As I was planning the installation I realized that I wanted at least some of the cameras outside where they would be in the weather. Of course my friend only had indoor cameras. I needed camera housings that were..... 1. inexpensive (the regular housings were more than a hundred bucks more than the camera) and 2. the correct shape (take a look at the picture) . I did what anyone who visits this page would do...I went to my junk box an made a square peg fit into a round hole for the betterment of all humanity. (I have been looking for a way to fit that phrase in)
I began tinkering as a way to make something that is no longer useful, useful again. That is the green component. Taking trash and making something relevant. I thought, if I could save a bunch of money as well, so much the better. All said, this project saved me in upwards of 500 euros which is as green as it gets.
I had thought of running everything on solar power, but that requires solar panels which are not free. We are saving money, remember. Perhaps when another friend of mine has a surplus of solar panels and batteries........
Step 1: The Stuff
A few other things you will need:
- #1 & #2 Phillips head screwdriver
- a sturdy pair of side wire cutters
- electrical tape
- soldering iron and solder (optional)
- RJ45 crimping tool (only a few bucks at Radio Shack)
- RJ45 connectors (cheap)
The project took me all afternoon for the first one. The next three took me about 20 min. The build is really not that complicated. If you can install a light fixture, this wont be a problem.
I should also mention that neither I nor this website is responsible if you break, burn, electrocute, stab, cut or otherwise mangle yourself or your project.
Step 2: Disasembly
In the second picture below the bulb support, three screws have to be removed. This will free a large plastic bell shape and the outer metal covering. Moving the two bell coverings reveal a rubber seal and a decorative cup spacer. Up inside this cup are yet another two screws to remove.
Between these last two screws is a rather narrow hole. I didn't think their was enough space to widen it. I took it off to make it easier to pass the cabling. I replaced it in step 5.
Step 3: Preping the Tube
At the very end of the tube is a large decorative finial. (see photo) This finial is a large nut that unscrews. I had to use a pair of pliers on one, but the others came off with just my hand(and my grip of steel) With this removed, the tube slides out of the mounting arms.
Step 4: Making the Hole Bigger
You do have to be careful not to cut the portion where the screw from the mounting arm will tighten. Once cut,(see photo)you have to file or grind the edges till the mounting arms can slide over the hole again.
Now you can replace the mounting arms and finial. Don't forget to tighten the screws that hold the arms to the tube.
Step 5: Threading the Wires
Step 6: Placing the Wire Connectors
1 Orange and White striped
3 Green and White striped
5 Blue and White striped
7 Brown and White striped
With the metal (usually gold color) contact crimping teeth on the RJ45 connector facing you,(the little plastic clip facing away from you) pin one (orange and white) is on your left.
Being careful not to cut the colored wires, trim about 3cm of the outer insulation off. It is best to get the wires in order and close to flat before going further. Once in order I like to cut aprox one half cm from the tips all at the same time. This leaves a nice even edge that helps ensure all the wires have contact with the teeth inside the RJ45.
Now that the wires are in place you need to place the whole connector into the crimping tool, and squeeze firmly. Both sides of this wire need the exact same order. Don't reverse the order. A female adapter can be used to make this longer after the build.
Step 7: Fitting the Power Adapter
In step 5 I mentioned in one of the pictures, trimming the wire reinforcement. That just means using a box cutter to cut off the ribs directly behind the camera connector. DON'T CUT THE WIRE. It would be bad and could lead to short outs.
Step 8: Mounting the Camera
In picture two of step two, I removed a silver metal plate from the lamp housing. I threaded the bolt through the silver plate adding a toothed washer and a nut so the whole thing wouldn't spin later.
Once the bolt is mounted on the plate you can mount the plate to the lamp housing.(exactly where you got it from) This leaves you with a stationary bolt threading pointing away from the lamp
The last picture shows the whole thing from the side. The first time I coated the plate in hot glue to insulate it. I later left that out. I don't think it is necessary.
Finally, screw the camera onto the stationary bolt. The RJ45, and power connector may now be connected to the camera. Take care before covering with the transparent dome that the dome does not pinch either cable.
Step 9: Finally Finished
On the whole this project was not complicated. It was very practical, and it allowed me to save quite a bit of money I was able to use fixtures that would have otherwise have gone to the trash. The cameras have been safe from rain and condensation, and don't make the property look like Fort Knox.
I am currently using 3 camera housings outside and two in indoor storerooms. Since making the housings I have noticed just how many types and styles of exterior lights could be adapted even easier than the ones I have shown here.