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Water Resistant Connectors

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  • Adam Sherman
    Hello All, I m looking at building a digipeater that lives in a plastic Pelican case. Anyone have pointers to waterproof or water resistant 9-pin serial
    Message 1 of 19 , Jan 15, 2009
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      Hello All,

      I'm looking at building a digipeater that lives in a plastic Pelican
      case. Anyone have pointers to waterproof or water resistant 9-pin
      serial connectors suitable for mounting through the plastic?

      Thanks,

      A.

      --
      Adam Sherman
      adam@...
      VA3SHR
    • Fred Hillhouse
      One search turned up http://www.suresealconnections.com/ Don t limit yourself to a DE-9 for connections. Sometimes adapting to a different form factor is
      Message 2 of 19 , Jan 15, 2009
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        One search turned up http://www.suresealconnections.com/

        Don't limit yourself to a DE-9 for connections. Sometimes adapting to a
        different form factor is easier and works better.

        I included a link for quickness. On this page, there are several options. I
        like adding flange (panel) mounts to boxes.
        http://www.suresealconnections.com/pdfs/sureSealCatalog_4-5.pdf

        Best regards,
        Fred





        _____

        From: tracker2@yahoogroups.com [mailto:tracker2@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
        Of Adam Sherman
        Sent: Thursday, January 15, 2009 09:53
        To: tracker2@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [tracker2] Water Resistant Connectors



        Hello All,

        I'm looking at building a digipeater that lives in a plastic Pelican
        case. Anyone have pointers to waterproof or water resistant 9-pin
        serial connectors suitable for mounting through the plastic?

        Thanks,

        A.

        --
        Adam Sherman
        adam@sherman. <mailto:adam%40sherman.ca> ca
        VA3SHR
      • Fred Hillhouse
        Another option might be the Mini-din: http://www.mhconnectors.com/showdetails.asp?id=389 _____ From: tracker2@yahoogroups.com [mailto:tracker2@yahoogroups.com]
        Message 3 of 19 , Jan 15, 2009
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          Another option might be the Mini-din:
          http://www.mhconnectors.com/showdetails.asp?id=389


          _____

          From: tracker2@yahoogroups.com [mailto:tracker2@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
          Of Adam Sherman
          Sent: Thursday, January 15, 2009 09:53
          To: tracker2@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: [tracker2] Water Resistant Connectors



          Hello All,

          I'm looking at building a digipeater that lives in a plastic Pelican
          case. Anyone have pointers to waterproof or water resistant 9-pin
          serial connectors suitable for mounting through the plastic?

          Thanks,

          A.

          --
          Adam Sherman
          adam@sherman. <mailto:adam%40sherman.ca> ca
          VA3SHR
        • Adam Sherman
          ... That s an interesting point. It would mean having dongles though, which is not appealing to me. I suppose one could simply pass the cable through the
          Message 4 of 19 , Jan 15, 2009
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            On 15-Jan-09, at 10:19 AM, Fred Hillhouse wrote:
            > Don't limit yourself to a DE-9 for connections. Sometimes adapting
            > to a
            > different form factor is easier and works better.


            That's an interesting point. It would mean having dongles though,
            which is not appealing to me.

            I suppose one could simply pass the cable through the plastic and seal
            it up with something, leaving the connector end to hang, octopus like.
            This would remove the need to deal with proprietary connectors…

            Thanks for your input!

            A.

            --
            Adam Sherman
            me@...
            VA3SHR
          • Scott Miller
            Yeah, it s not the prettiest way to do it but it works. For the all-in-one SAR tracker, at least the first version, I think I m going to go with a grommeted
            Message 5 of 19 , Jan 15, 2009
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              Yeah, it's not the prettiest way to do it but it works. For the
              all-in-one SAR tracker, at least the first version, I think I'm going to
              go with a grommeted hole and a tapered rubber duck antenna that fits
              tightly in it. No RF loss from multiple connectors, inexpensive, and
              you can still run a coax cable through if you need an external antenna.

