what material for a dust filter?

Submitted: Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 11:35
ThreadID: 24139 Views:1863 Replies:5 FollowUps:7
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I now have a small monitor to attach to my laptop for oziexplorer in the car. I have made up a box for the laptop to go out of the way under the seat an obviously had to leave holes where the fans are for ventilation.

Does anyone have any suggestions for the most appropriate material to cover these holes to keep the dust out (whilst still letting air in/out)?

Thanks in advance

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Reply By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 13:36

Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 13:36
Wouldn't worry about it, just blow the laptop out with compressed air every now and then, it'll be fine. Was in the computer industry for 10 years, still kinda am even thought it's security based.
AnswerID: 117243

Reply By: BenSpoon - Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 14:35

Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 14:35
cheap as- go grab some gauze from the local chemist.
peel off a sheet or 2 and bung it over the vents. Make sure you can still blow through it easily though. Dont bother cleaning it when its dirty- just ditch the old and grab a new one from your 1st aid kit.
Also worth consideration is that the box without its own fan will likely act as an oven. The fan for the lappy will circulate air inside the the PC, but you may still need one for the actual box. Fans in PCs are 12V so if you know of a dead PC laying around it will save you some cash.
AnswerID: 117255

Reply By: Des Lexic - Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 14:37

Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 14:37
Trev, The map worked out fine.
If you wanted to put a filter overr the hole to keep the dust out, you would need a very fine filter that won't let a lot of air through. Perhaps you could adapt a paper face mask or a coffee filter.
AnswerID: 117257

Reply By: hoyks - Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 15:29

Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 15:29
Go to a vacuum cleaner place and you can get a electrostatic filter that is made from a gauze type of stuff. Probably the best bet if you want to collect the dust. You might even find something you could adapt in the vacuum cleaner bag section of Kmart/Big W
AnswerID: 117265

Reply By: V8troopie - Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 15:37

Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 15:37
I dunno if that is a good idea at all. Holding my hand near the fan outlet of my laptop, it is HOT air that comes out of there. Putting your lappy inside a box you have to carefully make sure the air intake slots ( most likely on the back and underneath) of it can get the fresh cool air from outside the box unrestricted.
And you need a good exhaust fan, right opposite the lappy's air outlet, to suck out the hot air before it gets a chance to circulate inside the box.

Now, I do not have an external monitor and so do not know how they are controlled but I would think that a laptop goes to sleep when its lid is shut. Do you think it still drives your display while asleep? And, having the laptop open would defeat the whole box idea, not?

Why not using a desktop computer stashed under somewhere, it would not be any bigger than your laptop placed inside a suitable box. The desktops have bigger fans too and could easier accomodate a filter screen for it. Use your small monitor instead of the original one.
Power for the desktop? You need power for your laptop too, so its just different and perhaps even simpler with only one conversion.

AnswerID: 117269

Follow Up By: Casnat - Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 16:40

Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 16:40
Thanks everyone for replies.

V8troopie, you have got me thinking about the merits of a desktop .... will have to give more thought. It would depend upon being able to get vital bits into a smaller unit....worth looking at and possibly a cheap option that won't destroy expensive equipment..

I am not as concerned as others about overheating. The box I have made is essentially exactly a snug fit for the laptop (almost a second skin) and it has holes cut in it to line up exactly with the laptops fan outlets etc. Also has holes for plugging in the power lead, GPS mouse etc from the outside. It is the fan ducts that I was looking to cover with something to protect against dust. The vaccuum place mentioned by one of you sounds like a good place to start.

Someone also mentioned about the laptop turning off when the lid is closed....easily fixed that one by breaking off the small lug that depresses the sensor when the lid is closed.

Keep the ideas coming....thanks
FollowupID: 372692

Follow Up By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 18:47

Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 18:47
I know of a couple of people running lappy's in box's as you plant to. Just make sure it's well ventilated. It doesn't have to be a sealed box, a bit of dust ain't going to worry it. If the box is getting too warm, just get a couple of small fans from tricky dicky and hook'em up to 12vdc. You'll be fine.
FollowupID: 372725

Follow Up By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 18:49

Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 18:49

You can simply change the power management settings in the control panel so that the laptop stays running when the lid is closed, you can also set it so that it turns the screen off only, or if you're running an external screen you can switch it to the aux screen only, all through the software.
FollowupID: 372727

Follow Up By: Casnat - Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 19:19

Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 19:19
had another reason to break of the lid sensor ...... the button that it pushed down was sticking down! After that when I tried to fire up the laptop it worked fine ...... only the monitor wouldn't come on and you couldn't see what was going on. Tore my hair out (what little there is left) until I worked out what the problem was. Lots of fiddling about with a pin and a torch to get the button to pop up. After 3 times a pair of pliers made short work of the lug that pushes down the button and no more problems. Also now means no problem closing up the laptop and storing it away while on the road. The cordless mouse means all works well with the small screen.

PS: for anyone contemplating this make sure the screen you buy has a VGA input (unless your laptop has a composite video output) .... this is the second screen I bought, the 1st one didn't do the job.
FollowupID: 372735

Follow Up By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 19:21

Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 19:21
Yeah even if it has a composite video out the quality of most of them is poo, make sure it's got VGA full stop if you plan on usingit for mapping, otherwise you won't get enough detail.
FollowupID: 372736

Follow Up By: Casnat - Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 19:42

Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 19:42
off the subject a bit now (still after suggestions for my dust filter problem) but if anyone has tried to set up a small monitor like this and been driven mad by the image vibrating all over the place I may be able to help ..... It caused me to tear out what little hair I had left!
FollowupID: 372741

Follow Up By: BenSpoon - Monday, Jun 27, 2005 at 01:43

Monday, Jun 27, 2005 at 01:43
how did you solve the vibrations?
my mount takes most of the small shaking, but the bigger stuff is still annoying me
FollowupID: 372974

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