PC Built To Take A Licking (Or Shower)

December 6, 2012 by Dave Haynes

My crash course in digital signage, going back to the late 90s, involved trying to sort out whether it was possible to get a computer designed that would survive all the hard bumps, the debris, the power spikes and the general nastiness that comes with sitting on top of an elevator.

We never did get that sorted (we used a central server and just cabled to all the elevators), but we did find a company that was very, very good at rugged electronics.

More than a decade on, Stealth Computer is still focused on making rugged PCs and displays, and has done very, very well by it, building computers for talks, cop cars and naval buoys. Owner Ed Boutilier is an avid photographer and posts photos on Twitter regularly, so I have seen images of his cottage and his newest sports car. Extremely nice, humble and gracious guy, but he likes his toys.

Anyway, Ed’s newest product is a PC you can run through a car wash and drive a truck over. The new Stealth WPC-525F is completely water-tight, meeting IP67/NEMA 6 environmental specs that mean could keep it ticking even running the screens at a car wash.

The units are small, free of moving parts, and have bayonet-style connectors that equally watertight. What’s under the hood is not overly powerful, but sufficient for most tasks. The things cost $1,600, but are for special purposes, including truly out of home signage.

This is way overkill for most digital signage jobs, but if you have a special case no Aopen, HP or Dell is ever going to survive, Stealth makes the stuff that stands a chance.

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