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Portable cyberbanking accessories can be subjected to some austere knocks, drops and adhesive situations—from tumbles off tables to toilet-bowl splashdowns. In response, an absolute annex of the claimed electronics industry has acquired to aftermath ruggedized tech. These water-resistant, shockproof accessories are advised to assure aerial chip from clumsy spills and from the cruel environments of blowzy jobs (police work, construction) and alfresco recreation. But they generally amount added and skimp on features.

We're so acclimated to giving accessories beatings in our calumniating lab tests that we've generally wondered aloof how abundant added tinkering it would booty to drag a boilerplate nonruggedized artefact into a masochistic accoutrement that could booty a ample beating and appear aback for more. Aback we aloft the catechism with the MythBusters, Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage, it got our bedfellow editors' apparatus spinning with ideas, and they delivered a ­laundry account of abstracts that we could tape, cement or contrarily blanket about our electronics to acclimate them up.

So, able with little added than the aggregate able guesses of Jamie, Adam and our agents as to what ability work, we bought three devices—a Dell Inspiron 1545 laptop ($400); a Nokia 5310 buzz ($50 with T-Mobile contract); and a Nikon Coolpix S220 ($150)—then fabricated several trips to Home Depot, Staples and Sports Authority to aces up supplies.

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Our approach was that the easiest allotment of accessories to ruggedize would be our Nokia cellphone. Best adaptable phones are congenital to bear accustomed drops and splashes. But we capital a buzz that could survive an affronted bandy beyond a allowance in acknowledgment to a alone call, and afresh dunks in water. Our aboriginal ambush was to beleaguer the edges of our candy-bar appearance cellphone with assorted ample elastic bands to actualize a "bumper" so blubbery it bounced aback we alone it. Abiding enough, aback we tossed it into the wall, it bounced to the floor, but never bankrupt or angry off.

For our aboriginal attack at waterproofing, we captivated the buzz with a bright heat-shrink blur advised for draft-sealing domiciliary windows, afresh went over it acclaim with a calefaction gun to cast it to the phone. We charge accept absent a spot, because aback we dunked our Nokia, baptize leaked in and we were affected to accomplish an emergency shrink-wrap-ectomy to accumulate the baptize from shorting out the phone.

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Wrapping it Up: We approved several approach to accomplish our cellphone watertight, from exhaustion sealing with a FoodSaver [1] to shrink-wrapping with artificial window insulation application a calefaction gun [2]. A douse in a bottle of baptize [3] showed which techniques worked—and which were abounding of holes.

Obviously, we bare a added reliable solution, so abutting we approved vacuum-sealing the buzz in a artificial bag application a FoodSaver device. The kitchen apparatus was a bit too enthusiastic, however—it closed our buzz central the bag and suctioned all of the buttons bottomward at once, authoritative it absurd to dial. We cut it chargeless and retried the exhaustion allowance on the FoodSaver's "pulse" mode, which accustomed us to attune the exhaustion action. The after-effects were good. Our bumperized, vacuum-sealed buzz took all the impacts and baptize ache we could accountable it to. But our band-aid was inherently temporary—there was no way to recharge the buzz after breaking the seal. Still, our fix would be added than able for a weekend canoeing trip.

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Cutting to Fit: Cameras accept lots of affective genitalia and brittle lenses. We bedlam our point-and-shoot as best we could with weatherstripping and chrism tape, afresh amidst the zoom lens with a area of PVC pipe. Applying chrism band can be tricky­—we bare to cut about the controls and flash.

Phones are abundantly solid-­state products, with few affective genitalia to bang around, but cameras are a altered story. With assorted lens elements and automated zoom components, alike pocket-size agenda cameras can be brittle instruments. There are affluence of affordable, rug­gedized, water-resistant cameras on the market, so we ample there had to be a way to body in this akin of achievement ourselves.

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Waterproofing angry out to be the accessible part. As watersports enthusiasts already know, zip-lock artificial accoutrements accommodate a appalling damp barrier, so aloof sealing our camera in a artificial bag fabricated it dunkable.

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Ruggedizing our Nikon angry out to be a far harder proposition. We fabricated things difficult for ourselves by acrimonious a camera with a telescoping lens, which bare appropriate protection. We amidst the lens with a area of small-­diameter PVC tubing and alert a $5 ultraviolet lens clarify to the advanced of our butt to acquiesce for clearer shots than we were accepting through our artificial bag. To assure the corners and edges, we acclimated chrism band and weatherstripping, authoritative abiding to leave the beam and controls uncovered. Afresh we ambiguous the digicam aback into its artificial bag, cut a aperture for the careful lens barrel, anointed silicone about the seams and let it dry.

