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Potential corrosion on external ports and pins

13 Jul 2012

The Juniper Systems rugged handheld computer products are designed to be as rugged and water-tight as is commercially viable. Even though our handhelds have successfully been used in the most extreme terrestrial environments, there are some environments which can still present a high potential for corrosion over time on externally exposed metal components (such as ports and docking pins). Long term exposure to salt fog and spray (operating around brine (sea water)) is one example of such an environment.

Port covers (connector protectors), powder-coating (paint), internally conformal-coated field replaceable connector / port (I/O) modules, and historically stainless steel parts (see bottom) are all features of our handheld products which help or have helped to reduce such potential corrosion. Though when operating in such environments, you should expect some annual or bi-annual maintenance for external components such as is provided by our Complete Care plans.

Complete Care Service Plans (PDF)

If additional protection is desired, a nano-coating, LPS2 / LPS3 lubricant gel, or similar substance could be applied to externally exposed metal components. Some examples of such are described at the following web pages.

If the externally exposed hardware ports are not needed for any specific application, then they may be disabled to reduce pin voltages which can accelerate the potential for corrosion. On the Allegro MX, the following Windows registry keys are examples of ways the ports could potentially be disabled.

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Drivers\BuiltIn\Serial1]
"TransAlwaysOn"=dword:0
0= Transceiver is enabled/disabled when COM port opened or closed
1= Transceiver is always enabled. The default is 1 (always enabled)


[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Drivers\BuiltIn\Serial1]
“DtrAuto”=dword:1
0= Only apps set/clear DTR
1= COM driver clears DTR during COM_Close, if value doesn't exist then default is 1 (Apps set and clear)


[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Drivers\BuiltIn\OHCI]
“Dll”=String:”ohci2.dll”

 

Jan 2010

Allegro CX and CE Ports and Pins Enhancement

When an older Allegro CX or CE Field PC is subjected to weather conditions that are near salt water, some components of the Allegro can begin corroding. The components that may experience corrosion are the following:

Juniper Systems, Inc. has historically offered a retrofit for older Allegro CX and Allegro CE Field PCs that replaced the corroding parts with stainless steel parts, which were designed to significantly reduce these corrosion problems. Though USB ports of such design are not available (at the time of writing).

Normally, the part needed for this retrofit were stock items. There were two retrofit options available:

Part Number

Retrofit

Allegro Type

TM0044

Stainless Steel Hardware Retrofit (ports, jack screws, and docking pins)

CX, CE

11008

Single COM Port replacement (Stainless part)

CX, CE

 

Please be aware that the retrofit was only available on the Allegro CE and Allegro CX Field PC models.

All Allegro MX and CX units manufactured after May 20, 2005 are equipped with the stainless steel COM ports, jack screws, and charge pins as a product standard. Other ports and pins are not available in stainless steel.

The Allegro CE/DOS and DOS units use different style COM port connectors. We were unable to locate any stainless steel port connectors for the Allegro CE/DOS and Allegro DOS units. However, the charge pins and jack screws could be used. This would have allowed a partial retrofit for CE/DOS units.

If you have questions, please contact us at 1 (435) 753-1881 or you can email our Customer Service Department as support@junipersys.com.