Camera Pendant Mounting Guide

By IPVM Team, Published Mar 07, 2019, 10:58am EST

It is often necessary to suspend a camera from a high open ceiling. This is commonplace in retail, warehouse, industrial sites, hangars, and other locations with high ceilings.

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In this guide we provide details of the components and methods used to install pendant mounts for cameras including:

  • 3 detailed video demonstrating pendant mount installation
  • Pendant Mount Basics
  • Standard Electrical Fittings
  • Manufacturer Pendant Mounts
  • Camera Specific Mounting Systems
  • Pros and Cons and comparison of each method
  • Aesthetic and installation concerns
  • Pricing comparisons

Pendant Mount Basics

Pendant mounts are used when cameras must be ceiling mounted, but ceiling height is too high to provide proper mounting angle. They consist of a mounting based attached to the ceiling, either a solid surface or building steel, with an extended pipe/tube dropped down to the desired mounting height, to which the camera is mounted. Pendants may be constructed using standard electrical fittings or camera-specific parts, which we review later in this report.

This graphic reviews the basic parts of a pendant mount:

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******** *** **** ***** mounted ** ******** ***** using ******* ********* ** beam ***** (******** *****). Beam ****** ******* ** a **** ** **** metal *-****** ***** **** a ******* ***** **** to ******* ** ** the ****, ***** **** threaded ******** ***** (********* 1/4"-20) **** ** ****** other ********** ** *** clamp, **** ** *****. The ***** ***** ******* on *** ****** ** the ***** *** ****** being ****, *** *** most ***********, *** **** clamp **** ******** ******* its ******.

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Basic ******** ***** ******** ********** ********

******* *** ** ******* mounted ***** ******* **** than *** *** ***** electrical ********. * ******* box ** ******** ** a ****** ********** ***, standard ******* **** ** extend ********, *** ******* box **** ** ****** the ****** ** *** bottom. *** ****** **** mounts ** ****, ******, or ******* ***** *** be **** **** *** manufacturer's ******** ******** ********.

** *********** **** ****** in *** ***** *****:

******* *******, ******** **** well **** *** ********* intended ** ******* ****** or **** *** *** be **** ** ****** any ****** *** ******** conduit. *** ****** ******* is ******** **** **** cameras ** ***** *** device ** ****-*****, ** improve ******** **** ******** or ******** ***** *** not ********* *****.

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Electrical ******* **** *** ****

*** **** ********* ** using ******** ********** ******** is *** ****. ********** used ** ******* *** camera ** *** ******* video ***** **** ~$** USD *** *** ******* available ** **** *********** or ********** ************.

*******, **** ****** *** three *** ***********:

  • ******* *********:******* ******* ********* ****** a ******* ** *" EMT, **** */*" ** 3/4" **** **** ******. These ******* ******** *** vibrate ** **** ** used *** ****** ******* or ** ***** ***** there ** ****** *******, e.g., ****** ** ******* traffic ** ****. ** contrast, *******-***** ******** ***** use ******* *.**" ** 1.5" *******, ***** ****** resists ********* *** **** than ******* ********.
  • ******* ****** ******* ****:************, *** ******* ******** conduits **** **** ******* hangers *** ********** ***** are ******** ** ******* light ******** (*.*., * small ****** ******** * few ******). ******** **** and *** ******* *** generally ***** ******, *** PTZs *** ****** **** robust ******.
  • ******* **********:*** ****** ** ******** electrical ******** ********* ** not ***** *** ***** of *******, ***** *** make **** ********** *** use ***** ********** *** a *******, **** ** retail ************, ****** ***** fine ** ********** ** warehouse ********. ******** ** the ********** ******** *** be **** ********* ***** cost, ** *******.

***** *******, **** ** camera ************ ****** *** universal ******* ******* *** available, ****** ** ************* higher ****** *** ********** longer **** ***** ** they *** ********* ***-***** items **** ** ******** distributors.

Camera ************ ******

**** ************* ******* ******* mounts ******** ** ***** cameras' ******** **** ******** and **** *******. **** attach ** **** *** same *** ** ******** electrical ********, ****** ********* require **** ********, **** many ******** ** ****** installation ****. ************, ***** mounts *** ********* ******* or ****** ****** ** match ***** ******** ****** colors, ** ******/******* ** not **** **********.

** *** ***** ***** we ******* ** ************ demonstration ** ** **** pendant ***** (******)

** **** **** ** this ******* ** **** are ******* *********, ****** most ************* ***** ******* mounts. *** *******, *** pendant ****** ***********,****,*****,*****,******,*********,*******.

Manufacturer ******** **** *** ****

************-******** ****** **** *** key **********:

  • ****** **********:******* ************ ******** ****** are **** ***** ****** coated ** ******* ** match ***** *** *******, they *** ********* ********* in ***** ***** ********** are * *** *******. Other ****** *** ** painted ** ****** ******, but **** ** ** additional ****, ****** ***** cost, *** ****** *** not ***** ** ****.
  • ******** ******** ************:*************' ****** *** ***** tailored ** ***** *** cameras, **** ******** ******** to **** ************ ******, such ** ******** ******** specific ** ***** ******* or *****-** ****** (**** as *** **** *****). These ******** *** ***** nice ** ****, ****** rarely ******* ***** **********.

