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'[EE:] Remote Engine Starting, WAS:Vehicular remote'
2004\01\01@140719 by Robert Rolf

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RPM, as determined from the pulses going into the ignition coil primary.
Some systems use light capacitive coupling to the HV coil output.
For diesel they use a hall effect sensor near the flywheel teeth or other
readily accessed rotating ferromagnetic part.

There is a significant change in speed once the engine 'catches'.

And up north they leave any diesel powered vehicle running 24x7.
They're a b**** to start at -40C.

Robert

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2004\01\01@141137 by Herbert Graf

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> There is a significant change in speed once the engine 'catches'.
>
> And up north they leave any diesel powered vehicle running 24x7.
> They're a b**** to start at -40C.

       That is what block heaters are for. Most people have block heaters, and
pretty much any diesel has a block heater. TTYL

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2004\01\01@141755 by Herbert Graf

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> There is a significant change in speed once the engine 'catches'.
>
> And up north they leave any diesel powered vehicle running 24x7.
> They're a b**** to start at -40C.

       As a small aside: the transit system where I live has a very large fleet of
diesel busses. During very cold nights they always either had to keep the
busses indoors, run block heaters, or simply leave them running all night.
Unfortunately due to space issues many busses were left running all night
(which made nobody very happy). The solution? They added connectors that
access the cooling system, when they want to start a bus, they connect these
connectors to an external tank that has heated coolant, a minute or two (I'm
not sure on the specifics) of running this heated coolant through the engine
and it's warm enough to start! Great idea IMHO! TTYL

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2004\01\01@171322 by Josh Koffman

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Another aside, you can buy a windshield washer fluid heater from JC
Whitney in the US...heats up your fluid so you can spray it on your
windshield and help to dissolve ice and snow. I want one! :)

Josh
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Herbert Graf wrote:
>         As a small aside: the transit system where I live has a very large fleet of
> diesel busses. During very cold nights they always either had to keep the
> busses indoors, run block heaters, or simply leave them running all night.
> Unfortunately due to space issues many busses were left running all night
> (which made nobody very happy). The solution? They added connectors that
> access the cooling system, when they want to start a bus, they connect these
> connectors to an external tank that has heated coolant, a minute or two (I'm
> not sure on the specifics) of running this heated coolant through the engine
> and it's warm enough to start! Great idea IMHO! TTYL

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2004\01\01@171738 by Olin Lathrop

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Josh Koffman wrote:
> Another aside, you can buy a windshield washer fluid heater from JC
> Whitney in the US...heats up your fluid so you can spray it on your
> windshield and help to dissolve ice and snow.

...and to crack your windshield when it's really cold.

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2004\01\01@173226 by Herbert Graf

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> Another aside, you can buy a windshield washer fluid heater from JC
> Whitney in the US...heats up your fluid so you can spray it on your
> windshield and help to dissolve ice and snow. I want one! :)

       Neat idea, never heard of that, only problem I see is, at least on my car,
when there is ice and snow the first things to get blocked ARE the wiper
nozzles! :) So I'm not sure how much that would help me. FWIW I use RainX in
my car and will never go back to "normal" washer fluid. TTYL


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2004\01\01@173227 by Herbert Graf

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> Josh Koffman wrote:
> > Another aside, you can buy a windshield washer fluid heater from JC
> > Whitney in the US...heats up your fluid so you can spray it on your
> > windshield and help to dissolve ice and snow.
>
> ...and to crack your windshield when it's really cold.

       I'm sure the system, if it's worth any amount of money, only heats the
fluid a certain amount above ambient, to prevent the fluid from being "too
hot" in extra cold conditions, but that's a guess on my part. TTYL

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2004\01\01@174055 by Olin Lathrop

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Herbert Graf wrote:
>         I'm sure the system, if it's worth any amount of money, only
> heats the fluid a certain amount above ambient, to prevent the fluid
> from being "too hot" in extra cold conditions, but that's a guess on
> my part.

But that's the point.  Warm enough to be effective melting ice can be
considerably above ambient if it's really cold outside.


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2004\01\01@181245 by Herbert Graf

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> Herbert Graf wrote:
> >         I'm sure the system, if it's worth any amount of money, only
> > heats the fluid a certain amount above ambient, to prevent the fluid
> > from being "too hot" in extra cold conditions, but that's a guess on
> > my part.
>
> But that's the point.  Warm enough to be effective melting ice can be
> considerably above ambient if it's really cold outside.

       I meant that the system will never warm beyond a certain amount above
ambient, so say it's -20, it only heats to 10 above ambient, so if it's -20
it heats to -10, if it's -30 it heats to -20, and so on. It doesn't need to
be above zero to help thaw the ice. TTYL

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2004\01\01@183738 by Olin Lathrop

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Herbert Graf wrote:
>         I meant that the system will never warm beyond a certain
> amount above ambient, so say it's -20, it only heats to 10 above
> ambient, so if it's -20 it heats to -10, if it's -30 it heats to -20,
> and so on. It doesn't need to be above zero to help thaw the ice.

How is window washer fluid at -10degF going to help thaw ice?

