One of the biggest challenges in building a home near or in the ocean is that the environment is very harsh for metals and electronics. When you add that with the fact that we are building a smart home that has considerably more electronics than a standard home, you can see that preventing corrosion is going to be one of our toughest and most important battles.
Many of the automated systems in the Ocean Builders homes are controlled by PC boards that act as the traffic directors between the user and system and the hardware. Since these boards are basically the brains of each individual automated system, it is important that they are protected from the harsh ocean environment.
In order to keep them sealed and protected from corrosion, we have created a custom-built box that houses the PC board. These boxes have a rubber gasket on the lid that will make the box watertight when it is installed and screwed down. In addition to the gasket on top, the ethernet connector will also be marine grade and rated for use in this environment.
We are using ethernet for several reasons, one of which being that we can power these boards efficiently while also using fewer cables. Having one connector going into the box is also easier to maintain and provides fewer possible points of failure. The ethernet cable will deliver the power to operate the board as well as the data that will be being transmitted.
We started by making all of the electronics and building all of the pieces together so that everything functioned properly and now we are going back and making sure that each component will be properly protected from corrosion.
Between our watertight housing and the marine grade ethernet connectors, we are confident that this system will provide a safe seal that will protect our boards from corrosion and give us years of use out of them in both our SeaPod and EcoPod as well as in our GreenPod which will be on land.