Saturday, March 17, 2018

Weatherproofing a Motorcycle Dash Camera System

I bought a two camera system for my motorcycle to record what was going on in front and behind my motorcycle as a record in the event of an accident, but I wanted to check to see how well protected it would be against water ingress.
Unfortunately, while there was adequate strain relief on the wires, there was no sealing on the enclosure or protective coating on the PCB to prevent water damage.

I applied some brush-on conformal coating to the board before closing the box again and mounting it on my motorcycle. Conformal coating is a good option here because it is easy to selectively apply it to the board while avoiding areas like the microphone and the micro SD card connector (which would be much more difficult to do with a potting material). I also don't have to worry about dealing with CTE mismatch with a conformal coating in the same way that I would with a potting material.

The camera resolution could be better, but the framerate is acceptable and much better than not having anything. Below is a test clip from the evening that I installed it, the night quality could also be better and the audio is terrible (warning before trying to play the video). The timestamp is also incorrect as I hadn't set the time yet.

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