Posted by Richard Miles at 23:46 on 2013 Jan 21
I’ll just mention that I have had 3 laptops out in my observatory these past 9 years. They are switched off when not observing. The reason why they have all survived is that the volume inside the enclosure is about 1 cubic metre and I always have loose silica gel exposed on trays, etc. to keep the relative humidity of the air low. I also have about 50W or so residual heating by way of three eyepiece-type heating tapes. (That reminds me with not having observed for about 6 weeks now the humidity will be approaching unacceptable levels so I’d better reactivate the silica gel when I get a chance.)So humidity is the key factor when it comes to electronics. Surface leakage currents across insulators play havoc. Silica gel of the indicating variety is the magic solution provided it is frequently regenerated by heating in an oven.