Poorman's cases

I am looking for ideas on how to give basic protection to my TTGO T-beam board. Please post your solutions here on where you find cases or plastic boxes that can be used for this purpose.

My current idea is a 1 1/2 inch clear vinyl PVD tube

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Go into any electrican’s supply shop, they stock dust & waterproof junction boxes with waterproof screw in plugs to waterproof the aerial, once you drill a hole in the box. They cost under 10Euro

You can find many shapes and sizes on ebay as well.

My question is what is the best way to have a waterproof port for incoming cables? I have seen IP67 Antenna cables, but not sure how to “waterproof” the box with an incoming USB cable for power.

The solution for waterproofing your cables and antennae as above, these boxes are sold with various sized screw in type fittings for almost all practical cable sizes.

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These are quite good however they need a bit of space inside the enclosure for the male end sticking out from the module.

This was USB-C for a ZED-F9P.

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I’ve used a few waterproof junction boxes using SMA pigtails and the same USB extension as above. This is the smallest box I’ve found that will fit a T-Beam with an antenna extension. If you need several, you can get them cheaper from China on eBay, but for just one, they’re available on Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07RWZB7CF


Once you start connecting to the SMA connector and USB port, it takes a bigger case than you would expect. You can’t fit it in your pocket anymore. I wish I’d known the smaller box would work when I built these two stationary nodes.

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Would you we willing to share a link to purchase the SMA pigtails and antenna you use? I really like this solution, as it seems like a good solution. Also, any particular reason you didn’t install the USB extension in your smaller box yet? Seems like a pain to have to unscrew it every time you want to charge the battery.

For SMA to SMA, I’m using these plus a silone o-ring:

For SMA to N connector for commercial high-gain antennas, these are already weatherproof:

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Regarding the lack of USB on the smaller case, I’m just waiting on some more panel-mount USB extensions to come in. This time, I’m going to use Type C connectors because I think they’re more robust than Micro USB. In the field, it’s more convenient to use the same cable as my phone and not to worry about about inserting it upside down.

I ordered several of these weatherproof USB type C connectors from China:


and several of these right angle Micro USB to Type C adapters:

As for the antennas, this is the SMA antenna I’m using for the portable unit. I haven’t had a chance to thoroughly compare it against other antennas yet, but I think the 5 dBi gain spec is a lie. To me, it looks like the usual half-wave sleeve dipole, which has a 2.7 dBi gain, but it’s still better than the one that came with the T-Beam.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07HLKKHCM

For stationary nodes, it really depends on where and how you’re mounting it. For temporary setups or if you’re mounting the enclosure itself to something, it’s most convenient to use an antenna with a N-Male connector that directly screws into the connector on top.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B085S84J7R

If you’re mounting to a mast, sometimes it’s easiest to use an antenna that comes with a pole mount. They all seem to have female connectors, but you can use a use a male-to-male adapter and just let the enclosure hang from it.
https://www.amazon.com/Altelix-6dBi-Antenna-N-Female-Connector/dp/B07DHVWMWP

For either one, if they’re permanently installed outdoors, be sure to weatherproof the connector with self-amalgamating tape, or something similar. Don’t just use vinyl electrical tape, that won’t keep water out, but once the connector gets wet, electrical tape will trap some of the water inside causing it to corrode. Ask me how I know…

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The units I ordered from aliexpress arrived in translucent snap cases. definitely not waterproof, but certainly able hold the board with a battery installed. You will have to drill a hole for the antenna… I’ll try to take some pics later.

My T-Beams don’t have the SMA on the edge. I think they may squeeze in here. The XXL is 44mm inside diameter, and the XL is 33mm. The Lora32 board might sneak in smaller sizes depending on the battery.

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love the creativity…

I very much like the zip bag technology :tm: from @lgx

image

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damn… you have it trademarked as well

If you don’t mind making a few peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, Then tbeam with side sma antenna fits inside and is ‘mostly’ waterproof.

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The iSpindel Open Source wireless hydrometer project is using those tubes to house ESP8266s while floating them in fermentation vessels for weeks. Not a terrible test case for water resistance. They have a similar form factor, including 18650 on the back.

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I believe that’s a Ubiquiti Bullet in the pic, but there are other models out there.

I have an ALFA Tube-2H that’s very similar, that I happened to fry during some soldering adventure I now forget.

The T-Beam doesn’t fit, but the Lora32 does.

AlfaTube-U_N_802.11noutdoorlongrangeUSB_8dBiantennakit1_400x

I wonder if those plastic shells aren’t avaiable off-the-shelf for a couple bucks somewhere. I think they’re IP67. They’re set up for 2.4ghz, but the configuration looks standard enough to easily swap out for LoRa antennas.

They’re also typically POE, which has some applications in base stations.

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This is the case the T-BEAM arrived in from aliexpress. I drilled a hole for the antenna.

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haha, I did this too. This was pretty cheap.

I ordered a junction box from Amazon. I’ll let you know how that goes. I want to be able to deploy my second unit for several days in outdoor locations.