Safe using desktop outdoors in fog and salty air?

Discussion in 'Overclocking & Cooling' started by Hashiriya415, Apr 7, 2019.

  1. Hashiriya415

    Hashiriya415 [H]Lite

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    I'm wondering if it's safe to use a desktop outdoors. I'd like to set up a desktop in my garage but my garage has 3 walls so fog gets in easily. And I'm near the ocean so salt is in the air.
    How are computer parts going to live up?
    Will rust/ oxidation happen?
    Short circuits? (Water condensation if possible)
    My bicycle that's painted properly has been living 10 years in my garage without any signs of rust/oxidation. But a cheap bike I witnessed rust within months.
     
  2. 5150Joker

    5150Joker 2[H]4U

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    I wouldn't risk condensation if it gets that foggy.
     
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  3. Hashiriya415

    Hashiriya415 [H]Lite

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    I'm not even sure about condensation. Can it happen? Or maybe it can't because inside the case everything should be dry because the heat generated inside will be keeping the air dry?
     
  4. Nenu

    Nenu [H]ardened

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    There will be some condensation on colder parts when in use, but if you dont bring it in at night it will condense on everything.
    Without salt in the air you might get away with it for a while until conductive compounds build up.
    But salt water conducts very well.
    Powering up a wet PC is daft.
     
  5. Hashiriya415

    Hashiriya415 [H]Lite

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    Could I design like another case around the case. Like put giant cardboard box over it with like an AC filter? Would that break down the water before it gets inside?
    Any other ideas?
     
  6. Nenu

    Nenu [H]ardened

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    It still has to breath and once turned off warmer air will be escaping, drawing cold wet air in.
    Why not get a laptop then you can take it in with you?
     
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  7. Shadow_Foxx

    Shadow_Foxx [H]Lite

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    To be clear, you want this PC to permanently live in your garage? Not just temporarily for an overclock session or something?
     
  8. harbingerofdoom

    harbingerofdoom Gawd

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    maybe put the computer as close as possible to the garage but inside- run USB and video cables to wherever you want the monitor keyboard and mouse at, use ultra cheap keyboards mice and monitors that are considered throwaways when they do bork out (and they will).
    its the cheapest way to do what you're trying to do without going full tilt crazy on some wacky build to protect a pc out there in that environment.
     
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  9. CAD4466HK

    CAD4466HK [H]ard|Gawd

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    I have had experience with servicing PC's that were right on beach side in New Smyrna Beach,FL.
    Client ran condos and had 2 office PC's that were around a 1000yds from the beach in a little office that the door was always open.
    First thing to know is an aluminum case and Stainless Steel / black Oxide screws are your friends. Some component's such as a video card and PSU will oxidize (killing resale value and voiding your warranty) but will continue to run for years. Fan motor lubricant can also dry out prematurely, go with double bb fans. Try to stay away from copper HSF's and having heat pipes exposed. Also the power switch will get corroded if subjected to a lot of salty/briny air.

    If you are in a colder climate, I would suggest that you disable sleep and run the PC 24/7 to offset the mist.
     
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  10. Hashiriya415

    Hashiriya415 [H]Lite

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    I'm looking to leave it permanently in garage. Running 24/7 is something I could easily do.
    I just remembered people running computers in mineral oil. Could I soak each part in mineral oil so it has a protective coating? Is that a protective coating?
    I wonder how long the oil will last
     
  11. Rvenger

    Rvenger [H]ard|Gawd

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    You will need to run a dehumidifier. Get the biggest you can find with a hose attachment and run it to the drain. Expect your electric bill to go up $20 a month.
     
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  12. Hashiriya415

    Hashiriya415 [H]Lite

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    $20 a month dehumidifying bill is a little bit too much for me. Damn fog tax.
     
  13. cyclone3d

    cyclone3d [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Running 24/7 is probably going to up your electric bill just as much as running a dehumidifier.

    Just have the computer inside and run cables to it from the garage.

    Or better yet, just get a laptop and a dock and take the laptop itself inside so it doesn't have to stay out there.

    In the end, it is your money... but you will end up with a rusted out / shorted out heap of scrap unless you do it right.
     
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  14. mda

    mda [H]ard|Gawd

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    Actually, a long HDMI cable, and a few USB extension cables (or an extension cable and a USB hub) are all you probably need to do this. I like this idea.
     
  15. GSDragoon

    GSDragoon [H]Lite

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    I'm around salty people all the time at work and the computers run just fine.
     
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  16. bigsnyder

    bigsnyder Gawd

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    What is the function of this PC?
     
