Wireles Networking is a practical guide to planning and building low-cost telecommunications infrastructure. See the editorial for more information....

Equipment Enclosures

Cheap plastics are everywhere in the developing world, but they are made of poor materials and are thin, thus mostly unsuitable for enclosing equipment. PVC tubing is far more resilient and is made to be waterproof. In West Africa, the most common PVC is found in plumbing, sized from 90mm to 220mm. Access points such as the Routerboard 500 and 200 can fit into such tubing, and with end-caps that are torched-on, they can make very robust waterproof enclosures. They also have the added benefit of being aerodynamic and uninteresting to passers-by. The resulting space left around the equipment assures adequate air circulation. Also, it is often best to leave an exhaust hole at the bottom of the PVC enclosure. The author did find that leaving open holes can become a problem. In one instance ants decided to nest 25 meters above ground inside the PVC holding the access point. Using a wire mesh cover made from locally available screen material is advised to secure the exhaust hole from infestations.

Last Update: 2007-01-24