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Outdoor weatherproof enclosures for WAPs

Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

Any good links for DIY / cheap outdoor weatherproof enclosures for wireless
access points?

--
Bob Alston


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14 answers Last reply
More about outdoor weatherproof enclosures waps
  1. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    On Fri, 23 Jul 2004 19:02:09 -0500, "Bob Alston" <bobalston AT aol
    DOT com> wrote:

    >Any good links for DIY / cheap outdoor weatherproof enclosures for wireless
    >access points?

    Standard PVC and fiberglass electrical boxes work well. See:
    http://www.stahlin.com
    http://www.hoffmanonline.com
    http://www.hammfg.com
    Search google for "electrical enclosures".

    Oh, you want cheap. Well, there's the usual Tupperware clones and
    plastic storage boxes. I kinda like the clear Rubbermaid
    polycarbonate boxes:
    http://www.stainshield.com


    --
    # Jeff Liebermann 150 Felker St #D Santa Cruz CA 95060
    # 831.336.2558 voice http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
    # jeffl@comix.santa-cruz.ca.us
    # 831.421.6491 digital_pager jeffl@cruzio.com AE6KS
  2. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    OK Thanks. And YEs, I did mean cheap. I was thinking Rubermaid type boxes.

    Now more questions:

    1) Do I need any kind of vent - for condensation or heat elimination? I
    would guess there is not much heat in a WAP.

    2) What about cold weather? This unit would be installed in Michigan.
    Clearly having weather below the 32 degrees F. that is the lower end of the
    WRT54G unit's operating spec?

    --
    Bob Alston

    "Jeff Liebermann" <jeffl@comix.santa-cruz.ca.us> wrote in message
    news:cjb3g0thb0j2qvfuf58c6smdlbpi77l93g@4ax.com...
    > On Fri, 23 Jul 2004 19:02:09 -0500, "Bob Alston" <bobalston AT aol
    > DOT com> wrote:
    >
    > >Any good links for DIY / cheap outdoor weatherproof enclosures for
    wireless
    > >access points?
    >
    > Standard PVC and fiberglass electrical boxes work well. See:
    > http://www.stahlin.com
    > http://www.hoffmanonline.com
    > http://www.hammfg.com
    > Search google for "electrical enclosures".
    >
    > Oh, you want cheap. Well, there's the usual Tupperware clones and
    > plastic storage boxes. I kinda like the clear Rubbermaid
    > polycarbonate boxes:
    > http://www.stainshield.com
    >
    >
    > --
    > # Jeff Liebermann 150 Felker St #D Santa Cruz CA 95060
    > # 831.336.2558 voice http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
    > # jeffl@comix.santa-cruz.ca.us
    > # 831.421.6491 digital_pager jeffl@cruzio.com AE6KS


    ---
    Outgoing mail is certified Virus Free.
    Checked by AVG anti-virus system (http://www.grisoft.com).
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  3. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    The Hammond enclosures are excellent. You can get a GREAT bargan purchasing
    from them online:
    http://www.hammonddirect.com

    Frank
    http://www.wlanparts.com


    "Jeff Liebermann" <jeffl@comix.santa-cruz.ca.us> wrote in message
    news:cjb3g0thb0j2qvfuf58c6smdlbpi77l93g@4ax.com...
    > On Fri, 23 Jul 2004 19:02:09 -0500, "Bob Alston" <bobalston AT aol
    > DOT com> wrote:
    >
    > >Any good links for DIY / cheap outdoor weatherproof enclosures for
    wireless
    > >access points?
    >
    > Standard PVC and fiberglass electrical boxes work well. See:
    > http://www.stahlin.com
    > http://www.hoffmanonline.com
    > http://www.hammfg.com
    > Search google for "electrical enclosures".
  4. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    On Fri, 23 Jul 2004 21:02:08 -0500, "Bob Alston" <bobalston AT aol
    DOT com> wrote:

    >OK Thanks. And YEs, I did mean cheap. I was thinking Rubermaid type boxes.

    Groan.

    >1) Do I need any kind of vent - for condensation or heat elimination? I
    >would guess there is not much heat in a WAP.

    In a previous life, I designed marine radios and some marine telemetry
    (SCADA) hardware. Environmental packaging is an art.

    >2) What about cold weather? This unit would be installed in Michigan.
    >Clearly having weather below the 32 degrees F. that is the lower end of the
    >WRT54G unit's operating spec?