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  17. Hashiriya415

    Hashiriya415 [H]Lite

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  18. bigsnyder

    bigsnyder Gawd

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    If you are serious about gaming in those conditions, then definitely consider the suggestions made about a dehumidifier or maybe a window a/c unit. If it was just a secondary pc for quick internet access I wouldn't be so concerned.
     
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  19. mtrupi

    mtrupi Gawd

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  20. Hashiriya415

    Hashiriya415 [H]Lite

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    Could 20lbs of rice work? I'll just pack the case full of rice. And some put the case in a cardboard box with more rice. I'll make a 3 foot long duct to push air in and I'll fill the duct with rice.
     
  21. Rvenger

    Rvenger [H]ard|Gawd

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    no, get a dehumifier….check to see how much power it will take to keep it running. It doesn't have to be running all the time, just to remove the humidity to a certain level. They have automatic ones for a reason.
     
  22. honegod

    honegod [H]ardness Supreme

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    You have obviously never smelled rotting rice.
     
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  23. somebrains

    somebrains Limp Gawd

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    I don't know anyone in Oakland, Berkeley, San Francisco, Pacifica, any LA Beach area, etc that freaks out about their PC.

    We can smell the ocean at night.
    Fog, yeah the place drowns in it.

    Corrosion on your car, that can accelerate quickly if you don't have bare metal dings touched up.
     
  24. Archaea

    Archaea [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Seal it in a mineral oil aquarium?
     
  25. Keljian

    Keljian Limp Gawd

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    Having run a pc in the garage for some time, I am uniquely qualified to answer this:

    1. Dust filters are really important
    2. Airflow is your friend
    3. Things will rust over time, aluminium is your friend.

    Generally you will get some rust on back plates of cards (and motherboards, so probably worth skipping this) and/or connectors/sockets to the outside world as the protective surface oxide layer will come off a bit every time you plug something in- so don’t do this often.

    You could (in theory) water cool everything hot and send the heat outside, hermetically sealing the pc. But the cost/benefit wasn’t there for me. Just replace parts if they fail.
     
  26. honegod

    honegod [H]ardness Supreme

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    Dielectric grease ?
     
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  27. matt167

    matt167 Gawd

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    will be fine. think of all the allignment machines in auto shops that are cold/ open to the elements, and always on. they are powered by windows based computers..

    I wouldn't put a high end machine out in the elements like that, but a $200 sandy/ ivy OEM like a Dell optiplex, sure run it till it quits. And if gaming, a 570/80/1060 isn't worth all too much to begin with but will run such a system just fine
     
  28. N4CR

    N4CR 2[H]4U

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    Keep it powered up all night you shouldnt get any issues unless it gets stupid cold quickly. Salt will get you a few years down the line though.

    T.livesbythesea
    T.didoutdoorshowsonconsumergradePCsforyears
     
  29. mnewxcv

    mnewxcv [H]ardness Supreme

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    Steam link an option?
     
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  30. doyll

    doyll Kyle's Thermocouple is HOT

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    I've seen computers in huts in Philippenes running for years. As others have said, leave computer on 24/7 and it will generate enough heat to keep itself dry. Set fan speed to temp curve so fans only run when temps get relatively high. This will keep the warmed air (damp air warmed up gets dryer) in the computer better at idle and low load conditions. We used to keep welding rod in an old dead frige (not running) with a light bulb on all the time to warm inside of fridge and keep air dry so rods stayed dry. ;)
     
  31. NobleX13

    NobleX13 2[H]4U

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    If you can afford the power bill, get a dehumidifier in there. All that humidity is bad news for anything in the garage, not just your PC.
     
  32. doyll

    doyll Kyle's Thermocouple is HOT

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    Humidifier is a waste of time when one end of garage is wide open.
     
  33. Kato1144

    Kato1144 Limp Gawd

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    If you must have a gaming PC in your garage in these conditions your best bet is mineral oil bath, i will keep it cool and protect it from the elements the only thing is you will need to go 100% SSD for storage you can't submerge mechanical drives and the salt/fog will kill them also make sure your happy with your build, upgrades will be a pain in the ass, also you will not be reselling anything out of that PC when it gets old and is time for a upgrade, I don't think anyone is willing to put oil soaked parts in anything let alone a Air cool PC.


    Also if you do go with the oil bath make sure you put a lid on the tank, getting particles in the oil will cause issues especially metal particles and look in to what kind of tank you want to go with, a heavy duty plex aquarium or thick plastic tub might be a good idea, if you do go with plastic make sure it is not insulating too much of the heat the oil still need to cool down the parts at the end of the day.
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2019