Occasionally there is a requirement for a GPS repeater system to be deployed in a damp environment such as a mine, tunnel or car park. These locations may not be actually under water, but the atmosphere can be wet or humid; car parks notoriously have water streaming down the interior walls.
Under such conditions, equipment can start to corrode very quickly; especially electronic circuits and connectors inside standard enclosures. Moisture can track its way along cables and seep into the interior until short circuits occur, ultimately resulting in system failure.
To overcome this problem, all the GPS repeater equipment carried by FalTech is now available in water-resistant boxes that comply with the IP67 standard.
So what does that mean exactly?
What does IP67 mean in terms of just how waterproof these enclosures are?
The IP Code, known as the International Protection Marking, IEC standard 60529 (sometimes interpreted as Ingress Protection Marking) classifies and rates the degree of protection provided against the intrusion of solid particles (including body parts such as hands and fingers), and water by mechanical casings and electrical enclosures.
Now IP67 is usually spoken as “I P sixty seven”.
In fact the two numbers represent the two aspects of the IP rating code, so strictly speaking should be said as “I P six seven”.
The first digit indicates the extent of solid particle protection and the second digit indicates the level of protection against harmful liquid ingress protection.
The first digit 6 indicates that the enclosure is dust tight – it will not allow any ingress of dust.
The second digit 7 indicates that the enclosure can be immersed in liquid to a depth of 1 metre.
GPS repeaters in IP67 enclosures
So the IP67 enclosures are dust-tight and immune to water ingress up to a depth of 1M; what do we need to consider outside of the IP67 enclosures?
Firstly it is recommended that all external connectors are waterproofed to complete the sealing process. Then we need to look at the mains power supply.
There is no point plugging an IP67 repeater into a standard mains outlet as the socket will not be waterproof to any significant degree. To overcome this FalTech can advise on a range of waterproof power supply options.
One example is to install a DC power distribution module in a dry location, and run a cable to the repeater unit(s), making sure to waterproof the cable ingress point with a suitable gland. DC power has been tested over 100M of M8 cable, so this can be a very practical solution.
(More on DC power distribution systems to come in future articles.)
Alternatively, the IP67 repeater units can be constructed with the AC/DC adapter built-in, so the only requirement is to provide a mains cable from a suitable distribution point (this is usually the responsibility of a qualified electrician).
For more information on IP67 repeaters take a look here.
Or contact FalTech with details of your exact requirements.