Pole Mount Camera Installation Guide

By John Scanlan, Published Apr 11, 2019, 11:02am EDT

Poles are a popular but challenging choice for deploying surveillance cameras outdoors. Poles are indispensable for putting cameras at the right height to get the best picture and for keeping cameras out of harm's way.

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  • ******** ******* *********, ****** Vs. *** *****
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Pole ***** ******

**** ******** ******* ** poles, ********* ******* *** attached ** *** ** two ****:

  • ****** ******:**** ****** **** * steel ****, ****** ******* on ** ***** * screw ********* (******* ** a **** *****), ***** is *** ******* *** pole ***** *** **** then *********. **** ** most ***** **** ** round ***** ** *** materials, ****** *** **** on ***** **** ****** as ****.
  • ***-***** ******:*** ***** ****** ******** the **** ******* *** pieces ********* ** **** bolts/threaded ***, ***** *** then *********. **** **** of ***** ***** ***** better **** ******* ** square *** ********* *****, but **** ***** ** round *****.

*** **** ******** ** pole ****** *** ******, not ***-*****.

**** **** ** **** cases, ********** *** ***** cameras ** *** **** itself, *** **** ** generally *** ***********, ** it *** ****** *** pole, **** ***** **** time, ** ********* ****.

Most ***** *****

**** ***** **** ** surveillance *** *****, ****** the **** ******** **** bottom ** *** ** tapered ** *** ***, which ****** ******* ******* with ****** ******** **** typical ***** *****. ***** poles **** ** **** materials, **** ** ******, metal, ** ********.

*********, ******* *** ****** to ***** *****, ** the ******* ***** ******* to *** ******* ** the **** *** *** way ******, ****** ***** pole ******** **** ** square ** ******* ***** have ******* ***** ******* it **** **********.

Square **** **********

****** ***** *** *** next **** ****** **** shape, ***** **** ** parking **** *** ********, and **** ***** **** of *****. ******* ** their *******, ****** ***** present **** ******** **********, with **** ****** ******* to *** **** ** the **** ** *** pole, ** ******** *** the **** **** ********, requiring ******* ************.

** **** ** ***** issues *** ********* ** this *****:

Other ******

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Less Common Shapes

Pole *********

***** *** ********* **** of *** ** **** materials, ****** **** **** most ** ***** ******:

  • *****/********:**** ***** *** **** from ******** ***** ** aluminum, ** ***** ** square ******. ***** *** be ****** ***** ** in **** ***** *******, with ****** ****** ********, with ******* ** ** 100' ** **** ********. Metal ** **** ***** used *** ******** *****, traffic *******, *** *******, but **** ***** *** power ** ************** *********.
  • ******:****** ** ***** **** for ******* *****, **** as ********, ****, ** fiber ********. **** *** less ***** **** *** lighting ************, ***** ***** is ********* ** ****** may ** *** ******* it ******* ** ******* mounted.
  • ********:******** ** ********** *** compared ** ***** *** wood *****, **** ***** manufacturers ******** ***** *****. Concrete's **** ********** *** stability *** *********, ** they ** *** **** or *** **** ***** or **** *****. **** are ***** **** ** highway ************, *** *** some *** ** ***** areas.
  • **** ****:*******, **** **** ** not ******** **** *** poles, *** *** ** used ** ********* ***** aesthetics *** *** **** concern, **** ***** ****** similarly ** ******* *********, for ********

Banded/Strapped ******

**** **** ****** *** steel ****** ** ******* which ******* *** **** and ** ********* ************, either ***** * ***** or *********** ****. **** type ** ***** ** best **** ** ***** poles, ** ** ***** contact **** *** ******* of *** **** *** the *** ******, ******* securely. ** ** **** secure ** ******, ******, and ******* *****, ***** there *** ** **** between *** ***** *** the ******* ** *** pole.

Camera Mount Strapped To Pole

Two-Piece ******

*** ****** ***** ** pole ***** **** *** pieces ** ***** *** back ** *** **** to ****** *** *****. The *** ****** *** attached ***** ******** *** or ***** *** ****. This ***** ** ***** may **** ****** ** non-round ***** ** ** can ** **** ** more ****** ********** ******.

Stainless ***** *******

***** ******* *** ** unfamiliar ** **** **********, as ** ******** *********** tools *** ****** *** commonly **** ** ***** trades. * **** ********* steel **** ** ****** through *** ***** *** around *** ****, ***** it ** ******** ** a *********** ******. *** assembly ** **** ********* using * *********** **** which ******** *** **** and **** **.

