Asus router minimum operating temperature

sativa

Occasional Visitor
Hi,

I have 2 AX routers placed in outbuildings (garden sheds) which have no heating, in the UK. As the winter takes hold, we can expect cold temperatures potentially down to -10C.

Would it be prudent to temporarily bring the router indoors during this cold snap, or will they be fine? I read a lot about high temperatures but very little about low temperatures! I guess I am more concerned about demaging the routers beyond repair in the short term.

Thanks
 

pureexe

New Around Here
If you looking for Asus, I'm not sure if it can handle -10C. because Asus mostly design for indoor use.

But other brand's proper outdoor access points can easily handle -30C
 

Tech9

Part of the Furniture
I read a lot about high temperatures but very little about low temperatures!

Did you read the User Manual? The popular RT-AX86U, for example:

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BreakingDad

Very Senior Member
Put it under a large cardboard box, the heat it produces will negate the -10 imo.

Awaiting others to tell me i'm wrong ^
 

bbunge

Part of the Furniture
Would think that with the routers in an unheated area, humidity would be more of a worry than cold temperature. Most well engineered electronics today have conformal coating on the circuit boards to mitigate moisture problems. This does not mean it can run under water or in an area subject to mist. Every house in my development has an ONT or cable modem mounted outside and I suspect no more care is taken with the circuit boards in those than Asus takes with its products. Here in Pennsylvania we can see 0 degrees F and have seen -20 degrees F. People and car batteries suffer at those temps but electronics seem to survive.
The large cardboard box idea is clever and may have merit. Does it need auto opening cooling flaps?
 

heysoundude

Part of the Furniture
The large cardboard box idea is clever and may have merit. Does it need auto opening cooling flaps?
perhaps manual operation: box on in the late afternoon as the sun sets, and off again in the morning.
but if there is power available in the outbuildings, why not just trigger space heaters on at 5C?
or maybe this is more economically viable: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=solar+heaters
with some insulation, enough energy captured during the day may help keep the sheds warm enough at night
in a small enough, well sealed space, a candle can throw enough heat...obv not a cardboard box lol
https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=flower+pot+candle+heaters (since OP mentioned garden shed - the materials might be handy, and tealights were SUPER affordable at ikea the last time i looked)
 

BreakingDad

Very Senior Member
I think an insulated cool box would work as well, the polystyrene lined ones. Just don't block the fans vent holes up.

Maybe with some silica gel sachets inside as well.

If you wanted to get really fancy, you could cut holes for the antenna.

Essentially it's like protecting the plants from frost in a greenhouse. The advantage here is that the router itself produces its own heat.

I have too much time free at work today. What a great way to pass the time. There's a gap in the market here.
 

bbunge

Part of the Furniture
I think "Therm Box" may be the solution!
Silica jell only works well for sealed containers. An insulated box is not a good idea either. An open bottom cardboard box or nothing is the best. The heat from the router will work to keep the humidity down in an open bottom box. The science of relative humidity: with constant moisture content a rise in temperature will lower the relative humidity. I know GB is reputed to be cold and damp but the inside of you shed should keep the rain and fog from the router.
 

BreakingDad

Very Senior Member
Silica jell only works well for sealed containers. An insulated box is not a good idea either. An open bottom cardboard box or nothing is the best. The heat from the router will work to keep the humidity down in an open bottom box. The science of relative humidity: with constant moisture content a rise in temperature will lower the relative humidity. I know GB is reputed to be cold and damp but the inside of you shed should keep the rain and fog from the router.

