A PC that keeps working even under water
- By John Breeden II
- Dec 17, 2012
Many PC manufacturers have shock and vibration protection down to a science as they build products to meet the MIL-SPEC-810 testing suite. However, another measurement of ruggedness, the IP or Ingress Prevention ratings scale, is much harder to climb because a computer has to be rugged against both water and dust.
A computer that can keep working in water or dust is critical for agencies with employees in the field, from military units to surveyors, still have to work out in the elements sometimes.
Stealth Computer has created a new system, the WPC-525F, that is designed to be completely watertight and sealed against dust. It achieves an IP rating of 67, meaning that no dust can ever get inside the unit, and it can survive dips into water as deep as one meter for up to 30 minutes. It can also shrug off occasional contact with water, as might be experienced during rain.
Designed without cooling fans, the internal CPU is passively cooled through the robust small form factor chassis design, which measures only 10.15 inches by 6.22 inches. It’s 2.04 inches tall. There is no operating noise when the unit is powered up.
The WPC-525F is powered by Intel's 1.8-GHz D525 Dual Core CPU for maximum performance and power efficiency. Its hard drives are solid-state models that can withstand extreme temperatures, high vibration/shock/humidity, as well as high altitudes, according to the company.
"The WPC-525F is built to withstand the demanding effects of harsh environments typically encountered in industrial, marine and outdoor applications," said Ed Boutilier, CEO of Stealth.com.
The WPC-525F waterproof PC features a VGA port, two RJ45 ports, a serial RS232 port and four USB 2.0 connections, all of which are coupled through water-tight, locking bayonet-style connectors typical of military-designed hardware. The water-resistant PC operates from a wide range of DC input power, making it a good fit for mobile/marine, field and transportation-based applications. The WPC-525F has integrated VESA mounting holes (75mm/100mm) providing for easy and secure mounting to any vehicle.
Stealth also has a number of complementary products to go along with the WPC-525, such as a rugged, waterproof LCD monitor and keyboard. Basic configurations of the waterproof PC start at $1,595.
John Breeden II directs the GCN Lab.