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Old 14-03-2014, 11:38   #1
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Protecting Consumer Electronics from Corrosion

I'm researching becoming a liveaboard in southern California and one thing that concerns me is corrosion. I own a Macbook Air, iPad and iPhone and am worried about damp air ruining their circuitry particularly in the laptop which is air-cooled. Will an electric de-humidifier keep the air dry enough to safeguard my electronics? What about a product like DamRid?

Thanks.
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Old 14-03-2014, 11:46   #2
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Re: Protecting consumer electronics from corrosion

If the Damprid is that product of granules you put in a little bin... it soaks up moisture like crazy.... but useless really because it disappears super fast. I guess it's an issue for laptops, althoguh mine on boats have not failed due to moisture really. Batteries or hardrive once. Heck your laptop is obsolete after a couple years anyway....
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Old 14-03-2014, 11:53   #3
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Re: Protecting consumer electronics from corrosion

I believe that most phones and tablets wouldn't be harmed by normal use at the seaside. Keep them dry, obviously (you can get cases to help with that). You can also store the devices in sealed bags or containers, with dessicants to help dry out the air.

Some phones and tablets are now made water-resistant. My SONY xperia phone is allegedly waterproof for 30 min at up to 1m depth.

Besides, who keeps a phone for more than 3 years?

Marine life might be harder on a laptop. You can look for a mil-spec laptop like a Panasonic Toughbook, or, simply buy an inexpensive laptop/netbook for the boat and budget to replace it every two years. Because a marine laptop will also be subject to sun, being dropped, temperature extremes, etc etc anyway.
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Old 14-03-2014, 12:32   #4
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Re: Protecting consumer electronics from corrosion

We have 2 macbook pros, 2 PC's, 2 phones and numerous other consumer electronics devices. None of them have had any damp environmental air problems in 5 years of cruising in the tropics.

Being on a boat is no different than being in a house on the ocean (assuming the boat doesn't have liquid leaks).

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Old 14-03-2014, 13:24   #5
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Re: Protecting consumer electronics from corrosion

Quote:
Originally Posted by colemj View Post
We have 2 macbook pros, 2 PC's, 2 phones and numerous other consumer electronics devices. None of them have had any damp environmental air problems in 5 years of cruising in the tropics.

Being on a boat is no different than being in a house on the ocean (assuming the boat doesn't have liquid leaks).

Mark
Similar- 1 iMac, a Macbook Pro, Ipad, and 2 iphones. Been full time liveaboards for the past 5 years, and zero problems.
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Old 14-03-2014, 13:33   #6
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Re: Protecting consumer electronics from corrosion

I have had a Furuno MFB black box on the boat for over five years now. I recently had to return it because of a hard drive failure. The only corrosion found by Furuno was on two USB ports. I have three other desktops on the boat for running oceanographic instruments data logging and for running my nav software. I have had no problem with corrosion on the other computers. They are kept in cabinets in the boat ventilated with a few 12 volt, 120 mm computer fans, which when slowed down a little with a fan controller are silent.

I probably could have stopped the corrosion on the Furuno by coating the USB terminals with a little silicon grease.
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Old 14-03-2014, 14:13   #7
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Re: Protecting Consumer Electronics from Corrosion

Once some years ago I did have a laptop fail due to salt spray exposure, but I was using it in my cockpit interfaced with my GPS using a navigation program. I've never had problems with my non-marine electronics while keeping them below or in the cockpit at a peaceful anchorage.
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Old 16-03-2014, 03:48   #8
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Re: Protecting Consumer Electronics from Corrosion

We have 3 laptops, a tablet, several phones (smart and conventional) and other consumer electricals on board and have had no problems with moisture in any of them. We also have no problems with dropping them, temperature extremes etc. We have treated all our electical items the same as we would in a house and have been on board for 7 years now without incident.
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Old 16-03-2014, 06:38   #9
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Re: Protecting Consumer Electronics from Corrosion

I had to say good-bye to an iphone due to corrosion from spray, and an ipad from impact (cracked screen). I made the mistake of keeping them in the cockpit and using them for navigation on passage with only one of the. 'Pouch-style' soft bags. I now use LifeProof and it works great against both of these hazards while maintaining full functionality.

I never bring the laptop on deck while moving, but have seen corrosion on the USB ports. I now keep it and other high end electronics stored in a watertight Pelican case when not in use.
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Old 19-03-2014, 11:48   #10
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Re: Protecting Consumer Electronics from Corrosion

I live aboard in San Diego and have an IPad, Iphone, and computer with no problems. We have lived aboard in DC and Maryland with cell phones and a computer without any problems there.
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Old 19-03-2014, 12:35   #11
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Re: Protecting Consumer Electronics from Corrosion

Maybe I just buy cheap sh*t electronics, but we've had numerous failures. The biggest failure category is cameras. Some failing in 6 months. Laptops, aka PCs, seem to have an MTBF of about 2 years. Flashlights are worse than cameras. I have 5 year old PCs running onboard, but they are the exceptions.
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Old 19-03-2014, 15:28   #12
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Re: Protecting Consumer Electronics from Corrosion

Wow, Paul, that is a lot of failure. I don't know what to say - we have 5 digital cameras on board with the oldest one at 10yrs. They have been on board for 5yrs full-time cruising with no problems, if you discount the one that was dropped 6' onto the deck and was no longer able to focus properly. We also have 3 large and 4 small Maglights onboard that have been on board for 10yrs - 5 of those through 4-season cycles in New England and 5 full-time cruising. They get used daily with no problems.

Cheap digital watches and clocks, consumer weather station, assorted wifi dongles, routers, etc, cell phones, cell dongles, cell routers, DVM's - all sorts of consumer electronics with no problems.

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Old 20-03-2014, 06:02   #13
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Re: Protecting Consumer Electronics from Corrosion

I probably just see the glass as half empty -- since there's lots of electronics working just fine on the boat. We had 2 Nikon Coolpix's and 1 Olympus camera fail over a 3 year period. Also two dead Dell laptops -- one got washed, so that doesn't count. Two Braun electric toothbrushes fail. Two and half dead Kindles (one runs most of the time, so I count that as a half). I"m sure I'm forgetting something. Cheap phones seem to work at least till their batteries give out. My mini-ITX PC has been reliable. All the Furuno, Vesper and ICOM gear has been reliable.
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Old 20-03-2014, 11:48   #14
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Re: Protecting Consumer Electronics from Corrosion

I have heard about occasionally 'baking' electronics in an oven to remove moisture, however I don't know how serious of a solution that is. If I had expensive high-end electronics to worry about, I think I would keep them in a pelican case with some dessicant. As for things like laptops, I just buy cheap ones and connect them to an external monitor and keyboard. A $300 netbook isn't as much a loss as a $2K macbook.
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Old 20-03-2014, 21:01   #15
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Re: Protecting Consumer Electronics from Corrosion

Paul, you could just be experiencing general failure (or bad luck), not necessarily marine-related issues. Modern consumer electronics aren't often built to last. Rechargeable batteries are guaranteed to fail after a few years, and some components like electrolytic capacitors are more fragile these days.
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