Now that computer surveillance software is easily obtainable, finding an outdoor camera that connects to the computer is almost impossible to find. Everything I have found that is weatherproof, connects to a television, vcr or expensive security system. Nothing connects to a computer, so I decided to build one. You should be able to build one for less than $35 if you buy everything new at the hardware store.. This will make photos or video.
1- USB webcam I used a Logitech c270 HD webcam , 3 MP, 720P, always focused, From $20 up on google shopping.
1- Weatherproof electrical outlet box
1- Piece of glass
1- USB extension cable (OPTIONAL for long distances get one with a built in amplifyer)
1- Tube of glue (I used SHOE GOO because it holds stuff in place till it dries)
PVC pipe and glue
saw for pvc
glass cutter (optional if you can get the hardware store to cut a small piece of glass from some scrap)
Step 1: ASSEMBLEY
Go to the hardware store and get a PVC weatherproof electrical connection box and cover. Make sure the hole for the wires is big enough to get the USB connector through (3/4" or 1"). If you want the cable to make sharp turns get a bigger pipe size otherwise you can get electrical 90 and 45 degree bends designed for passing electrical wire through them easily. Make sure you can get the USB connector through without any problem. It is best to bring the cable with you to the hardware store to make sure it fits the pipe and connectors.
Cut a hole in the cover for the camera to look through and glue the camera in place.
Clean the inside of the glass and glue it over the camera lens. Make sure the glue does not squeeze out and on to the lens.
Run the cable through the hole in the case and screw on the cover. Make sure the gasket seals good. Since there are no user serviceable parts, you can also glue the cover on to ensure a proper seal. Another option is a couple of rounds of electrical tape along the edges.
Step 2: MOUNTING
The boxes usually come with screw mounting holes on the outside. If not or if you want it adjustable you can design a mount that fits your purpose.. If you mount it on a wall, just lead the wire out and down to keep rain from running in. Then plug the hole around the wire with glue or something to keep moisture out.
Decide the rout of the cable and cut and fit all the pieces. Run the wire through the pieces before you glue them on place.
You can make it adjustable by not gluing the connections but you should give each joint a couple of turns of electrical tape to ensure a seal.
OK That is all, go to it.
Step 3: PORTABLE MOUNT
I didn't glue these joints on this other camera so they are infinitely adjustable.
Step 4: HERE IS WHAT YOU GET
OK, this is the what you get. from a Logitech c270 webcam. You can get higher definition but this should do for almost anything you need.