Banding Tool And Material

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** *** ***** ***** we *********** *** ***** banding ******* ** ***** a *** **** *****.

Steel ***** ******

******* ** *******, *** simpler ** *******, **** manufacturers ******* ***** ****** with ***** **** ******, which *** * ****** of ***** *** * worm ***** ** ******* the *****. ***** *** be ********* ***** ******** hand *****, ******** ******** and **** ************. *******, they *** **** ******, as ********* *** ****** unscrew **** **** *** right *****.

****** **** ********, ********* on *** ************ *** construction. *** *******, ** the ***** *****, *** manufacturer's ****** ******* * Torx ***** ***** ******* of ******** ** ****, which *** ****** ** drive *** **** ******** more ******, ** ********* are **** ****** ** have **** **** *****. However, *** ****** ***** includes * ***** ******* fastener, ***** ****** *** strap ** ** ****** tight, **** ******* **** to *******, ******** ************ somewhat.

** *** ***** ****** to ******* * ****** mount ** **** *****:

Warning: ****** ***** **** *********

** ** ********* ** understand ** *** **** to ** **** ** owned ** **** ********, a *******, *** ****, or ******* ************. ******* that ******** **** *** pole ****** *** ********** to ******* * ****** is *** ******** ***** step.

**** *****, ******* ********* **** a ****** **** ********* anything **** ***** ********* on ***** ***** [**** no ****** *********]. ** the *** ** ** existing **** ** *******, ensure **** *** ********* are *** ******* ****** work ******. ** ** prudent ** ****** ** customers *** ***** ********, and ** *** *** per ******* **** ******* to ******* ***** ** install ** ******** ***** from *** ******** ***** / ********.

*********

** *******, ***** **** and *** ********* ********* on ** ****** ** connected ** * ****** rod ****** **** *** soil ** *** **** of *** ****. *** overall ****** ** **** rod ********* **** *' - *', *** ** usually ****** **** *** soil ** **** **** a ****** ** **** driver.

*** ********* *** ** connected ** ******** ********* with *****-***** **** *** screw ***** ***** *** ground *******:

Grounding Rod

*** **** *******, ************ *** ******* *** Video ************.

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

***** ********** **** ** completed, ** *** **** like *** ******** ****** of **** ******** **** into ******** *** ****** to *** ****. *******, consider **** **** *** camera ***** ******* ** such ** ************ ********, the ***** *** ******* of *** **** ******* the ****** ******* ****** its *** *****. *** actual ******** ****** ** the **** *** ******* *** *** ** a **** **** ** ****** ********* *** work ******.

Camera ******

****** *****, ** *********** how **** ** ***** cameras ** * ****, have ******* **************. **********, many ******* *** ********* on ***** ******* ****** regard ** *** ***** they *** ***** ** view. **** ********* *** FoV ****** *** * critical ******* ** ***** pole ******. ***** *** else, ***** ******* ** the ***** ******* **** determining ******** ****** **** help ******* ******* ** expensive *** ********** ****** surveillance ******.

**** ******* ******* *** typically **** ** **** or ******, *** *** often ** ***** ******* as **** ** ** or ** ****. ***** from ***** **************, ******* may ** **** ******* because ** ****** ** vandalism. ** *******, ******* should ** ******* **** enough **** **** ****** be ******** **** ** accidentally ********** ****. *** example, **** ******** * camera **** * *******, consider *** **** ****** of ******* ******* ********* adjacent ** ******* * camera. **** ***** **** mount ******* ** **** a **********, ******** *** easily ******* ***** ** thrown ******* *** ********** cameras. ****** ****** *** camera ** *** **** a *** **** *** mitigate ***** ***** *************.

Outdoor ****** ************ *******

***** ********** ** **** outdoor ************ ***** *** also ******* **** *** other ****** ** **** series, *********:

*** ***** ********** ************ in ***** ** ******* ****** ***** here.

Comments (36)

For the ground rod, instead of beating the rod with a sledge and killing yourself, start by hammering into the ground a few times then pull the rod out and pour some water down the hole and then repeat. You will have the ground rod into place in a fraction of the time and energy as compared to the brute force of just a sledge hammer.

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You can also use a fence T-post driver (which will contain the ground rod in a steel tube) to do the driving. That way you will have less chance to hurt yourself.

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An electrician showed me this trick 30 years ago and bet me that he could drive a ground rod without a hammer. I was gobsmacked when i lost the bet. 

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I too lost a bet over 25 years ago. Amazing the difference between displacing material and compacting material.

