Equipment - External Enclosure

Your camera will be exposed to the elements 24 hours a day so it should be protected by IP-67 enclosure

External enclosure

CCTV Enclosure

Your camera will be exposed to the elements 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and needs to be protected from the elements. You will need a waterproof CCTV enclosure.

Most enclosures are described in their sales literature as being waterproof to some degree but our experience is that more than a few aren’t. One reason is that CCTV enclosures are rarely designed to be pointed upwards. Overhangs and run-offs designed to direct water away from seals can do exactly the opposite when the camera is pointed at extreme angles.

It is well worth paying a little extra for a good quality camera enclosure, and in particular look out for the following:

  • A solid vibration free mounting (full mounting kits are provided to mount the enclosure to a wall);
  • Easy access to the camera for maintenance and adjustment;
  • Dew control (many enclosures come with internal heaters).

One of the best enclosures we have seen is the Genie TPH2000 enclosure. This is an IP-67 rated enclosure which comes with a 12v internal heater and can be purchased for around £50 to £55.

IP rating is an important measure of the level of protection provided by the enclosure. The IP (or ‘ingress protection’) rating determines resistance to dust and liquid. Our recommendation would be IP rating of 5 for water ingress; the Genie offers a rating of 7 (will withstand immersion up to 1m). A description of the IP rating system is available here (Wikipedia).

Keeping a clear view

A housing with a thermostatically controlled heater for dew control is highly recommended, and spastically a low voltage (12v) heater. Some enclosures have a 240v heater require a mains supply; for safety we do not recommend using any enclosure that requires 240v. Providing safe external mains supply increases complexity and installation cost. We also recommend a separate 12v power supply for the dew heater. (see Power Supply).

Mounting the camera

Mounting the camera into the enclosure is a straightforward; a single screw fitting secures the camera to a mounting plate. The mounting plate will provide some adjustment. It is advisable to ensure a small air gap between the lens and the enclosure window to allow airflow from the dew heater. Some cameras have a power-on LED which can be quite bright. It is best to cover this LED to prevent stray light interfering with the image.

Additional tips

  • If your enclosure has a white or reflective interior then line with dark cardboard (or repaint)
  • Before closing the enclosure throw in some silicon desiccant bags that have been dried out in a warm oven (its worth keeping these whenever you find them in any packaging but they can be bought in bulk from Amazon).