              Scott

              Adam Sherman wrote:
              > On 15-Jan-09, at 10:19 AM, Fred Hillhouse wrote:
              >> Don't limit yourself to a DE-9 for connections. Sometimes adapting
              >> to a
              >> different form factor is easier and works better.
              >
              >
              > That's an interesting point. It would mean having dongles though,
              > which is not appealing to me.
              >
              > I suppose one could simply pass the cable through the plastic and seal
              > it up with something, leaving the connector end to hang, octopus like.
              > This would remove the need to deal with proprietary connectors…
              >
              > Thanks for your input!
              >
              > A.
              >
            • Tom Hayward
              ... Hot-melt glue works well for this. I ve used this technique for a number of cable with weird connectors. The other benefit is that it s quick and cheap to
              Message 6 of 19 , Jan 15, 2009
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                > I suppose one could simply pass the cable through the plastic and seal
                > it up with something, leaving the connector end to hang, octopus like.
                > This would remove the need to deal with proprietary connectors…

                Hot-melt glue works well for this. I've used this technique for a
                number of cable with weird connectors. The other benefit is that it's
                quick and cheap to build. Just make sure the actual (hanging)
                connection is also well sealed.

                Tom KD7LXL
              • Patrick
                For antennas, I ve just used rubber grommet material between bulkhead connectors and the boxes + rubber O rings on the bolts, when tightened into place keeps
                Message 7 of 19 , Jan 15, 2009
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                  For antennas, I've just used rubber grommet material between bulkhead connectors and the
                  boxes + rubber O rings on the bolts, when tightened into place keeps them relatively
                  water tight... Then I use thin teflon tape (thinner then the whole length of the
                  threaded mating, so like 1/4 inch width on a SO-259 for ex) on the thread, or a rubber
                  grommet inside the male connector.. Ground happens on the threads, but the Teflon seals
                  the gaps... *shrug* has seemed to work for me in the past, and is actually what I'm
                  doing on the otterbox-ed (pelican like) tracker I'm building now.

                  For data, it depends what you're after, but I've never found a reason to have a
                  permanent external connector for my stuff.. You have to open the box for that because
                  it only happens when servicing.

                  p

                  On Thu, 15 Jan 2009 10:17:25 -0800, Scott Miller wrote
                  > Yeah, it's not the prettiest way to do it but it works. For the
                  > all-in-one SAR tracker, at least the first version, I think I'm going to
                  > go with a grommeted hole and a tapered rubber duck antenna that fits
                  > tightly in it. No RF loss from multiple connectors, inexpensive, and
                  > you can still run a coax cable through if you need an external antenna.
                  >
                  > Scott
                  >
                  > Adam Sherman wrote:
                  > > On 15-Jan-09, at 10:19 AM, Fred Hillhouse wrote:
                  > >> Don't limit yourself to a DE-9 for connections. Sometimes adapting
                  > >> to a
                  > >> different form factor is easier and works better.
                  > >
                  > >
                  > > That's an interesting point. It would mean having dongles though,
                  > > which is not appealing to me.
                  > >
                  > > I suppose one could simply pass the cable through the plastic and seal
                  > > it up with something, leaving the connector end to hang, octopus like.
                  > > This would remove the need to deal with proprietary [WINDOWS-1252?]connectors…
                  > >
                  > > Thanks for your input!
                  > >
                  > > A.
                  > >
                  >
                  > ------------------------------------
                  >
                  > Yahoo! Groups Links
                  >
                  >
                  >
                • Adam Sherman
                  ... You re building an all-in-one SAR tracker that will include the environment-exclusion box? (e.g. Pelican case) That you will sell? I don t like the hole
                  Message 8 of 19 , Jan 15, 2009
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                    On 15-Jan-09, at 1:17 PM, Scott Miller wrote:
                    > Yeah, it's not the prettiest way to do it but it works. For the
                    > all-in-one SAR tracker, at least the first version, I think I'm
                    > going to
                    > go with a grommeted hole and a tapered rubber duck antenna that fits
                    > tightly in it. No RF loss from multiple connectors, inexpensive, and
                    > you can still run a coax cable through if you need an external
                    > antenna.

                    You're building an "all-in-one SAR tracker" that will include the
                    environment-exclusion box? (e.g. Pelican case) That you will sell?

                    I don't like the hole idea though, since it would like have water
                    sitting right in the ring I would think it wouldn't last. Also, I
                    would prefer that the antenna, with its mechanical advantage, was not
                    connected directly to something breakable and expensive on the PCB.
                    Having a short cable and some kind of waterproof male-to-male SMA
                    connector that traverses the plastic box seems better to me.

                    I seriously want to build this as soon as you can provide the internal
                    bits, so lets keep this thread going. :)

                    Thanks,

                    A.

