Make a low-cost housing for Mobius camera for outdoor deployments.
I wanted to create a low-cost housing using widely available materials to allow for field deployment of a mobius camera, under the widest possible conditions.
Ideally, this would allow for urban as well as natural environments, meaning some level of camoflauge is built in.
Also, allows for connection of external battery via cable port access, should we want to have Li batteries that can be swapped.
My attempt and results
I went with the exterior light fixture I'd mentioned in my previous research note, and a standard exterior, gasketed junction box cover.
The key to this was whether or not the Mobius exernal lens ribbon cable would be able to snake through the joint of the head on this thing.
It JUST makes it! Amazing.
The other lucky piece was that the gasket that comes with these things fits excatly onto the glass flashlight lens we purchased for building the first version of these housings. You could make do with no adhesive or caulking, but we but some barge cement on for good measure.
For urban camouflage, I thought it would be good to have the shiny, threaded socket in place, as a verification for anyone who looked up there to say, "yup, that's just a bare socket. Nothing to see here..." and not yoink the camera.
The best available method for removing ceramic socket form the metal:
And then the next happy accident: The mobius CCD module fits friction tight in the metal socket base!
You can simply shove the ccd unit into the base of the socket, and it holds tightly. Then i simply wrapped the socket in a piece of fuzzy velcro, then friction fit the whole thing into the metal head. Pop in the foam gasket, and you are set!
Questions and next steps
Should the hole on the bottom of the junction box be left wide open? Or should it be closed tightly? Or should we put a simple vapor barrier there?
How waterproof is this as it sits? Would we need to caulk up any of the seams or joints to ensure it's good?
What are some good ways to deploy this outdoors? J-box gives you many options, since it has tabs and holes built in. Simple to wire it up, or just mount the whole thing to a board and mount with rope or ratcheting straps, on a post, etc.
I found one trick of putting a hard drive magnet the box. It is strong enough to hold the thing up, and the Solid state flash memory should survive the magnet just fine.
How to connect additional batteries? you could just dangle a USB cable out the bottom, and have it attach to an external Li battery, which would have to be made resistant to the elements in another way.
Why I'm interested
Photos are hugely beneficial in building a case. Long term deployment of a simple and affordable camera is something we've been asked to deliver, and I think this may be it...we'll see.