Page 1 of 1

PowerBox: water getting inside & resetting everything

Posted: Wed Oct 07, 2015 5:57 am
by michaeln416
I'll start off stating that this was my fault in how I physically handled the device. Now that I know that this can happen I'll be able to prevent it in the future.

I have a PowerBox mounted at the top of a small relay tower. It poured rain and the wind blew hard for several days in a row last week. Even though the PowerBox was tightly closed and each of the cables had a good drip loop at the bottom a small amount of water still managed to work it's way inside. While I was doing some maintenance on that relay site about 48 hours after the rain ended, the combination of my handling of the device and the small amount of water in there reset the router and reset the radios that were connected to it. I had to replace the router and reprogram each of the 4 radios.

The physical handling included removing it from the mast and allowing it to lean over sideways. Had it been left alone in an upright position that water would have never caused a problem and would have eventually dried up. In the future, in similar circumstances I'll first open the bottom and check for water before removing it.

That was supposed to have been a quick 15 minute job on a Sunday afternoon that turned into an entire afternoon & evening of "ohhhh no, what did I do?!"

Re: PowerBox: water getting inside & resetting everything

Posted: Wed Oct 07, 2015 9:21 am
by normis
Good lesson for everyone - the devices are protected if left mounted correctly. When you turn them sideways or move them around, so does the water.

Re: PowerBox: water getting inside & resetting everything

Posted: Wed Oct 07, 2015 5:23 pm
by bds1904
I don't think it's a "lesson" as much as a "warning" and letting mikrotik know there is room for improvement.

Water for inside after heavy blowing rain. While that doesn't mean the product is flawed, it means there is room for improvement in the design. The "flap" design should have been a dead giveaway. Even if the "top" stationary part overlaps the bottom "flap" that moves you will still have water penitration because of the surface tension. If there was a larger overlap water wouldn't enter the bottom compartment.

As far as the top compartment goes (where the electronics are) the only place for water to enter is the led window area.

Have you figured out exactly where the water was in the device? I would be willing to bet the cable compartment.

Re: PowerBox: water getting inside & resetting everything

Posted: Wed Oct 07, 2015 8:04 pm
by michaeln416
Have you figured out exactly where the water was in the device? I would be willing to bet the cable compartment.
Yes, I believe that the water was initially at the bottom of the cable compartment where it could have done no harm at all had I left it alone. Unfortunately I didn't open it up to check before removing it from the mast and turning it sideways. At that point the water most likely made it's way into one or more of the ethernet ports, all of which were providing POE out to my radios.

I would not consider this a design flaw in the product. The wind was so strong that it could have pushed the rain up the cables in through the bottom. This was series of events that are unlikely to arise very often. It's only worth mentioning because the solution is so quick, easy and cheap, simply open the bottom and give it a shake before inverting.

Re: PowerBox: water getting inside & resetting everything

Posted: Thu Oct 08, 2015 2:51 am
by chechito
I'll start off stating that this was my fault in how I physically handled the device. Now that I know that this can happen I'll be able to prevent it in the future.

I have a PowerBox mounted at the top of a small relay tower. It poured rain and the wind blew hard for several days in a row last week. Even though the PowerBox was tightly closed and each of the cables had a good drip loop at the bottom a small amount of water still managed to work it's way inside. While I was doing some maintenance on that relay site about 48 hours after the rain ended, the combination of my handling of the device and the small amount of water in there reset the router and reset the radios that were connected to it. I had to replace the router and reprogram each of the 4 radios.

The physical handling included removing it from the mast and allowing it to lean over sideways. Had it been left alone in an upright position that water would have never caused a problem and would have eventually dried up. In the future, in similar circumstances I'll first open the bottom and check for water before removing it.

That was supposed to have been a quick 15 minute job on a Sunday afternoon that turned into an entire afternoon & evening of "ohhhh no, what did I do?!"
thanks for sharing your experience

did you take photos to understand better the situation??

Re: PowerBox: water getting inside & resetting everything

Posted: Fri Oct 09, 2015 3:35 pm
by xunil76
what if there was some "weatherproofing" where the cables go into the device?

just have a rubber grommet that you can put around the LAN/power cables, then that seats into an opening in the bottom of the device. this way, you could have hurricane-force winds, and you won't get water creeping up the cable into the ports on the bottom of the unit. it would help keep bugs out of the unit as well, which is a good thing.

this is probably not necessary for the majority of the installations of this device, where weather usually doesn't get that bad....but very useful if your area is prone to hurricanes/tropical storms.

yes, i know there are weatherproof boxes already available for these scenarios, but having the product itself designed this way could greatly reduce the cost, size, and install time of the system, making it an even greater value. after all, this is why the powerbox exists in the first place; if you were going to use a weatherproof box, then you may as well just get a standard hEX PoE lite and pay $10 less for it.

perhaps a new model in addition to the existing one that costs a little bit more to account for the extra materials needed? that would still be a lot less than buying an additional weatherproof box, transporting that box to the site, and taking the time to get everything mounted properly.

Re: PowerBox: water getting inside & resetting everything

Posted: Fri Oct 09, 2015 4:15 pm
by BartoszP
Shouldn't little sponge piece be enough or even better ?
Rubber grommet will stop water from draining if there is other way to pour into. Sponge lets "inside" water to self evaporate/drain even if it is slow process.