How the GCN Lab torture-tested rugged gear

How the GCN Lab torture-tested rugged gear

NOTEBOOK COMPUTERS

Rainforest

Each medium to heavily ruggedized notebook was placed inside a specially designed, 12-cubic-foot chamber with a boiling water humidifier to test resistance to moisture and humidity. Equipment inside the chamber monitored humidity and temperature. The powered notebooks were kept in the chamber for three hours, where the average temperature was 92 degrees Fahrenheit (33.3 Celsius).

Rainforest Test
A hot humidifer supplied placed inside a sealed box created the steamy environment for testing notebooks.
Cold test

All notebooks in the test had to survive for three hours inside a refrigerator where the average temperature was 39 degrees Fahrenheit (3.9 Celsius). Humidity levels were average.

Extreme cold environment

Heavily ruggedized notebooks were put in a freezer for one hour. The temperature inside was 28 degrees Fahrenheit (-2.2 Celsius).

Extreme heat environment

Heavily ruggedized notebooks were shut inside a hot environment for three hours-the trunk of a car under the July sun. Inside, the average temperature was 105 degrees Fahrenheit (40.5 Celsius). The relative humidity average was 60 percent.

Shock test, 10 inches

Each medium to heavily rugged notebook had to endure 10 drops onto a concrete floor from a height of 10 inches. The notebooks were dropped on each corner once, on both flat sides and against the four edges. After each drop the notebook was evaluated and damage noted. The entire notebook had to be above the 10-inch mark at the start of the drop.

Shock test, 20 inches

Each heavy-rugged notebook was to have been dropped 10 times in an identical way as the testing procedure for the 10-inch drop but at a height of 20 inches. But because none of the heavy-rugged units survived the 10-inch test, the 20-inch tests never took place.

RAID CONTROLLERS

Each RAID was tested within its recommended environment under procedures that mimicked real-life conditions. The tests included:

Shock, wave vibration

The unit that was designed for ships was taken aboard a 14-foot bass boat. Data was stored on the drives before a three-hour excursion. Waves averaged three feet during the test with some five-foot swells. Data integrity was checked, as well as speed and drive integrity before and after the test.

Shock, vehicles

The unit that was designed for land use was tested strapped to the back of a Jeep. Data was stored on the drives before a three-hour excursion. Dirt roads and plenty of small hills were encountered during the test. Data integrity was checked, as well as speed and drive integrity before and following the test.

In addition, the land unit was tested in the following way:

Blown water test
Water accelerated through a fan spinning on "high" created an environment of driven rain.
Heat environment

The RAID had to survive shut down inside a hot car trunk for three hours. The average temperature was 95 degrees Fahrenheit (35 Celsius). The relative humidity average was 60 percent.

Blown water test

The RAID had to keep operating while under simulated rain. The unit was powered and locked down. A high-powered fan was turned on facing alternatively the front and back of the unit. Three cups of water were thrown through the running fan, pelting the unit with water. This test was conducted three times on both the front and back of the unit. The unit was checked for defects following each test.

Cold test

The RAID had to survive for three hours inside a refrigerated area. The average temperature was 39 degrees Fahrenheit (3.9 Celsius). Humidity levels were average.

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