Wahsega Labs Ruggedized Intercom Is built for harsh environments without costing a fortune
Companies like to brag when they produce an unusually tough product. Television commercials are full of well-known automotive brands chest thumping over whose pickup can do this or that. There has never been a crossfit training center that advertised amenities like comfy lounge chairs. The UFC doesn’t serve tea in the octagon. So when Wahsega Labs created its Ruggedized Outdoor IP Intercom, it knew it had something to be proud of too.
The life of an outdoor intercom isn’t easy. Getting sideswiped by delivery trucks, rained on, baking in the summer sun and all the time, expected to provide crystal clear sound between the person who wants in and the person who lets them in. An outdoor intercom is expected to work, period. In fact the only time you expect to even notice one is if it’s broken. Reliability is imperative. So what does it take to ensure that kind of reliability?
Wahsega started with the internal components. Exposure to the elements is part of everyday life for an intercom so hardening the unit to damage from water was an obvious starting point. A process was developed that seals the internal components, preventing exposure to moisture. By spraying on a protective coating over the circuit board daughter modules, a thin protective layer forms a barrier against not only moisture but also dust and microparticles like rust. It is literally possible to pour a glass of water over the board although because the connectors are somewhat exposed, we added additional safeguards to further protect sensitive electronics.
For example, for protecting exposed parts like connectors, the microphone and speaker, this design uses a type of screen commonly installed to protect snowmobiles engines from ingesting water into their engines. The microthin screen is coated with a hydrophobic chemical that actually prevents water from entering the intercoms case. The screen is so resistant to water that you could run a faucet over the screen and moisture would not get through. The intercom can withstand torrential downpours day in and day out without any issues.
Devices that are exposed to harsh conditions are actually graded by a standard to show what kind of punishment a device can be expected to survive. The standard is called the Ingress Protection Rating or IP rating for short. It measures how effectively an enclosure like an intercom case can protect the delicate internal parts. The rating system is defined in international standard EN 60529 and is made up of a two digit designation. The first digit measures how well an enclosure protects against some foreign object entering the casing. The foreign object can be anything from fingers or larger down to sealed against dust. The second digit describes the enclosure’s protection against water entering.
The Wahsega Ruggedized Intercom is designed for an IP65 rating which means it is well protected from dust and able to withstand water spray from almost all directions. When used in conjunction with the advanced component sealing and hydrophobic screens, you’ve got an intercom that can take anything short of hurricane force winds and continue to operate.
One of the keys to keeping things protected is the beefy outer casing. The case is U.S.A. sourced steel that is welded and assembled in Georgia. The casing is far beyond the mostly plastic enclosures competitors use. In fact, our intercom is more robust than most competitor’s “vandal resistant” models and generally comes in at about half the cost.
Some readers may remember the old television commercials where Masterlock® actually shoots one of its locks to show that it could withstand extreme punishment. Wahsega is in the process of filming their intercom holding up to some pretty extreme treatment as well. Stay tuned and we will post our video soon!