Author Topic: Too good to be true? or did IBM do the best ESD protection ever?  (Read 3271 times)

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Offline JonnyBoats

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This video http://hackedgadgets.com/2011/10/09/ibm-thinkpad-takes-zap-from-huge-tesla-coil-and-lives/

shows an IBM Thinkpad being zapped and surviving.

Is this really as impressive as it seems?
 

Offline buxtronix

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Re: Too good to be true? or did IBM do the best ESD protection ever?
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2011, 02:19:33 am »
I can believe this.

Pretty much all electronics nowadays has some kind of ESD protection, down to clamp diodes on every pin. The only way these normally fail is due to excessive current (a few milliamps at minimum).

Telsa coils put out very little current - most top out at a milliamp or two, so no surprise that it's survivable.

The other day I had 30,000v from a TV transformer jump a sizeable gap (~5cm arc) onto the +5v rail of a board powered from my laptop's USB port. Charred the board, but the laptop didn't miss a beat (even the video it had running kept playing).

I might have to try this myself with an old laptop.

 

Offline johnnyk126

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Re: Too good to be true? or did IBM do the best ESD protection ever?
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2011, 04:24:05 am »
I'm not surprised at all. ThinkPads are legendary for their toughness. This comes from their build technique perfected over the years. Probably best shielded laptops I've seen. They did this years before anyone else bothered. It would be very hard to break that Faraday cage.

On old models cases were basically metal parts covered with this characteristic rubbery plastic. From inside it looked like this:



Right now after Lenovo took over they moved many of them to plastic, but they are still well shielded. This is T40 that is being tested and most laptops are like that inside:



And something like this is behind T60's screen:



Don't let me started on those magnesium frames ;)

People are right now praising shiny aluminum toys from fruit company, but IBM was making the best laptops and sending them to space years before them. Even Chinese Lenovo didn't destroy them much. It is simply business workhorse. ThinkPad is Fluke of computing world.

Since we are talking about high voltage and electronics. Check this out:

 

Offline AntiProtonBoy

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Re: Too good to be true? or did IBM do the best ESD protection ever?
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2011, 02:41:12 pm »
Is that really magnesium???

And where is the "evil" emoticon?
 

alm

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Re: Too good to be true? or did IBM do the best ESD protection ever?
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2011, 05:07:51 pm »
One of the reasons why Lenovo decreased the shielding is that metal shielding and Wifi/3G/Wimax/Bluetooth/... antennas are hard to combine.
 

Offline DavidDLC

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Re: Too good to be true? or did IBM do the best ESD protection ever?
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2011, 08:44:50 pm »
Also consider that now the weight is also a big feature to consider to choose a laptop. So you need to switch to lighter materials like plastic instead of metal.
 

Offline reagle

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Re: Too good to be true? or did IBM do the best ESD protection ever?
« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2011, 02:10:10 am »
Their metal frames are incredibly light- sometimes tough to tell apart from plastic by weight alone..

Offline george graves

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Re: Too good to be true? or did IBM do the best ESD protection ever?
« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2011, 05:24:55 am »
I have a t60.  It's slightly amazing.  Before that I had a t30.  Both built like a tank.

Offline zaoka

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Re: Too good to be true? or did IBM do the best ESD protection ever?
« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2011, 11:21:24 am »
That laptop has all aluminum case including screen cover. Just fixed one few days ago.
 

Offline johnnyk126

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Re: Too good to be true? or did IBM do the best ESD protection ever?
« Reply #9 on: October 14, 2011, 04:56:16 pm »
IBM/Lenovo is not using aluminum for construction of the cases or frames. Their signature rollcage is made from magnesium alloy. They used to make cases for laptops from that material.

http://forums.lenovo.com/t5/T400-T500-and-newer-T-series/What-is-a-Rollcage-and-what-does-it-look-like/ta-p/413443

They also did something with carbon fiber (never fixed one with it) and for example Z60 is using titanium in the lid.

Aluminum? That would be a downgrade ;D
 

Offline zaoka

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Re: Too good to be true? or did IBM do the best ESD protection ever?
« Reply #10 on: October 14, 2011, 05:07:48 pm »
Maybe you right! Its light anyway :)
 

Offline nukie

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Re: Too good to be true? or did IBM do the best ESD protection ever?
« Reply #11 on: October 15, 2011, 03:04:11 am »
Its an armoured laptop.
 


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