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ioSafe Jolts Thunderbolt SSD RAID With 1,000,000 Volts

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 28 comments

Easily the most hair-raising demonstration in Las Vegas at CES 2012.

You may remember from previous CES events from years past that ioSafe makes "disaster proof" storage hardware and it likes to set up fairly over-the-top demonstrations on its products.

At CES 2012, ioSafe was showing off the $299 Solo G3 external hard drive that is both waterproof and fireproof. If it happens to find itself near flames, it will be able to handle 1550°F or 843°C for 30 minutes. Should the Solo G3 be dunked in water, it's rated to 10ft of submersion for 72 hours. In any case, ioSafe includes $1000 worth of data recovery service.

For its CES 2012 demonstration, ioSafe once again held it away from the convention center. This year they enlisted the help of Dr. Megavolt (Austin Richards), who works with Tesla coils to create great spectacles using lots of high voltage electricity.

CEO Robb Moore brandished a hard drive enclosure that looked very similar to the one that we sent bullets at last year, but this one was packing a dual SSD in RAID.

ioSafe Thunderbolt SSD Dr. Megavolt Demo-lition pt. 1

Prior to the shocking demo, Robb loaded up the SSDs in front of our eyes with data, along with a custom text file of our choice. Then it was time for Dr. Megavolt to get to work.

Dr. Megavolt Suits Up to Electrocute at ioSafe

ioSafe Thunderbolt SSD Dr. Megavolt Demo-lition pt. 2

After putting a million volts through the drive, the ioSafe team plugged it right back into the MacBook Air and all the data was completely intact. We heard that in some cases the extreme electricity would fry the RAID controller, but then a quick replacement of the controller (rather than the drives) would be enough to make the data accessible again.

ioSafe Thunderbolt SSD Dr. Megavolt Demo-lition pt. 3

Special thanks to Chris Grundy of Cool Tools for playing the stand-in host at our demo.

Discuss
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Top Comments
  • 21 Hide
    bak0n , January 14, 2012 3:39 AM
    Hit it was 1 million amps and see what happens muahaha.
  • 12 Hide
    freggo , January 14, 2012 6:37 AM
    Remember science class ?
    It's not the Volts that kill you, it's the Amps !
    Goes to show you, the Italians are cool but the French will do you in :-)


Other Comments
  • 3 Hide
    blazorthon , January 14, 2012 3:11 AM
    Pretty cool, it took 1,000,000 volts head on and came out unscathed.
  • 21 Hide
    bak0n , January 14, 2012 3:39 AM
    Hit it was 1 million amps and see what happens muahaha.
  • 3 Hide
    Xatos , January 14, 2012 4:18 AM
    Cool video, but as for the SSD, the charge via perception is clearly behind the SSD (his suit/hand). Whatever, doesn't really matter anyway.
  • 2 Hide
    nebun , January 14, 2012 4:32 AM
    ok the volt rating is not what damages electronics it's the AMPS....if this thing is so good at protecting data then why is it that insurance for your data is only $1000....i guess it's not that safe after all....such a stupid gimmick
  • 7 Hide
    danwat1234 , January 14, 2012 5:01 AM
    That suite is a faraday cage
  • 1 Hide
    teodoreh , January 14, 2012 5:52 AM
    Moby is Dr. Volt? :D 
  • 12 Hide
    freggo , January 14, 2012 6:37 AM
    Remember science class ?
    It's not the Volts that kill you, it's the Amps !
    Goes to show you, the Italians are cool but the French will do you in :-)


  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , January 14, 2012 7:53 AM
    The power supply also needs high enough voltage potential to cause breakdown of skin into the conductive region so that electrons (current) will flow. So you are half way correct. The voltage potential needs to be about 50 volts on dry skin AND the power supply needs to be able to provide the current needed to stop the heart.
  • 3 Hide
    nebun , January 14, 2012 8:13 AM
    that guy was so annoying....
  • 7 Hide
    Anonymous , January 14, 2012 12:01 PM
    Just so everybody gets it. Statics electric discharge has almost no current and a lot of electricity potential. That fries electronic if they are hit with it. This is why workers in electronic manufacturing are wearing heels and wrist dichage device and they hookup the wrist to ground when they are sitting at their work station. Because in that case, the heels dischage device isn't working (not enough pressure on the ground). The wrist band also contains a high ohmage resistor, so workers don't get killed if they touch a place where current is high. Volt = Resistance * I (Amps), the higher the resistance, the lower the current is. There's also the lab caot, which contains a carbon fiber strand that forms a faraday cage to prevent static electricity of coming out your clothes.

