FlightAware Discussions

Outdoor Enclosure


#1

Does anyone have a link to an ‘ideal’ weather proof project enclosure for outdoor use? I’m looking for something to house the RPi, a POE adapter, USB extension cable (between the RPi & FA Pro dongle) and dongle. I would have the antenna cable & ethernet cable going into/out of the box.

Ideally I’d like something that has a way to actually ‘mount’ the RPi in the box, rather than just stuffing everything in there loose.

Thanks.


#2

There is an older thread here somewhere which pictures of different setups.

Hot glue is probably always an option to keep things in place.

In this Thread @abcd567 added a link to three threads, unfortunately a lot of the pictures are gone, probably due to the change to the new forum software


#3

I have used this one (6x6x4 inch):
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Carlon-6-in-x-6-in-x-4-in-Gray-PVC-Junction-Box-E987RR/100404096
Drill holes on the lateral part that will be pointing down. Use silicone sealant around the cables. Secure the cables inside the box so they won’t be pulled out by the cable weight or tension.

If you need more space:
8x8x4 inch: https://www.homedepot.com/p/8-in-x-4-in-Junction-Box-E989N-CAR/100404099
12x12x6 inch: https://www.homedepot.com/p/12-in-x-12-in-x-6-in-Junction-Box-R5133713/202043349


#4

I ordered another batch of components yesterday to build my second PiAware, including an outdoor rated enclosure. I started tinkering around with the layout of some of the components in design software, my goal being to 3D print an adapter plate that will allow neat & easy mounting of the components into the enclosure. All the cable penetrations will be sealed up with cable glands hopefully.

This is the enclosure I ended up ordering: http://a.co/d/4QPU6Ub Hopefully it will work for my needs.

Here’s a quick peek at the design I’m putting together: 2018-11-27_8-20-46 Still a lot of work to be done to refine the design & see how everything is going to be laid out. Some of the sizes of components will change as I receive the components currently on order and can measure out their real-world dimensions.


#5

I used this box

It is larger than necessary, but that’s a good thing. Lots a room inside for future stuff.

I mounted components using Velcro.


#6

That’s an indoor box. No gasket.


#7

I guarantee that it does indeed have a gasket.


#8

It’s a NEMA 4x box. It does have a seal and is rated for outdoor use.


#9

Thanks for the clarification.
The first thing I noticed:

Electrical Box for Indoor Uses


#10



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#11

Personally I have chooses to keep outside only the preamplifier/filter and extend the coax cable to indoors, to keep the Pi and receiver stick in a semi-controlled environment.
Plus, I could add a surge protection on the coax cable at the house side.


#12

I have a couple of questions.

Rugomol, I see you are using POE and a 5v regulator, did you consider using the Pi POE Hat?

Mblackin, almost the same question, I see in your cad drawing you are showing some kind of power cable, but not connected to the ethernet port?

I’m considering such things at the moment. I do wonder if the POE hat will generate some unwanted RF noise, but it makes for a neat solution.


#13

POE Hat doesn’t work for usb devices requiring any reasonable amount of current.
Or did they fix that already?
Just search poe hat usb current.


#14

The genuine one I got sent this morning is rated 2.5A 5v output.

Not sure I need more than 1A?


#15

It’s a Switching Mode DC-DC converter, so likely emits at least some RFI,
and the 5V rail does have ~400mV of ripple on it.

Near the end of the clip, he actually zaps the device!

Here’s the review from Dave at EEVBlog:


#16

Yes, they fixed it.


#17

Currently, a modified version of the pcb, with an additional mezzanine board is on sale, the next production batch will have the solution inbuild.


#18

I house mine in a plastic sprinkler box that is mounted on a patio wall! Worked well for more than a year without interruption but became problematic this year in summer. There was a momentary loss of power and a GFI switch had to be replaced in the garage before power could be restored. Since then I have had nagging power problems that cause “unplanned downtime” but the host notifications are a big help (even though I have Nagios running in my intranet).

I used a UPS to shield RPi from momentary power lapses but this UPS itself became an issue (looking for a good value UPS now).

Only other observation is that the standard coax cable length (with the FA hardware) was adequate for proof-of-concept but I will have to elevate the antenna further (subject o HOA approval) to acquire 360 readings.

Regards.


#19

I haven’t used them myself but i was thinking of trying one of those 12V UPS systems. You would of course need a step down transformer to feed the pi. But you avoid all the tech necessary to create AC at 50/60Hz

You could probably build one yourself using a 13V supply with a lead acid battery :slight_smile: (or what ever voltage you would use in that case maybe 13.4 V i’m not sure what lead acid must not exceed for extended periods of time)


#20

Good point. Thx for suggestion. I’ll give it a try in a couple of weeks. Rgds.