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Old 02-24-2010, 12:21 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Post Converting laptop for use on shower/bath wall

This is my first real build so bear with me on all the details. I am going to try to keep up with pictures and stuff if there seems to be interest.

The main reason for this forum post is because I have a few things I want to run by the members here before I go to all the trouble to do this build and just have it blow up in my face.

Alrighty,

I have a couple year old Toshiba Satellite that I have pulled the 15.6" screen out of and would like to seal in acrylic and silicone to hang on the back wall of my shower/bath. I had originally thought I would just hang the screen and extend the video cable out and have the rest of the laptop hidden under the bathroom counter. But seeing as I can not find anything to extend it with I will probably just seal the entire thing in acrylic and silicone. After stripping everything down and placing the screen face up where the keyboard would usually be the entire thing is only about 1" thick.

My plan is to install ubuntu or win 7 and use it solely for weather, music, news, ect.

I have two concerns right now. One is heat; I took out the cdrom drive and battery and I would like to replace the regular sata hard drive with a SSD. I am still worried that something sealed in a waterproof and consequently airtight container could have some overheating issues.

My second is an input device, I would love to get one of those waterproof flexible keyboard/touchpad combos, but the cheapest combo is around $150, My only option it seems now is one of those cheap $15 waterproof flexible keyboards but I would like to have some sort of mouse or pointer. I plan on building a small shelf to hold the keyboard and having the screen mounted on the wall.

I would appreciate any ideas or limitations that I may not have realized.
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Old 02-24-2010, 01:03 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Converting laptop for use on shower/bath wall

Just use tubing and create ventilation for it.
It doesn't have to be completely sealed.
I would at least leave holes in the acrylic/silicone near the vents and have tubes running outside of the bathroom somehow, possibly add in a fanbox somewhere along the tube line to pump air out of one tube, and have a second tube for an intake with a fanbox along it, pumping air in.

(Also, your better bet would be learn to micro-solder and use standard wires to extend the monitor cable/keyboard/touchpad cables)

My suggestions.
Laptops heat up crazily when not ventilated.
You will have to either extend the monitor, or ventilate it. Otherwise your setup WILL fail.
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Old 02-24-2010, 03:48 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Converting laptop for use on shower/bath wall

It does need to be sealed otherwise the humidity will cause issues.
How are you going to get power into the box?
The best way to dissipate the heat would probably be to have a heatsink which is sealed half inside and half outside the box.
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Old 02-24-2010, 02:43 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Converting laptop for use on shower/bath wall

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It does need to be sealed otherwise the humidity will cause issues.
How are you going to get power into the box?
The best way to dissipate the heat would probably be to have a heatsink which is sealed half inside and half outside the box.
It doesn't have to be sealed in the sense that tubes can carry air in and out, and he can just have the tubes lead out of the bathroom, to avoid the humidity problems.
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Old 02-24-2010, 11:56 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Converting laptop for use on shower/bath wall

Honestly, I would look into a Toughbook, or a desktop. It's MUCH easier to setup a monitor/t.v. in a "weatherproof" environment than it would be a laptop monitor. Plus it would be a LOT easier to move a desktop out of the "elements" by adding a video extension cable. A toughbook you could just take in the shower with you, if it's a sealed version. Although, they're quite expensive.
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Old 02-25-2010, 02:10 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Converting laptop for use on shower/bath wall

Interesting idea! I'm so modding my shower when I get home
rep!
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Old 02-25-2010, 02:52 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Converting laptop for use on shower/bath wall

Well what sparked this was my friend telling me he wanted to buy this: HP DreamScreen

I can get a touchscreen on ebay for around $100 but I wanted to see if I could keep this build really cheap and its something to fill my spare time for now.

I will use silicone to seal the power cable to the acrylic.

I think it will be sealed with two tubes running outside the shower with two fans blowing opposite directions.
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Old 02-25-2010, 02:40 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Converting laptop for use on shower/bath wall

I think thats quite an ambitious mod your attempting. I wish you the best of luck, and please post pictures when your done.
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Old 02-26-2010, 02:27 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Converting laptop for use on shower/bath wall

Ok, I think I am going to try to extend the internal video cables so I can have the laptop outside the shower. Does anyone know how far I can extend them before I see a massive drop in picture quality? Like is 6ft or so too far?
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Old 02-28-2010, 12:13 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Converting laptop for use on shower/bath wall

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Originally Posted by Troutface View Post
Ok, I think I am going to try to extend the internal video cables so I can have the laptop outside the shower. Does anyone know how far I can extend them before I see a massive drop in picture quality? Like is 6ft or so too far?
If you solder the connections WELL you shouldn't see any degradation in quality up to about 20 ft.
Beyond that, it'll probably start to get problems.
6 ft is nothing.
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