Random Bits of Projects

August 5, 2009

Keep your laptop computer cool! (Alternate uses for common objects)

cookie sheet

You might have noticed that a laptop computer can get very hot. It is a good idea to put it where it can get good air circulation to cool it down and extend its life. You can buy items for this purpose. Some simply elevate the laptop above the desk and others have fans built in to further circulate air underneath cooling off the laptop. With the latter you have to be careful that the computer fans connect to where the fans are located on the platform or they do not work as well. This can cause confusion for matching one to the computer and many are not cheap for what they do. The former version can likely be made from something laying around at home.

cookie sheet sideIf you are on a budget (Me!) and do not care if your laptop looks like it has the latest doo-dad that people cannot see anyway since it is hidden underneath, you may want to consider the following or use something similar.

For some time I have simply placed a cookie cooling rack under my laptop and it has worked very well. Some sliding happens if I put it on a lap desk and then hold it in my lap, but not too bad. Usually, I work on a desk and I do not have any sliding. If you want to keep the cooling rack for this use always, take an old mouse pad and cut up some of the rubber bits to be glued or taped to a few spots on the grid to keep the laptop from sliding. You only need it in a few spots, away from the fans.

In the above picture you can see the little feet on the rack. These rest on the table, elevating the laptop above the desk. Air easily gets through the grid from the fans.

The cookie rack is also very light and can be easily stuffed into many carrying cases for the laptop and carted with it. No one has seemed to notice or care that I sometimes have this out when I use the laptop.

grid aloneAnother idea I recently tried is using one of the squares used to build storage cubes that I mention in my cage building post. If you have any of these handy, just leave on the connectors at 4 corners to act as feet to elevate the grid. Place the laptop on there and there you go! Air circulation.

The laptop still gets hot with these but not as bad. I have had funny things happening when it became too hot and now I no longer have this problem.

laptop on grid closedMaybe its worth a shot. I am sure there is something laying around you can try. You just need to have the fans free and allow the air to circulate underneath and yet still allow you to type. I place a rubber wrist mat in front of the laptop sometimes to raise my lazy arms.

This cube square is a little big compared to the computer so I will leave it on the desk. The cookie rack I will carry with me.side view

In the left picture you can see the size comparison of the grid and the computer. I meant to turn the square around so the corner connectors did not stick out. Oops.

The picture to the right shows (somewhat)  the grid cornerclearance under the laptop when placed on this grid. The picture below, left shows the plastic connector that comes with the grid before it is attached to the corner.

These two ideas are a few quick solutions you might have around your house. You can probably come up with many other ideas or take the time to construct something if you have the time. All you need is to get air to the computer where you can still use the thing as well. 😉

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1 Comment »

  1. […] Keep your laptop computer cool! (Alternate uses for common objects […]

    Pingback by What to Do When Your Laptop Gets Hot — September 23, 2009 @ 4:49 am | Reply


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