It is that time of the year again, when temperatures are dropping quickly and winter weather is rolling in. The question is, how do you protect your outdoor equipment from the elements? There are various factors that play into keeping outside equipment running smoothly in extreme cold and winter weather, and we've outlined the top three tips below.
1. Know Manufacturer Specs
The first step to protecting your outdoor equipment is knowing the manufacturer provided parameters for use. Reviewing the data and spec sheets will give you safe range of temperatures for successful equipment operation. Understanding this data will reveal the amount of preparation that will be required for your location, based on local temperature and wind chill.
2. Protect Your Power
Many common POE injectors and power runs do not have adequate cold specs, so if they are in enclosures outside without heat, this can cause issues. It is important to keep switches, POE injectors and power runs warm and insulated well.
It is also important to note that turning radios off and on in extreme cold can cause start-up issues, so it is always best to leave them running in the cold. Operators have also noted that turning down the power on some units actually helps its longevity in the cold.
3. Keep H20 Out
There are a variety of products on the market that will prevent rain, snow, and ice from penetrating and building up on your cabling and equipment. Some examples are cold shrink tubing and and self-amalgamating tape from Gamma Electronics. These provides excellent weatherproofing for RF connectors and cables.
Likewise, antennas with radomes or other shielding are protected from exposure to extreme winter weather. Some examples of vendors with radome antennas, cover kits, or similar protective enclosures include:
If you really want to get creative, a few bonus "hacks" are applying surfboard wax, dielectric spray (great for protecting against water and saltwater), and even PAM!
Let It Snow!
In conclusion, being prepared for winter weather as described above will keep your network protection during what can be harsh winter conditions. If you would like additional help understanding the available options for protecting your outdoor equipment, contact our team today!