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Exploitation and ChillControl

After you press the Power button and turn the compressor on, you should wait for 1-2 minutes for the computer to power up. This time is necessary for the compressor to create the required temperature on the evaporator (by default, the system is powered on when the CPU temperature is -5°C). During this interval, the processor hangs on in the status analogous to the locked Reset button. This is necessary for the processor not to overheat while the compressor spins up.

The ChillControl indicator wakes up with all its lights in the first two-three seconds, but then it shows an animated line as the compressor creates the operational temperature. Starting from +10°C, the indicator displays the precise temperature of the evaporator. At -5°C, the system starts up, while the temperature goes down as low as the compressor allows. If you push the Reset button anytime when the system is working, you change the indicator’s mode (to reset the system, you press and hold the button for 2 seconds). There are four indication modes, which you can browse through: the evaporator temperature, the data of the second thermal diode (optional), the compressor rotation speed, and the CPU “clock rate”. The last thing is set up manually from 0000 to 9999MHz using the ChillControl control panel.

To control the system parameters, you connect a cable with the COM interface to the ChillControl and boot up from the floppy disk enclosed with the system. The program on the floppy looks like a BIOS Setup and allows controlling the following parameters:

“Hold temp” is the evaporator temperature (as displayed on the ChillControl indicator) the system will be trying to maintain. By default, it is set to -30°C and it’s practically impossible to go below this temperature until you try to experiment with low room temperatures. The lowest evaporator temperature I could achieve at +5°C room temperature was -37°C.

“Start PC at” is the evaporator temperature at which the system starts up. By default, it is -5°C and there’s no need to change this parameter.

“Warning at” is the evaporator temperature beyond which a warning signal sounds. It is fixed at 0°C and you can’t change it. Well, you don’t really need to.

“Shut down at” is the critical temperature at which the system shuts down. You can set it from 0°C to +30°C.

“Fan1 Speed” and “Fan2 Speed” control the fan rotation speed from 30 to 100%.

“Pin Heater Load” is a tricky option as it allows controlling the heat of the heater elements from 0% to 100% (4W each). In theory, this option can help to somewhat reduce the temperature, but at the risk of getting some condensate. Asetek honestly warns you that you experiment with this setting at your own risk.

“CPU speed (MHz)”. You set up manually the CPU frequency from 0000 to 9999MHz as displayed on the ChillControl indicator.

“Temperature Output”. Toggle between degrees of Celsius and Fahrenheit.

“Default view”. This setting determines the data type which is displayed on the indicator when the system is powered on (see above).

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