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Submergable USB Key

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Earlier today I copied some pictures onto a USB key to take to CostCo for processing some enlargements. Copied the files onto the key, took them in and used one of the store machines to load and crop images – and stuffed the USB key carelessly into the pocket of my board shorts.


Went about a few errands through town and then headed to the beach to check on surf and wind which is huge and marginal respectably. The forecast was calling for surf of sets with 30+ foot faces, although it didn’t quite make it that big at Kanaha (or even Hookipa for that matter). Anyway after hanging around for a while and endless wind deliberations a few of us decided to go out regardless of the light conditions. So off I go into the washing machine with the USB key happily coming along for the ride. Wash, Tumble, rinse, repeat… I took it on the head a few times today and had a few long swims after my gear.


Next as if that wasn’t enough I decided to go to Yoga and sweat in a 105  degree room with 90% humidity for a an hour and half. USB key is still happily along for the ride…


So tonight – sufficiently beat up by the day – I get home sit down at the computer and… remember the USB key. Oh shit. I forgot to take it out before going rinse cycling and pig sweating… after a quick hustle I retrieved the USB key and it had a few pieces of seaweed stuck to it and a little rust mark…



It couldn’t possibly still be working after all that, could it?


So… I plugged it in and – nothing. Ah, too bad. But wait – nope it’s just the lock key that was set by all the rustling. Switch the key and… can you belive it the damn thing still works. Amazing. After having been completely submerged in water for probably 30 minutes + throughout the day, absorbing stinking acrid sweat the thing actually manages to still work…


I wonder if I should try that with the camera next <g>…

Posted in Personal  

The Voices of Reason


January 25, 2007

# re: Submergable USB Key

similar happened to me. Washing machine + tumble dryer. It still works and it's clean!

January 25, 2007

# re: Submergable USB Key

Since they are not powered internally, as long as it is completely dry it should work. Same with cell phones - it is usually the battery that goes...

January 25, 2007

# re: Submergable USB Key

I've put mine thru the washing machine and dryer a couple of times. My daughter put her iPod thru the washer and dryer. I dried it out with a hair dryer, and it still works.

Kevin Davis
January 25, 2007

# re: Submergable USB Key

Mine has survived the washing machine many many times.



Doug Osborne
January 25, 2007

# re: Submergable USB Key


Sit it in your car on the dashboard in the sun with the windows closed - that's how I got my cell phone working after I jumped in the pool with it in my pocket.


January 25, 2007

# re: Submergable USB Key

I carry mine in the small pocket of my jeans (right side above the big pocket).

Any way I would have to say that I have washed and dried mine probable around 50 times. I have to say the first time it happened I was worried but to my surprise it still worked. Since then I just pop in the wash for the occasional cleaning (just kidding).

Gabriel Lozano-Moran
January 26, 2007

# re: Submergable USB Key

My 1GB USB stick has been washed in the washing machine as well a couple of times because I forgot to take it out my jeans everytime and the thing still works as new :-)

January 29, 2007

# re: Submergable USB Key

you dumb shit!

March 12, 2008

# re: Submergable USB Key

Having studied electronics, it's perfectly feasible that most electronic devices can survive abuse from all kinds of liquids. The key thing to remember is that if the device has no moving parts (solid state) and you wash it, drop it in water, etc. so long as you don't power up the device until it's completely dry, all should be fine. Probably the best thing to do would be to crack open the case and give the circuitry a good clean with isopropylene and let it dry out completely, before powering it up again.
The reason that water (and most liquids) kills electronic devices is that water is a conductor of electricity and if you power up the device whilst it's wet the water will create a short circuit and potentially destroy the device. Even when it's dried out there's still a risk of destroying the device as any residue left from the liquid could still be conductive and therefore create a short circuit.
This is why I'd suggest cleaning with isopropylene which is cheaply available from most electronic parts suppliers.

I hope that helps anyone who has dropped or spilled liquids on and electronic device?

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