This tutorial reviews how to install a cable gland to an enclosure to create a waterproof connection between a Voltaic solar panel and your electronics. The installation of cable glands for use with other electronics is similar to the installation described in this article. However, differently sized holes/cable glands may be required for a waterproof fit.
- Voltaic Solar Panel
- Optional Voltaic Battery Pack
- 1 Foot solar panel Extension Cable or Extension with Leads if not using a Voltaic battery pack
- Optional Adapter: Female 3.5×1.1mm – MicroUSB (V25, V50, or V75) or Female 3.5×1.1mm – 5.5×2.1mm (V88 or V250)
- Waterproof Case
- PG 13.5 Waterproof Cable Gland
- Drill with 20 mm Forstner Drill Bit or Similar
- 2 Wrenches
1. Collect all the tools and materials required for installation
2. Decide where you want the hole located and mark the location. Ensure that from the center of the hole, there is around 2 cm of clearance on both the inner and outer walls.
Marked Location to Drill Out Hole
3. Using the drill with the 20 mm Forstner drill bit, carefully drill a hole from the outside wall of the waterproof enclosure. Once a clean hole has been drilled out of the wall, carefully remove the drill and drill bit.
Drilled out Hole at Marked Location with Forstner Drill Bit
4. Remove the Lock Nut from the cable gland assembly. Ensure the rubber washer is present on the Body.
Diagram of a cable gland from https://www.metalcablegland.com/how-do-cable-glands-work/
5. From the outside wall of the enclosure, insert the body into the drilled out hole so that the washer is flush with the outside wall.
6. While holding the cable gland assembly to prevent rotation, hand tighten the Lock Nut onto the body from the inside of the enclosure. To ensure a tighter connection, you can use a wrench to tighten the Lock Nut even further.
Lock Nut Getting Hand Tightened to Cable Gland Assembly from Inside Wall
7. Once the Lock Nut is securely tightened, remove the Thread-lock Sealing Nut.
8. Insert the 1 Foot solar panel Extension cable Male side first into the Cable Gland from the outside of the enclosure.
Extension Cable Inserted into Cable Gland
9. Gently pull the male side of the cable until the female port has reached the Claw and Seal portion of the Cable Gland. Gently push the female port into the Claw and Seal until the overmold is approximately 2/3 of the way in.
10. Tighten the Sealing Nut over the female connector, Claw, and Seal. Again, use a wrench to more securely fasten the Sealing Nut.
11. Once the Sealing Nut is fastened, the enclosure is ready to have the battery installed. Attach the relevant adapter to the extension cable and connect it to the battery. In this example, we are using the micro-USB adapter to connect the cable to the V50 Battery.
Fully Installed Battery and Cable
12. Once the Cable Gland(s) is properly installed, the enclosure is ready to be sealed and mounted.
Waterproof Enclosure with Battery Connected to Solar Panel
Please note that these directions can be similarly followed for other cable sizes/ports assuming the proper Cable Gland is chosen and the correct hole size is used accordingly.
Once the cable gland was fully installed, the enclosure, gland and cable connection were tested in a container of water.
The whole system was submerged in water for 5 minutes before being removed and assessed for water in the ports and inside the enclosure.
A tissue was used to wick up any potential water that may have found its way inside of the waterproof connections.
In the end, no water was found anywhere and the waterproof test was successful.
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