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Will a cut off switch prevent water frying a computer??

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  • Will a cut off switch prevent water frying a computer??

    Hi ppls

    The reason i ask this is i have dont an install in my 4wd, a computer under the drivers seat and an Amp under the passengers.

    http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/show...hi-triton.html

    What i want to know is if i install some cut off switches in the dash, that would cut the power alltogether to both these in the event of water coming into the cabin during a water crossing.

    Would it be possible to dry them out and not have any dammage as there was not power at the time water came in contact? or would it still fry it due to power stored in the device itself somehow?

    Im just trying to take some precautions so i dont ruin my work incase this happens?

  • #2
    if you cut the power, all the power to both units and they got wet the circuits wouldn't short the system out. You would then have to not only dry them out but also make sure they were clean before powering them back up. There might be some gunk that gets up in the fans and there could be stuff in the water that could cause some corrosion that you would have to think about. Then there is the battery that keeps the time up to date and all that you have to make sure to disconnect. Then make sure all the caps in the electronics have had time to totally discharge.
    If it came down to water hitting it and you had the power completely shut off it could survive but I am not sure I would recommend it. The clean up after getting wet, in some sort of river or puddle, would be a huge pain. That and I am not sure the hard drive would be able to handle it. I doubt the spindle bearings were designed to handle getting wet.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by tritonasaurus View Post
      Hi ppls

      The reason i ask this is i have dont an install in my 4wd, a computer under the drivers seat and an Amp under the passengers.

      http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/show...hi-triton.html

      What i want to know is if i install some cut off switches in the dash, that would cut the power alltogether to both these in the event of water coming into the cabin during a water crossing.

      Would it be possible to dry them out and not have any dammage as there was not power at the time water came in contact? or would it still fry it due to power stored in the device itself somehow?

      Im just trying to take some precautions so i dont ruin my work incase this happens?
      Okay, a cut off switch would definitely increase your likeliness of them surviving, assuming there is no power left in the device. Another issue would be what other chemicals might be in the water and what their effects on the materials in the computer are.

      I think your best bet would probably be either an in-dash install or a ceiling install. If you want to stay under the seat, make a waterproof case and do some watercooling....
      My Nearly Complete Car:
      http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/show...ed-car-pc.html

      Micro Control Center... Control Your Car Across the Internet
      http://www.mp3car.com/fusion-brain/1...-internet.html

      Website: (It's a work in progress, really. All my projects have taken me from ever really developing it.)
      http://paulfurtado.com/

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      • #4
        +1 for some kind of waterproof case. maybe have a fan that bring in air from center of vehicle..
        Acer Netbook with 160hdd and 1.60 Ghtz atom - to be installed

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        • #5
          Hmmmm... seems to be getting a bit technical for me.

          Im not up to moving the instal around as it is allready inplace... im thinking maybe a plastic container open on the top at least 100-150mm tall. i can put it all in that.

          i figure if i have more than 150mm of water in the car i have bigger problems than frying my amp

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          • #6
            Yeah, the waterproof casing just needs to be taller than the water.
            My Nearly Complete Car:
            http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/show...ed-car-pc.html

            Micro Control Center... Control Your Car Across the Internet
            http://www.mp3car.com/fusion-brain/1...-internet.html

            Website: (It's a work in progress, really. All my projects have taken me from ever really developing it.)
            http://paulfurtado.com/

            Comment


            • #7
              Overhead console built above the cargo bay put the PC in there, and the amps.

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              • #8
                scratch that, you have a ute.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I have been water cooling computers for quite a few years now and can say that PURE water will not damage a computer. It is the impurities that allow water to conduct electricity.

                  Unfortunately, even pure water will be contaminated by contacting a computer system fairly quickly.

                  The kind of water you are likely to find in a 4x4 when off-roading....
                  Yeah, another solution would be best.

                  The waterproof container with an open top is a good idea, and so is disconnecting the power anytime water seems possible.