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2004\01\01@185229 by Herbert Graf

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> Herbert Graf wrote:
> >         I meant that the system will never warm beyond a certain
> > amount above ambient, so say it's -20, it only heats to 10 above
> > ambient, so if it's -20 it heats to -10, if it's -30 it heats to -20,
> > and so on. It doesn't need to be above zero to help thaw the ice.
>
> How is window washer fluid at -10degF going to help thaw ice?

       Not that it matters much but I was talking Celsius.

       With that said, window washer fluid can melt ice even it it's below the
freezing point of water. It's similar to how salt melts ice, just with the
roles reversed. Washer fluid at -10 will melt ice faster then washer fluid
at -20. To nitpick myself though, it isn't really "melting" the ice per say,
it's dissolving the ice in the washer fluid, which has a melting point below
the ambient, which gives the impression of "melting" ice. TTYL

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2004\01\01@191645 by Olin Lathrop

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Herbert Graf wrote:
>         With that said, window washer fluid can melt ice even it it's
> below the freezing point of water. It's similar to how salt melts
> ice, just with the roles reversed. Washer fluid at -10 will melt ice
> faster then washer fluid
> at -20. To nitpick myself though, it isn't really "melting" the ice
> per say, it's dissolving the ice in the washer fluid, which has a
> melting point below the ambient, which gives the impression of
> "melting" ice.

Right, but that's an important distinction.  The antifreeze in the window
washer fluid (usually methanol) will diffuse a little way into the ice,
which will cause it to become slush.  However, the methanol evaporates
quickly, which causes the slush to revert back to ice, and adding new ice
due to the frozen washer fluid now without its antifreeze.

Heating the washer fluid a little but not above the ice's freezing point
won't help melt the ice at all, but will cause the methanol to evaporate
more quickly.  Heating it a lot so that it is well above freezing will help
melt ice, maybe long enough for the wipers to get rid of it.  This is
actually effective if the outside temperature is just a little below
freezing.  If it's a lot below freezing (what this discussion is about) then
you'd have to heat the washer fluid a lot to have much of a positive effect,
thereby running the risk of cracking the windshield due to thermal stress.

All in all this seems like another crackpot scheme that might work in
limited circumstances but overall isn't very useful and might even cause
damage.  If it's such a good idea, why aren't car manufacturers building in
washer fluid heaters in the first place?


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2004\01\02@022941 by Nate Duehr

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On Thursday, Jan 1, 2004, at 17:12 America/Denver, Olin Lathrop wrote:

> All in all this seems like another crackpot scheme that might work in
> limited circumstances but overall isn't very useful and might even
> cause
> damage.  If it's such a good idea, why aren't car manufacturers
> building in
> washer fluid heaters in the first place?

I believe Volvo has heaters in the lines going to the headlights, but I
can't find a reference for it at the moment.  Obviously the headlight
plexiglass is probably more tolerant to thermal stress than the
windshield.

Taking this even further afield of a useful EE: topic...

I've always wondered why auto manufacturers haven't augmented cold
weather car defrosters with electric heat... yeah yeah the current draw
is high and all that, but some electrically heated forced air to the
defroster vents on an extremely cold day until the engine temp comes up
enough to make the engine-coolant-heated standard heat source effective
seems like it'd be useful in cold climates...

Hell, they're putting electric butt warmers under the seats, seems like
defrosting the window would be more important than warming the
hind-quarters, but of course the wimps driving such opulent vehicles
probably aren't in agreement with that sentiment.  (Give me my cold
Jeep with a good 4WD system in it any day over a warm butt in an Audi
Quattro usually outfitted with oversized racing tires and 2" of ground
clearance, great for leaping small speed bumps but not snow drifts...)

All these toys are wicked-hard on the electrical system though, right
after a cold-cranking start below freezing.

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2004\01\02@034149 by Denny Esterline

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{Quote hidden}

Ummm... they do.

Most cars already have electric rear window defrosters, note the black
electrical grid.

IIRC some fords in the mid-late 80s had an electric windshield heater (with
a noticeable rose-tinted conductive coating). It's been a while, but I seem
to remember a second alternator to power it. Do a search for "insta-clear"
if you're interested.

And let's not forget about the (few) electric vehicles out there. Something
tells me they use electric windshield defrosters.

And I've heard of them in some sport aircraft (two seat single engine
things).


And as long as were on the subject:
http://www.automobilemanuals.com/1996/1996_Volkswagen_Jetta_GLS.html says:
The $18,515 Jetta GLS we drove was equipped with power windows, dual power
mirrors with a defog feature and the optional all-weather package
consisting of heated front seats and a heated windshield washer nozzle.

So, apparently manufacturers *are* putting windshield washer heaters in
cars. (or at least "were")

-Denny

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2004\01\02@073904 by Olin Lathrop

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Denny Esterline wrote:
> and a heated windshield washer nozzle.
>
> So, apparently manufacturers *are* putting windshield washer heaters
> in cars. (or at least "were")

Heating the nozzle is different from heating the fluid.  The former is
probably for clearing an ice block right at the nozzle tip where washer
fluid, if any, has probably lost all its antifreeze.


