Subscriber Discussion

Extreme Coastal Environment Camera Challenge

We have an extreme coastal installation that is currently wreaking havoc on some IQEye sentinels we deployed a while back. The weather has in fact even caused issues with Extreme's Mic400 series cameras at the same site.

Would a pressurized housing with say an Axis P1347 be a good way to go?

I would love to hear some feedback from those who have experience doing this, thanks.

I see the Mic400 is IP68 and Bosch recommends a pressurized unit as a more economical / lower choice. Which is better typically? IP68 or pressurized?

Hello Brian:

What issues are you seeing? Is it freezing/fog?

We have experienced moisture problems raning from simple fogging to severe condensation inside of the housing.

The Mics have been pretty good overall but recently one started developing condensation. Another had its front glass sandblasted in a storm, not the camera's fault but it does give you an idea of how harsh it can be out there.

Wow. While a pressurized housing may do a better job at keeping moisture out, I am not sure that they will withstand driving sand better than the MIC400.

I've seen Pelco's EH8100 work well in the field, and Videolarm released the PFH10, but I have not seen one in person. Unlike the IP68 rated MIC400, they are rated to IP67. Both feature glass front lenses, but they would be susceptible to etching and driving sand in harsh environments, too.

Really the question of IP68 vs. IP67 in this application is academic, since the difference between the two relates to immersion of 3 feet and greater. Your application does not sound like a specification rating issue; rather it sounds like the environment is just chewing the housings up!

To answer your initial question "Would a pressurized housing be a good way to go?" I would answer it wouldn't necessarily give you a better result just because it is pressurized. I will ask the folks at Videolarm your question and report out on their feedback.

I look forward to reading other replies!

And I passed this along to Axis and Bosch to see what thoughts they had.

Hi Brian,

I don't expect anything to withstand the sand blasting, I am just worried about the moisture problem. I look forward to videoalarm's response.

Thanks for your help.

Thanks John

We recently had an in depth discussion about moisture / condensation inside housings. While it focused on desiccant bags, it touched a number of tactics/issues.

Hello, Brian:

Videolarm responded:

Pressurized housings are great for coastal areas. They provide the maximum protection for the camera and lens. Since the housing is completely sealed, there is no exchange of air from the outside. So you eliminate the chance of oxygen causing rust, oxygen & hydrogen creating moisture and no other particles that can harm the camera and lens. Not sure what issues they are having with the cameras, if the corrosive air is damaging the electronics inside, then yes a pressurized housing would solve their problem. Most pressurized housings/cameras are usually built with higher grade materials that are also going to resist the corrosive air better. So you will also have less visual effects on the outside of the housings/cameras.

While this answer validates a pressure dome as an option (from a vendor of pressure dome housings), it does not address the extreme environment of your location. It may not ultimately prove to be longer lasting or more resilient than the MIC400, but fundamentally it does offer protection against corrosive moisture ingress into the housing.

Axis doesn't manufacturer all of the products they offer to compliment their product line specifically the housings like this. Most camera manufacturers don't due to the OEM relationships that are easily had, ie. Videolarm.

Assuming you install everything correctly with best practices then the pressurized housing does protect better and it will last longer. I can say that with confidence because of what I have seen in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina with multiple DOT installations having been affected. The cameras that worked afterwards were the ones on pressurized containers.

How many other manufacturers of pressurized housings are there? Pelco, Aigis Mechtronics, Cohu, Videotec, Videolarm, Vicon, maybe VTi, Bosch...

Videolarm has a long standing reputation of taking care of their customers and building quality products. Marc Faubert is a great technical resource there because of his years of field experience. Who better to tell you than an expert in the manufacturing business!

Thanks Brian, thanks David.

Down here, we have a lot of coastal applications - seeing we all mostly live on outside edge of the continent. For many years end users have used pressurised enclosures like the pelco EH8100 series to keep moisture out in the humid climates (north of the tropic of capricorn) and either hard anodized enclosures for aluminium or 316L stainless steel enclosures. Wouldn't look at anything less than IP67.

Other than a regular maintenance regime its hard to combat sand blasted enclosure front windows and keeping moisture out unless you use a pressurised enclosure (and IP67) for humid environments and IP67 for colder climates inc to say add silica gell bags (tied up inside) and changed bianually minimum.

All manufacturers enclosures listed by David above are good choices.