A recent question here about 4 CCTV cameras inspires me to ask about towers as I've been considering to put-up a tower, with four outdoor cameras facing N-S-E-W, to enable me to watch for both weather and wildfires (and trespassers).
But I need to get up above-the-trees and think maybe a 30-45' tower is needed.
Are these something that can be erected as a DIY project (I have a steel barn and can pour concrete)? If not, how do I find a tower erector (don't even know how to search for one)?
A crank up tower is going to be pretty expensive. You could get 5-6 sections of Rohn 45g or 55g and put it up for less than $1000. If you are able to follow instructions on the foundation and you are not scared of heights and follow safe practices while erecting the tower you can do it your self. There is no real reason why you could not do the project alone except it's not a good idea to climb on the tower without another person there that could help you in the event of an emergency. -- I do not, have not, and will not work for AT&T/Comcast/Verizon/Charter or similar sized company.
Why bother with 4 cameras? Just put up one in a dome that you can direct in whatever direction you want. That way you could put up a very nice camera (high resolution). You can even set it up so it pans automatically if you desired.
Towers can be self installed. Think of the TV antenna towers that radio shack sold. Not sure of the price these days, but I've seen 66' installed by home owners. Since cable through, there are many un used towers around here. If you do find a tower to remove, use a safety harness and check carefully to ensure bolts are tight and the structure is sound. As a teenager I worked for a TV shop (with no training). One day I marched up an old tower not noticing one loose and one missing bolt, until the structure shifted.....
Most of the cameras out there are made by the same companies, just different firmware and company logos. We sell everything from cameras that cost us $50 to ones that run $6k. We do however try to stay away from Chinese camera systems, as for years, they have been known to have back doors in them. -- Getting it Done.
I've placed a number of fixed and PTZ cameras on used wood utility poles, they can usually be obtained and installed fairly cheaply, and the wood dampens vibration and wind sway better than freestanding metal poles.
Yeah I like the utility poles too but getting at the gizmos on top for service would be a challenge.
I need to find a tower pro, and show him what I'm thinking of doing, which atm is a crank-up tower of some sort that apart from the concrete base could be attached 17' up to the steel beams in my uber-strong storage barn. My question to him would be: how much farther-up could a tower reach stiffly i.e. before requiring guy wires.
The way you set the tower up for easiest use, depends on the roof style of your house. A friend of mine that was an active Amateur Radio Operator set up a tilt over tower on his property. He had a two story house and set the tower up so that the tower tilted up parallel to the roof line and locked into a special locking device installed at at the peak of his gabled roof. The locking device was controlled from ground level. He added counterweights at the base of the tower so that it required a minimum amount of effort to tilt over the tower. He also included a built in stand about half way up from the pivot point to the top of the tower. It was extended by gravity when the tower was lowered.
First question - do you have zoning approval? When I put up my tower I had to get a permit. As a ham radio operator I was exempted from the onerous requirements that commercial tower operators have.
So if you are not putting up this tower for ham radio use, you may run into some problems with your local zoning board and neighbors who will complain when they see your tower going up.
As for the actual tower, crankups are fine but expensive. US Tower is the popular choice for crankup towers. You also can't climb a fully extended crankup tower. It is extremely dangerous to do so.
YOu can get a fixed height tower. Usually you get 10 foot sections in various widths, For cameras you can use Rohn 25. You will need guy wires. You'll also need lightning protection per code.
I use a self supporting tower from AN Wireless. The tower itself is about $5000 but the foundation added to the cost. I had a 5 foot tower section embedded in the concrete base per the manufacturer's specs. It was in a rebar cage and they used high strength concrete. The foundation contractor also used a concrete vibrator during the pour.
I used a crane to lift the whole thing and it was bolted to the foundation.
If you want to hire someone to do this soup to nuts, look for a wireless contractor. Talk to local hams. They may know people. I know a few people who travel. However the foundation is something you would have to get done.
And it might be a good idea to get a ham license and say the tower is for ham radio.