Has anyone ever purposely taken their iPhone in a chlorinated pool? I have!

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by AlphaDogg, Jul 22, 2011.

  1. AlphaDogg, Jul 22, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2011

    AlphaDogg macrumors 68040

    AlphaDogg

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    #1
    I have a waterproof sealed bag thing that I can put my phone in, and take it in the pool. I noticed that if I played music underwater, and I put my head underwater, I could hear the music. How cool is that? I bear no affiliation with the company that makes the waterproof pouch, so I will not mention their name unless someone specifically asks for it. I also noticed that when the phone was underwater, I had no signal (out of water, I got 5 bars of EDGE or 3 bars of 3G on AT&T USA). If I took the phone out of water, it regained the signal almost instantly. Anyone have any explanation?

    I also recorded video. If anyone wants to see it, I will upload it to youtube and then embed it here.

    ADogg
     
  2. rdowns macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

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    #2
    Lee Harvey, you are a madman. I want to party with you, cowboy.
     
  3. AlphaDogg thread starter macrumors 68040

    AlphaDogg

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    #3
    Scan my avatar. It will tell you what I want to respond to this.
     
  4. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

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    #4
    It sounds like a perfectly safe thing to try... as long as it's somebody else's iPhone!
     
  5. AlphaDogg thread starter macrumors 68040

    AlphaDogg

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    #5
    ROFL. It was my 3gs. My main iPhone. My old iPhone is just something I fall back on. But I had complete confidence in the pouch, that I took my 'good' iPhone in the pool with it.
     
  6. jap1198 macrumors 6502

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  7. AlphaDogg thread starter macrumors 68040

    AlphaDogg

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    #7
    I am importing to iPhoto. I will then put the videos in iMovie, edit it a bit, and then upload to youtube. Expect to see it up in an hour :).
     
  8. AlphaDogg thread starter macrumors 68040

    AlphaDogg

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  9. awadeee macrumors 68020

    awadeee

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    #9
    That's actually really neat! Maybe the water blocks the frequencies from entering the phone? That would make sense as the phone uses an external metal band for the antenna.
     
  10. Scippy macrumors regular

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    #10
    That's becuase the radio frequencies that make up 3G and EDGE cannot penetrate liquid and solid masses very well. Its the same reason why you get a weaker signal inside of your house than outside of it.
     
  11. AlphaDogg thread starter macrumors 68040

    AlphaDogg

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    #11
    At first, I thought maybe water got in, and screwed up the cellular radio, but nearly immediately (10-15sec) after I took it out of the water, I regained the signal, so it couldn't be that.. Also, the water sensors were (and are) still white.

    Oh like when I'm in an all concrete building or elevator (elevator shafts are typically concrete, right?), I get little to no signal?

    A quick (well, not so quick) google search tells me that the density of water is 1000kg per cubic meter, while the density of concrete is 2400kg per cubic meter. When compared to air's density (1.22521kg per cubic meter), the water looks like it could have a significant difference in density to explain this phenomenon.

    Slightly OT: A tiny bit of water (like less than a very tiny drop of rain) got in but just evaporated in the pouch, creating water vapor that could have condensed inside the phone.. But it didn't!
     
  12. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

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    #12
    I'm glad you survived that weapon-carrying assassin's attack near the end.
     
  13. db67fm macrumors regular

    db67fm

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    #14
    So I am assuming you can operate the touch screen through the bag while under water?
     
  14. AlphaDogg thread starter macrumors 68040

    AlphaDogg

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    #15
    Nope. The water is conductive, so the iPhone thinks that the touch screen is being touched all over. When I touch the screen underwater, it won't register any touch. It's a little odd.
     
  15. Ms. G macrumors newbie

    Ms. G

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  16. AlphaDogg thread starter macrumors 68040

    AlphaDogg

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    #17
    Thanks. I thought people here would enjoy it :).
     
  17. awadeee macrumors 68020

    awadeee

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    #18
    Maybe it's just because you're touching it through a bag?
     
  18. LoneWolf121188 macrumors 6502a

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    #19
    Physics 101 time:

    The reason you got no signal underwater is actually fairly complicated. See here for a great explanation, but here's the cliff notes version:
    • The conductivity of water is huge. This means that the signal attenuation per unit length is also huge. Using the equation supplied on that page (alpha=0.0173*sqrt(f*sigma)), the attenuation of fresh water (sigma=0.0546) at 1900 MHz (common AT&T band) is 176 dB/meter. Considering the minimum signal strength required for the iPhone 4 is -121 dB, this means that even if you had a cell site just above the water level, you wouldn't come close to getting a signal one meter down. Note that conductivity has NOTHING to do with density, it's an intrinsic material property (more or less).
    • Less importantly, there are significant refractive losses at the surface of the water due to the change in the index of refraction between the two materials...basically due to the change of the speed of light between air and water. You know how when you're underwater and you look straight up, you can see out of the pool, but if you look at a 45ish degree angle, the surface of the water looks like a mirror? Exact same thing.
    • Finally, because of the change of refractive index, the wavelength of the radio signals change. This basically screws up how the antenna works. The antenna is tuned for a specific wavelength of light; by putting it underwater, it's now no longer tuned for the right wavelength. Note that this could be mitigated by the fact that the iphone isn't actually directly in the water, but in an air bubble which is in the water...the effect should be more or less 100% reversed when the signals pass back into the air in the bag.

    Also, the reason you can't press anything is because the bag is electrically insulating, shielding the phone's screen from the capacitance changes due to the presence of your finger.
     
  19. AlphaDogg thread starter macrumors 68040

    AlphaDogg

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    #20
    That was a great lesson. I thought it had something to do with the refractivity of the water.. Also, above water, I could touch the screen through the bag, and it would respond. Just below water, it woud not respond at all.
     
  20. AlphaDogg thread starter macrumors 68040

    AlphaDogg

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    #21
    I'm going to take my iPhone down to the South Platte river with the waterproof bag as soon as I can. The water there is not nearly as clear as a pool. I was at the South Platte river for about an hour every day for the past 3 days. The water really feels nice on a hot day :). It's like a beach for us landlocked people. A lot of people hang around where the cherry creek meets the south platte river on hot days. It's really very nice.
     
  21. QuarterSwede macrumors G3

    QuarterSwede

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    #22
    I may have to take a trip up there. Finding a fairly warm non-crowded place to swim in Colorado is awful. For a beach bum it's almost torture ... BUT the view of the Front Range from my house is awesome and the weather is phenomenal 95% of the time, so ...

    I am curious as to what waterproof pouch you have.
     
  22. AlphaDogg thread starter macrumors 68040

    AlphaDogg

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    #23
    Nice to see a fellow Coloradoan on the forums :).

    I have an AquaPac waterproof pouch.
     

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