                    --
                    Adam Sherman
                    me@...
                    VA3SHR
                  • Adam Sherman
                    ... That s great, care to share some pictures when you can? ... I need to have at least a connector to the external handheld GPS, since I want the unit to be
                    Message 9 of 19 , Jan 15, 2009
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                      On 15-Jan-09, at 1:29 PM, Patrick wrote:
                      > what I'm doing on the otterbox-ed (pelican like) tracker I'm
                      > building now.

                      That's great, care to share some pictures when you can?

                      > For data, it depends what you're after, but I've never found a
                      > reason to have a
                      > permanent external connector for my stuff.. You have to open the
                      > box for that because
                      > it only happens when servicing.


                      I need to have at least a connector to the external handheld GPS,
                      since I want the unit to be able to plot waypoints into it. I would
                      *prefer* to have a data connector for use as a TNC with Xastir as well
                      though.

                      A.

                      --
                      Adam Sherman
                      me@...
                      VA3SHR
                    • Patrick
                      Thinking of your question, I just talked to the service guy here at work... We sell a line of weatherproof ruggedized computers, and they have a svga connector
                      Message 10 of 19 , Jan 15, 2009
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                        Thinking of your question, I just talked to the service guy here at work... We sell a
                        line of weatherproof ruggedized computers, and they have a svga connector on them which
                        to me looks like a standard connector, maybe a little higher grade but its not
                        grommetted or anything to the outside.. To his memory there's only been one which had
                        had the port rot to such that it had to be replaced, and it was because a lot more had
                        happened to it then just water having been used in a mine in Sudbury...

                        I'll post a couple pictures of the box... I have to finish drilling some holes and
                        mounting things first... Its based around a modified OT1 with a switching regulator, a
                        uBlox gps module (actually taken from one of those computers I mentioned), 8 AA battery
                        pack, and a HTX-202, all inside a Otterbox 2500... The OT should also be power
                        controlling the radio soon so it should run for a fair while on the AA's... Its meant
                        to be a install on anything to track it unit, and everything being self contained and
                        watertight(-ish) it doesn't matter where or when.


                        p

                        On Thu, 15 Jan 2009 13:32:30 -0500, Adam Sherman wrote
                        > On 15-Jan-09, at 1:29 PM, Patrick wrote:
                        > > what I'm doing on the otterbox-ed (pelican like) tracker I'm
                        > > building now.
                        >
                        > That's great, care to share some pictures when you can?
                        >
                        > > For data, it depends what you're after, but I've never found a
                        > > reason to have a
                        > > permanent external connector for my stuff.. You have to open the
                        > > box for that because
                        > > it only happens when servicing.
                        >
                        > I need to have at least a connector to the external handheld GPS,
                        > since I want the unit to be able to plot waypoints into it. I would
                        > *prefer* to have a data connector for use as a TNC with Xastir as well
                        > though.
                        >
                        > A.
                        >
                        > --
                        > Adam Sherman
                        > me@...
                        > VA3SHR
                        >
                        > ------------------------------------
                        >
                        > Yahoo! Groups Links
                        >
                        >
                        >
                      • Scott Miller
                        ... The antenna would connect to the BNC on the radio module - it s attached to the metal housing, so it shouldn t transfer any stress to the PCB. Putting in a
                        Message 11 of 19 , Jan 15, 2009
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                          > sitting right in the ring I would think it wouldn't last. Also, I
                          > would prefer that the antenna, with its mechanical advantage, was not
                          > connected directly to something breakable and expensive on the PCB.
                          > Having a short cable and some kind of waterproof male-to-male SMA
                          > connector that traverses the plastic box seems better to me.

                          The antenna would connect to the BNC on the radio module - it's attached
                          to the metal housing, so it shouldn't transfer any stress to the PCB.
                          Putting in a bulkhead BNC means either laboriously desoldering the
                          built-in BNC to run a short length of coax, or trying to cram a coax
                          lead with the BNC on it into a small space, and it's likely to be hard
                          to connect or disconnect and will add another connector's worth of loss.

                          If the antenna is selected to make a tight seal with the grommet, I
                          think it'll be waterproof enough for SAR applications - I wouldn't want
                          to immerse it for any length of time, but it can always be sealed with
                          some silicone if it's a concern.

                          I want to make sure the hole size is appropriate to run a length of coax
                          with a BNC connector through it, though. It'd suck to have to install
                          the connector after threading the cable through the hole.

