So this week we’ve done the Q&A early as we’re summarising the rugged month on Friday.  We also took loads of questions about ruggedness in general, I can’t publish them all but here’s some extra than usual to help compensate. Don’t forget that if you have a question then just let us know via twitter on @ruggedandmobile or using #RAMQQ or using Facebook.

1. Are cheap rugged devices stating they’re IP67 actually waterproof?

Like anything else an IP rating is a statement and certification of a rugged device’s ability to deal with water and dust so if they say they’re IP67, then they are or they’re not describing their goods properly.

2. But seriously am I going to buy one and find out it’s rubbish?

What you can do is ask to see the IP certification test as they should have that and many of the cheaper Asian brands have them on their website anyway.  Also buy form a reputable rugged reseller.  We test everything we sell that’s not from a well known brand and sometimes even improve on designs ourselves. We also tweet, blog and shout about stuff good and bad so do your homework.  Buy from a tin pot web shop trying to save £10 and you’re asking for trouble. 3. So drop specs are not a certification, they’re done by the manufacturers?

Yes mam (this Q was from a nice lady!) that’s right! drop specs have no formal sign-off procedure and there is a little bit of variation in them.  Look for MIL-STD testing on the spec sheet but even this has a lot of holes in it so ask.

4. When you say “Rugged by design” are you referring to the way a device is built?

Not exactly, it’s more about how a device can trip itself up with the way it’s designed. For example a rugged PDA with a drop spec of 1.8M but it has a weak antenna that can easily break off, or how well protected an LCD is by a rugged bezel is what we’re trying to point out when we talk about rugged by design.

5. is there anything that will protect my devices if dropped into a lake.  It could be up to 10M deep?

Well for a start IP68 is what you need to look for as this level of water proof-ness is manufacture determined. However I don;t think there’s any PDA device I can think of that will go down to 10M and still work.  What you need to do is focus on prevention. Can you tether the device to anything whilst in use, we sell elastic tethers that tether a device to your belt or holster.  Or can you stick a floatation aid to the device?  This is where I would be thinking.

6. I can’t use a case to help me protect my devices as I use a vehicle dock and they don;t fit into them with a case on, can you help?

Yes, maybe use a holster instead.  This will keep the device safe when not in use but it will allow you to easily use the device as nature intended so it can be put in as normal.

7. What kinds of temperature can an open warehouse get to in the UK in the Winter?

We saw some brutal winters in 2013 and 21012 where we were seeing some equipment reach it’s limits on a few projects here. This would indicate a temp of -20 to -30 with wind chill. You can keep devices warm in cabins or coats or special holders when not in use.

8. I’m confused about storage. If I store kit in high temperatures can it damage the batteries?

Absolutely.  In fact storing batteries is a difficult thing to do and you can damage them by heat,  and lack of charge.  I’d suggest reading an article we did about battery storage right here. That’s it for another week folks, keep sending those questions in, use #RAMQQ on twitter @ruggedandmobile or just email them in.

About The Author

Dave's one of the founders of Raptor, his rants are memorable, his thoughts are stimulating and his heart is set on helping, entertaining and making things like mobile, Android, ruggedness, 3D printing and IOT simple.

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