, ,

Baja Torture Test

“Imagine a test where you: blow dust at your laptop for hours at aBaja Torture Test  time; vibrate it all day for days at a time; subject it to altitude variations of 0 to 10,000 feet; operate it in temperatures reaching 130 degrees Fahrenheit; virtually soak the laptop in water for two days; expose it to humidity of 95 percent for prolonged periods. While this may seem like a specially designed test to force a laptop to fail, the truth is that this was an actual situation.”

A few years back, some folks decided that it would be amusing to take an AMREL ROCKY computer on a bike ride through the harsh environment of the Baja. Kacey Smith, author of the Baja GPS Guidebook for off-road dirt bikes, reported that the ROCKY computer successfully operated through extremes of rain, vibration, and heat.  What really surprised her was how it survived the omnipresent dust.

”One of the most severe conditions ROCKY encountered in the Baja was dust. The Baja is extremely dry and riding behind another bike, one is smothered in dust. ‘Your entire body is bathed with it,’ Smith said. ‘Your eyes get caked and when you blow your nose, you get dirt for weeks. This is major dust.’

“Smith expected that after days of riding, ROCKY certainly would have some dust inside — especially considering that even when she wrapped her diskettes in a ‘zippered’ plastic bag, and placed them inside an airtight container, she still found dust on them. Although ROCKY functioned perfectly under these conditions, Smith was skeptical. She took ROCKY to AMREL and had them disassemble the laptop and blow out the dust that Kacey was certain was inside. Kacey comments, ‘I figured there would be weird Baja bugs, cobwebs and dirt in there. There just had to be.’ AMREL pulled the unit apart. Kacey remarked that it appeared perfectly clean. Then AMREL engineers blew out the inside with an air gun. ‘I expected to see clouds of dust. Not a spec came out. It looked like a brand new computer,’ Smith said.”

Of course, AMREL wasn’t surprised. Our Fault Tolerant Isolation Design is a unique encapsulation process that protects individual components from water, dust, and other foreign matter. Analogous to a submarine, each chamber in the body of ROCKY notebooks and on-board/fixed vehicle units is individually sealed.

To read how much fun it is to torture a computer, visit Mobile Computers Battle the Elements.

1 reply
  1. Conrad Blickenstorfer
    Conrad Blickenstorfer says:

    I remember that! Kacey Smith was kind enough to write an article about her Baja experience with the AMREL Rocky notebook for publication in our Pen Computing Magazine several years ago. And I remember how impressed she was.

    A week ago we had an opportunity for a different kind of Baja adventure: We flew to Cabo San Lucas at the bottom of Baja, from there did the 22-hour boat ride for a dive expedition at the remote Islas Revillagigedo, or Socorro islands. We brought along some rugged computing gear to see how useful it would be to provide scuba dive support computing on the dive deck, in bright light, wet conditions, and salt water. Maybe next time we can take a ROCKY along!

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply