Measuring Wheels Examined

Author: Brian Rhodes, Published on Jun 07, 2012

Recording measurements of long distances can be difficult. Since video surveillance work often requires stepping of distances in the hundreds of feet, a cheap and easy to use method of measuring large areas is desirable. In this update, we examine 'Measuring Wheels' and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of this type of measuring device.

Overview

measuring wheel manWhen the wheel travels, an integrated counter keeps track of the exact distance. While very simple, the method is reliable and accurate. Typically, automobile odometers work on the same principal.

Measuring wheels are simple devices composed of just a few major components:

Wheel: The 'business end' of the device. While many designs are avilable, larger diameter wheels are easier to push, but are more prone to 'skip'. The size of the wheel affects how transportable and compact the device is to carry.

Tire/Wheel type: Hard plastic wheels are cheaper, but more difficult to push. Rubber Balloon tires are most expensive, but result in smoother measurements.

Counter: The distance counter is typically located on the hub of the wheel, but more advanced models may have a handle mounted display. The unit of distance measured varies from hundreds (000.0) to tens of thousands (00000) of feet/meters. Usually wheels are fixed to measure either feet or meters at the factory.

Handle: The design of this feature range from simple 'broom handle' type poles, to ergonomically designed, foam filled grips. In general, the more elaborate the handle, the higher the unit costs.

Analysis

Pros

Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox
Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox

Inexpensive: With most models costing less than $50, measuring wheels are cheaper than long distance tape measures or higher-technology solutions like laser distance finders.

Easy to use: No special training is required to use a measuring wheel. The only prerequisite skill required is walking in a straight line. Since the counter displays the distance traveled, more skill is required to use a traditional 'tape measure' than a measuring wheel.

Measurements "Good Enough": While wheels may not measure distances down to exact inches or fractions of a foot, they are precise enough for video surveillance work.

Cons

"Wheel Skip": A common shortcoming of measuring wheels is that wheel contact with the ground must be maintained at all times because of 'free-wheeling' or 'wheel skip' that can inaccurately change the distance traveled.

Off-Center paths: For true 'point A to point B' measurements, a straight line must be walked. Since the wheel records the distance actually traveled, if the path is off-center or wanders, distance readings can be inaccurate. This aspect is of special concern to video surveillance work when figuring trenching paths, wire runs, or field of view calculations.

Rough Terrain: Bumpy, uneven, muddy, and non-paved surfaces all make wheel measurement difficult. Not only do the aspects mentioned above come into play, the wheel itself can become dirty or damaged when measuring rough surfaces.

Reading the Display: Typically, the display for the wheel is placed at or near the bottom of the unit, ofen requiring the operator to bend over and/or stop to see the current measurement.

Slow: Since you need to stay straight, avoid wheel skip and look down to check the measurement, typically one walks slowly with the measuring wheel, making it a more time consuming process than using a laser distance finder.

1 report cite this report:

IP Camera Cabling Installation Guide on Aug 29, 2018
IPVM is preparing the industry's first Video Surveillance Installation book and our upcoming Video Surveillance Installation Course. We have...
Comments : PRO Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports on Tools

IP Camera Cable Termination Guide on Sep 06, 2018
Terminating cables properly is critical to network performance, but it can be a tricky task with multiple steps. Fortunately, this task is easy to...
IP Camera Cabling Installation Guide on Aug 29, 2018
IPVM is preparing the industry's first Video Surveillance Installation book and our upcoming Video Surveillance Installation Course. We have...
SNMP / Network Monitoring For Surveillance 2018 on Aug 21, 2018
Surveillance systems typically rely on the the VMS to report issues, but this most often just means knowing a camera is "down" with no warning or...
Installing Dome Cameras Indoors Guide on Jul 16, 2018
IPVM is producing the definitive series on installing surveillance cameras. This entry covers one of the most common scenarios - installing dome...
GDPR For Access Control Guide on Jul 03, 2018
Electronic access control is common in businesses plus organizations are increasingly considering biometrics for access control. With GDPR coming...
Axis Guardian - Cloud VMS And Alarm Monitoring - Released on Jun 19, 2018
Axis has struggled to deliver a cloud-based managed service video platform. Video service providers have utilized AVHS for over a decade, and have...
Installing Box Cameras Indoors Tutorial on May 22, 2018
This tutorial starts our physical installation for video surveillance series, starting with Box Cameras, one of the oldest and most basic types....
Measuring For Security Installation Guide on May 07, 2018
Accurate measurement is a fundamental skill, yet many installers do not know how to do it. Using these tools are a key skill needed for security...
30+ Emerging Tech Companies Examined on Mar 28, 2018
ISC West has a new segment for 2018: the 'Emerging Technology Zone', which they boast: Featuring 50 of the latest and greatest startup...
Dynamic vs. Static IP Addresses Tutorial on Mar 01, 2018
While many cameras default to DHCP out of the box, that does not mean you should use it. This may seem basic for some, but those new to the...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Genetec Takes Aim At 'Untrustworthy' 'Foreign Government-Owned Vendors' on Sep 24, 2018
Genetec is taking aim at 'untrustworthy' 'foreign government-owned vendors'. This is not a new theme for Genetec as nearly 2 years ago, Genetec...
4MP Camera Shootout - Axis, Dahua, DW, Hanwha, Hikvision, Uniview, Vivotek on Sep 24, 2018
4MP usage continues to climb, especially for low cost fixed lens models. To see who was best, we bought and tested seven 4MP models from Axis,...
Alexa Guard Expands Amazon's Security Offerings, Boosts ADT's Stock on Sep 21, 2018
Amazon is expanding their security offerings yet again, this time with Alexa Guard that delivers security audio analytics and a virtual "Fake...
UTC, Owner of Lenel, Acquires S2 on Sep 20, 2018
UTC now owns two of the biggest access control providers, one of integrator's most hated access control platforms, Lenel, and one of their...
BluePoint Aims To Bring Life-Safety Mind-Set To Police Pull Stations on Sep 20, 2018
Fire alarm pull stations are commonplace but police ones are not. A self-funded startup, BluePoint Alert Solutions is aiming to make police pull...
SIA Plays Dumb On OEMs And Hikua Ban on Sep 20, 2018
OEMs widely pretend to be 'manufacturers', deceiving their customers and putting them at risk for cybersecurity attacks and, soon, violation of US...
Axis Vs. Hikvision IR PTZ Shootout on Sep 20, 2018
Hikvision has their high-end dual-sensor DarkfighterX. Axis has their high-end concealed IR Q6125-LE. Which is better? We bought both and tested...
Avigilon Announces AI-Powered H5 Camera Development on Sep 19, 2018
Avigilon will be showcasing "next-generation AI" at next week's ASIS GSX. In an atypical move, the company is not actually releasing these...
Favorite Request-to-Exit (RTE) Manufacturers 2018 on Sep 19, 2018
Request To Exit devices like motion sensors and lock releasing push-buttons are a part of almost every access install, but who makes the equipment...
25% China Tariffs Finalized For 2019, 10% Start Now, Includes Select Video Surveillance on Sep 18, 2018
A surprise move: In July, when the most recent tariff round was first announced, the tariffs were only scheduled for 10%. However, now, the US...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact