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 Post subject: Converting laptop for use on shower/bath wall
PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 10:14 pm 
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This is my first real build so bear with me on all the details. I am going to try to keep up with pictures and stuff if there seems to be interest.

The main reason for this forum post is because I have a few things I want to run by the members here before I go to all the trouble to do this build and just have it blow up in my face.

Alrighty,

I have a couple year old Toshiba Satellite that I have pulled the 15.6" screen out of and would like to seal in acrylic and silicone to hang on the back wall of my shower/bath. I had originally thought I would just hang the screen and extend the video cable out and have the rest of the laptop hidden under the bathroom counter. But seeing as I can not find anything to extend it with I will probably just seal the entire thing in acrylic and silicone. After stripping everything down and placing the screen face up where the keyboard would usually be the entire thing is only about 1" thick.
My plan is to install ubuntu or win 7 and use it solely for weather, music, news, ect.

I have two concerns right now. One is heat; I took out the cdrom drive and battery and I would like to replace the regular sata hard drive with a SSD. I am still worried that something sealed in a waterproof and consequently airtight container could have some overheating issues unless it is ventilated somehow.

My second is an input device, I would love to get one of those waterproof flexible keyboard/touchpad combos, but the cheapest combo is around $150, My only option it seems now is one of those cheap $15 waterproof flexible keyboards but I would like to have some sort of mouse or pointer. I plan on building a small shelf to hold the keyboard and having the screen mounted on the wall.

I would appreciate any ideas or limitations that I may not have realized.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 7:13 pm 
Klamath
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This would be really hard to implement, but a touchscreen would be awesome!


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 7:18 pm 
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Well what sparked this was my friend telling me he wanted to buy this: http://h20331.www2.hp.com/hho/us/en/pcl ... ou-do.html

I can get a touchscreen on ebay for around $100 but I wanted to see if I could keep this build really cheap and its something to fill my spare time for now.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 7:33 pm 
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The laptop would overheat if you seal it. To keep cool, the laptop HAS to take cool air on from the environment and exhaust hot air out back into the room. Unfortunately, that can't be done and have it stay waterproof.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:20 pm 
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I would probably construct a wind tunnel of some sort so that it can get cool air and exhaust the hot air.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 9:18 pm 
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Even if it is sealed, if someone takes a hot shower and steams everything up, couldn't that still cause a high humidity situation inside the sealed case? I would thing that it would get worse if you had some sort of wind tunnel keeping the necessary air flow going, but at the same time drawing that moisture in. Just my thoughts, I could be way off base.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 11:54 pm 
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My plan now is to use two plastic tubes with two fans blowing opposite directions right outside the shower.

Still wondering about an input device, I may just have to run in a keyboard only environment till I figure something else out.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 6:40 am 
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Then again, you could always water-cool the thing. :P


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 7:45 am 
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mark_b_smith_II wrote:
Even if it is sealed, if someone takes a hot shower and steams everything up, couldn't that still cause a high humidity situation inside the sealed case? I would thing that it would get worse if you had some sort of wind tunnel keeping the necessary air flow going, but at the same time drawing that moisture in. Just my thoughts, I could be way off base.

If it's waterproof then moisture won't get in. As long as you rout the intake tunnel outside the shower it shouldn't reach dicey levels.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 3:29 pm 
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Spartacus wrote:
mark_b_smith_II wrote:
Even if it is sealed, if someone takes a hot shower and steams everything up, couldn't that still cause a high humidity situation inside the sealed case? I would thing that it would get worse if you had some sort of wind tunnel keeping the necessary air flow going, but at the same time drawing that moisture in. Just my thoughts, I could be way off base.

If it's waterproof then moisture won't get in. As long as you rout the intake tunnel outside the shower it shouldn't reach dicey levels.


Even so, I wouldn't give that laptop a very high life expectancy...


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 11:26 pm 
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Ok, I think I am going to try to extend the internal video cables so I can have the laptop outside the shower. Does anyone know how far I can extend them before I see a massive drop in picture quality? Like is 6ft or so too far?


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 4:46 am 
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IF I wanted to do this, and I don't because I certainly don't need to look at a device int he shower, but IF I were to do this, it would be using a second monitor. You try to extend those laptop cables and you'll find out real quick it can't and won't work very well because it will have zero in-line noise filtering.

I'd buy a touch screen monitor, and you can buy longer length VGA and DVI cables, and connect to it that way. You may even get off with a touch screen by doing that. If your laptop only has a VGA out, I would check for operation with a VGA to DVI converter.

Even LCD's get warm though. They need air as well. Otherwise, it will form moisture even if it is embedded in acrylic and water proofed. You may be able to stick some of those moisture soaking bags in there to get rid of the initial levels of moisture though. After that, it shouldn't fog up from the inside.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 6:47 am 
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Quakindude wrote:
IF I wanted to do this, and I don't because I certainly don't need to look at a device int he shower, but IF I were to do this, it would be using a second monitor. You try to extend those laptop cables and you'll find out real quick it can't and won't work very well because it will have zero in-line noise filtering.

I'd buy a touch screen monitor, and you can buy longer length VGA and DVI cables, and connect to it that way. You may even get off with a touch screen by doing that. If your laptop only has a VGA out, I would check for operation with a VGA to DVI converter.

Even LCD's get warm though. They need air as well. Otherwise, it will form moisture even if it is embedded in acrylic and water proofed. You may be able to stick some of those moisture soaking bags in there to get rid of the initial levels of moisture though. After that, it shouldn't fog up from the inside.


And that's why we have him around! Having a fan, even a small one, would solve the problem, and you could use a pressure valve to keep moisture out. A half-baked idea, but whatever...


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 6:53 am 
Klamath
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Wait, do you have a booth type shower, and indent with a curtain, or something else? My shower is very different than the vast majority of showers, so I may have been giving bogus ideas.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 10:28 am 
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Yeah it is a booth type shower with sliding doors. Like I said before I would love to get a touchscreen and run a secondary monitor, but that would take away from the nature of the build. This is just something to do in my spare time, I don't want the easy way out :)


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 Post subject: Re: Converting laptop for use on shower/bath wall
PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 11:34 pm 
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This is my first real build so bear with me on all the details. I am going to try to keep up with pictures and stuff if there seems to be interest.


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 Post subject: Re: Converting laptop for use on shower/bath wall
PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2014 4:28 pm 
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In 10 days this post will be 4 years old and you are complaining it was never updated? I don't have the project anymore so no pictures, but what do you want to know?


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 Post subject: Re: Converting laptop for use on shower/bath wall
PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2014 5:57 pm 
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I would look for a marine laptop.

But then again, I would look for a waterproof touchscreen (????) and run the cord(s) through the wall into an adjacent room where the computer was and mount it on the shower wall.

Might be able to make a waterproof touchscreen by sealing edges with silicone. If not moisture can get behind panel and bad things will occur.


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