Using a Nest Cam or Dropcam Pro Outdoors

First there was Dropcam Pro then Nest purchased Dropcam but that was after Google purchased Nest.  Bottom line, all these cameras are made by the same company.  I own several Dropcam Pros as well as a Nest Cam and they are great cameras.  I can’t quite bring myself to pay for cloud storage but the setup is super easy and can be done by using the iPhone application.  It pokes a secure hole in your network to allow access from anywhere.  I use them for security purposes when I’m not home.  The cameras have motion sensors and I’m aware of movements in front of the cameras when they occur.  The latest model is the Nest Cam and if you would like to read a detailed review of that camera, here is a good one.  You can also read this Product Review of the DropCam Pro to get a good hands-on overview of this security camera.

The cameras have great night vision capabilities.  Unfortunately though, you will be watching your videos with the camera indoors but looking out the window.  It’s still not a bad photo, but you will find the infrared sensors work against the camera as the reflection shines in the window so you will need to turn that feature off.  You will also find the status light also gets in the way so you will need to turn that off to.

You know, if you could put these outside, assuming there’s a power outlet outside, that would solve everything.  Well these cameras aren’t waterproof so if it rains, you just ruined the camera.  I thought about building a small box but then the front is open and a driving rain will get it wet.  And don’t forget you need to poke the power cable out somewhere.

So one day, I’m searching around the internet and stumbled upon the Nest Cam and Dropcam Pro Outdoor Camera Enclosure.  These guys have figured it all out.  Now I can use my Dropcam Pro outdoors.

The Dropcam Pro snaps right into the weatherproof case.  There is a heat sync back plate which helps the camera to stay cool and not overheat.  The night vision can finally be activated because these cases have a special polarizing lens with an anti-reflection ring gives so the camera’s features can finally be used outdoors.  The case comes with mounting screw to do a nice flush mount.

If you would prefer not to do a flush mount, there are mounting accessories such as the Outdoor Gooseneck Mounting Arm.  This is a really nice addition as there is a mounting plate at the bottom of the gooseneck to permit mounting to an outdoor wall.  The gooseneck is flexible and attaches to the case to permit adjustment of angle.  You may or may not need this.  The Dropcam Pro and Nest Cam are stationary cameras that have a very wide range of view.  If you can find a clear view from the flush position, you are good to go, but if you need to angle the camera, add this gooseneck.

Another usable option is the Outdoor Case and Flexible Wall Mount for Nest Cam and DropCam Pro.  This is a kit so it includes the mount and outdoor case.  While the mount isn’t a goosneck, it works well in instances where a traditional type of security camera would suffice.

All of these outdoor mounts may present a power challenge.  The shorter USB cable that nest provides is somewhat limited in length.  I often find that the 20 Foot USB Cable for Nest Cam is long enough for almost any application.  It’s the same color and adapter type as the one that Nest provides in the box.  No need to purchase a new A/C adapter as this cable is going to use the one that Nest provides in the box.

The addition of this outdoor case is what Nest is missing from the box to truly make these cameras versatile.  Can’t believe it took a third-party to come up with these.  Now if you could record video to an SD card, and bypass the expensive cloud feature, this would become a perfect solution.  The mount attaches vertically or horizontally to any flat surface using screws.  The back of the case contains a heat sink to prevent your Nest Cam or Dropcam Pro from overheating.

If outdoor mounts aren’t what you are looking for, check out our article on Nest Cam and DropCam Mounts for Home Security.

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