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2004\01\02@090603 by Edward Cooper

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>
> Most cars already have electric rear window defrosters, note the black
> electrical grid.

Also most cars have electrically heated door mirrors, locks, and other
things you perhaps don't realise.  On out Audi if the locks are iced up
if you yank on the door handle and its cold enough a heater element
will kick in.

I think the idea of trying to heat the inside of a car electrically
isn't practical, generally a car on a cold morning already has a fairly
high electrical load, with all the other heaters, wipers, lights,
blowers etc running. You'd need at least a KW to make any real
difference, and there is no capacity for that.

> And let's not forget about the (few) electric vehicles out there.
> Something
> tells me they use electric windshield defrosters.

Electric cars typically have a small petrol or paraffin burner to
provide heat for this purpose.
Many top end cars, ie Range Rovers, Audis, etc have the option of a
cabin heater, which is a programmable device with a small heater which
burns some petrol to heat up the car for you in the morning at a preset
time to a preset temperature.  This is very handy also if you ever have
to sleep in your car / land rover.

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2004\01\02@223733 by Darrell Wyatt

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You can also buy aftermarket oil heaters that go down the dipstick tube.
D.

Artificial Intelligence is no match for Natural Stupidity.





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2004\01\03@161954 by Gerhard Fiedler

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> Many top end cars, ie Range Rovers, Audis, etc have the option of a
> cabin heater, which is a programmable device with a small heater which
> burns some petrol to heat up the car for you in the morning at a preset
> time to a preset temperature.  This is very handy also if you ever have
> to sleep in your car / land rover.

These are also available as aftermarket units that you can put into almost
any car. They first heat the engine coolant (which gives you a hot engine
to start), and then the windshield (removing ice and snow) and interior,
using the car's normal heating system.

It's pretty cool to get back to your car in a parking lot where all the
cars are buried in snow and ice, and your car has a clean windshield and
part of the rest of the snow is already melting. Makes it stick out of the
crowd :)

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2004\01\06@081941 by Alan B. Pearce

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> Another aside, you can buy a windshield washer fluid heater from JC
> Whitney in the US...heats up your fluid so you can spray it on your
> windshield and help to dissolve ice and snow. I want one! :)

I just put one of those hot air blowers made by Black and Decker on a
suitable stand in the car with the power button locked on. makes the car all
toasty to drive to work, and all the ice melts off the windows luverly :))
Don't mist up as you start the car and drive off either.

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2004\01\06@082735 by Alan B. Pearce

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>Taking this even further afield of a useful EE: topic...
>
>I've always wondered why auto manufacturers haven't augmented cold
>weather car defrosters with electric heat...

Well I have been seriously thinking of mounting some "concrete block" or
aluminium cased power resistors on the back (well surface to the front of
the car) of my wing mirrors and hooking them into the back window heater
circuit ... I reckon a watt or two per wing mirror should be heaps.

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2004\01\06@111443 by Tim ODriscoll

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On Tue, 6 Jan 2004, Alan B. Pearce wrote:
> Well I have been seriously thinking of mounting some "concrete block" or
> aluminium cased power resistors on the back (well surface to the front of
> the car) of my wing mirrors and hooking them into the back window heater
> circuit ... I reckon a watt or two per wing mirror should be heaps.

I'm planning something like this too. The existing heated mirrors in my
car worked by having a thin plastic film with two spade terminals at the
end and a grid of conductive material covering the film. It says "12v
15W" on it, although the resistance between the terminals is just over
8 ohms. I want to replace mine though because the conductive material is
peeling off the two outer layers of plastic film, and if it comes
completely off, the mirror will fall out.

I've made some pcb's with a similar grid pattern on them, and plan to glue
them to the back of the mirror, then glue that to the base the mirror
glass sits in, to where the existing plastic film is. The cables are
already there to provide it with power, so I'll just need a pic with a
misted-glass sensor to control it :)

HTH,

Tim

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2004\01\06@121731 by Josh Koffman

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Here in Canada you can buy interior car warmers that basically do that.
They are designed to be installed in the interior of the car, with the
wire run through the firewall and engine compartment. You then have a
120V plug that dangles just out of your hood that you plug in when
you're at home. In Winnipeg, where it's really cold, many employers
offer plugs in the parking lot as a perk.

Josh
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"Alan B. Pearce" wrote:
> I just put one of those hot air blowers made by Black and Decker on a
> suitable stand in the car with the power button locked on. makes the car all
> toasty to drive to work, and all the ice melts off the windows luverly

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2004\01\06@135355 by John Ferrell

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I have a small (24') Winnebago motor home. I bought an electric heater at
WalMart for about $40 that has a thermostat that I set at 40 degrees. It
also has a set of fuses in the plug and a tip over safety switch. I do
winterize it as well, but this has made it unnecessary to go to extrems in
cold weather.

It seldom gets colder than 25 F here.

John Ferrell
6241 Phillippi Rd
Julian NC 27283
Phone: (336)685-9606
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