back to article LaCie touts tough truck-resistant flash drive for tough guys

LaCie is bringing out a USB flash drive that can withstand being run over by a 10-ton truck. LaCie XtremKey The XtremKey comes inside a metal pipe, the walls of which are 2mm thick, made from a zinc, aluminium, magnesium and copper alloy called zamac. The pipe is sealed with an O-ring and wear-resistant screw threads. LaCie …

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Boffin

psi

A bit of mental rithmatic...

10 ton(ne) truck

assume 6 wheels, equally distributing weight => 1.67 tonne/wheel

assume approximately 12"x9" of tyre-ground contact area per wheel (~100sq.in.)

=> 17kg/sq.in or 37psi

(OK, I expect a truck would have lower tyre pressure than that, but I'm feeling generous)

This thing is 3 inches long, and looks to be about 1" across; so with these figures, that's about 51kg that it can support.

In other words; it can just about support a skinny woman stood on it. Or half a decent sized bloke.

Sounds much less impressive than a '10-ton truck'

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Corsair Survivor...

withstands me jumping on it, but then im only 12stone!

the lacie certainly looks pretty... but is is stonger than the corsair??? there is only one way to find out..........

FIGHT!!!!

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Boffin

Re: PSI

heavy goods vehicles have higher tyre pressures than that: in the 100psi/7bar range. In other words, about the same as my pushbike.

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Headmaster

Tyre pressure

Considerably higher than that - up to about 100psi. Next time you're passing one, have a look - they're often marked on the mudguard.

But you're right. Considerably less impressive than saying "It'll withstand your fat mate treading on it"

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Anonymous Coward

Boo

Such a shame you can't get the pricer, more expensive Survivor GT any more. I have an eight gig one (being used for Readyboost as it's the fastest stick I have), but would love a 64 gig modern one.

Damn SSD popularity for taking it off the market, amazing bit of kit.

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re: psi

> 10 ton(ne) truck

Isn't 10 tons nearer 9 tonnes?

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Thumb Up

Lanyard?

If it had a loop for a lanyard to be attached, it'd come in handy as a wicked anti mugging device!

Looks pretty cool and just what everyone contracted to work on a supervillains ice lair needs!

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FAIL

Tyremarks

Er, are those REAL tyremarks??* From a REAL 10-ton truck??? If this thing's 3 inches long and about the same as the width of the vehicle that made those tyremarks, are we to believe a 10-ton truck has wheels a measley 3 inches across?

Total fauxto!

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FAIL

Tyremarks - PS gone wrong

On top of the 3" point by LuMan the tread marks appear to both go under and over the USB device.

The designer should have gone to Specsavers.

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Pirate

Data smugglers will want one

This is perfect for ramming where the sun don't shine when plod or similar require you to turn out your pockets. LOL (unless you'r wearing one OUCH!)

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Silver badge

5m drop test

That's, well, a bit crap. 5m isn't really that high. I'm sure most USB keys could survive that sort of drop, maybe with cracking of the case.

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Stop

Indeed.

The falling shouldn't destroy any data on any stick, but if it's on concrete would reading still work easily? Maybe we should do a test, bulk buy old sticks (64mb? 128mb?) cheapo, drop 100 of them, check failure rate. Hasn't anybody done this yet? Can Anandtech or so do it?

I think most sticks will survive a truck driving over them (the plastic may crack but the data stay accessible); I had a car drive over my foot and you hardly notice that (while a foot is taller than a stick, so more pressure; it's only high speed that's a danger); trucks have more weight and more, larger, wheels.

Also, several sticks have survived washing machines (at 40*C--60*C), none have failed yet.

Temperature tolerance I've never tested... 60*C must be routinely reached (say in a parked car in summer). Otherwise I have no idea.

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it wobbles on the desk - a "playful personality"

I knew a girl like that.

