Systm #38: Waterproof Your Thumbdrive

Posted in Operating Systems, Podcasts on November 17, 2008

Got five minutes? You can make any USB Thumbdrive waterproof with epoxy and a popsicle stick! Your USB Flash Drive need never fear the washing machine again if you waterproof it... if you've got ten minutes and a popsicle stick, you can do this!

OK, technically, it's a USB Flash Drive, and not a thumbdrive, but, heck, everyone around here calls 'em thumbdrives.

Props to Ahenobarbus Textor and his LIVE blog for inspiring this one with the lovely How to Waterproof a Thumb-Drive.

Cracking a drive and coating the innards with epoxy is somewhat more compact than, say, stuffing your drive into an Otterbox, tho we’ve done hideous things to an OtterBox 1000 without damaging the contents.

We made one modest improvement to the LIVE blog's instructions: we wrapped the steel SUB end of the drive with 3M's Scotch-Blue Painter’s Tape to make sure we didn’t epoxy too far up the drive, we also played around with embedding a drive in a ginourmous mess of epoxy and aluminum foil. (It works, in a sort of “WTF is that?” kind of way.)

We used Patrick’s favorite epoxy, Devcon’s mad-reliable 5 Minute Epoxy. It’s cheap, and available everywhere, at least out West.

BTW, our epoxyied drive has survived two washings and a through dousing in cola! with no ill effects.

One of the drives we encrusted (the one in the mad pile of epoxy and aluminum foil) was a gimme we found in a press release, the other two drives we cracked were SanDisk Cruzer Micro 2GB

Wondering where the Wireless Access Truck is?

Patrick’s waiting for his new truck (the one the Wireless Access Truck gear was going into has been sold; no room for a baby seat) and he’s fighting some Linux configuration and driver issues to build the box up the way he wants. (He’s about to break down and do a streamlined Windows XP install using nLite so he can finish it off. XP has drivers for all the gear, and a relatively painless config, even it is much more resource intensive.) We’ll show it in action ASAP!

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Tags: OS, Windows, Hardware, USB, Systm, Revision3