Laptop on corrugated roads of the outback

Submitted: Wednesday, Sep 25, 2002 at 00:00
ThreadID: 2047 Views:1933 Replies:9 FollowUps:8
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Doug Roberts posted on the 24 September 2002 the tittle "laptop for dusty vehicle" this followup in the Thread QID=1601 which started 28 July 2002 - Original thread by Willie +
See below my message what Doug posted - I thought I continue the thread by conncentrating on the word vibrations rather than dust. Just like you said Doug, Willie point of view is the dust. My point of view "the dust has nothing to do with anything, the reall problem are the VIBRATIONS". As you said Doug:" it is very easy to insulate a laptop from the dust" but in my practical opinion IMPOSSIBLE to insulate TOTALLY the laptop HDD from serious virbrations, even if the computer is NOT turned ON. Doug your FIRST real life test) you're going to do the test with you computer switch ON in your car, dowmloading GPS points/or plotting your path. I am totally convinced that your HDD (hard disk drive) turned ON will NOT resist more than 3 hours on heavy corrugations. After 3 hours your HDD will have serious problems. You may loose the MBR. In your SECOND real life test) WITHOUT TURNING ON your computer during your travel, just carrying your laptop in a well padded case, I believe after 10000km of a mixture of corragated and bitumen roads your HDD will have also some problems. I have done the second test and will do the first test in 2003, that's why I am interested by your first test. In the second test my HDD experienced problems 1 month after return because I accessed files that I did NOT accessed during my trip. It showed up bad cluster later for that reason. I have to say David has posted some excellent material on the 23 July 2002 thread. With David posting, I have been able to "partly" CLONE my HDD. I suggest you do the same. Ask David how he did it? Doug please let us know of your results a few days after your return. Guy


""So we have 2 extreme opinions: one from Willie who blames the vibration or dust for a belated hard drive fail, and one from David which is much more encouraging. This is all useful to me as I'm about to obtain & install a laptop for mapping purposes, internfaced to a GPS so I'll want to be able to see it from the driver's seat. (Series 80 Cruiser). I am also in Computers and a reasonably mounted and dust protected 2nd hand lappie seems to be the way to go. Probably 2nd hand. I agree with David that a spare harddrive for backup would be a cheap failover solution; I'm also intrigued with the idea suggested in this forum of using a flash drive but I think large capacity ones would have to be expensive? Access to the Internet would seem to be essential these days but how do you do that without incurring heavy mobile charges (if you have a signal even). I'm new to ExplorOz, I hope I've posted this in the right place. Doug ""
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Reply By: will - Wednesday, Sep 25, 2002 at 00:00

Wednesday, Sep 25, 2002 at 00:00
Guy,

I do not want to create a heated discussion on this but this is my personal experience:
Vehicle GU Patrol
Laptop: IBM Thinkpad and also Toshiba 4310 both running all the time, one using oziexplorer and the other playing DVDs for the kids although this one is not turned on all day.

Trips:
Cape York, Gulf, Victoria high Country (many times), Simpson Desert, plus many other trips.... Never ever had a hard disk fail due to vibration...
Cape york had "the" corrugations....
I do agree that computers and vibrations don't go together but this is my personal experience...
Lately I have also been testing my new Toshiba TE2000 no problems either (that has done VIC high country trips twice now).

Will
AnswerID: 6899

Follow Up By: Guy - Thursday, Sep 26, 2002 at 00:00

Thursday, Sep 26, 2002 at 00:00
Will, what sort/brand/voltage power of external power supply have you got in your car to run the Toshiba 4310 - 8 hours per day? What bis the longest you have turned your laptop on on heavy corragation?
because most Toshiba batteries do not last more than 90 minutes( 1hour 30 minutes)? like you I have a GU and have travelled recently allthe tracks you are mentioning. apart from the road around the gulf between Burketown and Roperbar and about 50 Kms on the Cape York, the rest is with no( very sparse) corregation.
When travelling,
How do you recharge your toshiba battery? By experience, to run toshiba laptop your toshiba must have a
power supply exciding 13.5 volts otherwise the powerregulator may be cooked? What brand of recharger have you got? which mode do you set
your toshiba power - Full, high , normal, long life? What brand of power adaptor have you got. Just like you,
I am trying to experiment with something new. But at the moment it seems that some information are missing
and it would be good to have the detailed picture of how all you gear is connected to the car power supply and the real length of time it is connected to?. Guy
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FollowupID: 3136

Reply By: LARRY - Wednesday, Sep 25, 2002 at 00:00

Wednesday, Sep 25, 2002 at 00:00
Hello Doug Will and all others . just a little one . I dont know anything about lap tops , but will be looking for one soon, probally second hand . so I can link my G.P.S up, Ihave just purchased OziExplorer and have some maps on C.D, hema ect. What type and power lap top do you buy to run in the 4wd . All my other work is done on my normal p,c ???
AnswerID: 6914

Follow Up By: Guy - Thursday, Sep 26, 2002 at 00:00

Thursday, Sep 26, 2002 at 00:00
Larry, make sure that your laptop has RS232 connection at the back and it is working properly.
What do you mean by " so I can link my G.P.S up"? up to what? what brand of GPS have you got? has it got
RS232 facilities or down/uploading facilities for waypoints and others? Guy,
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FollowupID: 3137

Reply By: Member - Nigel - Wednesday, Sep 25, 2002 at 00:00

Wednesday, Sep 25, 2002 at 00:00
I agree that vibrations can potentially cause problems, so my (partial) solution - less weight equals less affect from vibrations. I bought what was at the time, the worlds lightest laptop, the Fujitsu P1030 - doesn't even weigh one kilogram. Have a look at that model and an even smaller one (without a keyboard) at Fujitu's Laptop Website. An if the harddrive does die, it's a five minute job to install a new drive - then hours to restore the data :(