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You still have the picture of the ground rod with the coiled wire in it and, like the first time it appeared, I'll say that's the wrong way to do it. The wire should be uncoiled (straight). A coil introduces impedance which get higher the higher the frequency is -- exactly where you want a low impedance ground!

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I agree if you install these on a regular basis but I would venture to say most integrators aren't. I could never do it this fast but the guy who showed me could put on in the ground with a 32 ounce cup of water and just his bare hands.

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I'll swap the image out.  Is there a code reference that applies?

I'm also wondering how much impedance this practically creates in a ground utility?  

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Is there a code reference that applies?

Not that I know of, though someone else may.

I'm also wondering how much impedance this practically creates in a ground utility?

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I'm curious if the coil also adds length, which in turn adds resistance, and though that resistance is small, doesn't every amount count?

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It does add length and resistance, but it also makes an inductor.. The impedance of an inductor increases with frequency, being greater at higher frequencies. A lightning bolt has a very great amount of high frequencies, which would be more of a problem with an inductor in the ground wire.

You are right, though, every small amount does count.

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Try to remember that electrical current will take all possible paths, not exclusively the path of least resistance (impedance). Greater impedance in the lightning protection system means more of the current from a lightning strike goes through other conductors.

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We use 4" Square poles all the time and we just mount the camera to the pole, no straps, etc. Just like it was a wall. We get very little overhang from the camera base, depending on the camera.

 

 

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What type of material is the pole? Where do you get them?

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If the pole is square we will also mount directly to the pole. This would be for steel or aluminum. However, we don't treat it just like it's a wall as I can't drill tap drywall, brick, concrete, etc. If I want threaded connections on a wall, I'll use double expansion anchors. They get used on larger mounts. Smaller mounts get the Toggler AF6.

I will generally always drill tap the holes with something generally around 1/4-20. Then I will generally use stainless steel fasteners to keep the look clean. The only time this won't work is when the mounting holes would be wider than the pole width. Attaching directly to the pole provides a much cleaner look but only applies to square poles and not round poles.

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I need to organize our "After" photos but here are a couple examples. The one with the dome is from 2-3 years ago and we no longer do that. If we use a dome, we use a gooseneck but we usually do bullets due to the IR bounceback, range of motion on a bullet, and we get no overhang off the pole. The other image is fairly recent. Tags in and out, and 1 overview camera. Plus the radio

 

The poles are 1/8" steel I believe. They are pretty heavy duty. Its been a while since I put one up but I believe we have to pre drill the holes, then use self tapping screws to secure the camera to the pole. We trench to the pole, dig a hole, insert pole, run conduit to pole, and wires up through the pole. Then fill hole with concrete.

 

Poles come from a local fence supply company. We usually order 5 at a time and store them at our office as it takes 2-3 weeks to get them powdercoated etc.

 

These are going up in apartment communities and they are the same style as their fence, and posts for the vehicles gates. There have been discussions with a few clients about fancier poles but everyone has chosen this pole. Considering we see trees, 4x4's, 2" EMT, round chain link fence post, etc used as camera poles, I feel pretty comfortable with these.

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Would these poles you are using hold a weight of about 150LBs? Say we wanted to add Solar etc. We are in dire need of finding a pole that can handle the weight and any help or vendors you can point us to would be appreciated!

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Absolutely. These poles are steel.

We get them from a local fencing supply company.

You can also try a metal supply house.

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The poles that you use, do they have mounting plate? Also do they have hand hole?

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You mean a base plate? No. We usually bury them in the ground. We find that much easier than pouring a pad, anchor bolts, coming back etc. By burying the pole, we can literally stage the pole on the ground, dig the hole, insert the pole, and pour concrete. At that point the pole is stable enough to hold its own position/level etc. We can carefully aim cameras or just come back in a day or 2 (we are still usually on site) and re aim the cameras.

However we can get the supplier to weld a 8x8 base plate on, and we have done that a few times when in a concrete island. Now we have an in-house gate tech with a truck mounted welder so the last couple, we have welded ourselves.

No hand holds but that has never been an issue. Our wire enters the pole from under the ground and goes up the pole.

If you want an idea of how heavy they are, 2 poles slid off the ladder rack on an HHR and smashed the roof.

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Also we do multi family, and these poles look exactly like the fence posts and gate lanes so they fit in. On a commercial property with different styling, they may not blend in as well.

We typically buy these and keep 5 to 10 on hand at our shop, so we go through quite a few of them.

Here are the two that fell off the HHR and got road rashed. They need to go back to powder coating.

