Anyone install their PoE switch outdoors?

NightLife

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I this daft, or feasible?


I have a conduit which brings the sat TV lines into the house which I am going to use for my cameras. So far I have crammed in 4 sat TV lines, and hope to fit 1 or possibly 2 of my heavy duty outdoor Cat7 IPC cable. But when more cameras are added I may be SOL. I may have to look for an alternative route into the house. I hate adding holes to a perfectly good home. Then it occurred to me...

What if I place the Netgear PoE switch outdoors in a weatherproof, outdoor junction box, and feed only the uplink and it's power cable back into the house? That way I only have to fit those 2 cable in, and can add as many cameras as my outdoor switch permits.


*Note: We do see -30 to -50's here in the winter, and summers are modest. Similar to say, Wi, Mn, Mi.
 

NightLife

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Shoot, I just realized this is a install "photo" section. I'll report my thread and see if it can be moved.
 

CCTVCam

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I'm about to in the UK albeit I have a carport to install under. I have bought a waterproof housing though.
 
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I don't know what the electrical code is in Canada, but here in the States you can't put high voltage power and low voltage lines in the same conduit. You will need a way to power the switch without running power through the conduit.

Given that cameras only need 100Mb connections and typically run under 10Mb, CAT7 is a waste. Outdoor rated or direct burial rated CAT5E or CAT6, both gigabit rated, is more than enough to future proof with.
 

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rellor

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Mine worked fine in an outdoor enclosure until it was accidentally switched off for two weeks. When it was powered on again it worked for 5 mins then died - Most likely ice/condensation. They will work fine as long as they are never switched off!
 

harleyl7

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I have mine installed outside, but it's not my main switch. It's a Unifi Flex powered by POE from my main switch inside.

 

icpilot

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In my case, I have a carport separate from the house, but it does have power to the carport. I had a cable run to the carport to power a single camera, but recently decided to expand that and re-purpose that cable to provide data to a 4-port POE switch. That POE switch is currently powering 2 cameras, but will soon be 3 cameras and a wireless Access Point.

Here are the products I used:

  • Waterproof box. I wanted one that had an option to lock it. Even though the plastic would not survive any serious abuse, the lock provides a visual deterrent.
  • Air vent to provide some way for heat to escape the locked box.
  • Waterproof Glands to seal cable openings into the box.
  • Amcrest 4-Port POE+ Switch.

There was some additional work I did with the old electrical junction boxes to both weatherproof and secure them against minor vandalism. Plus conduit, flex tube, connectors and seals to route the additional cables.

Photos and links here -->







 

Teken

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This question is asked dozens of times here and other forums. Anything that’s going to be outside needs to be outdoor rated / hardened. These devices use temperature rated components to allow a reasonable service life while operating in both extremes.

The vast majority of electronic hardware is damaged by heat when located outside of a conditioned space. Hardened devices also use conforming coating to resist moisture / condensation from impacting the electronics and corrosion from starting. Outdoor rated hardware is also properly IP / UL / cUL rated for your safety.

Installing unapproved electrical appliances outdoors will impact your home insurance and will void any coverage you believe is enforced.

Every year someone creates a fire hazard or becomes electrocuted by the same. A simple test to prove how a unapproved appliance not outdoor rated can harm you just touch the case with your hand while it’s damp!

You’ll quickly feel a buzz coming off the metal casing if present. If the case is plastic the device will over time become brittle and fall apart.

If you decide to go this route insure those electronics are powered by a GFCI. Safety standards and hardware exists because the need is there - use them!
 

NightLife

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This looks like great stuff. Before I begin digging in I just wanted to be clearer - if I did this it would NOT be sharing space with the main going into the house. I have 3 individual, and different sized Scepter conduits on the side of the house. 1 for main hydro, another for sat cables (which I intend to also use for IPC cabling), and 1 for hydro buried, and coming out the back of the house for a deck hot tub hookup.
 

NightLife

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Ok, reviewing complete. I'll pass I think, in this climate. The winter moisture isn't something, now that you all point that out, which I want to deal with. The insurance liability isn't even an angle I thought of. That alone should be enough to make any home owner perk up. If I were incredibly serious about this all, and wasn't mainly focused on wildlife, I would put forth the effort to use hardened products in an effort to go beyond code etc. But I'm not, and this is just a fun hobby right now so why push luck.


