/plumbin...241-c-8587.htm
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Old 2022-01-06, 18:58   #11
EdH
 
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"Ed Hall"
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pinhodecarlos View Post
How do you heat your house and what type of heating distribution system you have in place? What's the layout of your shed?
Baseboard electric. All the computer equipment is basically on a couple shelves against the outer most wall.
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