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FAIL

Lacie build quality

No doubt the casing will survive a truck or other sufficiently heavy object, but it'll all come to nothing when the USB plug falls off after a few times of use. Almost every piece of Lacie equipment I have ever seen has eventually failed, either because the ports were poorly mounted on the board or the controller or psu failed.

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Flame

Zamac, huh?

Ohh, goodie, more Zamac.

Cheap garbage alloy used for castings which crack, oxidize like mad, have a low melting point and are generally trash. Think cheesy chromed trim parts on old cars (before they discovered plastic was even cheaper).

Start with a billet of stainless steel and you might have something.

In the latter part of WW2, they developed electronic parts which were literally shot out of cannons - anti-aircraft proximity fuses. Now THESE were tough . . . and they even had vacuum tubes (valves, for you guys) in them. These would take several thousand G's and still work.

Zamac? We don' need no steenkin' Zamac . . . Zamac is for wimps.

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Pirate

zamac

looks like Hot Wheels makes their toy cars out of zamac...

http://hotwheels.wikia.com/wiki/ZAMAC

Somehow I think a hotwheels car would be more "playful" on my desktop than a wobbly USB flash drive. Probably last longer too.

A cast iron casing. Now that would make for an interesting USB drive.

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Silver badge

Valves, for you guys.

Oh, by "valves" you mean triodes, pentodes etc etc and by "you guys" you mean whom? Exactley.

Only one valve here....

Move along..

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Yup

"""Start with a billet of stainless steel and you might have something."""

Agreed. From first glance this Zamac alloy seems to have more incommon with the standard mk1 beer can than anything I'd choose for a good strength to weight ratio.

Honstly a standard aircraft grade 6061 aluminum tube with some nicely machined end caps would probably work just fine. Plop your choice of usb stick in there, add rubber, aerosol foam, etc, attach a coilable usb cable, screw on the lid. 2mm of 6061 in a ~15mm ID tube would stand up to quite a bit of running over, especially with solid end caps fitted.

And if that isn't enough, just go with similarly dimensioned Chromoly.

I'd really rather they just made a stick with a decent write speed is all. I tend not to have my pockets run over by trucks too often.

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Just use Titanium.

For the price they're asking for these things you ought to be getting a lump of Titanium.

That said, a certain "Mag" light manufacturer seems to be able to make fairly strong Aluminium flashlights -- so that may work also..

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Silver badge
Boffin

Sandisk

has a line of thumb drives with a titanium shell. I own two (a 512M and a 16G; the smaller one is noticeably larger), and stood on them (for demo purposes) several times each. Not a scratch, and no failures either. I'm fairly certain you could drop them off the top of a highrise building onto pavement, or drop a brick on them and they'd survive,

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Silver badge
Grenade

I think I got beat up.....

By this new FLASH drive!!

Curse you!, foul uber memory stick!!

(By the way, I am sure I could drop most of the several flash drives I have lying around from 5 meters, and they would be perfectly fine.)

(Grenade icon--because I am sure that the butch types who would use this new drive pick their teeth with used grenade pins as well.

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Alert

If I dropped my flash drive under a lorry

I would be more concerned with my being under a lorry!

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Alien

Oh Dear ...

Local Authorities and Government Departments will order these thinking they're safe now for taking unencrypted and unsecured data around.

Their advertising would be better if they said "Can withstand double decker buses, underground trains and fat arses".

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Stop

trucks? 5m drop? Irrelevant...

... will it blend?

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Bet its too chunky...

...to fit in a usb port that has 'stuff' round it. Eg, recessed port in the case. Port too close to video connector. A friend had this problem recently when taking his fancy USB drive to site. Had to borrow someone else's usb drive and copy files over via another machine before he could get them one the PC he was fixing.

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Re: Sandisk

I have a couple of Cruzer Titaniums* too, they're robust and not much more expensive than the competition (when I bought mine). Don't suspect they'd be much good in the washing machine though.

* It's titanium coloured, it might even have some titanium in the alloy, Sandisk describe it as 'strong metal'.

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