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 Installation Tool Shootout - Avigilon, Axis, Ideal, Hanwha, Triplett, Veracity on Oct 23, 2018
Setting up IP cameras has historically been challenging, with techs often precariously using a laptop on a ladder or lift. Some options for install...
Integrator Laptop Guide on Oct 16, 2018
This 18-page guide provides guidance and statistics about integrator laptop use. 150 integrators explained to IPVM in detail about their laptops,...
Security System Health Monitoring Usage Statistics 2018 on Oct 09, 2018
How well and quickly do integrators know if devices are offline or broken? New IPVM statistics show that typically no health monitoring is...
Ladders For Installers Guide on Sep 25, 2018
Ladders are one of the most important pieces of worksite equipment for the surveillance technician. Too often, however, even highly experienced...
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...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Integrator Credit Card Alternative Divvy on Nov 13, 2018
Most security integrators are small businesses but large enough that they have various employees that need to be able to expense various charges as...
Directory of Video Intercoms on Nov 13, 2018
Video Intercoms, also known as Video Door-Phones or Video Entry Systems, have been growing in the past decade as more and more IP camera...
Beware Amazon Go Store Hype (Tested) on Nov 13, 2018
IPVM's trip to and testing of Amazon Go's San Francisco store shows a number of significant operational and economic issues that undermine the...
Magos Radar Company Profile on Nov 12, 2018
Magos America General Manager Yaron Zussman admits when he first came across Magos, he asked himself: "What's innovative about radar?" Be that as...
Genetec Privacy Protector Tested on Nov 12, 2018
Genetec has built Kiwi Security's Privacy Protector into Security Center, an analytic which anonymizes individuals in cameras' fields of view...
Chinese Government Increases Hikvision Ownership on Nov 12, 2018
The Chinese government - Hikvision's controlling shareholder - is increasing its ownership of the video surveillance giant amid sharp stock price...
Axis: "No One Wants To Buy A Camera" on Nov 09, 2018
Axis has, in its own description, made a bold declaration: The industry is changing so rapidly that the following statement might seem bold but...
Video Surveillance Hard Drive Size Statistics 2018 on Nov 08, 2018
What is the most common hard drive size for video surveillance? 150+ integrators answered: What size hard drive do you most commonly use? What...
Axis 2N Intercom Tested on Nov 08, 2018
Axis expanded its video intercom business buying Czech-based 2N in 2016. Despite competing against owner Axis' intercoms, 2N recently registered as...
Haven Targets School Security with Lockdown Lineup on Nov 08, 2018
Haven, a US startup founded in 2014 as a residential-focused company, has now raised funding and is offering a lineup of commercial grade locks for...

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