#170: Chip chiller

My otherwise blameless copy of Ubuntu is running all the fans in my laptop as if it were still configured for Africa. This creates an unnecessary rustling noise that sounds like I’m on a flight back from there (actually my laptop never moves far from a wall socket, since its battery gave out).

The last thing I want at this point is to start plugging in various USB fan coolers: it needs its own aircon supply. On this theme, I notice that HP are rumoured now to be providing laptops with silent, liquid cooling systems.


I don’t imagine this will be available as a retro-fit, somehow.

So, today’s invention is a do-it-yourself alternative. I’ve placed my machine on an open Tupperware box so that air can flow in over the top edge via the gap left by the removed battery compartment. Into the box I place each morning a couple of those cold box refrigerant bricks. The air which enters the fan intake is thus up to 2 degrees C lower than ambient (and significantly less humid, judging by the condensation on the bricks). This situation can be sustained for about 1/2 day at a time, until the iceblocks warm up and need to be replaced.

It may not be all that convenient, but it is a cheap and silent life preserver for my hardpressed silicon/germanium.

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