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Humidity with laptops

Discussion in 'Alienware' started by Snowm0bile, Apr 8, 2009.

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  1. Snowm0bile

    Snowm0bile Starcraftologist

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    I was just wondering if humidity messes with laptops in any way. Does anyone know about this kind of issue because it is very humid out here. Any time I walk out of my room, and I bring anything outside, that was inside for awhile, like my camera, it sweats. Does this effect internals of laptops if you do it often?
     
  2. whizzo

    whizzo Advocatus Diaboli

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    well, water is a conductor, so theoretically, a droplet could short your mobo. not sure how probable that is, though.
     
  3. Snowm0bile

    Snowm0bile Starcraftologist

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    So if it did short my mobo, would it be under warranty? lol i know these are stupid questions, but that would suck if it did ever happen haha
     
  4. whizzo

    whizzo Advocatus Diaboli

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    good question. if AW wanted to act a fool, they'd claim you spilled water on it, and therefore it wasn't a warranty job, since it was your fault.
     
  5. ryujin

    ryujin 2B or not 2B

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    if your going from a very cool (air conditioned) place to a high humid location (outside) then the differences would cause such.
    if you place your laptop inside a case, backpack, and the like for a few minutes before you leave the house or whatever, then acclimation should be your friend.
    once the unit gets within the same temps then humidity should not be a factor such as with your camera.
     
  6. Crite

    Crite Notebook Enthusiast

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    AW do not list operating environment on their website (I haven't been home yet to open my M17, so someone who has the docs can comment if there is a documented humidity limit for usage), but regardless if they don't state the environmental limits in advance, and shipped it to you where you are using it, then you would have a strong argument that such condensation damage is a warranty issue (although you should try to avoid it as much as possible). You may have to convince them that you didn't drop it in a swimming pool, but that should not be a major problem.

    As for water as a conductor, pure water (condensation tends to be fairly pure) is a weak conductor, it takes salts and other chemicals dissolved in it to improve the conductivity. Therefore try to keep the laptop clean (so less salt can dissolve in the condensation), and try to wipe the majority off when it happens.

    Also, I assume you are talking about the issue of going from a cool & dry indoors location (thus cold surfaces on the laptop) to a much warmer and more humid outside. Certainly I have seen very similar condensation issues in India at times. This sounds to me like you need to do a serious bout of gaming (10-20mins) to really warm up the laptop before going outside, to reduce the condensation... Best excuse I've heard for a quick gaming session in a while :)
     
  7. Rob41

    Rob41 Team Pirate Control

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    I'm not sure if you want to test their warranty on this. I have an insurance policy on mine from Safeware: http://www.safeware.com/

    I've had it for my laptops for a couple of years. It costs me less than $200 a year for more than $3000 worth of coverage. It covers drops, spills, theft etc, etc. anywhere in the world on their business plan accept..........war zones. Yeah, I know. I too am in the "zones" most of the year but.......I guess my location is determined by the information I give them.

    Sh** happens when you least expect it.
     
  8. nandeep

    nandeep Notebook Enthusiast

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    humidity doesn't effect or damage ur laptop. theoretically water from humidity is pure and pure water doesn't conduct electricity.
     
  9. Rob41

    Rob41 Team Pirate Control

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    O.K.
    who here will test this "theory" with their laptop so we can post the results? :eek:
     
  10. Crite

    Crite Notebook Enthusiast

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    As I said, pure water is a weak conductor (but it does still conduct). If there are any salts or other impurities the water can dissolve from the laptop (sweat from your skin when you touched the laptop, or any dust / other water soluble chemicals inside the machine), this can dramatically change the conductivity of the water.

    I suspect you would be OK, even without taking serious precautions, but I would still try to wipe off the water as it forms, put the laptop in a bag before going outside. I would certainly not deliberately test this.
     
  11. whizzo

    whizzo Advocatus Diaboli

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    dude, there're all sorts of particles in the air that'll make the water droplets decidedly non-pure, and therefore conducive (sp?).
     
  12. linuxguy

    linuxguy Notebook Consultant

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    I fried a Toshiba laptop mb by taking it out of a nice air conditioned room while it was powered on and going outside when it was very hot and humid. Laptop was out of warranty and I had to pay for the repair, which was QUITE expensive. I'll never do that again.

    Condensation is an enemy of electronic gear, especially when it's powered on.

    Just my $.02.
     
  13. Rob41

    Rob41 Team Pirate Control

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    That's why camera companies put warnings about humidity in their user manuals. The real world is not a controlled lab environment.
     
  14. ryujin

    ryujin 2B or not 2B

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    uhm....what? care to back your statement with facts?
     
  15. Rob41

    Rob41 Team Pirate Control

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    Doesn't really matter if that's true in a controlled environment, it just isn't very smart to have a post like that at a Notebook forum. Someone could end up with a brick! :(
     
  16. italian.madness

    italian.madness Notebook Consultant

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    Guys IMO humidity is a big TEC enemy. especially laptops. Just notice the fact that whenever you buy a laptop bag you'll find a small anti-humidity package (sorry for my english)in it. It attracts humidity so that it cannot damage the laptop.
    cheers
     
  17. Rob41

    Rob41 Team Pirate Control

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    I'm an Engineer and working on ships is my trade. We are a self supporting floating community and have to provide all of our own municipal needs including drinking water. We make water through the use of a desalination plant. It uses heat and pressure so the water that goes in vaporizes. In the next stage it is condensed. The end product is more pure than any city or well water as all minerals and chemicals are non-existant in the final product. I can tell you from first hand knowledge, that it does conduct electricity. Additionally, desiccant bags are placed in every electrical cabinet aboard ship.

    The ships I work on also deploy deep submersables who's electrical enclosures are fill with a non-conductive liquid to prevent implosion. This liquid isn't cheap. I'm sure they would use cheap "pure" water instead if it was possible.
     
  18. The_Moo™

    The_Moo™ Here we go again.....

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    salt i believe is an electrolyete which is a conductor:)

    i know i mis spelled it
     
  19. Rob41

    Rob41 Team Pirate Control

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    That's why we use desalination plants. They remove 100% of all impurities including salt. nacl2=1 part sodium and 2 parts chlorine
     
  20. whizzo

    whizzo Advocatus Diaboli

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    it's true. theoretically, water from condensation is absolutely pure. in practice, there's all sorts of junk in the air that'll mess up the purity.
     
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