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This is a question DIY Techno-hacks

Old hard drive platters make wonderfully good drinks coasters - they look dead smart and expensive and you've stopped people reading your old data into the bargain.

Have you taped all your remotes together, peep-show-style? Have you wired your doorbell to the toilet? What enterprising DIY have you done with technology?

Extra points for using sellotape rather than solder.

(, Thu 20 Aug 2009, 12:30)
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Rescuing wet electronics, or cleaning them.
Most electronic components are in fact waterproof, and many PCBs go through a wash process before final assembly.

However - dropping your mobile or laptop in the bath will fairly reliably kill it.

If you do this - the absolute first thing to do is to remove the battery - don't bother trying to shut it down properly - simply rip the battery out.

Liquid will both cause direct malfunctions - electricity going where it shouldn't - and indirect - corroding tracks which may be only .01mm thick into uselessness. (especially salty or sugary or dirty water)

If it's absolutely clean water - then simply shaking it out, and drying it out for a week or two in a hot place may work.

If it's not, then you need to get rid of the liquid.

Dissasemble completely, remove any speakers or similar mechanical components that water may get into and be trapped in.
Wash each part in hot water with a touch of detergent - trying to jet some under each chip if possible. Then hot water, and ideally a final rinse in distilled hot water. (a dehumidifier is a convenient source of fairly pure water).

Place to dry in a hot place for a week. (I use an oven set to 80C for 6 hours).

You did take pictures so you can put it back together in the right order?

Sugary or milky drinks are especially bad - they don't really properly dry - so even if it seems to work once dried out - corrosion continues and causes it to fail in a week or two.

Length? About 10" long, with a tip that heats to 480C in under a minute.
(, Wed 26 Aug 2009, 18:51, 18 replies)
How about WD40?
Seriously, though, is it not possible to soak the device in a hydrophobic liquid to remove the water?
(, Wed 26 Aug 2009, 19:06, closed)
Water is best.
WD40 will find it really hard to get into some of the crevices.

Many of the gaps between todays electronics are under .2mm - with water, the dirty mixes with the clean and carries the dirt away.

With WD40 - you get pockets of dirty water remaining.

Try cleaning your washing up with wd40 as a test.

50:50 alcohol water is even better than water - as it dries much easier - but is harder to obtain.
(, Wed 26 Aug 2009, 19:12, closed)
I've found WD-40 is a pretty decent contact/switch cleaner,
(, Wed 26 Aug 2009, 19:41, closed)
Thank you speedevil!

(, Wed 26 Aug 2009, 19:20, closed)
ooh you are a clever type!
wish I'd known this last november, managed to drunkenly spill not 1 but 2 vodka lemonades all over my smart (just past its warranty) laptop, the thing still turns on even to this day and windows loads up just fine plus I can get my media player to play some choons, however the keypad is shot to bits so in order to access any websites or type an email I had to copy and save every letter, symbol and number from a web page and save to a notepad and when needing to type a web address or message I would painstakingly copy and paste each letter individually lol... it nearly drove me mental until I could afford to replace it with this cheaper lappy... it also would randomly cascade windows on my desktop for no particular reason!
Oh well the perils of drinking and hard driving!!! You are a clever clever person though so have a woo from me!
(, Wed 26 Aug 2009, 19:44, closed)
If it's just the keyboard,
those are generally pretty easy to replace (depending on how evil the case designer was feeling). Take a look on eBay for spare parts!
(, Wed 26 Aug 2009, 19:45, closed)
I did try to open up the lappy to dry it out but panicked after about the 7 millionth screw and just knew I'd never be able to put it all back together again... I blasted my hair dryer at it... wonder if that hindered or helped?????????????????
(, Thu 27 Aug 2009, 0:44, closed)
onscreen keyboard never occured to you?
(, Wed 26 Aug 2009, 20:27, closed)
External Keyboard, maybe?

(, Thu 27 Aug 2009, 0:18, closed)
onscreen keyboard?? explain to a complete technophobe pls (I only frequent B3ta for the fluffeh kittens and occassional funny vids) I know not what you speak of!!!

I tried an external keyboard which worked for 1 day (maybe slightly less) and then refused to comply!!??

Please excuse my obvious ignorance and try not to flame me too harshly i can't even work out how to use the virgin media catch up thingy on the telly!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(, Thu 27 Aug 2009, 0:39, closed)
Well on XP you need to click
Start = Programs = Accessories = Accessibility = On-screen Keyboard.

Just click on whatever letter/number etc. you want. Just like typing on a PDA.
(, Thu 27 Aug 2009, 10:55, closed)
Ah I see!
Thank you muchly, I will try that later (when I can be arsed to get off my backside and climb the stairs) !!!
(, Thu 27 Aug 2009, 12:43, closed)
I thought for things like mobile phones you could place in a bag of rice after a good rinse and leave it for a few days so that the moisture is absorbed.
(, Wed 26 Aug 2009, 19:44, closed)
funny really
this week i got bored and decided to fix my GF's "water damaged" MP3.

It got rain water into it. but once it dried, switching it on some of the buttons/functions doesn't work.

She bought a new one, so i thought, fuck it i'll give it a go.

I took it apart (a few bits flew places, 2mm length screws and springs are a bitch to find)

I took the electronic components into the University Metallurgy lab where i'm doing a few things.

I took the components and placed it in a glass dish with some distilled water and a few drops a detergent and set it in a sonic bath for 10 minutes.

i then rinsed and repeated with distilled water for 10 minutes.

i then rinsed and repeated with ethanol for 10 minutes. (ethanol combines with water, resulting in a lower evaporation temperature of around 60*C)

Dried the parts using hot air. poked it with a small paint brush with ethanol to mop any crud

Taken it home and currently reassembling the parts as i type.

The screen still switches on, so far so good.

Oh and i was told that methylated spirits will work instead of ethanol
(, Wed 26 Aug 2009, 20:42, closed)
Isopropanol ought to work too

(, Wed 26 Aug 2009, 20:57, closed)
Everybody in the world
go to your gran's house and take the fucking water filled vase of flowers off the top of the TV. That is all.
(, Wed 26 Aug 2009, 21:59, closed)
I recently learnt that the worst thing that you can do

whenyou dropped your phone in the loo is use a hairdryer to try and dry it. This apparently forces the water deeper into the device.

Instead start with a hoover to suck the water out and then use silica gel (from those lovely new shoes that you bought) to dry it more.
(, Thu 27 Aug 2009, 11:28, closed)
driving water deeper
If it's clean water - it doesn't really matter.
If it's dirty - you need to rinse it out anyway.
A hairdrier doesn't really do what you want - which is sustained high temperatures.

Rice - or silica gel - is generally not great.
Even in a really dry place at 25C - not much water will evaporate.
Raise the temp to 50 or 80C for a day or so - and all the water gets out.
(, Thu 27 Aug 2009, 13:02, closed)

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