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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep. 19, 2008
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    159

    Question Keeping a cell *working* in a barn environment

    On CoTH advice, I decided against a Blackberry with a trackball and that the key-lock feature meant that a bar phone would work. Thanks CoTH.

    Now I need your input on how to keep my new cell phone working in a barn/riding environment.

    I'd never heard of an Otterbox before CoTH, but, sadly, they do not make an Otterbox for my phone. Oh well.

    What's next best? Dirt at the barn is always an issue, but I think the *primary* concern (for me, anyway) is going to be impact resistance for those inevitable butterfinger episodes.

    Hard plastic? Hard rubber? I'm not sure if hard rubber is actually any different from the hard plastic, it's hard to tell by the Ebay descriptions, some describe it as plastic with a rubber coating. Silicon gel? I guess the silicon might offer a bit of shock absorption? Will they keep out the dirt?

    I take it the skins are purely decorative, with no real protection except from scratches.

    Yes, I know *nothing* is going to help if I drop it in a water tub or a horse steps on it, or -- horrors -- it lands in a fresh manure pile -- but, what's the best way to keep it working? Other than leaving it home! I use it only rarely at the barn, but carry it for necessary calls.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug. 9, 2002
    Location
    USA
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    1,910

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    Boyfriend is a farrier and has a hard rubber case for his phone (Motorola Droid). We found it at the Verizon store and it's a pretty thick rubber - good since he tends to beat up his phones. This is not a hard plastic case covered with rubber, it's fairly flexible - just thick rubber.

    The silicone skins won't do much in the way of absorbing shock if you drop it; they are very, very thin. The skins also trap moisture and dirt next to the phone; they're so flexible everything gets underneath them.

    Do you have a store near you that sells cell phone accessories so you can see firsthand what the cases look like? Staples seemed to have a pretty nice assortment of cases last time I was there. Check out Radio Shack and the cell phone service providers too (Verizon, AT&T, etc)



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr. 9, 2007
    Location
    Gainesville, FL
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    1,093

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    I'm going to follow this thread with interest, as I just about killed my cell at the barn this weekend. I think I just overheated it, and I gave it some space and she forgave me and turned back on in the morning.
    When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    May. 3, 2010
    Posts
    16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Altag View Post
    On CoTH advice, I decided against a Blackberry with a trackball and that the key-lock feature meant that a bar phone would work. Thanks CoTH.

    Now I need your input on how to keep my new cell phone working in a barn/riding environment.

    I'd never heard of an Otterbox before CoTH, but, sadly, they do not make an Otterbox for my phone. Oh well.

    What's next best? Dirt at the barn is always an issue, but I think the *primary* concern (for me, anyway) is going to be impact resistance for those inevitable butterfinger episodes.

    Hard plastic? Hard rubber? I'm not sure if hard rubber is actually any different from the hard plastic, it's hard to tell by the Ebay descriptions, some describe it as plastic with a rubber coating. Silicon gel? I guess the silicon might offer a bit of shock absorption? Will they keep out the dirt?
    The hard part about this is keeping the dirt out (obviously). Have you already purchased the phone? Is it a touch screen?

    If I was trying to keep it dirt-proof I would buy one with the least about of moveable parts possible read: trackballs. Maybe it would be of use to purchase one of those cans that you use to spray off your keyboards to get all the grime out of the crevices you can't reach.

    Don't forget, if your phone ever meets water, take the battery out and put both in a back of rice for 24 hours-- takes the moisture out. **(yes this doesn't work in EVERY case, ALL the time, but it has worked a lot for me and people I know)



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep. 19, 2008
    Posts
    159

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    Quote Originally Posted by tarynls View Post

    Do you have a store near you that sells cell phone accessories so you can see firsthand what the cases look like? Staples seemed to have a pretty nice assortment of cases last time I was there. Check out Radio Shack and the cell phone service providers too (Verizon, AT&T, etc)
    I do, but since this phone is not new (well, it's new to me, I bought it off Ebay a month ago, probably about a year old), I doubt the stores sell accessories that fit it. But I HATE cell phone stores -- all the clerks POUNCE on you as soon as you walk in, trying to sell, sell, sell. Ugh.

    Have you already purchased the phone? Is it a touch screen?
    Yes, and yes. Does the touch screen make a difference in the best protective case?

    Since I don't actually *use* it much at the barn, just carry it around, I'm thinking dropping it is a bigger worry than dirt as I do need to move it from pocket to pocket or shelf (ok, the stall wall between the stall and the aisle, horse can't reach through the bars there).



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug. 9, 2002
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    1,910

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    Have you purchased a package of screen protectors for the phone yet? They work very well (even in a filthy farrier's truck!) and they're really a must-have around the barn. Once that screen gets scratched (or cracked!) you may as well say good-bye to your phone.

    You can find those at Staples - no need to get pounced upon by cell phone salesmen!

