Instructables

A Computer you can use in the Shower

Always wanted a waterproof laptop? Thought it might be cool to have a computer in the shower? Then read on.

I have created a laptop that can withstand falling water. Such as a shower or rain.
 
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Step 1: Introduction/What you need

I had always wanted to do this. I wanted to make a computer that I could use while I was in the shower. I put it off for a while. Until one day, while reading other peoples instructables, I came across the PopSci contest. I thought, "when would be a better time to do this?". The answer, NEVER! Anyway on to the point.

I had used this old Acer laptop for about 2 years, when the USB stopped working. I also had a problem with my PCMCIA connecter. I put it in my "junk" pile and it's been sitting there ever since. I bought a better, new laptop that I have been happy with so far. The other day I came across the PopSci contest and decided to enter. The only idea I had was to make a waterproof laptop.

What you will need:
An old laptop
Some Saran wrap
Some basic tools
Some time
Hot glue gun and a lot of glue for it or,
A lot of Silicon

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for any damage you may do to your computer. This can be very dangerous for the computer. Please be carful.
1stupidfish2 months ago

if you want to waterproof a laptop there are easier ways. a company makes a solution that you emerge the entire unit in and it waterproofs everything, even the ports that will still be usable. The company is called Liquipel.

1stupidfish2 months ago

Would it be better to in-bed or hang a touch screen it the wall of the shower and leave the laptop in a safe place. it would be far easier to waterproof a screen than a laptop. This would give you the freedom to display news, weather, music, video, or anything you would like without juggling a peace of equipment. The idea is good but it needs a little refinement.

jersey_devil4 months ago
why on earth would anyone want to do this?!
2 stroke 3 years ago
dude whats the point BTW you can get an electric shock and possibly die keep electronics out of the shower other wise you might F yourself up electricity does not give you a second chance
No, it probably won't kill you. Your drain pipe will take the current because that's the shortest route back to the power plant. Ask any electrical engineer.
bmlbytes (author)  BigD1452 years ago
Actually, the the pipes would be the path of least resistance to an earth ground, not the power plant. And, any electrical engineer would tell you that you would still get a very small amount of current, but it would not be significant enough to cause even a small bit of pain.
actually it would probably go to the negative terminal on the battery and all the power would stay within the computer
Not to mention shorting the batteries could potentially cause catastrophic failure resulting in severe injury/death. To be fair though the instructable does say not to submerge it.
This person seems like they have little to no clue about electricity other than it makes thing go SIIIIIZZZZZZ.
lol
Noooooooooooooot quite. Unless you are using it while it's plugged in, the chances of you getting a lethal or even damaging electric shock are slim to none.
oross11 months ago
Will it not just overheat
I would rather get a tablet pc, and buy a waterproof case for it. That, or put it in like three zip lock bags, and hope all goes well. In a sense, you could just have made a tub of silicone, cover up the power supply hole, and dip the bottom part into it, let it solidify, and make sure they keyboard didn't get glued down. For the scree, i would take it apart, and put silicone on the edges and seal it off, making sure nothing got on the screen for the best viewing. The only problem is, there is no way to cool it, thus it would fry/shut down in a matter of minutes. Stick to the tablet pc, or buy a waterproof laptop/device you can view the internet with/look at things with/whatever you would need a laptop in a shower for...
DrStoooopid6 years ago
It's SiliCONE.....Silicon, is what the CPU is made of.
agreed
klaviatury2 years ago
Heres another suggestion, how about we dont use laptops while taking a bath. Horrible concept, horrible presentation, that a waste of time. Avoid seran wrap looks horrible and it is not going to keep water out, try shrink wrap and a heat gun for a better seal and nicer finish. Water resistant foam would also be better than silicone since you cannot guarentee a complete seal with silicon. Even with those precautions you still need a water resistant casing and you still have to deal with cooling and condensation. So yeah lets just keep the laptop out of the tub for now.
what aa jok for desttrying laptops
:))
whatsisface6 years ago
why not just buy a panasonic toughbook? these things can be encased into concrete and survive, so a shower aint gonna do no damage. I think they use em in the Middle East for army ops
Concrete and water are a bit different. Concrete, even while wet, will not seep into the small nooks and crannies that water will. The toughbooks are nice, but they do not resist full on water damage. They will usually withstand spills and the like, but a shower it will not be able to deal with.
I'm gonna have to disagree with you there Bjorno. When I was in the military deployed to Iraq we used the toughbooks for controlling rooftop satellite dishes and they can resist "full on water". They weathered Iraqi sand storms and even made it through rain storms that happened at the same time as the sand storms. So pretty much a mud storm. The toughbooks we had came with sealed keyboards/screens, and all of the ports had sealed covers. One of our toughbooks was left on the roof during one of the mud storms and when we went to get it, the laptop was under about 4 inches of moist sand. Not exactly concrete, but it was completely undamaged. One of them was even dropped off of the roof of a parking garage there and nothing happened to it.
While I don't doubt your experience with the Military and LEO-grade toughbooks, there is a huge difference between free-flowing water and water that accompanies a mud/sand storm.

