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Outdoor Rated Cable Modem


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#1 BraveSirRobbin

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Posted 19 November 2011 - 02:13 PM

I have a need to connect a camera monitoring system for our HOA community entry/exit gates so they can be accessed via the Internet. There is a cable modem box right beside the pole these cameras are mounted on and all I would need is a cable modem to get access to Cox cable's services.

The problem is this is all outdoors and I'm having trouble finding an outdoor cable modem that is 'just' a cable modem, i.e. I don't need any wireless access point capabilities (due to wanting cost as low as possible)!

Typical (indoor) cable modems are only rated to an upper temp of 40 deg C and I would want a rating of at least 50C (60C would be ideal).

I'm wondering if our professional installer members have run across this problem and could recommend a cable modem product that they have used outdoors.

#2 gatchel

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Posted 19 November 2011 - 07:01 PM

I would install a regular cable modem in a NEMA enclosure with some sort of enclosure heater / fan assembly to maintain the correct temp, or close to it. We put electronics in enclosures outdoors a good bit with the right environmental controls. There are very few issues that we could link to temperature.

You could even try a few resistors on a heat sink to generate heat.

I think there are even peltier junction devices that mount through the side wall of an enclosure to give the units cooling in higher temps.

I am sending you a PM.

Edited by gatchel, 19 November 2011 - 07:10 PM.


#3 BraveSirRobbin

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Posted 19 November 2011 - 07:12 PM

Thanks for the reply (AND the generous offer!), but I have a LOT of experience with electronic components in various enclosures in the desert here, and you just can't get it cool enough without some sort of additional cooling, which would then increase the cost to much. (The ambient temp alone gets to 110 F and over in the summer here and most indoor rated electronics is only rated to 104 F).

Edited by BraveSirRobbin, 19 November 2011 - 07:26 PM.


#4 Lou Apo

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Posted 19 November 2011 - 07:21 PM

I don't think you are going to find any retail level cable modem spec'd to operate at those temps. Probably they exist, but my guess is they are only sold to the cable co. for their own use. No joke here, but it would probably be cheaper and quicker to buy a tiny little "dorm room" fridge and put the modem inside it.

Either that, or just expect to replace the cable modem fairly often.

Edited by Lou Apo, 19 November 2011 - 07:22 PM.


#5 gatchel

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Posted 19 November 2011 - 07:31 PM

This is similar to some equipment we (my old company) installed in phoenix for outdoor IP based camera hard drive units.

http://www.tetech.com/docs/AC-140.pdf

They start at just above $200 and go up based on wattage. Not cheap but a viable solution, possibly.

I could have glanced at your information and saw Las Vegas but that would have made way too much sense. I only have experienced Vegas in the 100 degree days of the early and late warmer months, Fortunately :D

Edited by gatchel, 19 November 2011 - 07:33 PM.


#6 BraveSirRobbin

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Posted 19 November 2011 - 07:47 PM

BTW, here is what I mean by finding only 'expensive' solutions with many more features than I need:

http://www.smc.com/f.../DS_SMC8511.pdf

http://www.google.co...ed=0CJcBEPMCMAg

#7 gatchel

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Posted 19 November 2011 - 11:37 PM

WOW! That stuff is really really expensive. You could replace a cable modem every 6 months for 15 years at that price...

#8 Work2Play

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Posted 20 November 2011 - 01:35 AM

Hey BSR - just out of curiosity - have you tried using a standard cable modem outside the allowed temps just to see what'd happen? I had a couple non-temperature-controlled spaces in metal buildings in NorCal - very dirty, and reaching temps of 130+ inside some days - and had HP and Cisco switches survive in these spaces for 8+ years. Well beyond "Spec" but they did fine.

In fact, I have a motorola DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem I could send you (free) if you just want to try it (if you provide your own equipment, there should be no contract obligation)... Chances are it'll run for a few years trouble-fee as long as you keep it somewhat shaded and clean... and if not, you have your proof to justify spending a hair more.

#9 Lou Apo

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Posted 20 November 2011 - 01:48 AM

I agree with Work2play.

As long as the modem crapping out on you isn't too big of a deal, I would just put one out there and see how it does. If this were the life line to your business, I would think twice, but for a convenience type item that you could go without for a day or two, I would just take the chance.

#10 BraveSirRobbin

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Posted 20 November 2011 - 10:41 AM

If this was for my house/system, I would have no problem running a COTS residential system. I was hoping to find something around the $300 or so price tag, but it appears nothing exists in a device that is "just" a cable modem with outdoor operation ratings. :(

Edited by BraveSirRobbin, 20 November 2011 - 10:41 AM.


#11 DELInstallations

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Posted 20 November 2011 - 11:11 AM

Is there a way to send the video LOS via RF to put the modem into a conditioned space?

#12 Lou Apo

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Posted 20 November 2011 - 08:56 PM

If this was for my house/system, I would have no problem running a COTS residential system. I was hoping to find something around the $300 or so price tag, but it appears nothing exists in a device that is "just" a cable modem with outdoor operation ratings. :(


Buy a small fridge and use that as your "conditioned" space. You can override the thermostat and keep it around 60.

#13 BraveSirRobbin

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Posted 20 November 2011 - 09:40 PM

Is there a way to send the video LOS via RF to put the modem into a conditioned space?

Unfortunately no. This would require a homeowner's house be used and that's not the best of setups long term.

#14 BraveSirRobbin

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Posted 20 November 2011 - 09:44 PM


Buy a small fridge and use that as your "conditioned" space. You can override the thermostat and keep it around 60.


Before I did that, I would get an approved cooler/Nema type box off the shelf combination. I'll have to look into a canned system that provides this. I can't believe this isn't more common of a problem.

#15 Lou Apo

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Posted 20 November 2011 - 10:43 PM


Before I did that, I would get an approved cooler/Nema type box off the shelf combination. I'll have to look into a canned system that provides this. I can't believe this isn't more common of a problem.


I guess it comes back to your budget. A refridgerated NEMA enclosure is going to be very pricey. Probably more than just buying a high temp modem. I'm pretty sure you are talking well over $1000. A small fridge is about $100. Even if you just let it run at 40 degrees, that is going to be within spec for most any modem. I brew beer and had at one time converted a freezer to a temp controlled fermentor (this is a common practice for which you can get kits at the home brew store). I monitored the temp and humidity in it and it always was about 50% humidity with the temp between 40 and 60 depending on what beer I was making.


But, I am still partial to just sticking the mode out there and doing trial by fire.

Edited by Lou Apo, 20 November 2011 - 10:46 PM.





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