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Old January 3rd, 2006, 02:35 PM   #1
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Beach-front web cam concerns

I have a client who wants to install a web cam on a beach (their outlet is located on a beach front). He realizes that having any kind of electronics on a beach such as a camera and computer will leave them vulnerable to water and salt corrosion (actually, I added this in because I heard this is a problem). What is the best way to protect it? I'm including a laptop or inexpensive PC box into the equation because he might need to incorporate other things into it besides a camera.
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Old January 3rd, 2006, 03:15 PM   #2
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Many options but you need to ask other questions and possibly simplify.

To save yourself the worry and hassle of additional electronics and computers being housed in a "somewhat secure location" why not just get a camera houseing for a wireless web cam.

Set up a wireless 802.11g setup at their home, They can reap the benefits of a wireless set up or take advantage of the one they already have. (or check to see if someone else has an open wireless system nearby and bum off their signal).

After you establish a wireless connection set up the wireless webcam out there. A good camera is usually PC-Less. Meaning it serves as a simple web server of updated video. You access it via web page. If you want more info let me know.
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Old January 3rd, 2006, 03:53 PM   #3
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David, the IP camera solution as you suggested is definitely one of the preferred options but I wanted to clear out all of the other decision factors first.
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Old January 3rd, 2006, 05:02 PM   #4
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A high salt air environment eats up aluminum very fast.

Some beach front property does not necessarily have a high salt air environment, but many do. The salt and the moisture just causes the metal to flake away. I used to live near the ocean in Florida. In some locations, the problem was just about unsolvable.

Another problem exists with moisture. If there is moisture present, and the container is frequently heated and cooled, the humid air will be drawn into the container (camera case), the moisture will eventually condense, and then the case will fill up with water. It is difficult, but not impossible to stop this process. A material, such as "Coax-Seal", which is like a grey putty, works well. Otherwise, you will need a drain hole.

What you are wanting to do is difficult. I would not place an expensive piece of gear near the ocean, unless the breezes are almost always from the land to the ocean. Expect problems.
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Old January 3rd, 2006, 07:48 PM   #5
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Dan, thanks for those considerations. It sounds like a custom solution is needed unless I learn the client actually has different conditions than I first thought.
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Old January 3rd, 2006, 09:13 PM   #6
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You might want to look over at pelco.com, they are really big in the security cam business although quite expensive. I have eight of thier cams in outside enclosures working in extreme weather conditions for the the past 3 years. Heated enclosures are a must for humidity control. Pelco dome enclosures do not hold much water on the surface which is also good. Be sure to use camera mounts that can withstand high wind speed. If money is no object then nitrogen presurized housings are top of the line.

Regards,

Mark
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