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Observatory PC Keeping Moisture Out

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Just got my observatory PC out of the computer repair shop again, new motherboard, new processor, power supply, tower, etc. Computer guy showed me traces of moisture that had wreaked havoc on my previous PC for years.

How do others here keep there computers, laptops, PC or other configs immune from dew / moisture / frost / dampness / etc. It is easy to ensure things don't get moist damaged when you are using them, but for PC's inside observatories permanently, there are challenges. 

I am thinking something like a dew heater on a thermostat that kicks in once it gets to eight degrees or similar could word. Desiccant would not really work because of the air flow that must happen for a PC tower pulling air in from outside the tower. Otherwise spraying the motherboard (front and back) with a lacquer to waterproof it could also work (but this could interfere with plugs etc). 

The challenge is certainly not beyond me, but I imagine others in colder climates must have already pioneered various paths. Please share. 

Regards

Ray

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So far mate I’ve not had moisture issues with pc in obs that I’m aware of anyway. In the years I’ve had the obs the first pc died but it was nearly a decade old when it went in. These days I have a desiccant type stuff in there just as insurance. I think the Prof has a dehumidifier in each of his obs. He’ll chime in when he sees the post. 
 

Shane

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I found a product called circuit board lacquer. Also called circuit board varnish or clear coat. Dries super fast, does not conduct electricity. For anyone considering this, make sure not to spray it inside any open plugs for obvious reasons. Keep away from fans as well. Moisture proof your observatory electronics people. B)

Ray

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Greg even though I have sealed the motherboard and cards with circuit board lacquer, I am still thinking about doing something. Most of the year it is quite dry. Only three months a year I need to worry about. I found an easy to use thermostat that outputs twelve volts once a temperature (I set) is reach. This thermostat can also come with a moisture detector to detect dew. So I was thinking of using something like a simple dew heater or nichrome wire that kicks in once conditions near the PC become dangerous. It would be a pretty simple project and the PC I recently had built is 6 core and is the fastest thing I've ever seen, so I really want to look after it. I think this project would be worth the small amount of time and money. I'll checkout the dehumidifier option, could be even easier. 

Ray

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Just pack bubble wrap around the gap where the dome rotates so you don't dehumidy the surrounding neighbourhood. When it is hot with little water vapour in the air the dehumidifier is off anyway, so it is hardly on during the summer.

Greg

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On 7/23/2020 at 11:36 PM, wingeing Pom said:

Just pack bubble wrap around the gap where the dome rotates so you don't dehumidy the surrounding neighbourhood.

I hadn't thought about that. Last thing I want is to evaporate my neighbour pool. Okay, I'll have to give this some serious thought. :P 

Ray

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