    It's difficult to say what is adequate without knowing all the
    environmental issues. I seriously doubt that the WRT54G will work
    properly below 0C. The problem is not the cold temperatures, but the
    condensation that comes with cold temperatures. Water under
    components can easily crack the components or delaminate the circuit
    board traces. Most access points are designed with fairly high
    impedances, with little consideration for condensation or water
    incursion. At 2.4GHz, water is a dead short, so water in the RF
    portions of the board, in the coax connectors, and in the coax cables
    is fatal.

    Basically, you need to protect the board from water. The easiest way
    is to coat it with some kind of waterproof coating. Clear acrylic
    paint works well, but not at 2.4GHz as it's slightly hydroscopic.
    Polyurathane works well, but can make a horrible mess.
    http://www.humiseal.com
    Wax coatings work really well, but don't complain about what it looks
    like after it gets a good dusting. Download and read all about it:
    http://www.humiseal.com/protect/guide.htm
    Be sure to mask of any electrical and RF connectors (with masking
    tape) before spraying. You don't need an insulating layer in a
    connector. Don't ask me what to do inside the PCMCIA radios found in
    most wireless bridges/routers. I guess you tear it apart and spray
    it.

    One really big help is to mount all the electronics vertically. The
    idea is that if there is any water that condenses on the board, it
    will eventually run down to the lower board edge and drip off.
    Horizontal boards make puddle collectors.

    The next step is to prevent condensation. You can do it by either
    keeping the internal temperature above the dew point, or by
    hermetically sealing the box and filling it with dry air (or dry
    nitrogen). Most outdoor access points have some kind of heater that
    kicks at about +10C. If you have power to spare, I suggest a
    thermostat and a heater in the box. You might wanna look at how Dlink
    does it with their outdoor radios.

    I'm partial to the hermetically sealed approach for both the box and
    any Heliax coax cable. However, finding pressure tight connectors is
    difficult, especially for RJ45 connectors. If you don't mind
    overpriced military grade pressurize connectors, it can be made to
    work. You'll need a sturdy, waterproof, NEMA something enclosure,
    with a bicycle valve seal and a pressure gauge/alarm. A bottle of dry
    air will keep the pressure above ambient. If the box is going up a
    tower, don't bother as the bottle will need to be fairly close to the
    enclosure.

    At the other end of the environmental hassle is dissipating the heat.
    Most access points burn about 5-10 watts. The larger units (Soekris)
    burn over 15 watts. If you build the box as an insulated enclosure,
    the heat will build up and eventually cook the electronics. A clear
    case will act like an automobile in the sun, where UV going through
    the clear glass converts to infra-red and gets trapped inside.
    Instant oven. So, some effort should be made to keep solar heating at
    a minimum. I guess the impressive looking clear case is out.
    Something white to reflect the heat might be nice. Any large heat
    sinks on power regulators should be bolted to the case to help radiate
    the heat to the outside air.

    Notice I haven't just handed you an answer. I don't think I can
    design an enclosure for the WRT54G that would work without some
    careful calculations and measurements. I certainly don't think it can
    be done with a Rubbermaid box, no conformal coating, no heater, and a
    general lack of waterproofing. Forget about doing it cheap and get a
    real NEMA enclosure.