It's been so wet here recently, my skin has started evolved to ooze creocote recently to keep me dry.
 

heysoundude

Part of the Furniture
Silica jell only works well for sealed containers. An insulated box is not a good idea either. An open bottom cardboard box or nothing is the best. The heat from the router will work to keep the humidity down in an open bottom box. The science of relative humidity: with constant moisture content a rise in temperature will lower the relative humidity. I know GB is reputed to be cold and damp but the inside of you shed should keep the rain and fog from the router.
(you'll have to watch atmospheric pressure too...)
you want to apply heat inside the sheds to offset the outside temp falling to prevent whatever humidity IS there from condensing as air temp approaches the dew point.
If you know any pilots, ask them to explain
 

sativa

Occasional Visitor
I genuinely think this is an important topic: nobody talks about low temperatures, which may impact Asus routers placed in outbuildings without heating. I acknowledge they are intended for "internal" use only.

As per OP: I am not providing heat to the garden, wooden shed(s) so, presumably, the routers will succumb to the outside temperatures in Winter (in the UK) i.e., circa +5C to -10C.

There is a possibility that the heat produced from the router's circuit being powered on permanently and sited in a thermal box produces another warmth to ensure the circuit board does not go too much below 0C i.e., outside the Asus operating temperature range.

I guess my precise question is that, if I leave the routers to brazen out a cold winter, potentially at minus degrees Celsius for a few days, will they survive? The secondary question is can I alleviate that concern with a mechanical fix (such as an insulation box), or should I play safe and resign myself to shutting them down and hibernating them during the Winter e.g. no Wifi in those areas during colder months.

There is a large part of me prepared to give it a go and see where we are in March/April, however, I would rather not waste several dollars/pounds value of routers!
 

Tech9

Part of the Furniture
nobody talks about low temperatures, which may impact Asus routers placed in outbuildings without heating

It's just a wrong hardware choice. Outdoor application APs with all the protection needed are readily available.
 

inakaya

Occasional Visitor
Some good feedback, thank you. I am definitely thinking about following the box suggestion! Moisture (from condensation) is probably the biggest risk, so silica gel is a good shout

So if the outdoor AP route is not attractive as you have already have/invested in hardware...

It might take some testing but you could put a hole (size to be decided from testing) in the top of the box to ventilate moisture, heat rises right? Or the box could be propped up slightly so there is air exchange but that might not work as well.

The benefit of not using silica gel is that you don't need to keep microwaving it as it absorbs water until it can't absorb any more (I use a bag in my car to stop the windows misting up inside)

The only difficulty, I can think of, is how cold the UK gets in winter as it varies. It has been mild until recently but I think we had -20 degrees Celsius in the 2010's.

So what size hole? Thinking start smaller, checking temperatures, and making bigger if needed as the router will handle 'warmer'.
 
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heysoundude

Part of the Furniture
I genuinely think this is an important topic: nobody talks about low temperatures, which may impact Asus routers placed in outbuildings without heating. I acknowledge they are intended for "internal" use only.

As per OP: I am not providing heat to the garden, wooden shed(s) so, presumably, the routers will succumb to the outside temperatures in Winter (in the UK) i.e., circa +5C to -10C.

There is a possibility that the heat produced from the router's circuit being powered on permanently and sited in a thermal box produces another warmth to ensure the circuit board does not go too much below 0C i.e., outside the Asus operating temperature range.

I guess my precise question is that, if I leave the routers to brazen out a cold winter, potentially at minus degrees Celsius for a few days, will they survive? The secondary question is can I alleviate that concern with a mechanical fix (such as an insulation box), or should I play safe and resign myself to shutting them down and hibernating them during the Winter e.g. no Wifi in those areas during colder months.

There is a large part of me prepared to give it a go and see where we are in March/April, however, I would rather not waste several dollars/pounds value of routers!
I'm sure there are ways to monitor the temperature inside your sheds, so that you can determine when/if to shut down your garden nodes...but as @Tech9 has said, for outdoor APs,
 

Tech9

Part of the Furniture
I've been multiple times in the UK and taking the fast changing weather conditions and high humidity into consideration I wouldn't place anything outdoors that was not designed for outdoor use. A garden shed may stop the rain, but not the moisture in the air. Cold is just an extra complication.
 

BreakingDad

Very Senior Member

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