    Many of the cases made for current-model phones will fit older phones as well.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug. 4, 2009
    Location
    MD
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    4,073

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    First mistake a touch screen...always get a hard case with a covered keyboard.
    I have my own farm and carry me cell 24/7 riding, mucking,mowing, lungeing, weed wacking, dragging ring, loading horses, washing horses dealing with mares n foals.
    I plug it into a wall charger keep on shelf by feed room or else its in my pocket, will place on a ring fence post if riding a greenie.
    I love my Pantech, hard case slide keyboard cover, plenty big enough screen but not a touch pad.
    Has been dropped, skidded across floor million timse fallen off fence post etc.
    Good luck.....................



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug. 2, 2004
    Location
    Whidbey Is, Wash.
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    9,652

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    I read your last thread about wanting a phone such as the one you got. I didn't post because you seemed so set on fancy phone, and flip phones are just NOT fancy. But they work great. My last one last more than two years, my current one is almost two years old (August 1). And my second one has been soooo abused. Dropped many times, kicked, skidded, drooled on, rained on, etc.

    What is an otterbox??
    Aisha, my heart from 03/06/1986 to 08/22/2008.

    COTH's official mini-donk enabler.
    Odie, aka the Evil Burrito, is on Facebook.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr. 29, 2008
    Location
    Houston, TX
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    1,593

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    What type of phone did you get?

    There are a lot of phone sites out there with discussion forums and case reviews that will give you an excellent place to start. Google is also your friend = ) If you give me your specific phone type, I can probably direct you to a good site that has case reviews and such.

    Absolutely get a clear screen protector for your touchscreen - just do it. They are not all created equal, however. I would check out some reviews before you buy one. There are some that come with multiple to a pack, but, in my opinion, it's better to go with one that's more expensive but more durable and less damaging to your phone. There are also different feels to screen protectors. Some almost feel a little grippy - some hate this, some love this. Just an example to show why you might want to investigate these carefully (many screen protectors are a total PITA to put on/remove, so changing your mind can be taxing, haha).

    As far as cases, how much are you at the barn? Would you consider a separate case to put on it while you're at the barn? If you're at the barn multiple hours a day, I'd say invest in a nice hefty case that you maybe take off when you're not at the barn. If you are only there to ride one horse, then you don't need as nice of a case.

    Another option - a BM I leased a horse from used to have a cell phone strap that went right around calf. She could ride with it, and do all sorts of work with it, and it kept her phone right on her but out of harms way (no worrying about pocket switching or setting your phone down on nasty surfaces as you bop around the barn). It looks a smidge silly, but it's super convenient and keeps your phone in a good place for while you're riding.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug. 31, 2008
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    414

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    I have a Blackberry and at the end of every week I give it a blow out with an air compressor. I also have a rubber skin and a holster to keep it at my hip at all times. It has met cement, dirt, grass, and even my horses mouth, and its lasted for over a year. The meet with my boys mouth did result in a cracked screen, but a coat of clear nail polish kept it safe.
    Proud mother to Matt, a 18 year-old TB gelding.

    FOREVER



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec. 10, 2008
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    585

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    My lesson was learned when I had my phone in my shirt and put the hose over my head... No help, sorry LOL. I had to get a new one :P



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb. 13, 2005
    Location
    Columbus, OH
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    6,799

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    Or just resign to the fact that you will eventually break it, and purchase an appropriate warranty to cover that inevitability.

    Squaretrade will sell you two years of coverage for $96, and they send 30% off coupon codes all the time that bring it down to $67.20. That's $2.80 per month. They do charge a $50 deductible for drops/spills/water damage, but even assuming you had to pay the deductible that's only $117.20 to cover your $300+ smartphone.

    Normally I think extended warranties are a ripoff, but smartphone + barn = asking for trouble. Seems you would be very, very likely to use your warranty.
    ________________________
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  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct. 14, 2006
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    426

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    THIS is an otterbox...my brother swears by his. They are pretty much indestructible and have some great guarantees!
    http://www.otterbox.com/

    To the OP~ too bad they don't carry one for your phone, they are amazing! I know you said you hated phone stores, but it might be worth going in anyway, or having a friend who isn't easily swayed by pushy sales people! (This would be my route, I HATE saying no to sales people! lol) good luck!



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov. 15, 2005
    Location
    Eastern Shore, MD
    Posts
    1,267

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    Not sure what kind of phone you've got (I missed the first thread) - but check out kayak and rafting supply places for waterproof protection for phones - Aquapacs:
    http://www.nrsweb.com/shop/product_list.asp?deptid=1927

    Here's their "Dry Cases" page -
    http://www.nrsweb.com/shop/product_list.asp?deptid=1926
    NRS doesn't carry Otterboxes, but they do have Pelican boxes (which aren't submersible, but are water resistant... which may be enough for most barn stuff.)



