Tuesday, June 18, 2019

How do CCTV cameras rotate, pan and tilt?

February 19, 2011 by admin  
Filed under CCTV Cameras

I’ve looked all over the internet and can’t find anything.
I’m wondering what mechanisms are used and how they are all connected so that the camera can rotate, pan and tilt as this is what I am supposed to be designing for school, however, I can’t seem to get my head around creating a system which does all of these things separately, with only using one motor.
I will be grateful for any help. Thanks :)

Its typically done with a pan tilt base with motors that drive pan and tilt such as this one:


Hope that helps. Best wishes


5 Responses to “How do CCTV cameras rotate, pan and tilt?”
  1. billrussell42 says:

    They would use small electric motors and gears. You need at least 3 motors.

    I guess you could do it with only one motor, but that seems more complicated, as you would need the equivalent of an auto transmission to switch the output to 3 separate sets of gears.

    References :

  2. Joe says:

    If you truely want to find out there are PTZ "Pan Tilt Zoom" cameras that can be purchased from a company called VTI Security http://www.vtisecurity.com/ However, the cameras themselves run about $600. If you have the funding I would suggest purchasing one of these units to reverse engineering them. It would be the best way to learn exactly how they work and you might even be able to re-design the system to work more efficiently.
    References :

  3. King Of Wrinkles says:

    Its typically done with a pan tilt base with motors that drive pan and tilt such as this one:


    Sometimes the base is built into the camera housing such as with these domes:

    Hope that helps. Best wishes
    References :

  4. artsupremo says:

    A PTZ cctv Camera is assembled complete with a drive motor. The motor rotates with a control joystick which is controlling a computer unit.
    References :
    http://www.PTZ camera

  5. DougT says:

    I assume you really don’t want to rotate, but really just wish to pan (left<->right) and tilt (up/down) the camera. Rotation along a third axis is not normally done in CCTV equipment. (When you say "rotate" you probably mean "pan". Rotate can imply tilting of the camera so the camera can spin and put the image on its side or upside down. Rotation is often a part of an optics-lab function (not CCTV) and the kind of equipment available is typically purchased from companies like Newport, Thor or Edmund Optics.

    You can buy Pan/Tilt mechanisms to tear apart but the "industrial" grade units from professional CCTV companies are very expensive ($1000 and beyond). You can find "cheap" Chinese-manufactured hobby units for playing around for about $20 (see link below).

    If you really are limited by one motor, this is difficult. Assuming you can use other electo-mechanical devices like a solenoid, you can create a clutching mechanism that will effectively "change gears" and allow the motor to engage a different set of gears on a separate axis.

    Individual, independent discrete motion requires such mode changes. If the raw requirement is that it tilts and pans but not independently, this can be accomplished whereby the motor is geared to rotate and the camera can ride up and down a track like a roller coaster.

    You did not mention at what level you are required to build this system, but since your constraint is that it use a single motor, I will assume you are doing this for some sort of college mechanical course.

    Here are some useful criteria for a CCTV Pan/Tilt mechanisms you should define:
    (1) Range of motion in each axis
    (2) Mass (of the camera) to be rotated
    (3) Speed of motion in each axis

    You will need to define the mechanical motion transfer mechanism to switch to and from each axis of rotation. The simplest form would probably to use miter gears and clutch assemblies. The robotic community could help you in this area (see link below).
    References :

    FYI, I designed these type of systems over 20 years ago.

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