Capillary action tends to keep most of the water trapped in the sand and mud, so there is no fluid force pushing the water deeper into the laptop. This not so say that it is impossible for a toughbook to withstand a submerge event, it is just not likely to do so without some damage.

Besides, we have to consider the fact that this person is likely not going to be able to get their hands on a toughbook that complies with MIL-STD-810F as they are usually $5000 or more.


abadfart Bjorno2 years ago
the tough book in my dads fleet van stands up to it... he left it on the hood in a rain storm more than once
Calorie3 years ago
I am really disappointed in this discussion. When I read the title I howled with laughter. Yet I can only count a couple of "auto-erotic" comments. Come on people, step up your game! A teen with a laptop that can go into a shower is too much to pass up. God, I'm heaving with laughter as I right this. Thank you for making my day...Pull my comment if you want, but it is well worth it.
you know thats a good point... its hard to read a smut mag in the shower lol
To waterproof it without taking your laptop apart, just put it in a giant zip lock bag :)
I've done that with a cell phone before
smallebee3 years ago
you might ont to tell some people the cost of failiur at the begining of the how to
also youl be naild to a wall at some point the laptop is now splash proof non water proof only claim water proof if youve tested it under at least 1mtr of watter
other wize its a fantastic instruction youve coverd all the bases
I don't think you have any room to complain about his spelling. considering how many things are misspelled in your comment.
smallebee3 years ago
speling is horific sos
biozz4 years ago
this is not safe in the least ... laptops carry moth high voltage low amperage and high amperage low voltage ... if they collide it can kill you
No, laptops have only ONE high voltage source with very very low current ~1-2mA and the only thing that has a high current is the battery but even that is only 3A at about 12-16VDC...
no that's very wrong
battery - normally 19V 3-5AH
USB - 500mA max
serial port - 10mA max
VGA port can draw up to 5mA
powered eSATA port can draw over 1 amp max
the CCT used to power the monitor is 5mA 1700volts
the speakers can produce well over 50W

it takes 30mA across the heart to kill you but wet can be as low as 15ma http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_much_current_can_kill_an_human
Yeah but low currents like serial ports and vga cant kill you and by the way, to kill you it has got to find a way to your heart and it has to be mains
science 101
electricity finds the path of least resistance
your blood has extremely low resistance (much lower than akin or watter) so all you have to do is have 1 hand on the common ground (or via water to the shielding as thats grounded or any metal parts on it) and the other on a current more than 30MA (well 15 ish) and your heart can easily stop ... all your blood vessels go to your heart so its heard to avoid
you do not have to be mains as electricity is just electricity
in fact the most common form of electroshock death is wet hands on a car battery
ya... electricity does find the path of least resistance.... like the water you are bathing in... unless you ground yourself you will be fine... the only "danger" would be that 1700V you speak of(which is ridiculous btw) because none of the other voltages are high enough to pass enough current through your body. and even that is only 5mA like you said.think about it... V=IR ----> I=V/R ---> I= (low voltage)/(high resistance).
I do know about electricity,science and computers but thats why when you are working with mains that is live, you ALWAYS wear thick soled shoes and stand on a rubber mat with one hand always behind your back so no chance of getting an electric shock... and in the case of laptops, it wont electrocute you if you dont touch both the battery terminals with wet hands so there would be no problem....
BeefyHaze3 years ago
ohh.......mah............gawwd!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
i think ill just wait till im out of the shower...... what abount the fan is it gonna overheat? where is the air coming in from? if air can get in than so can water and that is not safe.....