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul. 20, 2007
    Location
    Rising Sun, MD
    Posts
    3,486

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    Have been really, really happy with my LG Neon- and believe me it goes through plenty of barn abuse (actually it's gotten soaked in the river once while on the trail and is still fine
    “While the rest of the species is descended from apes, redheads are descended from cats.” Mark Twain



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan. 25, 2009
    Location
    Rock Chalk!
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    What kind did you get? OtterBox has options for all sorts of phones on their website that aren't carried in stores.
    A proud friend of bar.ka.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar. 30, 2009
    Posts
    786

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    I have a blackberry curve and I use a rubberized hard plastic cover and a clear film to protect the screen (the stick on kind). I bought them from an online store. Overstock carries them as do many of the online cell accesory stores.

    I also carry my cell phone with me at all times (even when riding...I only hand it off to someone else when I am going into the show arena I even carry the darn thing when I run) in case my husband calls since he can't call often and I can't call him back if I miss his call (he is in BMT right now) so I have a couple different pouches, one I made, one I found at a local store, that I clip to my saddle with a carribiner. Just any pouch that is convenient and the phone fits in works....so just taking measurements works for that.

    I also periodically use a compressed air canister to blow dust and such out of the keyboard and the trackball thing, but if you have one and it gets stuck just blow on it...it clears it right out
    My blog:

    RAWR



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Sep. 19, 2008
    Posts
    159

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheJenners View Post
    I read your last thread about wanting a phone such as the one you got. I didn't post because you seemed so set on fancy phone, and flip phones are just NOT fancy. But they work great.
    It's not the *fancy* that I want, it's the keyboard that I need (got reeeeally tired of texting on a phone keypad! even though I don't text often), plus the Bluetooth feature. My old phone was a flip and yes, I loved it! In fact, if it had Bluetooth ability, I'd STILL have it, but it's not compatible (even called Pantech to see if I could download updates, no go ). I sometimes use my phone to help me stay awake driving long distances and the sound quality on either the speaker phone or the plug-in ear piece was not good on that phone. The other new features on the smart phone are nice, but not deal-breakers if I didn't have them.

    ...only $117.20...

    Normally I think extended warranties are a ripoff, but smartphone + barn = asking for trouble. Seems you would be very, very likely to use your warranty.

    OUCH!!!
    Pricey warranty!!!! Wow. No thanks, I definitely don't want to pour money into an expensive warranty. I got this phone (unlocked) off of Ebay with car and wall chargers, it was $66 bucks with free shipping. The warranty would cost far more than the phone is worth.

    I did look at the Otterbox site online, they do not make a case for my phone -- I got a Samsung Eternity.

    As several people mentioned, I do plan to get a screen protector. Thanks for the input on the different kinds available Bort.

    I did go to a phone store to see in person what kinds of cases they had. And yep, had to deal with the obnoxious sales girl. Ya know, I have absolutely NO problem with telling sales people *no*, it's the annoyance factor on their lack of politeness/social skills that bugs me. But sheeesh, you'd think that they'd have a little better interpersonal skills, given that dealing with potential customers is their job. As soon as she realized that she wouldn't be able to sell me anything on the spot, she dropped me like a hot potato. Of course, I had another quick question for her as she walked away to finish her cell call to an obvious friend (she barely interrupted it -- held it away while talking to me, then told her buddy that she'd call back -- to pounce on me enthusiastically as I approached the display of cases).

    BDJ -- I did actually give a friend a waterproof camera bag once years ago so she could use it on a vacation involving canoes and she loved it. I'll have to keep it in mind, I hadn't thought of it for a phone and it might be an option for someone who's very hard to choose gifts for. Thanks for the reminder.

    Myvanya -
    I use a rubberized hard plastic cover and a clear film to protect the screen (the stick on kind). I bought them from an online store. Overstock carries them as do many of the online cell accesory stores.
    Rubberized hard plastic? Is that like the stuff the Otterbox uses? I've seen the soft gel silicon cases, and the hard (brittle) plastic cases, but the only ones that seem to be rubberized hard plastic is the Otterbox. I wish the sellers/websites would be more descriptive!



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb. 13, 2005
    Location
    Columbus, OH
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    Quote Originally Posted by Altag View Post
    OUCH!!![/I] Pricey warranty!!!! Wow. No thanks, I definitely don't want to pour money into an expensive warranty. I got this phone (unlocked) off of Ebay with car and wall chargers, it was $66 bucks with free shipping. The warranty would cost far more than the phone is worth.
    I didn't realize you'd paid so little for the phone. $68 + $50 deductible is for a $400+ phone. For a $66 Ebay phone, Squaretrade charges about $17 for two years of coverage. But for $66, I agree with you that any warranty would be pointless.
    ________________________
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  20. #20
    Join Date
    Sep. 19, 2008
    Posts
    159

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    Quote Originally Posted by jn4jenny View Post
    I didn't realize you'd paid so little for the phone. $68 + $50 deductible is for a $400+ phone. For a $66 Ebay phone, Squaretrade charges about $17 for two years of coverage. But for $66, I agree with you that any warranty would be pointless.
    This model (Samsung Eternity) is nowhere near as pricey as an Iphone or whatever, but I *did* get a great deal. Typically, an Eternity with a wall charger goes for about $100 to $110 on Ebay, withOUT the car charger and free shipping that was included in that $66, so yeah, score on my part.



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