Tech tip: auto pan and preset tours

October 2002 CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring

It is important to remember that auto pan is not designed for continual 24 hour usage as this places undue strain on the pan gearing.

We do not recommend that the auto pan mode is used for more than 12 hours each day as any failure of pan gearing due to the head being left in permanent auto pan is not covered by manufacturers' warranties. It is also worth considering using more cameras instead of auto pan as the increased reliability and lower cost of CCD cameras can make this a more viable option.

This is also applicable to pan and tilt heads fitted with presets. These are often left on a permanent 'tour' and this can lead to premature failure of the pan/tilt unit and again is not covered by manufacturers' warranty.

Washers and wipers

Fixed systems

Wipers are often specified on fixed camera installations that necessitate the inclusion of hardwire or telemetry control to switch the wipers on and off. This is not usually cost-effective and often unnecessary unless the angle of the camera housing means that the view is often obscured by rain or is sited in a dirty location. Wipers are not normally essential to a fixed camera system and are best avoided.


Care should always be taken when installing wipers to ensure that the camera does not view the blade. Switch them on and off a few times to find the 'worst case' park position before installing the camera. Washer units can pump a normal head of up to 10 m, although it is best to keep this to a minimum for reliable operation. You should never install the reservoir above the housing as this can lead to the entire contents being siphoned away. Remember that washer units will also require re-fitting on a regular basis.


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