Running a Flex Radio in the garage

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I am finding it difficult to run coax outside of my shack now that I had to relocate to the second floor of my home. One option I am considering is a remote radio in the garage that I can run from my office on the second floor. I can't find the operating temperatures for a Flex radio anywhere. Has anyone done this or know if the radio could handle the summer heat we have in Texas if it were in the garage?
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Jeff Scaparra

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Posted 2 weeks ago

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Jim Gilliam

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I can't help you with you question, but can recommend that you mount a fan and blow over the top of the radio. You can remotely turn on the fan when you turn on the radio. I have done that and the radio runs cool in very hot temps during the day.


Jim, K6QE
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Michael Walker, Official Rep

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Hi Jeff

I run my radio in an unheated building the year round from -30C to about +32C without issue.   (Welcome to the great white north)

The radio bottom temp is about 0C (32F).  If you keep it running and not turn it off, you'll be fine.  The upper limit will require some cooling fans I think.  What temperatures do you think it will see?    If it is really hot, you could put the radio in a small beer fridge. LOL

If it was me, I would just try it and see how it goes.  I would use FRStack to monitor the PA temp which is easy to do.  

I know others that have had great success doing exactly what you want to do.

Mike va3mw
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David Merchant

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If you care about the longevity of your radio, I would encourage you to install it inside.  Heat is the enemy of electronics, and all the dirt and dust certainly won't help matters.  Not to say it won't work, but I wouldn't do it!
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K1UO - Larry

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I have had a 6700 and 6600 running inside a remote garage location (unheated or cooled but in a small 4X6ft partitioned room unfinished) for the past 4 years or so.  I leave the radio on all the time and in the Summer with the PGXL generating 1500 watts it gets quite hot but no problems have been noted either in the heat of Summer or the Dead of Winter.

YMMV  Larry K1UO
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Michael Walker, Official Rep

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I'm like  Larry.  :) . I ran a TS480 for 9 years without issue.  Next came the Flex 6300 for about 3 years and now I have the 6600.  

I do agree, dust is an issue, so keep it blown out.  This will affect the overall cooling.

Mike 
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Jim KJ7S

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The Spec sheets show temp range from +32 degrees to +122 degrees F or 0 to +50 C so I'd say as the others have, run fans so more air will draw through the radio to help keep it cooler.

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Dave, KY0L

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Running the Flex radio inside of a refrigerator isn't going to work because the refrigerator can keep things cool that don't themselves generate heat, it can't cool enough to cool things that do generate heat, because a refrigerator simply doesn't have enough cooling capacity. You could partition part of the garage and install an air conditioner venting it to the outside to cool a small area in your garage. Cooling the whole garage would be expensive. 

Running the electronic equipment is probably not a good idea. The equipment probably will have a shorter lifespan and will be less reliable in the long run.

Here's a YouTube video that explains why a refrigerator isn't an effective way to cool a high end computer that generates a lot of heat, which would probably be similar to the Flex radio that also generates heat.

https://youtu.be/B8bhGw4vUFE

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Michael Walker, Technologist

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If I remember correctly, the FGPA generates about 7 watts of heat.  The rest of the radio, not much  unless you are transmitting and we only transmit about 5% of the time or less (unless in a contest).

If I was in Jeff's position, I would still test it and add a tracking thermometer (or even use FRStack) to see just how hot the radio gets and if it goes above 122F, which is the designed operating range.

As you can tell, I am a big fan of 'try it' and see if it works.  Monitor your results.  Yes, if the temperature hit 150F or more, I would be worried.  But, for a well ventilated location you are likely going to be ok.  You can, of course, remotely turn it off it is really hot.

I know people say that heat will  kill it or shorten the range, but what I don't know is just how much heat it takes and how  long before it affects operations. 

We do have a lot of customers who run their radios in out buildings of some sort all over the world. 

Mike  
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WX7Y

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Actually the small refrigerator cranked up to about 50 / 60 Degrees would keep the radio/ AMP and Fishing worms cooled down and be a more dust free environment for sure not to mention a type of Faraday cage agents RFI. 

I run my 6700 / FPGA remote for the last 1.5 years and works slick.
I few things don't work I wish they could fix like PC MIC audio when DAX being on and the DEXP doesn't work remote but other then that works great. 

73's
Bret
WX7Y

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John KB4DU

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Jeff;

According to SDR Monitor, my 6400 temp runs about 10F above ambient during receive, about 10F more after extended transmit (FT8). I would run some test, like into a dummy load and see what the internal temps do compared to ambient. If my experience is typical, this type of install should be OK up to about 100F ambient.