    --
    # Jeff Liebermann 150 Felker St #D Santa Cruz CA 95060
    # 831.336.2558 voice http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
    # jeffl@comix.santa-cruz.ca.us
    # 831.421.6491 digital_pager jeffl@cruzio.com AE6KS
  5. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    "Jeff Liebermann" <jeffl@comix.santa-cruz.ca.us> wrote in message
    news:imi3g0prhidorkqetkfikmm4i0cfc37b9m@4ax.com...
    > On Fri, 23 Jul 2004 21:02:08 -0500, "Bob Alston" <bobalston AT aol
    > DOT com> wrote:
    >
    > >OK Thanks. And YEs, I did mean cheap. I was thinking Rubermaid type
    boxes.
    >
    > Groan.
    >
    > >1) Do I need any kind of vent - for condensation or heat elimination? I
    > >would guess there is not much heat in a WAP.
    >
    > In a previous life, I designed marine radios and some marine telemetry
    > (SCADA) hardware. Environmental packaging is an art.
    >
    > >2) What about cold weather? This unit would be installed in Michigan.
    > >Clearly having weather below the 32 degrees F. that is the lower end of
    the
    > >WRT54G unit's operating spec?
    >
    > It's difficult to say what is adequate without knowing all the
    > environmental issues. I seriously doubt that the WRT54G will work
    > properly below 0C. The problem is not the cold temperatures, but the
    > condensation that comes with cold temperatures. Water under
    > components can easily crack the components or delaminate the circuit
    > board traces. Most access points are designed with fairly high
    > impedances, with little consideration for condensation or water
    > incursion. At 2.4GHz, water is a dead short, so water in the RF
    > portions of the board, in the coax connectors, and in the coax cables
    > is fatal.
    >
    > Basically, you need to protect the board from water. The easiest way
    > is to coat it with some kind of waterproof coating. Clear acrylic
    > paint works well, but not at 2.4GHz as it's slightly hydroscopic.
    > Polyurathane works well, but can make a horrible mess.
    > http://www.humiseal.com
    > Wax coatings work really well, but don't complain about what it looks
    > like after it gets a good dusting. Download and read all about it:
    > http://www.humiseal.com/protect/guide.htm
    > Be sure to mask of any electrical and RF connectors (with masking
    > tape) before spraying. You don't need an insulating layer in a
    > connector. Don't ask me what to do inside the PCMCIA radios found in
    > most wireless bridges/routers. I guess you tear it apart and spray
    > it.
    >
    > One really big help is to mount all the electronics vertically. The
    > idea is that if there is any water that condenses on the board, it
    > will eventually run down to the lower board edge and drip off.
    > Horizontal boards make puddle collectors.
    >
    > The next step is to prevent condensation. You can do it by either
    > keeping the internal temperature above the dew point, or by
    > hermetically sealing the box and filling it with dry air (or dry
    > nitrogen). Most outdoor access points have some kind of heater that
    > kicks at about +10C. If you have power to spare, I suggest a
    > thermostat and a heater in the box. You might wanna look at how Dlink
    > does it with their outdoor radios.
    >
    > I'm partial to the hermetically sealed approach for both the box and
    > any Heliax coax cable. However, finding pressure tight connectors is
    > difficult, especially for RJ45 connectors. If you don't mind
    > overpriced military grade pressurize connectors, it can be made to
    > work. You'll need a sturdy, waterproof, NEMA something enclosure,
    > with a bicycle valve seal and a pressure gauge/alarm. A bottle of dry
    > air will keep the pressure above ambient. If the box is going up a
    > tower, don't bother as the bottle will need to be fairly close to the
    > enclosure.
    >
    > At the other end of the environmental hassle is dissipating the heat.
    > Most access points burn about 5-10 watts. The larger units (Soekris)
    > burn over 15 watts. If you build the box as an insulated enclosure,
    > the heat will build up and eventually cook the electronics. A clear
    > case will act like an automobile in the sun, where UV going through
    > the clear glass converts to infra-red and gets trapped inside.
    > Instant oven. So, some effort should be made to keep solar heating at
    > a minimum. I guess the impressive looking clear case is out.
    > Something white to reflect the heat might be nice. Any large heat
    > sinks on power regulators should be bolted to the case to help radiate
    > the heat to the outside air.
    >
    > Notice I haven't just handed you an answer. I don't think I can
    > design an enclosure for the WRT54G that would work without some
    > careful calculations and measurements. I certainly don't think it can
    > be done with a Rubbermaid box, no conformal coating, no heater, and a
    > general lack of waterproofing. Forget about doing it cheap and get a
    > real NEMA enclosure.
    >
    >
    > --
    > # Jeff Liebermann 150 Felker St #D Santa Cruz CA 95060
    > # 831.336.2558 voice http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
    > # jeffl@comix.santa-cruz.ca.us
    > # 831.421.6491 digital_pager jeffl@cruzio.com AE6KS

    Thanks. I think I am convinced. No outdoor mounting of the WRT54G.

    --
    Bob Alston


    ---
    Outgoing mail is certified Virus Free.
    Checked by AVG anti-virus system (http://www.grisoft.com).
    Version: 6.0.725 / Virus Database: 480 - Release Date: 7/19/2004
  6. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    On Fri, 23 Jul 2004 22:51:37 -0500, "Bob Alston" <bobalston AT aol
    DOT com> wrote:

    (chop...)

    >Thanks. I think I am convinced. No outdoor mounting of the WRT54G.

    No guts, no gain. Haven't you ever heard of learn by destroying?
    Doesn't the thrill of climbing a tower in a freezing gale to service
    the wireless router sound like an adventure? Surely you wouldn't let
    such potentially near fatal exercises to deter you from such a worth
    experiment.

    Anyway, it's apparently been done.

    http://www.sveasoft.com/modules.php?name=SveasoftArticles&op=SveaReadArticle&id=1
    Note that the article is about 8 pages long. Click "next" in the
    lower right corner. They claim it works from -25C to +30C in Sweden.
    I'm skeptical but suspect it's worth a try.


