Bullet Camera Mounting Box

TonyR

IPCT Contributor
Joined
Jul 15, 2014
Messages
4,720
Reaction score
4,592
Location
Alabama
Bullet Camera Mounting Box

Image 1: The pigtails on bullet cams are usually flexible thermoplastic, not meant for the outdoors and cannot stand up to the elements. On IP bullet cams, the furnished weatherproof boot for the RJ-45 is so bulky you'd have to drill a 1" hole for it to pass through if feeding from outside. Furthermore, I can't see me on my stomach in the attic with 12" clearance above my head, my chin in the fiberglass insulation, trying to reach a soffit to grab the 6" of pigtail, my breathing with a mask on fogging up my glasses. And at a few months away from 69, I just can't do that stuff anymore, at least not if I want to be able to walk for the next 2 days (2 herniated disks). Since I prefer to do my attaching and RJ-45 crimping outdoors where I can see and breathe, I came up with the following system that works for me. And lastly, this allows a tiny 3/8" hole for the CAT-5e to pass through into the structure and the RJ-45 connectors are crimped on after the cable is pulled completely. Modify to suit yourself and your application.

Image1
cam-mount-1_sm.jpg

Image 2: I buy a round PVC box and cover as shown. It comes with several threaded plugs for the unneeded holes. Big-box hardware stores stock the Hubbell-Taymac-Bell brand. This white round box is # PRB57550WH and the cover is # PBC300WH. Dark gray is also common and either could be painted.

Image 2
cam-mount-2_sm.jpg

Image 3: With a paddle bit I drill a 3/4" hole in the center of the round cover and mount the cam to the cover with 3 stainless steel Phillips-head machine screws with a flat washer and a split-ring lock washer under each nut. The screws are # 6-32 x 3/4". NOTE: If you orient your camera's mounting flange to the PVC cover so that the cover's holes are at 6,9,12 and 3 o'clock when the cam is straight-up (see image 1) then you can have the box's mounting ears either horizontally as shown at 9 and 3 o'clock or vertically at 6 and 12 o'clock. This gives you some flexibility when mounting on a vertical surface under a soffit or horizontally under the soffit. This especially helps when affixing to the vertical wood studs under a metal-exterior barn or shed.

Image 3
cam-mount-3_sm.jpg

Image 4: The box is roomy enough for everything, IF you arrange strategically. Here I have the camera end of a passive POE splitter (see image 5) to convert these particular cams to passive POE, so it could only get roomier if that is not a requirement.

Image 4
cam-mount-4_sm.jpg

Image 5
cam-mount-5_sm.jpg

I discard the 4 plated cover screws furnished with the cover and instead use 4 stainless steel Phillips head # 6-32 x 3/4" machine screws, same size as used to fasten the camera mount to the cover.

If the install requires that I come into the box using 1 of the 4 side holes (as do many older manufactured homes), I run the cable into one of the BOTTOM holes (after forming a drip loop if cable approaches from above the box) and then place the dough-like conduit duct seal compound around the cable and in the hole, keeping out water and insects. The rear hole and the other 3 side holes are plugged with the furnished threaded plugs. Whenever possible, I mount under roof eave or soffit to help keep camera, box and cables out of direct rain and sun, improving overall longevity and performance of the components.

Total cost is about $11 for each camera including box, cover and all SS screws, SS washers and SS nuts. A 1 lb. brick of the duct seal compound costs under $3 and should be enough for 2 dozen holes where the CAT-5e cable enters the box.
 
Last edited:

Hbrown

n3wb
Joined
Mar 21, 2015
Messages
4
Reaction score
1
Thanks for that idea and photos. I used metal rectangular electrical boxes for my cameras. However, I had to install and work on them on a ladder for the entire process. Also, those didn't have a back plate screwed unto them. The box you use has a water proof back cover on it so I can install the wires and cameras on the box on the ground. Then, I can take the assembled unit up on the ladder and quickly screw the box into the side of the house. Once it is up, I can pull the wire slack back into the house. I may also screw the assemblage on to a PVC board, as someone else suggested, and take it up and screw that into the house.

I made the mistake of buying and installing a 12mm camera, which doesn't have a very wide field of view and, therefore, is almost useless. 12mm may be OK at the top of a 5 story house or on a front door, but not much else. That one is two stories up on the side of the house. So, I may use your ideas when I replace it as I wouldn't want to be up high on a ladder assembling the entire setup.

I buy Cat 5 with RJ45 terminations on them. They come in different lengths. You may want to consider them if the self crimped ones act up. Thanks again.
 

Kawboy12R

Known around here
Joined
Nov 18, 2014
Messages
1,775
Reaction score
609
@Hbrown 12mm is great for most folks as a mailbox camera, passersby, or maybe for plates. If it's too narrow for the current location just move or aim it somewhere better and put another one up that's a bit wider.
 

