There are a few important aspects to consider prior to moving forward. Wireless signal reception, power considerations and attachment methodology are unique challenges whenever you want to keep watch remotely from a home of office.
There are a few things to take into account. The first is placement in terms of getting useful surveillance video. The camera needs to be able to see what you want to monitor so getting the right angle and width of view is important.
Also of importance will be wireless signal. We’re working on the premise there is no power or Ethernet signals. Generally, most wireless routers are indoors and via experience, we know it’s difficult to get a signal more than 100 feet from the router when outdoors. So try to locate the camera within a reasonable distance from the location of the router (or access point).
Lastly, be certain the camera is rated for outdoor use. Rain, snow and extreme cold/heat are all elements to consider so a camera rated for outdoor use is important.
So we’re assuming there is no power anywhere near the fence. Therefore, a good battery-powered camera will be needed. We also want a camera that features a wide-angle lens to get the most complete video image.
In addition to the power and wide-angle lens, the mounting mechanism is very important. Avoid cameras that do not feature a standard tripod screw hole on the bottom. The standard tripod screw hole is a 1/4″ – 20 threaded screw found on all tripods. This screw hole pattern is also featured on most mounting pedestals. Proprietary mounting patterns means a lack of mounts that will fit on a fence.
There are a few good battery operated cameras that fit this criteria. Let’s look at a few.
The Arlo Pro is an excellent selection for a fence. It has a long-lasting battery and features a 110 degree wide-angle lens. Unlike a lot of other home security cameras, the Arlo Pro connects to a base station, not directly to a router. The base station can actually exceed the 100 foot barrier by a considerable amount. That base station in turn connects to the router and provides internet connectivity.
Arlo is the king of battery operated cameras. The batteries last a decent amount of time, often three months or more depending upon the amount of motion and access. Potentially longer if not accessed very often. The connectivity is reliable and the free cloud storage is, well, free.
The other battery operated camera we have grown fond of is the Blink XT. Great camera with an excellent app. However the mounting attachment is unique so we can’t use one of the standard tripod screw mounts with it. If you can find a suitable attachment for a fence that fits this camera, it’s a sold choice.
Attaching a Camera to a Fence
Once the camera is selected, it’s time to attach it to the fence. You might be surprised to learn that a lot of mounts made for a motorcycle or bicycle can also fit a fence. Using mounts that feature a strap type of attachment with a tripod post is the best to consider. An example of this type of mount is the Arkon Strap Camera Mount. This will fit any cylindrical surface up to almost two inches in diameter. The tip of the mount has a ball and socket design so getting a better angle isn’t too hard.
This accessory is perfect for attaching a security camera to a fence similar to the one that accompanies this article. Since this particular fence is located at the very tip of Point Pleasant Beach in New Jersey, you might not be putting it on this very exact fence, but this type of mount would be used to attach the camera to the top horizontal bar of the fence.
Another type of mount twists around that top rail. Consider the Wasserstein Versatile Twist Mount for the Arlo Pro and Arlo Pro 2 This is specific to these cameras as a molded case is included which fits these two models of camera. It’s a nice idea that provided a lot of flexibility in camera positioning.
All of these articles are written by someone (me) that figured out how to do this stuff the hard way. I have owned and tested dozens of cameras. Manufacturer support varies. There are a few good companies that provide timely answers when you have questions. There are several that sell you the camera and seem to have little interest in post sales support (which leads me to finding out stuff the hard way).