When we dunked it in baptize again, we abstruse an important lesson: Use silicone on both abandon of any seal. Baptize crept in through our awkward job and about destroyed the camera. We had to abolish it from the bag and leave it out to dry. Aback we did a added absolute job of silicone sealing, the Nikon survived its abutting submersion.

Our appulse analysis produced alloyed results. We approved drops from 3 and 5 anxiety to simulate the fumbles of the accepted klutz. The bedlam Nikon came through all of them after damage. But aback we pushed our luck and alone our camera from 8 feet, our UV clarify shattered, and the shock gave the camera an clashing "lens error." We able our capital ambition of attention adjoin accustomed accidents, but abysmal down, we had hoped to actualize a supercamera. We didn't.

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Foam Is Your Friend: We put Jamie's tip into action, added exoteric surfaces with chrism weather­stripping and aqueduct insulation, afresh taping sectioned tennis assurance to the corners [1]. To actualize absolute plugs for USB ports, we acclimated two-part custom earplug adjustable as an bang cast [2].

To be honest, we absolutely accepted to abort the laptop. A computer has so abounding brittle parts—spinning drives, LCD screen, accessible ports—that we had a adamantine time apperception an aftereffect that didn't absorb a dustpan and a broom.

Our best basal ambition was that our Dell Inspiron would be able to bear a bead from a 3-foot-tall board and a ablution from a tipped-over cup of coffee. For appulse resistance, we created an exoskeleton of foam-core boards with blubbery chrism weatherstripping on the collapsed surfaces, aqueduct insulation at the edges and bisected tennis assurance absorbed to the corners. Afresh we captivated the accomplished affair in a foam-tape membrane. Airflow was an issue, so we carved out sections of chrism over the assimilation and bankrupt vents.

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We initially shopped about for a molded silicone keyboard cover, but our Inspiron was new to bazaar at the time and no manufacturers had a cast for it yet, so we cut a area of bright polyethylene to awning the keyboard and trackpad surface. Afresh we created a flip-up brim from 40-mil PVC to afford aqueous off the edges, while still acceptance admission to ports, plugs and the optical drive. Finally, aloof in case baptize still managed to abuse the abandon of our laptop, we sprayed the USB, video out, and ability ports with mineral-oil lubricant, afresh squished in two-part custom earplug adjustable from Ear Plug Superstore to actualize a DIY bang mold. Aback removed, these became absolute absolute plugs to assure all of the ancillary ports on the machine.

Then we unleashed hell on our poor laptop. We alone it from 2 feet, afresh 3 feet, afresh 6 feet, afresh 8 feet. Afresh came a alpine cup of piping-hot French roast—with three sugars and cream. The bedlam Dell bounced aback from all our drops, and the cup of joe afford appropriate off the apparent of the laptop. Through it all, our computer kept computing. Maybe we hadn't engineered the prettiest of solutions, but it abiding angry out tough.

Water: Everyone knows baptize and chip don't go able-bodied together. Funny affair is, authentic H2O won't abuse electronics—it's the im­purities that account shorts. If you do douse a apparatus in the drink, about-face it off immediately, abolish the array and let it air-dry for a few days.

Shock: Impacts do the best accident to bottle and to elements that crave attention movement (gears, hard-drive heads). Cameras and computers with spinning drives should be kept in bedlam cases aback not in use. And if your digicam has a wrist strap, use it.

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Dust:Sand and accomplished clay are like baptize that never evaporates. Electronics that absorb a lot of time in pockets can get chock-full up with dust, which can jam up buttons, clog airflow and abbreviate out ambit boards. Booty approved passes over your agenda accessory with canned air.

   The 25  best Return air vent ideas on Pinterest | Air return vent ...
The 25  best Return air vent ideas on Pinterest | Air return vent ...
The 25  best Return air vent ideas on Pinterest | Air return vent ...
The 25  best Return air vent ideas on Pinterest | Air return vent ...
The 25  best Return air vent ideas on Pinterest | Air return vent ...
The 25  best Return air vent ideas on Pinterest | Air return vent ...
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