Hbrown

n3wb
Joined
Mar 21, 2015
Messages
4
Reaction score
1
Yes. There isn't much I can do about aiming it anywhere useful. But since it is in too dangerous a place for me to climb up and replace, I'll just aim it across the street and put up a 2.8mm or 4mm using the quick method described above. Thanks.
 

ron351

Young grasshopper
Joined
Jul 24, 2017
Messages
79
Reaction score
27
What I do is drill a 1" hole so the Ethernet connector when done will fit in the hole. I put fiberglass fish rod into the hole maybe 12' of rod so it ends up in a easy to get place in attic crawl spaces and tape the cat5 to the fiberglass fish rod and pull it out into the fresh air where I make my Ethernet ends and shove it all into the 1" hole mounting the camera neatly to the house without boxes. It is easy to do and can do multiple fish rods and several cameras at once
 

TonyR

IPCT Contributor
Joined
Jul 15, 2014
Messages
4,720
Reaction score
4,592
Location
Alabama
What I do is drill a 1" hole so the Ethernet connector when done will fit in the hole. I put fiberglass fish rod into the hole maybe 12' of rod so it ends up in a easy to get place in attic crawl spaces and tape the cat5 to the fiberglass fish rod and pull it out into the fresh air where I make my Ethernet ends and shove it all into the 1" hole mounting the camera neatly to the house without boxes. It is easy to do and can do multiple fish rods and several cameras at once
Works great, I'm sure and if it works for you, then even better! :cool:

I prefer a 3/8" hole to fish un-terminated CAT cable vs. a 3/4" or 1" for pre-terminated cable. And I don't mind the box because I can access any cam reset buttons or change out cam in future without ever having to climb up in that &%$# attic again! My 3/8" bit is 3 ft. long and I can reach it in attic, tape CAT cable to it and pull out through box and terminated in fresh air as well.
I'm a firm believer in finding what works but at the same time keeping an open mind. Over the years I have adapted methods to fit not only the circumstance but my abilities (my aging back and my poorer eyesight) !
:lol:
 

ron351

Young grasshopper
Joined
Jul 24, 2017
Messages
79
Reaction score
27
My way you don't have to go in the attic in the future either because the larger hole will allow you to pull out what is put in. I have done it both ways with box and without box and only need a 12" bit rather then 3' bits. I have aimed my fish rods towards the ceiling entry to the attic and so far knock on wood have been successful in only sticking my head in the ceiling opening and reaching in to grab my rods. I have ran wire for gas electric and phone company and fishing wire is a breeze to me and found the easiest ways over the decades of doing it.
 

TonyR

IPCT Contributor
Joined
Jul 15, 2014
Messages
4,720
Reaction score
4,592
Location
Alabama
My way you don't have to go in the attic in the future either because the larger hole will allow you to pull out what is put in. I have done it both ways with box and without box and only need a 12" bit rather then 3' bits. I have aimed my fish rods towards the ceiling entry to the attic and so far knock on wood have been successful in only sticking my head in the ceiling opening and reaching in to grab my rods. I have ran wire for gas electric and phone company and fishing wire is a breeze to me and found the easiest ways over the decades of doing it.
Me, too (over 31 years of traffic signal and facility wiring, telemetry and networking, both underground and overhead outdoors and in commercial buildings).
We should all do what works best for us. My mantra? 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it".
@ron351 , Keep up the good work! :headbang:
 

ron351

Young grasshopper
Joined
Jul 24, 2017
Messages
79
Reaction score
27
Me, too (over 31 years of traffic signal and facility wiring, telemetry and networking, both underground and overhead outdoors and in commercial buildings).
We should all do what works best for us. My mantra? 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it".
@ron351 , Keep up the good work! :headbang:
Thanks you do the same.
 

J Sigmo

Known around here
Joined
Feb 5, 2018
Messages
897
Reaction score
949
It is nice to have an arsenal of techniques available to fit different situations, or even your mood at the time!

I installed my existing cameras directly to the underside of my soffits using pretty much Ron's method when I initially started setting up my home system. I just drilled holes large enough to accommodate the fattest part of the cameras' pigtails, and mounted the cams directly.

But for some of the locations, just getting close enough to reach things in the attic spaces was unpleasant.

I will probably use something like what Tony described for some of the new locations I have planned, because they may be easier done that way.

It's always good to have options, and it's nice to see as many techniques as possible so we can pick and choose, and modify or blend the methods to come up with good solutions for different situations.

Thanks to both of you guys.
 

Shadeth

n3wb
Joined
Sep 19, 2019
Messages
18
Reaction score
10
Location
Texas
Furthermore, I can't see me on my stomach in the attic with 12" clearance above my head, my chin in the fiberglass insulation, trying to reach a soffit to grab the 6" of pigtail, my breathing with a mask on fogging up my glasses. And at a few months away from 69, I just can't do that stuff anymore
I know this is an older post, but I saw this and had a good laugh! Because that is EXACTLY what I did about 9 years ago. I just didn't know any better and wanted to get the job done so up in the attic I went a crawling, glasses fogging up, having a hard time breathing with my respirator on, dodging the roofing nails inches over my head and hands. I did bring some extra 2x4 short boards to help support my body lying between the beams but it was unpleasant for sure. I can conclude I am not claustrophobic at least but yeah it sucked. I even had the audacity to get a 90 degree drill attachment and drill into the top of an EXTERIOR WALL from the attic to get the line dropped into that wall, and fishing it through the insulation was very difficult indeed, it wasn't even cat5/6 it was coaxial with the ends on it so it needed a big hole drilled. These days I am a big fan of working smarter and not harder so I think I will indeed use a box like you've posted here for my new installs.
 

ron351

Young grasshopper
Joined
Jul 24, 2017
Messages
79
Reaction score
27
He mounted the box to the wall which is ok, I have done the same at times and I also have drilled a 1" hole and put the wire in the wall. But, on soffit I find it easiest to use the fiberglass fish rods. Harbour Freight you can get a lot cheap and works good enough for this. In soffit I drill a 1" hole and shove around 12-15' of fiberglass fish rod in the hole and the rod ends up close to the center of the attic so easy to reach and stoop down and walk. Tape your cat5 to the fish rod pull it out with the rod connect and shove back in the hole screw it down and done.
 
Top