RAM Q&A of the week – IP and water

This post is our weekly Q&A summary of the week, covering the most topical and popular issues and questions we encounter every week. It’s eclectic but it’s worth sharing so 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. I’ve seen an IP66 device on your website, what does that mean?

No tricks, there are a couple of devices that sport the rare IP66 rating. It just means they have slightly better spray resistance than an IP65 based device.

2. I’ve heard that despite the same IP rating,  different manufacturers rugged devices can perform differently.

I’ll answer that in 2 ways.  Firstly the IP test is a certified test and you need to obtain a certifcate, so if a device is IP rated then it should perform to that standard.  Some manufacturers do under rate their kit so they may perform better and this is often through design of the kit, so an IP54 device might seem to outperform an IP64 one.

However i’d also say that IP ratings are a lab based test.  There are all kinds of scenarios where we’vew found certain device might not perform as well as others but it’s usually due to the design of a connector which can corrode or the way you want to charge or even by changing batteries mid-shift.

3. Do you test devices at all?

Indeed we do!  We drop, dunk and break £1000’s worth of kit every year to give our own seal of approval on the stuff we , especially when it’s something that people have never heard of and we’re bringing it to the UK market.  For instance we’ve had a new £300 IP67 device submersed in water for 5 days now and it still works.  Unconventional…yes, but so are you!  That’s the RAM seal of approval!!

4. I had a waterproof smartphone but it still leaked through the micro-usb connector because I lost the rubber flap, how do you manage that?

If being waterproof matters to you then make sure all the seals and rubber seals to connectors work well, are made well and you can get replacements for them. Most, but not all Rugged device brands will replace the rubber seals without a hefty charge! or at all!  Also I would say that some devices are more durable than others, so make sure that you pick a device that can still remain waterproof, even after a couple of years of abuse!  Rugged smartphones fall down in so many places when itcomes to ruggedness.

5. What would you say is most important for a mobile device, waterproof or durable to drops?

The cop out answer to that is really what you are doing with it and where you;re using it, but if I was forced to lay money down on an answer, I would say that we generally get more issues with dropped devices than we do with water damaged ones.  You’re going to drop a rugged device in any scenario whereas many people needed ruggedness, might not need a waterproof device.  Quality of the device, support and ruggedness all add up to a good or bad performing mobile solution.

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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