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I'm looking for a way to wirelessly transfer files a short distance without putting the computer 'on a network.' We have industrial computers inside air-purged boxes for operation in a potentially explosive environment. We have found 'intrinsically safe' keyboards to mount outside the box to allow the computer to be controlled, with monitor visible through a window.

The only piece missing now is a way to copy files to and from the system.

I see two possibilities:

1) Some kind of intrinsically safe USB connection on the outside of the box. I haven't found this and don't think it could exist simply because when you're plugging in your flash drive, there is an exposed electrical connection which could cause a spark.

2) Some kind of wireless solution. Ideally we just run a network cable out of the box, but a further restriction is that these computers can not be on a network for security reasons. Is there a bluetooth or irDA flash drive of some sort?

Ideally I'd like to walk up to the box with a flash drive in my pocket, or held up to the window. Have it automatically or manually mount as a drive, then drag files to/from the computer.

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Try posting to as many industrial folks there – Dave M Dec 9 '09 at 21:01
Wouldn't a USB bluetooth or infrared adapter pose the same electrical risk as a USB flash drive when connecting them to the host machine? – joeqwerty Dec 9 '09 at 21:05
cross-posted to… – jacobsee Dec 9 '09 at 22:40

Seagate had a Bluetooth and WiFi drive. Not sure if it still is available or... Looks close to what you need.

Seagate DAVE

Toshiba had the Bluetooth Pocket Server but it may be discontinued

For 802.11b or g D-Link makes an enclosure. More range and installing a card should not be a big deal.


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I can't find a way to buy something like this, though it sounds close. There's also something called the Agere BluOnyx but this might not exist anymore either. – jacobsee Dec 9 '09 at 21:55

The simplest thing to do might be to get an intrinsically-safe cell phone with blue tooth and use that for the file-transfer. Here are some possibilities.

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