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- Posted on
November 25, 2005, 2:04 am
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The company I work for just bought a new Waterjet machine (it use's
water and garnet to cut pretty much anything up to 9 inchs thick in a
tank full of water).
It is computer controled and use's a waterproof keyboard to move the
"head" to a location of your chosing. The machine can cut a sheet of
steel 80" by 160" and some times there is a need to "reach" the other
end away from the keyboard. The company that makes the machine offers a
"remote" keypad for $500. Well, it's a steel box with a waterproof
numaric keypad bolted in it and uses a usb extention cable to conect to
OK that said.
1. Does anyone know of a "standard" waterproof numeric usb keyboard?
(i've googled all over and no luck)
2. If a non waterproof keyboard "shorted" would it trash the
computer?(well that would just be a very bad thing)
3. Is there such a thing as a "fused" usb cable,adapter or hub?(going
with the idea of using a non waterproof keypad and if it did "short"
the "fused" part would keep the computer safe)
4. uh....anyone have any other ideas???
Thanks for the help
Try the search terms (on something like altavista.com) :
waterproof industrial keyboard
As for industrial safety, you can never be too safe. It would be
difficult for us to do a safety analysis at a distance. Maybe
damaging the computer is the least of your worries (like providing
a ground path for the dude reaching into the tank).
Bluetooth is a wireless standard for things like keyboards.
But how clear would the RF spectrum be in your work
environment ? How often could you afford to fiddle with
batteries ? If the purpose of this keyboard, is to stop the
machine, I'd pay the $500 :-)
On Asus motherboards, the USB +5V source is protected by a polyfuse,
which is a self recovering thermal based fuse. It limits the
amount of +5V that can flow. But the data pins D+ and D- are
pretty ordinary looking I/O pins, and taking them to voltages
outside the normal logic range, could I suppose damage them.
I/O signals are usually protected by clamp diodes, and once
the current flow into the diodes exceeds 20mA, they can be
damaged. If a short involves 120AC getting connected to D+ and
D-, then I don't know what to tell you (what color smoke would
Another thing you could experiment with - try connecting
multiplie USB keyboards to your computer. Do all the keyboards
continue to work, allowing input from any keyboard ?
If they do, perhaps you could build permanent pedestal
mounts for several keyboards, eliminating the possibility
of the keyboard falling into the tank. The keyboards
still would have to be waterproof and moisture proof,
preferably with a depth spec (to prevent cheaters, product
makers that are "water resistant"), but at least then you wouldn't
have to consider the case of the keyboard device falling in
For the amount of nuisance involved, the $500 is well spent.
I'm not a lawyer, but I'd want to understand the liability
issues involved around a thing like this. If you rig up
a kludge, who gets sued ?
You might want to check out the equipment at http://www.ruggedtech.com /
They have a waterproof USB keypad (model NP1000), approximately $32.50 USD,
or if your application has room or might need the other keys you might try
one of thier waterproof keyboards.
You might do a search for "Keyboard Medical" as keyboards in hospitals need
to be sanitized from time to time and would normally need to be waterproof.