From charlesreid1

Old notes here: RaspberryPi/Weatherproof Camera Case/Old

The Stage 1 prototype was used with timelapse 4: RaspberryPi/Timelapse4

Pelican Modification Stage 1

Stage 1 of the Pelican case modification was to drill a hole and insert a camera. No attention was paid to weatherproofing, the goal was simply to deploy a camera, Raspberry Pi, and power source in the Pelican case.

Original Pelican case

Here is the stock Pelican case (Pelican 1120 Case):



It's an absolutely perfect size for a Raspberry Pi and power supply.

Modification planz and schematics

Here is the plan: drill a 1/2" hole in the side of the Pelican case, and mount the camera to the case. Use rubber to ensure a tight fit between the camera and the body. The camera came with a plastic cover, so utilize that as the camera lens protector. (Secure it to the lens better, too.)


  • KISS
  • Don't worry about making it totally weatherproof. Can make modifications later.




As you can see, I follow extremely rigorous engineering standards in my drawings.

Obligatory Shoutout to the Local Makerspace

Shoutout to Metrix Create Space for having a cheap membership that allows for access to the bottomless toolbox for $20/month.


Drilling the Hole

The camera diameter was 0.55 inches, and the largest drill bit i had access to was 0.5 inches.

The materials used were as follows:

  • High power hand drill
  • Several sizes of drill bits up to 0.5 inches
  • Dremmel tool
  • Multiple Dremmel attachments
  • Sandpaper

My procedure was as follows:

  • Drill a pilot hole starting with a small drill bit.
  • Drill a progressively larger hole by using 4 increasing drill bit sizes (the Pelican case is tough to drill through).
  • Drill a hole with the 0.5 inch drill bit.
  • Clear excess plastic inside and around the hole with a Dremmel tool, to create a more even hole diameter.
  • Test camera to see if camera fits into hole.
  • Drill the hole to be progressively larger by "shaving" material off the sides using the 0.5 inch drill bit.
  • Clear excess plastic with the Dremmel tool.
  • Test camera to see if camera fits into hole.
  • Repeat until camera fits.
  • Use sandpaper to smooth edges of hole and clear excess plastic.

A couple of photos of the process. Note that I was using a hand drill, not the drill press shown in the photo. These photos show a small hole, and an enlarged hole.




Finished Case

Here's a photo of the Pelican case with completed Stage 1 modifications. Carefully drilling to remove material around the hole paid off in the form of a very snug fit between the camera and the Pelican case:


Close-up of that camera lens:


Here's a photo of the drilled hole without the camera there:



and a photo showing how the camera mounts into the hole (I'm using foam to keep the camera held in place):


Packing the Case

Okay, now for the fun part! I was packing up a Raspberry Pi, a battery power supply, and the camera. The Pelican case came with a foam block that fit inside the case, so I cut up the foam to create space for each component.

Here is a photo of all the components snug in the foam. The battery pack is on, the Pi is operational, and the camera is running. There are ZERO CABLES! The Pi is connected to the wifi network.


Here are the unpacked components. The phone-looking device is the power supply. The Pi has a 64 GB jump drive and the USB camera plugged into the USB ports. The USB camera (not visible) is held in place on the right side of the case by the foam block.


Another shot of the disassembled case components showing the camera position:


Notes on the foam and Stage 2

Note that while using the foam block makes everything nice and pretty and snug, it is also a pain to disassemble and modify. There isn't a whole lot of room for new components. Stage 2 will fix this. (See note below.)

Stage 2 will replace the foam block holding everything in place with velcro strips mounted to the inside of the case. Removing the foam will also remove the camera support, so Stage 2 will also involve a plexiglass weatherproof covering for the camera port, and some screws to hold the camera to the case.