Understanding Housings

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Housings, in essence are casings used to protect Cameras from a variety of conditions, dependent on the environment in which they are mounted.

At first sight, most Camera Housings may seem similar. In practise to ensure the optimum appearance and performance of appropriate for a Camera installation a number of factors have to be taken into consideration:

  1. Location.
  2. Risk of vandalism.
  3. The total load weight of the housing and constituent elements (including Camera, Lens and any other equipment encased within, the hanging bracket and fixing surface)
  4. The housing chosen has sufficient physical space for the Camera, Lens (which may have to be changed at a later stage), electrical wiring and enough room to make the connections and allow for future maintenance.
  5. Try to aluminium or rust proof products. Steel is more vulnerable to the elements and will rust in time!

Housings should only be mounted onto load bearing points.

  1. It is recommended that the top five or six levels of brick work on buildings it is avoided when mounting a Camera housing.

Environmental conditions are also a primary consideration in selecting an appropriate housing for a camera system, but often one which is not given the due attention. As a result, a housing may not give the level of protection required in its specific application - wasting time, money and effort. If a camera is to be mounted externally in a coastal location, for example, the housing will require a marine finish to protect against the damaging effects of salt which can induce premature corrosion.

Climatic effects also need to be considered. Rising and falling temperatures can dramatically effect the workings of electrical equipment and as a result requires pro-active consideration. In hot conditions, the severity of the sun may require the use of air blowers and sun shields to maintain the temperature of the camera at an optimum level and ensure clear viewing. Conversely, in cold conditions, it may be that a camera requires a heater and thermostat built into the housing. In rainy conditions, wipers may be required to keep the housing glass clear to maintain the cameras viewing quality.

The standard for the degree of protection that housing afford to its contents is defined by the IP system (see following charts)

1st IP Digit Degree of Protection Definition
0 Zero protection No special protection
1 Protection against solids greater than 50mm Large surface of human body such as a hand, none against deliberate access
2 Protection against solids greater than 12mm Fingers or similar objects not exceeding 80mm in length
3 Protection against solids greater than 2.5mm Tools/wires etc of thickness or diameter greater than 2.5mm
4 Protection against solids greater than 1.0mm Wires or strips greater than 1.0mm
5 Dust protected Total protection against dust is not provided but sufficient protection to allow satisfactory operation
6 Dust tight No ingress of dust
2nd IP Digit Degree of Protection Definition
0 Zero protection No special protection
1 Protection against dripping water Vertically dripping water shall have no effect
2 Protection against dripping water when tilted up to 15° Vertically dripping water shall have no harmful effect, when enclosure is titled at any angle up to 15°
3 Protection against water spray Water falling as a spray at an angle up to 60° from vertical shall have no harmful effect
4 Protection against splashing water Water splashed against the enclosure from any angle shall have no harmful effect
5 Protection against water lets Water protected by a nozzle against the enclosure from any angle shall have no harmful effect
6 Protection against heavy seas Water from heavy seas or water projected by powerful jets shall not enter the enclosures in harmful quantities

This article was supplied by Norbain and used with permission. Norbain are manufacturers of the Vista Protos range of state-of-the-art products designed for leading edge and performance critical applications - where extensive features and functionality are the key.