What I need to do is source a good tool for fashioning my own custom cable, because another 4 lines could fit that conduit I mentioned but not while the RJ45 ends are in place. At some point really ear;y on it begins to make sense to source bulk line, and all the trimmings plus the tool. And the tool I'd be looking for should probably be something which can also help out RJ45 outlets while I'm at it.


Thanks for all the input guys. In my region it looks to be a no-go, for a lot of the reasons stated. Others of you have and will find this information useful, and it's good that you have these options and choices.
 

CCTVCam

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That looks the same as my TP link. Maybe a rebadged version?


This question is asked dozens of times here and other forums. Anything that’s going to be outside needs to be outdoor rated / hardened. These devices use temperature rated components to allow a reasonable service life while operating in both extremes.

The vast majority of electronic hardware is damaged by heat when located outside of a conditioned space. Hardened devices also use conforming coating to resist moisture / condensation from impacting the electronics and corrosion from starting. Outdoor rated hardware is also properly IP / UL / cUL rated for your safety.

Installing unapproved electrical appliances outdoors will impact your home insurance and will void any coverage you believe is enforced.

Every year someone creates a fire hazard or becomes electrocuted by the same. A simple test to prove how a unapproved appliance not outdoor rated can harm you just touch the case with your hand while it’s damp!

You’ll quickly feel a buzz coming off the metal casing if present. If the case is plastic the device will over time become brittle and fall apart.

If you decide to go this route insure those electronics are powered by a GFCI. Safety standards and hardware exists because the need is there - use them!
That's why I went with a POE specific enclosure.

If it's specifically designed for a POE device then it's going to be hard for the insurance to argue you have been negligent. Also, in the UK all of our lighting / mains are on modern circuit breakers, breakers so sensitive simply touching the wires without the power on can sometimes trip them, so I doubt in our case there's going to be an issue with a box going live, although I chose to go plastic anyway. If yours isn't, and you're using a metal box, simply put a separate circuit breaker in such as this which can be fitted onto a standard patress box (note this isn't waterproof so for outside mounting):


Is there a danger an RCD could cut off your cctv when needed? Yes. But only if there's a short. Unlikely if there's no water ingress or wiring problem in which case it should help save the day.

So far as security is concered, I'm not too worried. In the roof of a car port, there are plenty of beams to hide the poe box behind and the height makes them inaccessible without a ladder. In any case, your average thief is not going to analyse your cctv from afar, work out which cable is feeding your poe switch / camera from the house, and then bring ladders to cut it whilst masked (and even if they did, they could do just the same to the separate cables where the switch is indoors).

If you're wealthy and live in a mansion with attractive valuable aretefacts then yes, maybe you want some kind of protection, but then you're also going to want either completely hidden cabling or cabling inside hardened steel conduit. For Joe Average, where professional theives are not likely to be involved, I personally wouldn't worry too much. Provided your cabling is out of reach, I doubt anyone's going to think about / nevermind try to attack it.
 
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SamM

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If you only have 1 x conduit, install the POE power supply indoors, then run a 2 core cable from the POE switch power supply to the outdoor unit, that way it will be dc power running with the network and you won't get any interference.

Apart from that, the operating temps could be your problem, I have installed these POE in a -5 (deg Cel) environment. You do get heaters for these situations, we used these 20years ago for the analog lenses so that they did not fog up.
 

Teken

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Ok, reviewing complete. I'll pass I think, in this climate. The winter moisture isn't something, now that you all point that out, which I want to deal with. The insurance liability isn't even an angle I thought of. That alone should be enough to make any home owner perk up. If I were incredibly serious about this all, and wasn't mainly focused on wildlife, I would put forth the effort to use hardened products in an effort to go beyond code etc. But I'm not, and this is just a fun hobby right now so why push luck.


What I need to do is source a good tool for fashioning my own custom cable, because another 4 lines could fit that conduit I mentioned but not while the RJ45 ends are in place. At some point really ear;y on it begins to make sense to source bulk line, and all the trimmings plus the tool. And the tool I'd be looking for should probably be something which can also help out RJ45 outlets while I'm at it.


