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How to weatherproof an Arlo Q

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Ricknau
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I posted this months ago in the Arlo Idea Exchange.  It doesn't belong there because that forum is for improvement ideas to NetGear.  This is a solution for current or future Q owners.  If moderators don't like dual posts then please remove the post in the Arlo Idea Exchange.

 

My weatherproof camera has been up for 7 months now without a single problem.  Maybe this idea will work for you.

 

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I added an Arlo Q to my Arlo wire-free system because it triggers on the video image and not from a passive IR (PIR) sensor.  I needed something that would trigger at greater distances.  Problem is, I needed it to work outdoors and the Q is not built to be installed outdoors.  So what I did was waterproof it with silicone.  It has been outside for 2 (now 7) months now and has worked flawlessly in hot (95-100 deg) , rainy, humid, North Florida summer weather.  You can see in the picture that it is not totally out in the open but under an angled eave so it can receive direct rain sometimes but not every time depending on the wind.  One other thing is that where it is mounted it sees direct sunlight in the morning but is shaded by late morning.  I'm not sure if prolonged direct sunlight would cause the unit to overheat.  Though mine has worked well, if you want to try this then do it at your own risk.  It may also impact your warranty.

 

First thing was to seal the lens area.  I needed a good piece of glass to go over the lens.  I didn't want cheap plastic or any material that would degrade the image quality.  I hoped a lens cover from a small flashlight would do but they are all plastic and not high quality.  What I settled on was a glass microscope slide.  I bought a pack of 72 1"x3" slides for $5.60 from Amazon Prime.  (Anybody need 71 microscope slides?  Smiley LOL )  I scored one with a sharp knife and broke it so I got a 1" square piece.  ( WEAR GLOVES AND EYE PROTECTION.  It ain't my fault if you cut or blind yourself!)  You could use the square piece as is but I ground my piece to a circle with my bench grinder.  If you do this then grind very slowly with a fine wheel or the edges will lose big hunks or the thing will just break.

 

For all the sealing I used GE clear 100% silicone caulk.  I've used it around my house for outdoor seals and it last for years.  Nothing beats it.  I'm not totally sure how long it will bond to the material of the Q but I'm hoping it will be for a good long time.  Note, I don't think the bond to the Q material (the rubber-like surface) is as strong as it is to glass or metal but seemed adequate to me.   Again my caveat... do this at you own risk.  I got a small hand tube of it (not a big chalking gun tube) at Walmart.

 

First step is to use some alcohol to clean fingerprints and oil off the Q and the glass piece.  Then I put a bead of silicone around the Q lens just beyond the black rubber ring and carefully placed the glass piece onto it.  Be aware that the bead will spread out when you press the glass a little so don't use too much silicone and leave a small gap beyond the black ring.  (I probably used more than necessary.)  Notice that in doing this the IR lamps are not blocked so the night vision still works.  Also, I thought it a good idea to do this operation in an air conditioned environment to reduce moisture in the air that is under the glass cover.  (Was worried about possible condensation but see last paragraph.)

 

Next (after the glass piece was dried) I just went around and put a generous bead of silicone on every seam and screw hole.  You can see my beads are not real smooth and pretty but I was more concerned with applying a generous amount (more surface for the bond) than having a show piece.  One other special thing I did was remove the plate the holds the swivel ball and put silicone behind it because the ball joint is a water entry point but I still wanted the joint to swivel.  For the buttons and speaker I siliconed down a piece of thick plasitic, like from a freezer bag.  For the mic and LED I just put a small dob directly on them. ( I don't care that much if the mic is degraded though it seems to still work.  I can hear my A/C when it is running.)

 

So there you go.  I'm pretty pleased that has worked for 2 (now 7)  months in some pretty tough weather.  One thing I like is that it doesn't degrade the cooling of the unit. The Q puts out constant warmth but most of the surface area is still available to disipate the heat.  Unlike if you were to seal it in a box.  As a bonus, the natural warmth keeps condensation from clouding the lens or glass cover.

 

I can now detect motion in my back yard up to about 50 feet away.

 

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JamesC
Community Manager
Community Manager

Ricknau,

 

Thanks for sharing.

 

For those viewing this thread, as mentioned above, NETGEAR does not recommend using Arlo Q outdoors as it is not a weatherproof device and doing so could void the warranty. For more information, see here: Are Arlo Wire-Free, Arlo Q, Arlo Q Plus, and Arlo Go cameras weatherproof?

 

JamesC