How To - Pre-Cable for an IP Traffic counter installation

How To

Table of Contents


    The purpose of this article is to describe how a store or other location should be cabled for a traffic counter installation.  When electing to run the cable for your a traffic counter, there are certain criteria which MUST be met in-order to insure that you have a successful install on the 1st visit by an SMS technician.  It is very important to follow these important guide lines as it will definitely lead to a less costly installation as well as help to get you counting on day 1.

    Planning the cable run

    Perform a survey of your location identifying each entrance / point of interest that you would like to be covered by a traffic counter.  Obtain pictures take note of the following.

    • Width of the entrance or opening
    • Height from the floor to ceiling surfacethe traffic counter can be mounted on (Consult the installation manual to determine how counter is typically mounted)
      • The Traffic counter has a MAX and MINIMUM height and must be mounted within those acceptable limits -  Consult the appropriate counters mounting height chart to determine the limits
      • The Traffic counter has a MAX and MINIMUM distance that it can be mounted away from an entrance -  Consult the appropriate counters mounting height chart to determine the coverage depth divided by 2
      • Mounting surface should be free of any obstructions such as the follow: lights, exit sign, air duct or anything else which may be hanging from the ceiling or wall that would obstruct the view of the camera

    Should the ceiling be HIGHER that the acceptable limits for the traffic counter, a bracketing or pole solution (pendant mount) would need to be purchased and installed or constructed. 

    To reduce cost, for ceilings above 12 feet, you will be required to provide a drop down pole to mount the camera on, with the CAT5 cable ran into it, to ensure the technician does not need to rent a lift or a tall ladder when going on-site. Examples follow:

    SMS has an approved bracketing solution available for sale (In White / Black) which can be used in most store styles.

    For more information refer to the following article:

    Should you be uncertain of where to place the traffic counter after consulting the hardware documentation - contact - have the above information ready as well as the pictures of you entrance with ceiling or mounting surface in view.

    Running the cable

    • Point A (network): Ethernet (PoE) spot which is usually in the back store (recommended) or at the POS counter. Leave 10 feet of loose. Mark the cable: “For Traffic Counter to entrance #__”. There must a free network port and a free power outlet at this location.

    • Point B (entrance): Run the cable up to the entrance, 2 feet from the door, centered. Leave 10 feet of loose.  Mark the cable: “For Traffic Counter to entrance #__”

      • If the ceiling is closed, leave the cable in the ceiling, but ensure the technician will be able to retrieve it by using nearby access panels and a 10 foot A-frame ladder

      • If the ceiling is an open deck, ensure that the technician will be able to retrieve the coiled cable with a 10 foot A-Frame Ladder

    Identifying the end points

    Mark the cable: “For Traffic Counter to entrance #__”. both at the entrance as well as network end points.

    Testing the cable and insuring you are ready for the counter installation

    SMS technicians WILL NOT certify or terminate (crimp RJ45 connectors)  any customer run cables

    • Work performed by the SMS technician: Through any available access panel at the entrance (reachable with a 10 foot A-Frame Ladder), the technician will locate the cable and use the loose (10 feet) to bring it exactly where it is needed for the sensor(s) installation. 

      The technician will also connect the RJ45 cable to the power injector and the power injector to your network.  Otherwise, if a PoE switch is being used, please insure that it is properly identified and advised as to which ports to use, to ahead of the booked installation.


    Q: What type of cable should be used?

    A: Connect up the devices using Cat 5 or Cat 6 cable.

    Q: What is the maximum acceptable length a cable run to the entrance can be?

    A: Take care to keep each cable shorter than 328 feet. If you need more length, a switch can act as a repeater.

    Q: How is the IP camera powered?

    A: The camera needs a power supply, and the easiest method is power over Ethernet (PoE) to supply power through the Cat 5 cable. To do this you need either a PoE enabled switch or a PoE power supply. Make sure the camera is PoE enabled. If you are using a PoE power supply, then it should be placed between the switch and the camera unless the switch is POE enabled. Alternatively, a rack-mounted PoE Midspan device is ideal for powering several cameras.

    Q: Does the cable need to be run through conduit?

    A: Verify the policy for the establishment with the Mall or Landlord.

    Q: Is a UNION WORKER or ELECTRICIAN REQUIRED to run the cable?

    A: Check with the local authority or General Contractor.

    Q: Is a LOW VOLTAGE PERMIT required to run the cable? 

    A: Check with the local authority or General Contractor.


    • Any wiring issues or incorrect RJ-45 connections may make it impossible to communicate.
    • if the Cat 5/Cat 6 cables are too long, you might find that the PoE voltage is too low by the time it reaches the camera. 
      • Each of the above issues can be rectified by painstakingly working through the system, but this may take a considerable time in a complex system. A more effective approach is to use a specialized digital network tester, examples below.

    Digital Network Testers

    T3 Innovation manufactures a comprehensive range of digital cable testers. These testers can be used to identify cable faults, such as open circuits, shorts or incorrectly wired RJ-45 connectors, and also for work on coaxial cables. One such device is the Cable Prowler, which identifies cable faults and measures PoE voltages as well as identify the cable locations on a hub, switch or router. Other devices, like the Net Prowler can ping and discover IP and MAC addresses, detect VLAN configuration, plus perform numerous other tests. T3's NetChaser also measures the transmission speed of the cable and traces its route from the camera to the router.

    Was this article helpful?
    header-top-left-border Created with Sketch.
    header-top-right-border Created with Sketch.