Thanks for all the input guys. In my region it looks to be a no-go, for a lot of the reasons stated. Others of you have and will find this information useful, and it's good that you have these options and choices.
Nothing stopping you from doing this just sit down like you have now and ask questions & research.

Now you know the pros & cons the next step is to simply identify the correct accessories and hardware to use. As others noted Ubiquiti makes several outdoor rated POE switches along with cases.

Many other companies offer IP rated boxes for whatever size you need. The first thing to consider is location as this dictates everything else down the road. If say you buy the cheapest Saturday Night special POE switch but everything else is top shelf.

If you put the switch in an enclosed (sealed) box and it’s in direct sunlight during the summer it will quickly burn up and die.

The same box in the shade / cover will allow the Saturday Night special to last at least a year. You’ll note I specifically noted a sealed box vs a vented box! People often get confused between which IP rated box to use because this is directly related to the environment, location, and the rating of the electronics inside.

A perfect example is anything that has a fan must use a vented box! X item doesn’t have a fan on it for fun and the heat simply can’t be left to cook inside within a sealed box! As I noted early on heat is the primary killer of any electronics besides dirty power.

Keep in mind sometimes you want to keep the heat in. This again is driven by the environment it will operate in. I was posted at a arctic military site for 18 months to install new communication towers and network hardware.

The mean average is -55 to -61’C no wind chill! In that install a sealed waterproof box made sense along with a small temperature regulated heater. In the so called summer time (-32’C) the equipment made enough self generated heat the auxiliary heater didn’t need to come on.

In another install we used a vented box to allow flexibility of operations. In the summer the guys simply had to pull a metal tab to open the vent. In the winter close the same to keep condensation down. Sensors were installed to alert the users when the tab had to be open / closed and if they failed to do so at some point the system would kill power to that shiny toy they depended upon!

Other considerations is plastic vs metal box. Again this choice is driven by the environment and you probably know by now I didn’t use a plastic box no matter how good in the Arctic!

Besides the extreme cold polar bears would chew it up in five seconds. Lastly, always verify the UV listing for any enclosure because UV besides temperature is going to chew up a box in short order.
 

Kevin_Essiambre

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I just have a few things to add. There are a lot of good points here.

I install Trendnet PoE switches inside fiberglass enclosures all the time. Some are vented and some are not.

I use fiberglass 4X rated enclosures for all the installs I do. Never had a switch fail yet.

For your install I'd put the 48 volt power brick inside the building and run a wire outside for the switch so you don't have 120 volts running thru the same conduit.
 
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The biggest issue you will run into is condensation. But, that is an easy fix. First, you need a NEMA 3R rated enclosure with seals. You DO NOT want a ventilated enclosure or a NEMA 1 rated enclosure. Next, you will need a small thermostat and a small 120VAC low wattage enclosure heater. The heater has no fan, it is radiant heat only. All you will need is a 120VAC feed from inside your home to the box via conduit. The heater and thermostat are dinrail mountable. You can also get a dinrail mountable 120vac receptable so you can plug your switch into it. Set your thermostat to 10 deg C. Make sure all of your CAT cables entering the box are going through a weather-tite cord grip.
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Other posters have talked about running high voltage and low voltage together. You can do it legally. The issue is CAT cable outer insulation jacket is only rated for 30 volts. But, if you take a piece of heat shrink, place over the CAT cable, then NFPA will allow that to stand as a 600 volt rating on your CAT cable. Seeing that your POE switch power will be only 120VAC, you can legally run 300 volt rated wire insulation. THHN #14 would work just fine. That would give you 90 deg.C insulation rating and 600 volt rating for your power wiring. I would suggest your CAT cable be shielded. The company I work for builds control enclosures that go outside in a NEMA 3R box all the time. Some of them go to Alaska to be installed. All of these metering cabinets we build are UL 508A certified, which supersedes NFPA 70 and NFPA 79.
 
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I have 3 netgear pro series switches in watertite boxes for over 5 years in Florida. I originally ran cat6 wire but changed it to cat7 direct burial as it seems to hold up better with all our storms, it wasn't much more than cat 6 direct burial and each pair was insulated as well as the group of wires
 
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