you need a disclaimer not for the laptop but the human that actually tries to make this, you know a broken human costs a lot more than a broken laptop.....
domwill3 years ago
No sense!
Sanctus6 years ago
I am sorry, but it looks ugly. It's a ghetto solution. Better put it out and connect a roll-up keyboard
affirmative it would be better to just build a custom case for all the components instead of cramming a bunch of silicone into an already cramped laptop case
Just build a touchscreen into your shower wall in a custom waterproof encolosure and just have it hook up to a laptop embedded into your wall :)
Nyxius3 years ago
or you could use the heat shrink mono-cote wing covering for you screen. it has heat activated glue on the one side and stretches tight for a good fit.
ReCreate5 years ago
you could also put a plastic cover over the keyboard ive also seen a whole plastic bag(not a bag but like a cover) that fits right over the whole laptop to protect it from water
hintss ReCreate3 years ago
I'd take 2 freever bags, cut the top seals off one, then melt them together to make an extra-long bag, then seal it. or use ziplock's huge storage bags...
ReCreate4 years ago
What You Should Have Done Is Did Something Diffirent for the CPU, Maybe Carve a hole where the water would go it and touch the CPU and GPU, it Would work Extra Good Especially Underwater. It would be like having a watercooling system
hintss ReCreate3 years ago
get waterblocks and run tubing from them to the sides?
noingwhat3 years ago
The reason that so many of those components just clip in is to make it easier to repair/upgrade. Think how hard it would be if you wanted more RAM or a new Hard-drive and you had to buy a whole new motherboard just for that one component. With the snaps, the HDD/GPU/RAM/Processor/CD Drive/ whatever, will just pop out so you can pop a new one in.
ac1D4 years ago
Another working solution would be to put the laptop (or netbook) inside a extra large condom.. with little hole at the bottom for ventillation :)
junits15 ac1D3 years ago
LOL
DustySeven74 years ago
The big chip board under the weird heatsink is a graphics unit, GPU the smaller is the proccesor
thealeks4 years ago
i already have a water proof laptop. i got it at a thrift store for $10. its a itronix military computer. i can also run it over with a truck and itll be fine. altho its old...and slow....and greyscale monitor...altho its a touch screen. lol
the reason the boards are connected by the clippy things: it's easier to replace parts that way when you send it in to be repaired.
D you realise that in the shower you would be using you laptop nude?
bmlbytes (author)  FreewareFreak7 years ago
Part of the fun
lookout there might be a hidden camera in it!
haha, remember to turn the webacam off before getting in XD
daniel20084 years ago
this looks ugly, it really needs to be done differently, like encasing it in acrylic and run a waterproof keyboard out of it. Along with a mouse or touchpad.
marselsipod4 years ago
wow that looks so bad :D no offense :D LOLOLOLOLOL
bowmaster5 years ago
I am going to make a laptop that you can use in the pool.
nice get some pics of that :P
I don't have a spare laptop through.
I Saw a Thinkpad For free on craiglist.
A very novel idea. Instead of just saran for the screen, I would recommend The shrink wrap used to put over windows in the wintertime. It is tougher, lasts longer, and will stay clearer a longer period of time. Also for some silicone tubes are screw on "attachments" that evenly distribute the silicone. Some use brushes, some are just a rectangular nozzle for even, and wide, application. just my two cents...
bwpatton14 years ago
This actually gives me an idea for a future instructable......... Inovative solution
bwpatton14 years ago
How much did you spend on silicon??
MonkaySquad5 years ago
sorry but no thanks. A shower is meant for one thing and one thing ... taking a shower. I take about 30 min or more ... i don't need a computer or tv in there. I'm there to clean my body and that's it. I can go without the computer for 30 mins lol
in my case,if i had a computer in the shower,i wouldnt come out for hours
bimmermd5 years ago
hahaha "stick it in the bathtub. If it goes sizzzle, then I'm sorry to say but your laptop won't work anymore" haha classic
yea I found that rather humorous
desidude526 years ago
I would just get an lcd screan installed into the shower wall behind a piece of glass, then just get a wireless keyboard and seal that. You can use the lcd with any other laptop thats sitting outside the shower.
they make underwater keyboards
philipster5 years ago
good but i thought you would of made a plastic cover for it and made the keys out of like see though rubber so you can press the keys u'd use like a vacuumed mold for the screen and keyboard then make the keys soft rubber and make the swinger bit of the laptop with like cling wrap so no water can get get in might be easyer i don't know and then there is the touch pad......
Just wondering... Why wouldn't you just mount the monitor in a shower wall recess behind some sealed plexiglass and interface using voice command software? That's assuming ya really need to check your e-mail while you loofah yer undercarriage. Add a beer tap and you won't have to leave the bathroom. Well done though bro
nobody6.15 years ago
Nice. I would be worried about heat though. How long can you run the thing without getting problems with overheating? I mean, you are looking at effectively insulating the CPU with silicone. As far as electrocution goes, you shouldn't have anything (life threatening, anyways) to worry about, unless you brought your power brick into the shower with you, and that is just plain suicidal.
munchman5 years ago
Good Idea. But there is no way in hell you will get me to to that with my laptop.
Sfeine5 years ago
A flash drive for your water proof laptop... http://www.instructables.com/id/Water-proof-a-flash-drive/