                          I'm trying to make sure it'd survive getting rained on and maybe getting
                          dunked briefly in a stream. I could make an IP6X version, but it'll be
                          more expensive.

                          Scott
                        • Fred Hillhouse
                          ... not appealing to me. We use dongles all the time. The closest example is the PC you are typing on. If you open most of your equipment, even the
                          Message 12 of 19 , Jan 15, 2009
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                            > That's an interesting point. It would mean having dongles though, which is
                            not appealing to me.

                            We use "dongles" all the time. The closest example is the PC you are typing
                            on. If you open most of your equipment, even the microwave, you will find
                            them.

                            In the example of a tracker inside a enclosure, a metal case might actually
                            be best. If the antenna was a panel mount with the ground connected to the
                            case, then antenna may perform better. In fact, it may be the better half of
                            an antenna. Kind of reminds me of the "tiger tail". The trade-off is weight
                            and expense. Personally, where life and limb are concerned, those trade-offs
                            seem really unimportant. The most important thing is to make it reliably and
                            bulletproof. Well, it doesn't have to really stop bullets but it should
                            withstand a reasonable amount of unintentional abuse.

                            However, Scott's plan to run the antenna through a grommet is cheap and easy
                            to implement. RTV can be applied to the grommet and antenna which should
                            keep water out. It has kept water in my fish tanks over the years! Use the
                            marine (fish tank) version of RTV and it won't leach ascorbic acid. I think
                            that is what it is anyway. In fact, it makes a decent glue for securing
                            things in place. Personally I never have liked hot melt glue.

                            For an external GPS, you only need a short dongle and water resistant
                            connector. Or, pass wire through another grommet from the DE-9 to the GPS.
                            Again, seal in the fish! :)

                            Best regards,
                            Fred
                          • Adam Sherman
                            ... Yeah, when you explain it like that it does indeed make sense. ... I don t think it needs to be dunk-proof, just heavy-rain proof. A. -- Adam Sherman
                            Message 13 of 19 , Jan 15, 2009
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                              On 15-Jan-09, at 1:51 PM, Scott Miller wrote:
                              >> sitting right in the ring I would think it wouldn't last. Also, I
                              >> would prefer that the antenna, with its mechanical advantage, was not
                              >> connected directly to something breakable and expensive on the PCB.
                              >> Having a short cable and some kind of waterproof male-to-male SMA
                              >> connector that traverses the plastic box seems better to me.
                              >
                              > The antenna would connect to the BNC on the radio module - it's
                              > attached
                              > to the metal housing, so it shouldn't transfer any stress to the PCB.
                              > Putting in a bulkhead BNC means either laboriously desoldering the
                              > built-in BNC to run a short length of coax, or trying to cram a coax
                              > lead with the BNC on it into a small space, and it's likely to be hard
                              > to connect or disconnect and will add another connector's worth of
                              > loss.

                              Yeah, when you explain it like that it does indeed make sense.

                              > I'm trying to make sure it'd survive getting rained on and maybe
                              > getting
                              > dunked briefly in a stream. I could make an IP6X version, but it'll
                              > be
                              > more expensive.


                              I don't think it needs to be dunk-proof, just heavy-rain proof.

                              A.

                              --
                              Adam Sherman
                              me@...
                              VA3SHR
                            • Scott Miller
                              ... Sure it s not acetic acid? RTV smells kind of like vinegar, anyway. Ascorbic acid is vitamin C. Or is metabolized into vitamin C, I don t really
                              Message 14 of 19 , Jan 15, 2009
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                                > keep water out. It has kept water in my fish tanks over the years! Use the
                                > marine (fish tank) version of RTV and it won't leach ascorbic acid. I think

                                Sure it's not acetic acid? RTV smells kind of like vinegar, anyway.
                                Ascorbic acid is vitamin C. Or is metabolized into vitamin C, I don't
                                really remember.

                                Scott
                              • Fred Hillhouse
                                That s it! Thanks! _____ From: tracker2@yahoogroups.com [mailto:tracker2@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Scott Miller Sent: Thursday, January 15, 2009 14:18 To:
                                Message 15 of 19 , Jan 15, 2009
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                                  That's it!
                                   
                                  Thanks!
                                   


