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Device shutdown at temperature extremes

We’ve had various threads on auto shutdown of tablets e.g. here.

It seems clear that just about all tablets – and probably phones too although they seem to be better, probably because they generate less heat – will shut down when they reach something like +45C; around the temperature of a hot bath.

The temperature needs only to be achieved in specific spots where the sensor is.

What about the low temperature end? We rarely see this in the cockpit because we rarely get in when the temperature is below zero. But there must be pilots in e.g. Alaska or Canada (@canuck @pilot_dar ?) who encounter this regularly.

My Samsung S7 phone shuts down fast somewhere just below 0C – as I find out every time I go on a ski trip. But it doesn’t simply shut down. It decides that the lithium battery is to be “downgraded” in capacity, from say 80% to 10%, and it does it in one step when a specific temperature is reached. Then, of course, at 10% battery it says to itself that the battery is “critically low”, pops up that message, and starts to shut things down… The only fix is to connect it to a charger pack, and one can delay this by keeping it in… a ski sock Or in a pocket deep inside. In an outside pocket, or in a waist pack, it is gone in an hour or two.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

My Samsung S7 phone shuts down fast somewhere just below 0C – as I find out every time I go on a ski trip. But it doesn’t simply shut down. It decides that the lithium battery is to be “downgraded” in capacity, from say 80% to 10%, and it does it in one step when a specific temperature is reached.

Same with iPhone. It happens when skiing or running at sub-zero temperatures.

LDZA LDVA, Croatia

Ive got an overheat on my iPad at the very top of the Kilimanjaro (~FL200) at night, temperature likely -20 or so.

Cold seems to heavily accentuate battery troubles. I’ve had much less trouble with newer phones. I do tend however to keep the phone in a strategic pocket for heating

You must be a little unlucky Peter, we are a large group who ski together every year and it is fairly common among us that the Samsung phones trump the Iphones dramatically in cold temperatures.
Usually to protect the phone it’s in an inner pocket and that helps but the Iphones definitely suffer first.
Mine has often been in my backpack all day with no Ill effects. However we are all goung to struggle if it gets very seriously cold.
I have never had a tablet (I use two) shut down yet, and I flew in the hottest of summer this year and last.
However I do deliberately not, try to charge the units at the same time. I just charge at night and accept that theu will only probably last a couple of days.
Another thing to help is to turn the brightness down to a level where the unit is usable but no more. It’s lovely to have an amazing vibrant screen but if you’re having issues it will compound it.

Private strip, Essex (not mine), United Kingdom

Peter wrote:

We rarely see this in the cockpit because we rarely get in when the temperature is below zero

We ? I did that last weekend (hardly, but still). The G1000 isn’t particularly fast in starting up below 0 either.

ENVA ENOP ENMO, Norway

I wouldn’t make this an iPhone vs Samsung discussion. It’s about the condition of the battery.

Basic rules for me:
- voltage drops if cold, increases when hot. Keep the phone close to your body if skiing. I keep mine in the fleece jacket, chest pocket.
- avoid extreme states of charge, keep the battery between 20% and 80% to increase it’s longevity. Charging 100% increases dendrites.
- don’t charge when cold
- don’t charge when hot
- store in low temps to increase longevity

If you abuse your phone’s battery by running intensive tasks like GPS on hot summer days with no external power and the phone gets hot to the touch, you’re killing it. It will have its revenge on the slope.

EPPO, EPPK

I haven’t lived in the cold for a while, but as a Canadian, it is just part of life. You definitely keep your phone in a strategic (warm) pocket if you want to use it.

When flying in really cold weather it is nice to hangar the plane overnight, preflight it inside, then push it out and go.

I have never had problems with avionics, but have flown a plane with an mechanical HSI that didn’t work very well when it was -30 on the ground (and correspondingly colder at altitude).

Sans aircraft at the moment :-(, United Kingdom
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