Cheap Outdoor Webcams Enclosure

So I ante'ed up the big bucks for a wireless Webcam - specifically the Dlink DCS-6620G. Nice webcam, but I wanted to put it outside so people could view my halloween decorations and christmas lights. But the webcam is only rated down to 32°F and it can drop below zero in Colorado ... and an outdoor webcam enclosure costs about $500 since they include a blower and heater. So I decided to build my own webcam enclosure which cost me whopping $27.34 and this should be able to stand up to the cold, rain, and snow of Colorado.

I'm hanging this from a neighbor's can light - 6" outside diameter to be exact. First, I put a couple of straightened 5" 'L' brackets inside the can light. The entire webcam assembly is placed inside a 6" inner diameter foot long sewer pipe (yes, sewer pipe!) which is then hung from a threaded metal rod that goes through those brackets - two wingnuts hold it in place. Inside of that, the webcam hangs from a 5" diameter plate that is suspended by two more rods that are placed through the sewer pipe. An end cap sits at the bottom where the webcam 120VAC-12VDC transformer is placed - this also provides a little extra warmth for low temperature operation. I'll try leaving the end cap vented (there's about a 1/4" opening on the top) so there is some ventilation that should prevent fogging in the viewport ... which is just a free plexiglass AOL CD case cover that is taped on! ;-)

Since this was going to be installed at a neighbor's house, it was prudent to "test" things out at my house first as shown in the first set of pictures below. You can optionally add a cheap wireless temperature sensor inside the PVC and another taped to the outside which would provide a "delta temperature" reading. Actual installation was super-duper easy since the entire unit is self-contained, with only a power cord coming out of the top. Plug that in, run the threaded metal rod through the PVC-bracket-bracket-PVC, screw down the wingnut, and you are ready for action!

Check back in October/2005 and I'll have the webcam broadcasting imagery of the halloween decorations and then my christmas lights. BTW, none of this would have been doable without my neighbor's who have graciousely allowed me to mount the webcam at their house. UPDATE: Worked great with temperature dipping a few times below 0F°!!! The only issue was the wireless signal would sometimes drop out, so I installed a Pringles-Can antenna at my house pointed toward the webcam and have had no problems after that. I have christmas videos of time-lapse footage from this ... and be sure to check out the Controllable Christmas Lights!

Outdoor Webcam Enclosure Parts - $27.34

3 foot long threaded metal rods with wing nuts, 4 sheet metal screws, socket-to-plug adapter
6" Sewer pipe, end cap, 5" cap, two "L" brackets (free AOL CD case not shown)
Dlink DCS-6620G with threaded base and transformer also shown

outdoor webcam parts

5" 'L' brackets straightened in a vise
Then internal cut extended with a hacksaw
Yea, not a very good job on that 2nd one!

Sheet metal screws are used to anchor those brackets
The metal rod can then hang from there
Note socket to plug adapter in place

webcam brackets enclosure rods

Yep - that's really sewer pipe - no expense spared!

First test hanging of the webcam enclosure
Basic concept will work - need to straighten up a bit!
My can lights were 6 1/2" diameter - neighbors are 6"
so brackets will be on the inside of the pipe there

webcam sewer pipe webcam enclosure hang

Put Can lights back togather - note cracked plaster
It didn't look like that before - yikes!
Try to cover up before wife gets home and notices

Carpet below doesn't look too pretty either
Fire up vacuum before wife gets home!

can light oops webcam enclosure junk

Needed to be able to "hang" the webcam
So run bolt through 5" diameter cover plate
Extra nuts are to reduce chance of stripping webcam threads

Center rod hangs from the can light brackets
Two side rods are use to hang the 5" cover plate with webcam

webcam mount outdoor enclosure rod

Outdoor Webcam Enclosure on the concrete flower pots

A view from the bottom

outdoor webcam 1 webcam enclosure bottom

Ready for installation w/AOL plexiglass CD cover

Extension cord is plugged in and the top middle rod hangs from brackets
Reflection is from sun at the right - should be non-issue at night

final enclosure

Outdoor webcam enclosure installed under the can light

webcam enclosure install

Inside of Webcam Enclosure

Webcam doesn't always center properly - easy enough to pan over

inside webcam enclosure

Here's the "real" view

The Aspen Leaves obscuring the view should drop soon

webcam house x2

Webcam takes a picture of Alek taking a picture of the webcam

webcam alek x10