    So yeah, that demo is valid and the drive is tough.
  • 2 Hide
    joex444 , January 14, 2012 3:08 PM
    I'm thinking this is more of a demonstration that it can handle things like surges. Supposing that a sudden spike in your line caused a surge and your PSU ended up dumping something like 60V into it right before the PSU's capacitors themselves blew up. Worst case scenario, who knows what that voltage would be. But short of your house itself getting hit by lightning it's going to be under 1MV.

    In electronics, too much current is basically the source of death. However, electric circuits have a fixed resistance. Too much voltage is then exactly the cause of too much current, unless you have a fuse. So, asking for 1MA or asking for a high current test is basically asking for an overvoltage test. Think about what happens when you overvolt your CPU. If it's the current that kills you and somehow these aren't related, then your CPU should run fine at 12V -- if you could cool it. But it doesn't, does it? Think about when we had 3.5" floppy drives and you plugged the connector on backwards. You reversed the 5 and 3.3V lines, right? And then that magical blue smoke came out and it no longer worked...
  • 3 Hide
    warmon6 , January 14, 2012 4:34 PM
    nebunok the volt rating is not what damages electronics it's the AMPS....if this thing is so good at protecting data then why is it that insurance for your data is only $1000....i guess it's not that safe after all....such a stupid gimmick


    And yet static electricity that we can hold (only about 20k to 25k volts with very little amps) can fry electronics. Im sure that coil is packing more punch than that...... Just saying......
  • 1 Hide
    warmon6 , January 14, 2012 4:50 PM
    bak0nHit it was 1 million amps and see what happens muahaha.


    Kaboom? :D 
  • -4 Hide
    richboyliang , January 14, 2012 4:57 PM
    point of all this? why go to such far lengths to preserve one's data? i'm not sure even obama would need this much, it's going way overboard
  • 0 Hide
    interestingisit , January 14, 2012 5:00 PM
    OK.. This trick is getting lame... and it's just that.. a trick. Put anything in a conductive cage so the current passes around it, and it will come out unscathed... Just like the dude holding it!! If a person can handle it, so can any electronic device...... zzzZZZZ
  • 0 Hide
    jamie_1318 , January 14, 2012 7:31 PM
    Second the lame part, if you knew that electricity was coming it is WAY to easy to prevent ANY amount of electricity from damaging it with a conductive cage+ground.
  • 7 Hide
    zybch , January 14, 2012 8:10 PM
    Poor old Edison. He gets remembered for a screw, while tesla gets some shit hot lightning effects.
  • 1 Hide
    tbq , January 16, 2012 6:40 AM
    From my experience with experienced data recovery services where physical damage was done to a drive, $1000 doesn't go very far at all.
  • 1 Hide
    SoiledBottom , January 16, 2012 7:45 AM
    As others have said its the amps that do the real damage not the volts.

    True Story, I served on the Coast guard cutter Diligence and worked in the galley as a cook.
    I was cleaning a flat to grill for an inspection and my right hand pointer finger touched a live wire.

    When being electrocuted your muscles flex, so with both hands grabbing the flat top grill I took a 440 or 480 3 phase voltage I don't remember the exact voltage..but a 50 amp breaker tripped which saved my life.

    I ended up with third degree burns on both my hands. MY left hand had a hole the size of a nickle in it. My crew mates called me sparky for the rest of my tour on that ship.

    Not sure what my point is but I'm pretty sure there was some data loss in my brains hard drive.

    Remember kids its the Amps and not the volts
  • -1 Hide
    Anonymous , January 16, 2012 8:44 AM
    YOU NEED THE VOLTAGE POTENTIAL IN ORDER FOR HIGH CURRENT TO FLOW THROUGH YOUR BODY, PERIOD. I cannot believe how ignorant you people are. Especially, SoiledBottom. Soiledbottom, if you grabbed a 1 volt battery that had 1000 amp hours then IT WILL NOT KILL YOU. The voltage potential is too low to put the skin into the breakdown region to where the deadly current will flow. Now take a 48 volt battery that has high current output ability and then it will kill you.

    So folks remember you need the voltage potential to put the skin into the conduction region and you need to be sure the supply can provide the current needed to kill. In other words YOU NEED BOTH to kill you. If any of you wish to doubt me then I will wager $100 dollars against all of you that my car battery will not kill me. I will grab both terminals just to prove my point. If you do not know about electronics then you people cannot comment on such areas that are not your expertise. Stick with what you know.
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