                                  From: tracker2@yahoogroups.com [mailto:tracker2@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Scott Miller
                                  Sent: Thursday, January 15, 2009 14:18
                                  To: tracker2@yahoogroups.com
                                  Subject: Re: [tracker2] Water Resistant Connectors

                                  > keep water out. It has kept water in my fish tanks over the years! Use the
                                  > marine (fish tank) version of RTV and it won't leach ascorbic acid. I think

                                  Sure it's not acetic acid? RTV smells kind of like vinegar, anyway.
                                  Ascorbic acid is vitamin C. Or is metabolized into vitamin C, I don't
                                  really remember.

                                  Scott

                                • Adam Sherman
                                  ... Any reason why you went with that specific box? Just curious. Also, do you mount objects inside with double-side tape or something fancier? A. --
                                  Message 16 of 19 , Jan 15, 2009
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                                    On 15-Jan-09, at 1:50 PM, Patrick wrote:
                                    > all inside a Otterbox 2500


                                    Any reason why you went with that specific box? Just curious.

                                    Also, do you mount objects inside with double-side tape or something
                                    fancier?

                                    A.

                                    --
                                    www.sherman.ca / +1 613 797 6819 / +1 (646) 233-3400

                                    "When the burning husks of your startups warm the last of your bones,
                                    remember I told you so." - Zed
                                  • ray@rayvaughan.com
                                    One thought... bluetooth serial port. No holes at all. Ray
                                    Message 17 of 19 , Jan 15, 2009
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                                      One thought... bluetooth serial port. No holes at all.

                                      Ray

                                      >On 15-Jan-09, at 10:19 AM, Fred Hillhouse wrote:
                                      >> Don't limit yourself to a DE-9 for connections. Sometimes adapting
                                      >> to a
                                      >> different form factor is easier and works better.
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >That's an interesting point. It would mean having dongles though,
                                      >which is not appealing to me.
                                      >
                                      >I suppose one could simply pass the cable through the plastic and seal
                                      >it up with something, leaving the connector end to hang, octopus like.
                                      >This would remove the need to deal with proprietary connectors…
                                      >
                                      >Thanks for your input!
                                      >
                                      >A.
                                      >
                                      >--
                                      >Adam Sherman
                                      >me@...
                                      >VA3SHR
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >------------------------------------
                                      >
                                      >Yahoo! Groups Links
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                    • Jason KG4WSV
                                      ... well, the bluetooth RF needs a hole. only $120 per serial connection eliminated! -Jason kg4wsv
                                      Message 18 of 19 , Jan 15, 2009
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                                        On Thu, Jan 15, 2009 at 1:54 PM, <ray@...> wrote:
                                        > One thought... bluetooth serial port. No holes at all.

                                        well, the bluetooth RF needs a hole.

                                        only $120 per serial connection eliminated!

                                        -Jason
                                        kg4wsv
                                      • Patrick
                                        Pictures (before being cabled + connectored) can be found at winston1.net/photos/ The reason for this box was that it was almost the perfect size to fit
                                        Message 19 of 19 , Jan 15, 2009
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                                          Pictures (before being cabled + connectored) can be found at

                                          winston1.net/photos/

                                          The reason for this box was that it was almost the perfect size to fit everything, and
                                          they were available through a reseller in Toronto for a decent price... All the bits
                                          that went into it besides the yellow box were things I already had lying about from past
                                          projects or Dayton trips, and the foam inside the box allows everything to friction fit
                                          thus requiring no fixation inside.

                                          The white box is the power / gps / tracker unit... The switching regulator is a
                                          modified 12v lighter plug to usb adapter... All the ones I've seen use a variation of
                                          the MC34063 and are RF quiet at the current levels the tracker and gps pull.. They're
                                          also available for next to nothing being a high demand sort of item (last batch were
                                          around 2$ cdn / ea), but they are way more efficient then the 7805...

                                          p

                                          ve3wst

                                          On Thu, 15 Jan 2009 14:31:40 -0500, Adam Sherman wrote
                                          > On 15-Jan-09, at 1:50 PM, Patrick wrote:
                                          > > all inside a Otterbox 2500
                                          >
                                          > Any reason why you went with that specific box? Just curious.
                                          >
                                          > Also, do you mount objects inside with double-side tape or something
                                          > fancier?
                                          >
                                          > A.
                                          >
                                          > --
                                          > www.sherman.ca / +1 613 797 6819 / +1 (646) 233-3400
                                          >
                                          > "When the burning husks of your startups warm the last of your bones,
                                          > remember I told you so." - Zed
                                          >
                                          > ------------------------------------
                                          >
                                          > Yahoo! Groups Links
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
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