Can helium from a party balloon DoS your phone?

mi7chy

macrumors 603
Original poster
Oct 24, 2014
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Things you learn. Didn't even realize MEMS oscillator existed and I used to tinker a lot with swapping out for faster crystal oscillators to speed up my Apple IIgs accelerator in my youth.

Helium atom is so small that even if you put your phone in a plastic zip loc it's not immune hence why balloons leak over time.

TLDR: Buy electronics with crystal oscillator and not MEMS oscillator.


https://www.reddit.com/r/sysadmin/comments/9mk2o7/mri_disabled_every_ios_device_in_facility/

https://www.reddit.com/r/iphone/comments/9sjjdv/be_careful_with_helium_around_iphones/
 
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GrumpyMom

macrumors G3
Sep 11, 2014
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I haven't been near any helium since the kids outgrew an interest in balloons. I guess about 5 years ago. I guess my iOS devices will be safe unless I decide to hang out with Pennywise. :confused:
 
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Michael Goff

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Jul 5, 2012
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So you’re saying we should buy electronics based on what they do in a situation most people will never run into? What? There have been some real stretches as to why people shouldn’t buy iPhones, but this one takes the cake.
 
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mtneer

macrumors 68030
Sep 15, 2012
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Far more phones will be broken by falling onto concrete in the garage, or off a table or into a toilet - than by coming into contact with Helium. Those haven't stopped anyone from buying an iPhone and this will not either.
 

mi7chy

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Original poster
Oct 24, 2014
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I haven't been near any helium since the kids outgrew an interest in balloons. I guess about 5 years ago. I guess my iOS devices will be safe unless I decide to hang out with Pennywise. :confused:
They used the party balloon example so everyone can easily relate to it but helium is actually more commonly used not only in medicine (MRI, respiratory treatment, magnetoencephalography, cryogenic) but also for dental abrasion, science (large hadron collider, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy), semiconductor, fiber optic cabling, welding, scuba and even in common items like spindle hard drives and car air bag system. Most here have a backup Android so they'll be fine plus it's a non-issue relative to Pennywise.
 
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Nilhum

macrumors regular
Dec 20, 2016
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They used the party balloon example so everyone can easily relate to it but helium is actually more commonly used not only in medicine (MRI, respiratory treatment, magnetoencephalography, cryogenic) but also for dental abrasion, science (large hadron collider, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy), semiconductor, fiber optic cabling, welding, scuba and even in common items like spindle hard drives and car air bag system. Most here have a backup Android so they'll be fine plus it's a non-issue relative to Pennywise.
You don't bring your phone into an MRI machine. Also no one on this site is working on the large hadron collider.

This is probably the least important reason I would choose a phone over another.
 

mi7chy

macrumors 603
Original poster
Oct 24, 2014
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You don't bring your phone into an MRI machine. Also no one on this site is working on the large hadron collider.

This is probably the least important reason I would choose a phone over another.
Suggest reading the source. The ~40 affected devices weren't in the MRI machine. They were spread out in other parts and floors of the medical facility.

"Initially I thought this only impacted users on one side of the building, but from what I've heard today it seems to be multiple floors across the facility."

Lesson learned is don't cut cost at the risk of user experience and reliability. This is just one of many examples such as Intel vs Qualcomm radio, LG vs Samsung OLED, Face ID vs Touch ID or retina scanner, getting a deal on HEVC licensing from MPEG LA with the stipulation of not supporting the competitor's VP9 codec for YouTube 1440p/4K/8K, etc.
 
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Michael Goff

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Suggest reading the source. The ~40 affected devices weren't in the MRI machine. They were spread out in other parts and floors of the medical facility.

"Initially I thought this only impacted users on one side of the building, but from what I've heard today it seems to be multiple floors across the facility."

Lesson learned is don't cut cost at the risk of user experience and reliability. This is just one of many examples such as Intel vs Qualcomm radio, LG vs Samsung OLED, Face ID vs Touch ID or retina scanner, getting a deal on HEVC licensing from MPEG LA with the stipulation of not supporting the competitor's VP9 codec for YouTube 1440p/4K/8K, etc.
We get it, you want everyone to drop iPhone for Android and you’ll throw whatever nonsense reason out there.
 
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NoBoMac

Moderator
Staff member
Jul 1, 2014
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TLDV;

Even someone in an unlucky spot will generally not be exposed to the level of He that occurred in the original story, so, not going to fret about it:

https://www.reddit.com/r/sysadmin/comments/9si6r9/postmortem_mri_disables_every_ios_device_in/

Approximately 120 liters of liquid [helium] were vented over the course of 5 hours. There was a vent in place that was functioning, but there must have been a leak. The MRI room is not on an isolated HVAC loop, so it shares air with most or all of the facility. We do not know how much of the 120 liters ended up going outdoors and how much ended up inside. Helium expands about 750 times when it expands from a liquid to a gas, so that’s a lot of helium (90,000 L of gaseous He).” I bet the nurse’s voices were higher pitched that day!
 

Suckfest 9001

macrumors 65816
May 31, 2015
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grasping at straws much? to make such a big deal out of this considering the phone will go back to normal after a period of time.. you've really run out of things to poke fun at.. i'll take my chances lmfao
 
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