/ #Waterproofing #Raspberry Pi 

Remember Waterproofing

Look, A Duck!

Do you know what ducks love? That would be rain, water, mud, and anything that is wet.

Do you know what electronics don’t love? That would be rain, water, mud, and anything that is wet.

Look, A Duck

I’ve been working on a project to live stream a video feed from our chicken and duck lot over to YouTube. It worked for a while but then we had a fairly decent rainstorm. I had taken steps to waterproof, what I thought was all the openings on the Raspberry Pi Zero W, and everthing continued to work during the rainstorm.

The Setup

Phase 1 of Duck Cam Streaming

Here is a picture of the temporary setup that I put in place. A solar panel feeding a decent sized battery inside of a waterproof ammo case.

The Raspberry Pi Zero W with it’s camera module was sitting outside of the housing. I later took tape and waterproof material to seal everything from weather. I expected this to get wet. I expected it to get rained on for days at a time. What I didn’t expect was for the ducks to knock it off the casing and pound it into the mud to the point that it was no longer visible. This is what happened the day after the rainstorm.

I’m normally out at the coop before 7AM each morning. This morning I let the chickens and ducks out then give them a decent amount of food for the day. I head over to the camera setup and wonder where the camera went to. Did I take it in the night before? Nope, the USB power cord was lodged in the mud. Pulling the cord out I find the Raspberry Pi stuck deep in the mud. No power light on.

I take the Raspberry Pi inside to see the damage. Mud was absolutly packed inside the case. Using some isopropyl alcohol, I was able to clean off all the muck. Doing an inspection of the components, I found that the ribbon cable leading up to the camera module had a connection burned in two. I’m left with two options: 1. Get a new ribbon cable 2. Get a USB camera Since I don’t have fast access to a new ribbon cable, I get an old USB camera from my box of parts and use that as the current camera. Resolution has dropped largerly due to the older hardware used.


  1. Securely mount components
  2. Unless the component is sealed, water will get in
  3. Order extra cables with main order. This part was only $1.95 from Adafruit but shipping is costly.


Look, I made a thing.