· Is it bad for the player if it gets too hot or too cold?
(Entry last updated on June 12th, 2002)
Yes. It contains either one or two hard disk drives, which can be damaged by exposure to extreme temperatures. You should treat the player as you would treat a laptop computer in this regard.
Don't panic, though. Laptop disk drives are a bit tougher than desktop disk drives, since they were designed for mobile use. The technical specifications, directly from the Rio Car web site, are as follows:
Operating range (disks spinning and being read): 5ºc (41ºf) to 55ºc (131ºf)
Standby range (disks spun down): -20ºc (-4ºf) to 60ºc (140ºf)
As you can see, that's a pretty wide range. I personally would never allow my player to get that cold or that hot, since I don't want to shorten the life span of the disk drives. I do my best to keep the player at room temperature.
There is an internal temperature-sensing circuit inside the player. In theory, this circuit could be used to detect extreme temperatures and shut the player down. This hasn't been implemented in the default software, though, because it was discovered that on some units the temperature sensor was faulty and would report the wrong value. In general, the lack of a temperature cutout hasn't been a problem (not even for a couple users in Alaska).
If you would like to use the internal temperature sensor, Mark Lord's Hijack Kernel will allow you to enable it. See http://rtr.ca/empeg for software and instructions.
The player should not overheat with normal use. But under special circumstances, installation of a cooling fan is possible, as described here.