                  My suggestion would be to find a way to minimize ANY possibility of water getting to the electronics though:
                  even if there is NO power to the system when it gets flooded, IF it does you will need to remove everything and give the electronic components an "alcohol bath."

                  Motherboard, memory, and expansion cards... basically any component that has gotten wet, with special care taken on power supplies (capacitors can hold voltage for quite a while!) and hard drives.

                  Disassembling the system after removing it from the truck and then cleaning everything and putting it back together is likely to be quite a lot of work.

                  How about this if you can't find another location for the system:

                  The waterproof container with a removable lid- I'm thinking BIG tupperware here...
                  Seal any and all wiring through the side of the case as high as possible but under the lid. Silicone (RTV) may be your friend for this. Leave the lid and sealing surface solid so it keeps water out.

                  You'll want to remove power before closing it up so that it doesn't overheat, but that should minimize the chances of having to rebuild the thing every time you go four-wheeling.

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                  • #10
                    Hey, there is a way to make your computer more water resistant/proof to any water. I have a remote control scale jeep that I built and ALL my electronics on it are submergeable this includes the motor, the Electronic Speed Controller, the receiver, the External BEC, the servo to control the steering, the servo for the winch, and a servo to turn the winch servo on/off and the Lipo battery that puts out 13V at full charge. Smother a layer of dielectric grease on everything. This is a non conductive grease and it will keep the water from touching your electronics. Here is a picture showing the back end of my RC in the water. (Most of my electronics are in the back there and when I got out of that spot I had a pool of water in there with my electronics under the water line)

                    I dont have any good pictures of it actually submerged because I'm usually the only one with a camera there, but the whole thing has been completely under water. Here is a picture of another person's RC that uses dielectric grease as well.

                    People also use this grease all the time in there RC boats.

                    One problem you MIGHT have with this though is heat.....I dont know how well this will transfer heat in a computer format :/. I do know that with my tiny electronic stuff it has helped bring the heat down a lot. My electronic speed controller used to run really hot (it would burn you if you touched it) now it runs a little warm (like 110 degree's)

                    A down side will be that dirt will stick to the grease......

                    I wont take any responsibility if this doesnt work for you, I'm just throwing an idea out there that is being used in a different type of setup with success.

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                    • #11
                      Good to see another Aussie Offroad CarPC.

                      As you say, you will have bigger problems than a fried PC if you go under water. Part of any deep water crossing should be preparation and in your case, powering off PC or maybe removing it and the amp would be part of your procedure.

                      I resisted the urge to fit anything under the seat for this reason but it was a much bigger job because of this decision. All of my equipment is behind the seat which is quite a bit higher.

                      You can check out my Car PC buildup on this forum (link in my sig below) or for my vehicle at Newhilux.net on http://www.newhilux.net/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=41&t=1406. Went out with a few of the New Triton guys over Easter
                      RodW
                      2007 Toyota Hilux with a CarPC..

                      Worklog: http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/work...ota-hilux.html
                      OziExplorer GPS Embedded in RR: http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/sb-s...iexplorer.html

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                      • #12
                        Maybe wet.protect from Graupner is a solution for you.
                        It is used in the rc world to protect the elctronics in boots.

                        I used it on both the mobo and an m2. It woked fine on the mobo. The m2 didn't work anymore think it was the capicitators (if thats what there cold).

                        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T4OCT...eature=related
                        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MoZec5J327E
                        Cold weather mobo list: Copy the list and add your board
                        my hidden screen in action (youtube) , the worklog , RR Volvoskin

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          The dielectric grease idea mentioned works great for some applications, but as the poster himself said, heat is the issue.

                          I have used it with some of the other "stupid computer tricks" I have done, including direct-die phase change, peltiers and simple ice-filled reservoirs for a water cooled system.
                          With truly LOW temps, condensation becomes an issue which is where dielectric grease comes in- it is used to keep system components from having condensation form on them and cause problems, but it DOES insulate them.

                          Covering an entire system WILL reduce the life of the system drastically. Just how short that life will be is impossible to say.

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