(wont work if your usb ports are broken)

-S@M
aych7 years ago
haha. get some of that refridgerator copper tubing. the thin ones. run it through the side of the lcd bezel , into the laptop and around the mobo. seal the tube inside the motherboard with sillocone. then you've got an active air/water cooling system, that'll take the heat out and keep the water in the pipe.
bmlbytes (author)  aych7 years ago
Thats actually a very good idea. LISTEN TO THIS GUY! Lol
yea this ones smart btw great i'ble don't think my mum will let me do it with her laptop though
Katarukito6 years ago
just do a quick 5 minute shower then get out and use the laptop, much simpler
i only have 2 min showers so i can get back on instructables =-)
If we never see him again, we'll know what happened to him. ;)
silbertinfl6 years ago
u must realize that the backlight for the lcd screen does produce high voltage usually. water and high voltage could be a problem when nekid
bmlbytes (author)  silbertinfl6 years ago
Yes it would make high voltage, but very low amperage. Amperage is what will hurt you. A static shock can be more than 5000 volts but such a tiny amperage that you only feel it a liitle bit.
Yes it has a small current, I don't know how much amperage an lcd inverter can supply but I'm sure it is relatively small but....high voltage still when nekid is not gonna be comfortable. walking on a rug can generate up to 1200 volts but once it discharges it is gone not so with an appliance plugged into the wall, while it probably wont kill ya it can catch you by surprise .
bmlbytes (author)  silbertinfl6 years ago
Ah. I still wouldn't worry about it. The point of this is to make sure water doesn't get in your system. Even so, falling water wouldn't provide an electrical connection. It couldn't even shock you if you were in a bath full of it. Water is not a very good conductor, in fact it doesn't conduct when it is pure.
Water may not conduct when it is pure, but I'd wager that you're not going to get water without any impurities out of a tap anywhere. And although you're probably right that you're not going to create enough of a connection to kill you in a shower, in a tub, where you're completely surrounded by water, you're not going to need any sort of ridiculous current to kill yourself.
i agree slim chance of shock but it is a possibility there. I was just trying to point out that fact for those that may not have realized a potential for shock. anyway i like your project it is original, the only addition i probably would have added is a wireless card waterproofed in the thing,although i see you had a problems with your pcmcia connector and usb
bmlbytes (author)  silbertinfl6 years ago
Exactly the reason I bought a new laptop and had this spare one to fill full of epoxy.
me (age 13) + my friends 12kv 30ma neon xformer (that i'm barrowing = someone night mare and possablee add a bath tube full of water
hondagofast6 years ago
My IBM 360E (a similarly fugly laptop) is going through a much more painful transformation (aka being ripped out of it's case and being put in another). I need to buy more glue sticks and a couple of tubes of epoxy to move on to mounting the screen and making it waterproof. It still boots after deconstruction, so I haven't broken anything yet.
Damn it, the voltage regulator for charging the battery fried, the CPU fan doesn't spin, and the backlight doesn't work anymore. >.<
ORRRR you could just having it sit outside the shower pre-set to whatever u want to do. i.e. turn on the video or whatever before getting in the shower, and watch it from the window, whatever. besides, im sure all you can do with a laptop in the shower is watch a video, i mean who can honestly hold it up and use it while taking a shower. i reckon this is also a stupid idea which will cause the user to stay greater periods of time in the shower, which would ultimately lead to water wastage, whats wrong with just taking the damn shower quickly? lol
bmlbytes (author)  DannyboyINXS6 years ago
Maybe I like to mix water and electricity, and me nude with it all! :-)
lol, by all means, if thats what you like, then don't mind me... LOL! XD
Phill7 years ago
I an only think of two reasons to do this... 1. Bragging Rights. 2. Porn. LOL
Melarn Phill6 years ago
LOL :P you got it in a nutshell buddy :D
ocarlier6 years ago
Just a thought; instead of using silicone or hot glue for this you could use soft-seal... It is like this thich no-conductive grease sprey (much less bulky I would think).
I'm wondering if I could put some sort of flotation device on the bottom of the Laptop so it can be used in a bath. It would look great next to my Rubber Ducky. A very nice Instructable, five stars! With all due respect, ~Monty Kensicle
bmlbytes (author)  Monty Kensicle6 years ago
Well of course. Just make sure your computer is sealed well or you or your computer may have a "shocking" experience.
ironsmiter6 years ago