*** **** ******** ** manufacturer ******** ****** ** the *****. ***** ****** typically **** *** ~$***+, compared ** ~$** *** standard ********** ********.

Universal ******* *******

** ******** ** ************ specific ******, ***** *** a *** ******* *** universal ************ ******* ******.

*********** *** ** *** most ******* ** ***** options. **** ****** **** not ******* ***** ** connect ** ******** *****, making ** ******* *** safer ** ******* **** on * **** ****** or ****. **** ****** also *** *** ********* to **** **** ** larger ****, *** **** have * ****** ****** on ************ **** **** individual *************. *** ***** below ************ *** ********* system:

******* *********** **** ***** a ********* ******* ********* ** *******-***** *** mounting *******. *** ******* is ******* *** * threaded **** ****, **** the * **** ** the *********, ** ********* between *** *******. **** a ****** *** *** secure *** ***** ** the ******** *****.

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Universal ******* ***** **** *** ****

********* ******' ********** *** disadvantages **** ******** ** other *******:

  • ********* ********, ********* ****** are ******** ** ** simpler ** ******* **** typical ********** ********, ****** they *** **** **** of *** ************-******** ******** of *********** ******, ***** may ******** ******** ************ time ******** ** ***** models.
  • ************, ********** *** ** better **** ********** ********, as ********* ****** ****** tend ** ** ****** coated/painted ***** ** *****. However, ***** ****** *** not ***** *************' ******* as "*****" ***** ****** vary ******.
  • *******, ******* ** ********* higher **** ***** ******* electrical ********, ***** $** on *******. *******, **** are ********* **** ****** than ************-******** ******, ***** are ***** $*** ** more.

***** ***********

******* *** **** ***** type ******, ********* ** size, ************, ********** *****, etc. *********, ***** ******** types ******* ** *******:

  • ******** ********** ********:~$**-** *** ******
  • ************ ******** ******:~$**-*** ******
  • ********* ******* ***** *******:~$**-** ******

Installation ******

*** ******** ******* *** deeper ********, **** *** a ******* ** ********** guides ********* ** ********** IP *******:

Comments (18)

Are you standing on the 2nd to top rung on that ladder?  :-)   I also noticed you are not wearing a safety harness and tied off......

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When we moved the new office we purchased podium / platform ladders. They make doing work at the building steel easier and safer.

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I just noticed you edited your original comment. For clarity, our warehouse truss height is 12'.

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John, you are a sport :-)  Great report on a challenge I faced in my past life doing retail in big box.......

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What is the tensile strength of an emt connector? I typically specify the camera manufacturer's pendant hardware to ensure it will support the load. I could specify threaded rigid conduit and fittings, but installers typically ignore installation details and put in EMT.

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It's pretty hard to find exact ratings for each compression fitting sold, but if they are UL listed they are capable of holding 450lbs:

I still would not use this solution for larger / heavier cameras.

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In addition to manufacturer specific mounts, there are a few options for universal surveillance pendant mounts.

Into what category would you put this no-frills pendant mount?

From the epic Legit Or Trunkslammer Install? You Make The Call...

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I’d say it falls under standard electrical fittings. 

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So what’s the downside to not using either j-boxes or propreitery mounts?

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The example above isn't specifically wrong. The downside is that to many it just looks funky. I'd also say the EMT might wobble quite a bit, because it's coupled. That's likely prone to shake. But other than that, if it works for the customer and supports the camera, I don't have any real objections.

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Ok, but how exactly does the emt connect to the camera there?

Do you think that the baseplate just happened to have a knock-out hole that exactly matched the emt and let it thread in?  Or is this a general method that could be used in most situations, (especially if the knock-out hole was centered and the emt was shorter)?

 

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Usually camera bodies have standard sized conduit penetrations by design, which they generally plug with a grommet because most people will simply run a cable through the grommet and into the camera. But they also accept conduit, generally 1/2" or 3/4".

Whether or not that knockout is threaded varies. I'd say most are probably not threaded, especially indoor models, but outdoor models may tend to be threaded more often. I haven't done an exhaustive check into this by any means.

I think it's a method that could be used in many situations. Whether or not it's acceptable is up to the user(s).

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Good info, thx!

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Wait, why did he skip attaching the safety cable to the camera in the video???

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One thing I noticed during the Axis video, as well as experienced the same issues in real life, is that standard beam clamps have a wedge design, which ends up tilting your base. How would you overcome this in the field John?

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Yes. I noticed that too.

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I totally understand the issue here Jon. There are some models out there that are a square design instead of a open mouth style. The installation method can also combat this at times. I like the Arlington BC25 clamps as they are a square design. The part that the provided screw is through is slightly angled to prevent it from pulling off the truss. They are rated for 75lbs which should be plenty for a camera installation. 

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Here is a video on the Clinton Electronics Camera Pole.

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