Hack a Box To Protect Outdoor Power Supplies

When installing network equipment outside, it is not always possible to have the electrical cabling and components on the interior and safe from the elements. This was the case recently for me when I installed some outdoor Ruckus Wireless access points. The buildings I am putting them on don’t have a lot of access to power inside in a way that wouldn’t look bad or be problematic from a water leak issue. So, I decided to go with using the outlets on the roof. But, because these sorts of devices feed with power-over-ethernet (PoE) I really needed to get a power injector and supply up there in a safe location.

You can buy outdoor boxes/enclosures for this sort of thing, but they are pretty pricey and you have to go to vendors you might not have internal accounts with or it is just a pain to deal with. This was the situation for me. So, my initial path was to try and build something myself or ask a student to construct something to handle the dimensions of the power supply and cables I needed to cover in my school’s shops but that would take time and I was eager to get these units up and going ASAP.

Enter the Turtle cases. I bought a few of these a while back to handle LTO media transfer back and forth on off-site backup tape rotation. Specifically, the LTO -5 blue ones. These boxes are pretty reasonable priced $35-$40. But, we have easily surpassed the amount of tapes these guys can handle now and they sat in a pile of tech stuff that was gathering dust. Turtle cases are great. They are a little bulky but that is to protect the media inside. I surmised these would be perfect to use as an enclosure for power adapters and power injectors.

I was lucky enough to have a co-worker (and Technical Arts Department Head) drill a hole in one side of the box below the ridge and attach a piece of thick rubber with a couple of cross-cuts to provide the cable access for inside (Thanks Andrew K!!) You can get much fancier here on gaskets and outlets, etc. but this should cover it for what we are doing.

Here are some pictures of the finished product.

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