As many have said... will be interesting to observe the heat issue.... perhapse as an underclocked webterminal, using an ultra low power cpu? If you can cut an access hole in the case right above the CPU and GPU, then you can attach extra large heatsinks, and seal the case around where they protrude... eliminating the two major in-case heat generators(80+% of the heat) although, hopefully, your cpu can tolerate temps above what you take your showers at , as the heatsinks would litterly be showered with water :-) as a final suggestion...Window shrink. Wrap the entire guts of the lcd(with a small slit for the cables) in the stuff, overlapping and sealing behind the screen. Put the plastic case back together, tighten all the screws, then apply the cool hairdryer. VERY short blasts of a hot hairdryer, if it doesn't tighten up enough. Then run a small bead of silicone around the edge of the screen to prevent water intrusion completely.
PSPerson6 years ago
I think that waterproofing a touchscreen monitor and a keyboard and then having the Tower out of the shower (no pun) that way it is a bit safer. No mouse because then you'd need a surface to mouse it on. I would use this as an excuse for being in the shower too long I'm thinking of a network remote station type thing BTW nice idea
bmlbytes (author)  PSPerson6 years ago
Yeah but then you miss out on the fun of: 1. Taking apart a laptop 2. Thinking of ways to exchange heat in that little machine and 3. Filling it full of a chemical that makes your nose bleed.
Well i: 1. Don't have an old laptop or any laptop for that matter 2. Am 13 and 3. Dont have any money
And it was only a suggestion!
WeepinAngel6 years ago
yay! suicide!
mud_dann7 years ago
woah..this is good..i would recommended this for those who loves fishing or outdoor activities....sweett...keep up the good work!
pr0n!!!!
Adrien7 years ago
Amazing... All i can say! Now i have an excuse to play counterstrike in the shower!
bmlbytes (author)  Adrien7 years ago
Carful with that. Most computers that can play first person shooters are pretty new and need some extensive heating measures.
lemonie7 years ago
Did this stuff smell of vinegar, and carry a warning to "use in a well ventilated area"?
A dust mask isn't going to be of much use to you.
bmlbytes (author)  lemonie7 years ago
I don't know what to say. It worked OK. My nose didn't bleed after using it and it didn't smell sour anymore.
That's good. I think acetic acid is a solvent in these things, use outside if you can.
hmmm a computer that works in your shower now even your shower isnt a place to skip work thanks a lot! (that was sarcasm) great job although in my school to protect our computers from chemicals or sand we just put a 2 gal bag over it
Thats similar to what I was thinking. Although I was thinking of a sealed case. Mabye if you have plexiglass then you can make a nice case (dunno bwt hinges) then for the keys you put a clear bag or something...
well the 2 gal bags didnt fit all the way over it about 2 inches were sticking out so 2 2 gal bags
Zujus7 years ago
I like hot glue... But that! :D lol :D Cool idea ;)
phoenix1247 years ago
niiiiiice lol. this is totally creative. i've thought about an in-shower pc b4 but never even considered a laptop! great idea! bathtub broadband, comp on a rope, suds-n-circuts... lol the possibilities are endless lol why should ur game of solitare cease just because you need a shower :P happy modding just b careful, i can think of a few things u really dont want electricity pulsing thru...
bmlbytes (author) 7 years ago
Hey everyone. If you liked this post please click the plus in the upper right hand corner. It lets me know that you care. Thank you.
dmacrae7 years ago
I would be interested to know how long this runs before it has water/heat issues. Have you finished yet or is this still a work in progress?
bmlbytes (author)  dmacrae7 years ago
Yeah I'm finishing this up right now. The metal rod going from your heatsink to the outside of the computer is your heat exchange. You may experience some heat problems if using programs that run a lot of resources, but this isn't ment to be a computer used for extreme gaming or anything. Another way to keep it cool would to use a copper pipe. This would allow for air exchange but would also allow some water to come in. If you bent the tube to face the ground then falling water could not enter.
I was just thinking of heat issues. With the copper pipe Idea..... If you sealed tightly around the heatsink then it doesnt matter does it..... if it gets wet that is...
bmlbytes (author)  microman1717 years ago
Yeah I just finished my project. I ended up cutting a piece of the casing away where the heatsink was. You can see by the pictures that my heatsink is just a piece of flat metal. I sealed up the area around it. The heatsink is exposed but the rest of the computer isn't
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