Strong Poles Profile

Author: Brian Rhodes, Published on Sep 06, 2016

One of the trickiest places to install surveillance cameras is on poles. Common issues like pole vibration, sway, and even mounting the camera securely are all common problems installers face.

One vendor claims to solve all these issues. Strong Poles, a specialty pole vendor, says its camera poles are the strongest most stable poles on the market.

But how different are they? And are they priced competitively? We take a deeper look inside.

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Product ********

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Traditional *****

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Strong ***** *********?

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Comments (20)

Seems like a product worth the extra money, but like you say getting them specified up front might be challenging.

I'm wondering though how a company based on stronger poles can ever really make it. If they start getting business, whats to stop a traditional pole maker from making a surveillance ready model themselves? Is the stiffening a patented proccess?

We've had about 8 of these installed in perimeter areas of our property that aren't very easily accessible. Very happy with them so far, they are more sturdy in strong winds than regular light poles we've got cameras on.

The other big plus for us that wasn't mentioned in the article is their tilt over base. Not having to get a lift out to service or change out a camera is huge for us.

That's a good point re: tilt-over bases. It's an option add, but it might mitigate the need for a lift like you mention. I'll add it to the post. Thanks.

How does that tilting base work?

I mean I looked at it online, but all they show is the base and I get how it would work in theory, but in actual use how does it work? DO you still need a truck to lower it down safely or do you just push it over and hope for the best?

I don't think with a tilt over base, you should just expect to loosen some bolts and shove it down, especially with cameras and other gear installed.

I think it helps mostly during install, as you can mount everything at ground level, then gently tilt it up in place.

But for maintenance and service, I'd expect renting a lift or boom and traveling up to the equipment is overall better than tipping one over by degunking a hinge, working bolts loose, and jarring mounted equipment.

But if that isn't the case, someone chime in, please.

We use the tilt over base for service on the cameras.

We leave a bit of a long service loop in the pole and disconnect cameras at the switch (which in our typical set up is right next to the pole).

It does typically take two people, one will hold the pole while the base is released and then they will walk the pole down until it's resting on a saw horse or something similar.

The pole is light enough that it's easily controlled when it's being laid down.

Brian,

Excellent article on a topic that is almost 100% overlooked in an outdoor installation. The assumption that a light pole in a parking lot will provide a stable base for a camera is a bad one. Once the wind kicks up and the pole starts to oscillate you can forget a usable image.

I use them, because theyre local to me in texas. I bought their custom base that you drop in the concrete and im very happy with their product. Does very well in the wind.

We have used them here as well, in Canada, but because of a design build we built all the costs into the project. We, and the client are happy with the end result, they were much easier to install vice a standard pole (from weight, and renting equipment to install). So you could use this as some cost recovery for the more expensive pole (not requiring a reach). And the poles have a notable stiffness difference in these units not swaying in strong weather.

Any provisions for internal barriers to separate high & low voltage wiring?

The internal chamber is hollow, so I believe separation is done using standard rigid or EMT. There are no webbed chambers inside the profile otherwise.

Here in South Africa we experienced the same issues with camera posts. Steel and wooden posts allow too much movement. We have solved the problem by using reinforced concrete poles with a wire way up the centre of the post. Excellent stability at a fraction of the cost. Transport and Erecting have the same issues as the post is heavy, but my guess would be that the stability will be even better than the strong poles above. Pricing $225 for a 3.5m mounting height.

There are a few companies that manufacture these as lighting posts which keeps pricing competitive. The last for 20+ years in most soil conditions and even in coastal conditions.

Gerrie, thanks, please share other manufacturers for these types of posts so members have more options.

We have used their poles as well. They are of good quality and generally as described. One major point of dissatisfaction was purchasing a "bird house" for the pole. When we realized the bird house would not work for our application it was past their 30 day return policy.

I sent the following to the company:

Marie was mistaken when she requested the pole to be returned. We are excited about using your product for the first time and have a few more quoted. During Thanksgiving and Christmas we were negligent in requesting a RMA for the birdhouse. However, we would request that you make a small exception on your 30 day return guideline this one time.

They provided the following response:

What I can do for you is issue an RMA for the birdhouse and offer the return below.
There would be a 25% restocking fee on the return leaving an in-house credit of $134.25 toward your next purchase.
If this works for you just email me back an affirmative and I'll get it in the system to get an RMA issued to you.

To which I replied:

We appreciate the offer, but we will keep the birdhouse and use a different supplier in the future.

No response for Strong Pole.

While I appreciate their ability to stick to their guidelines which is by all means their prerogative, as a customer it is my prerogative to inform others of my experience and purchase poles elsewhere.

Bottom line - product is fine; follow their rules and all should be acceptable. However, in my experience I've found it is much easier to keep a customer than to get a new one...particularly if it doesn't cost much.

What LED lighting options would has anyone used with these 5" poles with cameras? And (this might be a separate topic) are there any 12v/24v LED lights that would work well enough for parking lot areas? I'm looking at offering security lighting to my options but need something that does not require an electrician.

I think its been mentioned on IPVM about POE lighting?

PoE Lighting is still trying to gain traction: Integrators, Replace Electricians With PoE Lighting

We use a 4" x4" square fence pole. That thing is pretty thick and I can not recall seeing a camera move that was attached to one. Max height we usually go is 9 to 12 feet though.

Cheaper, and we can pick up locally from a fencing company.

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