    --
    # Jeff Liebermann 150 Felker St #D Santa Cruz CA 95060
    # 831.336.2558 voice http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
    # jeffl@comix.santa-cruz.ca.us
    # 831.421.6491 digital_pager jeffl@cruzio.com AE6KS
  7. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    >
    > (chop...)
    >
    > >Thanks. I think I am convinced. No outdoor mounting of the WRT54G.
    >
    > No guts, no gain. Haven't you ever heard of learn by destroying?
    > Doesn't the thrill of climbing a tower in a freezing gale to service
    > the wireless router sound like an adventure? Surely you wouldn't let
    > such potentially near fatal exercises to deter you from such a worth
    > experiment.
    >
    > Anyway, it's apparently been done.
    >
    >
    http://www.sveasoft.com/modules.php?name=SveasoftArticles&op=SveaReadArticle&id=1
    > Note that the article is about 8 pages long. Click "next" in the
    > lower right corner. They claim it works from -25C to +30C in Sweden.
    > I'm skeptical but suspect it's worth a try.
    >
    >
    > --
    > # Jeff Liebermann 150 Felker St #D Santa Cruz CA 95060
    > # 831.336.2558 voice http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
    > # jeffl@comix.santa-cruz.ca.us
    > # 831.421.6491 digital_pager jeffl@cruzio.com AE6KS

    That is a really great article. (Wish I had found it - :)

    But..... I am not so inclined as to do all that customization stuff.
    So...... I guess a shelf just inside the wall where
    I plan to mount the antenna, and adding another electric outlet at the top
    of the wall will be my plan.

    bob


    ---
    Outgoing mail is certified Virus Free.
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  8. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    >So...... I guess a shelf just inside the wall where
    >I plan to mount the antenna, and adding another electric outlet at the top
    >of the wall will be my plan.

    http://www.bextreme.net/wap11web/
  9. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    Cool link AndrewJ.

    Anyone who has installed a WAP in an outdoor enclosure without disassembling
    the unit????????

    Come on now. Surely some have done or at least tried this!!!??????????

    --
    Bob Alston

    "AndrewJ" <andrewj@gmail.com> wrote in message
    news:bgs4g0172fo16ld5ph042a1ai26cs0jrv2@4ax.com...
    >
    >
    > >So...... I guess a shelf just inside the wall where
    > >I plan to mount the antenna, and adding another electric outlet at the
    top
    > >of the wall will be my plan.
    >
    > http://www.bextreme.net/wap11web/

    Cool link AndrewJ.

    Anyone who has installed a WAP in an outdoor enclosure without disassembling
    the unit????????

    Come on now. Surely some have done or at least tried this!!!??????????

    --
    Bob Alston


    ---
    Outgoing mail is certified Virus Free.
    Checked by AVG anti-virus system (http://www.grisoft.com).
    Version: 6.0.725 / Virus Database: 480 - Release Date: 7/19/2004
  10. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    > Any good links for DIY / cheap outdoor weatherproof enclosures
    > for wireless access points?

    I have used Pelican 1200 and 1300 before, $30-37 at
    http://www.cases4less.com/
    to enclose Buffalo AP/bridge, AC adapter, and
    Tripp Lite DNET1 Cat5 surge suppressor.
    How does that compare for cheapness and functionality
    to the Stahlins and Hammonds of the world.

    I am wondering though how to do lightning protection on
    the AC line. Is this a good way: A one outlet surge suppressor
    such as Tripp Lite SPIKECUBE
    http://www.tripplite.com/products/product.cfm?productID=120
    next to the AC adapter to protect the AC adapter and radio,
    and another suppressor where the AC line plugs
    into the building/home electrical socket to protect the
    building/home electrical system?

    Are these consumer-grade surge suppressors bi-directional,
    able to conduct a surge to ground regardless of whether
    it comes in from the "Load" side or the "Line" side?

    Are they multi-strike? Internally are they as simple as
    just MOVs connected L-N, L-G, and N-G?
  11. Quote:
    Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    Any good links for DIY / cheap outdoor weatherproof enclosures for wireless
    access points?

    --
    Bob Alston


    ---
    Outgoing mail is certified Virus Free.
    Checked by AVG anti-virus system (http://www.grisoft.com).
    Version: 6.0.725 / Virus Database: 480 - Release Date: 7/19/2004


    Www.ddbunlimited.com does outdoor weatherproof enclosures for just about anything. They might have exactly what your looking for. The enclosures are lightweight yet durable and secure.
  12. electric chick said:
    Www.ddbunlimited.com does outdoor weatherproof enclosures for just about anything. They might have exactly what your looking for. The enclosures are lightweight yet durable and secure.


    Try:
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rd=1&item=380246241535&ssPageName=STRK:MESE:IT

    or

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rd=1&item=250691961320&ssPageName=STRK:MESE:IT

    Regards,

    Yossman
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