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We have used Commercial Grade Light Poles & Light Fixtures | LightPolesPlus.com a few times. Great poles but expensive.

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I spoke with a rep at lightpolesplus last week, they recommended I don’t use 150LB weight at the top of any pole. Im just stuck between whether I should just pull the trigger and test a 11g steel pole, say like the 16ft 4.5” 11g anchored steel pole they have on their site. If you don’t mind me asking, Which one exactly have you used that supports close to that 150lb weight?

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We have NOT installed anything on the poles other then cameras. So can't help out with the 150lb weight issue.

I do know on one project they got an engineer involved who was looking at wind calculations as well as trying to determine the weight applied when a tech was leaning a ladder against the pole. Point being is you can have an engineer do some calculations to determine pole thickness, bolt length and diameter, as well as footing diameter and depth based on weight of the static load and height of the pole.

Another thought is to lower the batteries and other equipment for the solar. This will dramatically help when considering wind loads.

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Sounds great, thank you!

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As far as code, I believe code dictates ground rods should be 8', straight down, with some special rules if rocky, horizontal placement etc.

 

Not sure a camera pole is required to be grounded by code, as this seems to be more of an equipment protection issue, so not sure the 8' rule would apply.

 

We do not ground our poles, and have not had any issues. We do use a cable with a ground wire to absorb any ESD, Any direct lightning strike is going to blow the cameras regardless

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For ground rod installation, chuck the rod into a hammer drill like a bit (make sure the chuck is set to not spin) and drive it into the ground. This technique works very well if you have a good hammer drill (Bosch Bulldog etc). 

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They also have this tool so you don't damaget the chuck.

SDS rod tool

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Some questions: What if this is an existing light pole

1. Can you use 600V rated CAT 6 cable inside the the pole along with the 240VAC?

2.  How do you calculate the additional wind loading created by the camera? Do you need to?

3.  Is there an issue with drilling holes in an existing light pole?

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No. You can not mix low voltage and high voltage in the same conduit or race way. At least one would have to be in its own conduit.

 

We don't calculate wind load but if using someone else's pole, especially a utility pole, there is a whole new rule book. The first usually being, don't touch our pole.

If this is a public utility pole, see rule #1. I would ask the owner of the pole but I would not even try to drill into it. We would strap/band and surface mount conduit. The pole may have certain structural certifications that are lost when it is drilled into.

 

I heard about a forklift that a tech drilled into the cab to mount a gauge, accessory etc. Well the manufacturer of the forklift would no longer certify the cage would support xx weight in an accident and the whole cab had to be replaced over a screw hole.

 

I have good insurance, and this is one instance where I will trust but not verify

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To add to what UI1 stated, it needs to be in a separate conduit to mitigate EMI.  

ANSI/TIA/EIA-569-A section 10.3.1 states that the co-installation of telecommunications cable and power cable is governed by applicable electrical code for safety. For minimum separation requirements of telecommunications cable from typical branch circuits (120/240V, 20A), Section 2 of Article 800-52 of the ANSI/NFPA 70 1999 National Electrical Code specifies the following:

"Communications wires and cables shall be separated at least 2 in. (50.8 mm) from conductors of any electric light, power, Class 1, non-power-limited fire alarm, or medium power network-powered broadband communications circuits."

If you run them together there is a risk of it being against code as well as the possibility of low level problems associated with EMI which can be a troubleshooting nightmare. Below is an example of EMI affecting video:

emi impact on video

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DoorKing teaches electricity takes the path of least resistance. Duh! but they preach ground wires should be as absolutely short and large as possible when grounding telephone entry systems. Basically the wire has a certain discharge capacity, and once full, the remaining voltage/joules/current etc goes to the equipment.

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Very interesting thanks.

any suggestions or guidance on how to erect a cable tray ?

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Manfred - I hope this helps you. We recently installed a few hundred feet at the new office. We bought tray, joiner brackets, and mounting brackets, then attached to the building steel using beam clamps.

 

We had the tray installed for our main runs, but used j-hooks, and bridle rings for smaller amounts of cables and single runs. They make bridle rings with saddles, which have a wider support surface than than just the metal ring alone:

Image result for bridle ring with saddle

There were a couple of obstacle above the steel. To drop the tray down, it can be cut and bent and landed on the lower mounting surface, and to lift it up over obstacles it was elevated with threaded rod.

We also ran some vertically to/from the backboard with a return to the racks. The materials were purchased from a local electrical supply house.

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We have had some pretty good luck working with Pole Manufactures... When we could get their attention. This one is set up for a future camera on the other side of the pole...

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