I've also heard Sony have or soon will have an ultralight laptop.
AnswerID: 6916

Follow Up By: Guy - Thursday, Sep 26, 2002 at 00:00

Thursday, Sep 26, 2002 at 00:00
I've checked. great stuff. thanks. Guy
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FollowupID: 3138

Reply By: Member - Willem- Wednesday, Sep 25, 2002 at 00:00

Wednesday, Sep 25, 2002 at 00:00
Guy, I think that you have misquoted me. No offense taken:-) I asked about dust and a laptop. Thats all. I have not even bought one yet though I have all the other goodies. Waiting for the dollars to accumulate. Cheers, Willie
AnswerID: 6922

Follow Up By: Guy - Thursday, Sep 26, 2002 at 00:00

Thursday, Sep 26, 2002 at 00:00
Look at my reply above regarding power supply in the car. I know toshiba and Intel. None of them will recharge in the car. Connecting directly the laptop to the car 12 or 12.5 volts system could be disasttrous for long leriode of time if not filtered. Specially with older generators which may have spikes or poor earth. Guy
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FollowupID: 3139

Reply By: P.G. (Tas) - Thursday, Sep 26, 2002 at 00:00

Thursday, Sep 26, 2002 at 00:00
G'day all, just thought I'd throw my 2 cents worth in. I have recently finished a 7,500km tour of the outback and not an ounce of trouble from my laptop (HP XE3 Pentium 800). I went up the Oodnadatta track to Oodnadatta (the track was smooth and fast(80kph), but the spill ways nearly always caught me out, putting the laptop into orbit), then up a stock route to Finke, Lamberts Centre, Finke, Maryvale (up the old 'ghan track, where at 35km/h you had to fight to keep your eyelids open, at 65 km/h you risked being speared off the track! because of the corrogations), Chambers Pillar and then back and on to the Alice. The laptop was going continuously for upto 16 hours a day, for 3 days running GPS and emails. I used an isolated 400 watt, 12 volt/240 volt inverter with the original 240 volt power supply with absolute success, neither the invertor or the original power supply showed any sign of getting hot (it was up to 37 degrees in the truck at times). Both the laptop and invertor are still going strong. The invertor is available from Jaycar stores for RRP of $199.99. Hope this helps. Cheers.
AnswerID: 6961

Follow Up By: Guy - Thursday, Sep 26, 2002 at 00:00

Thursday, Sep 26, 2002 at 00:00
Thanks for the info regarding the 400 watts inverter from Jaycar. Excellent information - What is the size/brand of your Hard drive in the HP XE3 Pentium 800)? How new is the Helwett Packard laptop ?Guy
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FollowupID: 3142

Follow Up By: Member - William - Friday, Sep 27, 2002 at 00:00

Friday, Sep 27, 2002 at 00:00
P.G. (TAS)

could you send me your E-mail address regarding the
400 watt, 12 volt/240 volt inverter .

Thanks
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FollowupID: 3157

Reply By: Member - Nigel - Thursday, Sep 26, 2002 at 00:00

Thursday, Sep 26, 2002 at 00:00
Forgot to mention - avoid Fujitsu hard drives. My Fujitsu laptop actually has a toshiba hard drive in it (came that way luckily).
AnswerID: 6964

Reply By: Ronnie - Thursday, Sep 26, 2002 at 00:00

Thursday, Sep 26, 2002 at 00:00
Having just retuned to TAS. from a 14500 klm trip(65% off sealed roads) including the full length of the Canning Stock Route and I can vouch for P. G. also from TAS.regarding the old Ghan and Chambers Pillar tracks. I have a Legend Notebook (5 days old before departing) It was used to store and view high resolution digital photos and also connected to a Garmin E-Map.
Power was via a ILAN car adapter.MODEL:D1655 INPUT 11-15.5V.7amp. max OUTPUT 18-22.5V 60W max.
COST $125.00 as yet no problems
AnswerID: 6970

Follow Up By: Coops - Friday, Sep 27, 2002 at 00:00

Friday, Sep 27, 2002 at 00:00
Ronnie
Whereabouts could I source the car adaptor you recommended (in WA) as the one I have been put on to (Toshiba) costs $299. For that I can buy 600 w inverter.
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FollowupID: 3162

Follow Up By: Ronnie - Friday, Sep 27, 2002 at 00:00

Friday, Sep 27, 2002 at 00:00
Coops I will get some details over the weekend and get in touch with you next week. send your email address to rmather@dodo.com.au
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FollowupID: 3163

Reply By: dave - Friday, Sep 27, 2002 at 00:00

Friday, Sep 27, 2002 at 00:00
More an answer to the power supply questions than to vibrations. I had my auto electrician source an inverter for me, it has all sorts of cut outs and protections, but does not have a brand, apparently its one that goes into motorhomes and things.
I have had no trouble using it to recharge digital cameras etc, but it does not like running the laptop off the vehicle battery. While the engine is running I have no problems at all, but when the engine is off, the inverter makes a horrible noise and cuts out, this is no doubt a low voltage protection, yet it will charge the laptop in this condition, just not charge and run it.
In case you are interested, the inverter cost around $150 (mates rates).
AnswerID: 6979

Reply By: P.G. (Tas) - Friday, Sep 27, 2002 at 00:00

Friday, Sep 27, 2002 at 00:00
Guy and member-William, in response to your queries. The laptop hard drive is manufactured by IBM and has a capacity of 6 Gigs. My email address is petermg@bigpond.com If you want to know any anymore, feel free to email me. Cheers!
AnswerID: 6980

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