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For average users in typical environments, the All Sky Cam generates enough internal heat to melt snow or ice within a reasonable period of time. However some installations in particularly cold or wet locations may need a little extra heating help to melt away precipitation and dew as quickly as possible. For this reason we developed the Dome Heater, a convenient accessory that can be slipped over the camera to provide extra heat when needed.
CNC machined from UV stabilized marine grade high density polyethylene, the heater housing is designed to stand up to years of use in harsh climates. The unit is shaped like a question mark to allow it to grab onto the dome, with an internal lip at the top to prevent it from slipping down. The position on the dome was carefully chosen to prevent the heater from appearing in the camera's field of view.
Inside the heater is a sophisticated digital temperature controller that senses the outside temperature and adjusts the heating power accordingly. This efficient design only uses power when it's needed, and keeps the camera from overheating in a hot summer. As can be seen in the chart below, at freezing temperatures the full heating capacity is utilized to quickly melt ice, snow, and sleet. At warmer temperatures progressively lower power settings are employed to keep the dome slightly above ambient temperature to aid in the prevention of dew.
Installation was designed to be a snap. The cable coming out of the heater terminates in both male and female power connectors, allowing it to be placed in-line with the power to the All Sky Cam. This eliminates the need for a separate power cable to the heater, as long as the cable run from the power supply to the camera is 90 feet (27m) or less. After connecting power, simply slide the heater down over the dome until it is snug. For owners of the NTSC All Sky Cam, we recommend replacing the power supply that was included with the camera for the higher capacity power supply included with the Dome Heater. For owners of the PAL All Sky Cam, the power supply that was included with the camera is compatible with the Dome Heater and no changes are required.