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Guide to Closed Circuit TV (CCTV)

So would you like to play "Spot the CCTV Camera?". Eagle eyed visitors may recognise the profusion of street furniture, surrounding a single heritage dome camera keeping watch over part  of Londons' prestigious Oxford Street shopping area.

CCTV cameras on the move

Pan only - MINIPAN Platforms

There are still a limited number of applications where it is desirable to move the camera in a horizontal plane only, and for this you need a Pan ( or Minipan) motorised head.

It’s perhaps worth mentioning that all camera moving devices are sometimes also referred to as ‘Scanners’, although this term tends to be used more outside the UK.

As it is now a somewhat specialist device, there are literally only a handful of models available, all with much the same basic function.

An adjustable top plate is used to fix the attitude of the camera in a vertical plane; this will generally provide a number of mounting holes, or possibly a machined slot, so that the weight of the camera assembly can be adjusted over the ‘centre of gravity’.

They are generally very lightweight units (max. loading is usually up to about 5 or 6Kgs.) and most are only suitable for use indoors; although given the somewhat open design of their construction, operation in a dusty environment can increase the frequency of internal cleaning and maintenance required, simply to keep the camera from grinding to a halt.

Most units are capable of revolving up to around 345 degrees, with easily adjustable external ‘end stops’ fitted to reduce the arc of travel. They are available for different operating voltages (e.g. 240v, 120v, 24v AC), using highly efficient ‘syncronous’ AC motors with integral gearboxes, to drive the camera support platform.

Unfortunately, the design of the end stops can in some cases, be rather ‘Heath Robinson’, with tiny easily lost ‘grub screws’ or suicidal spring clips, being two of the thoroughly more annoying fixing methods employed.

Most if not all are fitted with an additional conductor in the cable, which if a voltage is applied, will allow the unit to turn continuosly (autopan), stopping and reversing automatically whenever the unit reaches and strikes the end stop. You may well be wondering what happens if the ‘end stop’ fails and the unit just keeps on turning .... you really don’t want to know!!


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