Member Discussion

Help- Mounting Multiple Cameras To Roof Top Off A Pole

Good day team:

I have an application where we are looking at installing multiple camera on the corner of a building at the rooftop elevation. The roof system is a single membrane roof and has a very small parapet (pics attached). I am hoping that we can utilize a single wall mounted parapet for multiple cameras - one PTZ (general coverage) off the 1.5” NTP thread, and two other fixed cameras (one to view a vehicle gate and the other for future). We were planning on using a Pelco PP450. My question, since the cameras are off the roof, using the parapet will cut down on future service costs and serviceability- does anyone have examples or can offer insight on whether or not we should install two cameras off one parapet?

Thanks in advance with your help on this.Roof pic 2

Roof pic 2

1. It does not appear you have enough mounting surface to use that parapet mount. You'll need an area ~16"x12", and it appears that you might have 4"?

2. Parapets have a max weight rating (for the PP450 it is 45 lbs), however that is for safety, not necessairly picture quality. Even if all three cameras weigh less than 45 pounds, the picture may shake or buffet in the wind.

In this case, using a tripod mount might be a better option, both in terms of installability and stable picture quality, ie:

Thanks Brian, at what point do you start worrying about height and grounding (i.e. lighting) when placing the cameras off the tripod. Have you had a lot of success with this style of mounting?

Cliff, We have had several installs with this type of challenge. The way we solve this is with plate steel in the form of a large "L" bracket or sled. 1/4" plate with several gussets works really well. We use (2) 24 x24" plates joined at 90 deg., (think shelf-shaped). The shape can be modified but there are some things to remember.

  • Weight keeps it stationary (sandbags hold down the bottom piece)
  • Rigidity mitigates wind vibration (thats what the gussets are for)
  • Safety cables to keep it all on the roof just in case a freak tornado or vandal shows up.

Ground as normal. The parapet mount is no different attractor of lightning that any other protruding bits on a roof.

Drill and mount with quality fasteners.

Lastly, keep the building engineer in the loop on this. You want that person as an ally not an enemy to this type of project. Involve them early and ask for help in implementing such an idea. Maybe they would like to fabricate and paint the new bracket?

BTW...Drill and mount refers to the parapet mount to the plate NOT the plates to the roof. No drilling into the structure for this solution.

Does the client know you are goin to mount the parapet mount on the face of his building? If so make sure you use stainless steel fastners. Nothing like rust rivers down a building to make a client happy.

I would avoid mounting anything on the membrain roof, it is expensive to repair.

I would assemble a pipe with 1 quad and 4 T's. The quad attaches to the parapet mount. The quad has 3 openings left. the bottom one gets the PTZ, the one on the right gets a short pipe with a 90 deg elbow the left gets the same. The two fixed cameras hang off the right and left 90deg elbows.

Here is a sketch.Parapet mount

I would attack it the same way as Brian, but with a different product; communications style non-penetrating roof mount.

Much more stable than a tripod, and you can find them with an offset mast so it can be right up to the edge of the roof, and then just use pole mount adapters for the cameras.

Worst part is carrying cement blocks up to the roof...

Thanks for sharing that Sean.

I'll second the non-pen mount. At my last gig we used them frequently for cameras as well as wireless. It was an easy install, aside from hauling the cement blocks up, like Sean mentions. Telling a bunch of IT guys then need to carry 16 cinder blocks up to the roof is a fun time.

We use non-penetrating roof mounts a lot. You can get them with mat at tessco for about 150 bucks each. The one problem you would face is that you generally can not view along the walls of the building. Keeps you from liability with the membrane and service is a snap. Normally come with 4 x 4 sled and 5 foot 2.5 inch pole.