Using PVC to build a budget pole for a PTZ

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by MarcW, Aug 14, 2018.

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  1. MarcW

    MarcW n3wb

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    What do you think about using three 10 foot lengths of 2", 2.5" or 3" PVC pipe to build a 30' tall pole in order to mount a Dahua 2MP 25x Starlight IR PTZ Network Camera (SD49225T-HN) on it?

    The Pipe would be butt-ended into a concrete pad and then the pipe would be strapped every 12" against our warehouse that is 18' tall. So essentially only the final 12' would be free standing.

    I understand that in high winds this thing would be pretty useless, but i would primarily use it to watch stuff happening 1/2 mile or so away during nice weather...during a storm I am not going to be worried about this cam.

    thoughts? Anyone else mound their PTZ or static cam to a PVC pipe instead of a expensive metal pole?
     
  2. tangent

    tangent Known around here

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    too many issues with the movement of the camera in even a very light wind or anytime you ptz. Could also be some fun static electricity issues and of course lightning.
     
  3. MarcW

    MarcW n3wb

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    you would think that lighting would be less of an issue since PVC is not a conductor and that a metal pole would be an attractor? Also, if I use schedule 80 PVC, that is very thick, especially using a 3" pipe or I could even use a 4". so at that point I just cannot see swaying being an issue unless there is a strong wind?
    I might just go ahead and try this since i can purchase 30' of this pipe for only about $45 and the couplers are only about $1.50 each

    Here are some photos of the warehouse:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    You can see the Dahua PTZ already mounted on the left side of the warehouse door. So I would put the pole there instead and move the camera up to around 28'.

    The warehouse is 18' high, so the majority of the pole would be strapped to the front wall of the warehouse.

    I have extra ground poles tied to the steel warehouse, so theoretically a lightning strike would hit the building as because it is well tied to ground it would be the primary attractor for a lighting strike.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2018
  4. Mr_D

    Mr_D Pulling my weight

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    PVC can definitely build up a static charge. Lots of material look stiff until you've got a weight hanging off a long piece of it. Maybe some guy wires back to the roof could help stabilize it.
     
  5. tangent

    tangent Known around here

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    No lightning would be more of an issue with PVC. The camera and ethernet cable will still attract it and compared to the metal pole a lot more energy is going to go down the ethernet cable. PVC would sway like crazy unless you pumped it full of concrete. The camera also won't be perfectly balanced adding to the sway.

    Check prices on some LDR water pipe.
     
  6. MarcW

    MarcW n3wb

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    guide wires to stabilize the top of the pole onto the roof of the warehouse! thanks, that is a great idea! and I will look into LDR water pipe as an alternative option.

    All I know is that I looked into service poles, utility poles and flag poles and the pricing was all insane and often was more than $1,000

    my though was that with PVC it would cost less than $50 for it all.
     
  7. gordo

    gordo Getting the hang of it

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    MarcW, when I first installed cameras, I put a ptz on top of a 12 ft piece of galvanized iron pipe, stand alone, with 80lb of concrete. The sway from even a moderate breeze drove me crazy.
    Lightning ended that camera.
    Hopefully the guy wires and fastening to the building will work for you.
     
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  8. GCoco

    GCoco Getting the hang of it

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    PVC becomes brittle with UV exposure. So unless you paint it or wrap it the pole will eventually crack under high wind conditions with a heavy load mounted on top. Use galvanized rigid metal 2 inch conduit. It’s about $60 for a 10 foot stick but it will be there long after you.
     
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  9. Prince68

    Prince68 n3wb

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    How is the sound quality from 50, 75, 100ft away?
    Assuming optimal conditions, i.e. minimal wind, no cars, etc., what is the maximum distance you could reasonably pick up a conversation without distortion?
    Would a directional microphone be better suited for that purpose?


    Yes, my mistake. Wrong thread. Too many tabs open. :facepalm:
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2018
  10. MarcW

    MarcW n3wb

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    i am not sure you are posting in the correct thread. I am not using a microphone on that PTZ so I have no audio.
     
  11. SkyLake

    SkyLake Getting the hang of it

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    Just make that darn pole out of real steel pipe.. The savings you make with fabricating some sort of plastic ghetto mount, will make a deep dive if the whole thing with camera comes down.

    Then you have to buy a new camera that costs more than the metal pole you could have been made before... The plastic tubing will deform (bend) on certain temperatures, so you will get a funny wonky drunk PTZ when the temperatures go up and down.. And the UV will make the plastic brittle over a while. Even the UV resistant stuff will.
     
  12. mudflap5

    mudflap5 Young grasshopper

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    Texas Towers, Universal Tower 4-30 Page

    It may be a little more than you want to spend, but it is a fold over tower, and sooner or later you WILL need to service the camera. Do you want to climb a 30 ft. pole? Add a TV antenna if you need it.
     
  13. Francisco73

    Francisco73 Getting the hang of it

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    What are you using now? I have two swaying metal pipes already and was thinking about PVC pipe filled with concrete or a pole of wood.
     
  14. tigerwillow1

    tigerwillow1 Getting comfortable

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    I've built a lot of miscellaneous things out of pvc pipe and found that over a few years they never remain straight. The most recent attempt is a 4' post using 2" pvc. To keep it from bending, I put a rebar in it and filled it with concrete.
     
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  15. gordo

    gordo Getting the hang of it

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    That pole now has a birdhouse on it. I mounted a new camera on the house. It doesn't have quite the vantage point as the pole camera, but no sway. :)
     
  16. Francisco73

    Francisco73 Getting the hang of it

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    PVC pipe, rebar and concrete is what I am thinking about. The existing swaying structures of unknown metal are not strong enough for Starlights that are heavier than the Dahua 4431s.
     
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  17. Francisco73

    Francisco73 Getting the hang of it

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    I tried to protect floodlights using empty vegetable oil containers. Squirrels like to live in them with a 50w LED.
     

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    Last edited: Aug 18, 2018
  18. Francisco73

    Francisco73 Getting the hang of it

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    Here are pics of what locals have done using PVC 20180818_090505.jpg 20180818_091036.jpg
     

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  19. wrybread

    wrybread Young grasshopper

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    How's progress on this? I'm working on the same issue, with the same camera, mounting it about the same height above a very similar building. Was going to try galvanized water pipe. Reading the note about how even panning around will make it shake have me worried.