Cable Theft Detection

CTM - Polygon Technologies - GSM Commander


The efficiency of cable theft prevention efforts can be significantly improved by technology tools to detect criminal actions as early as possible. The GSM Commander Product family offers a range of solutions to empower effective detection & reporting of access violation and cable tampering events.

Below we look at a few methods of detecting and products that can be used to prevent any potential cable theft:


Physical access monitoring

Early warning is of the highest importance, as it gives the responder more time to act. If the location in question allows for access to be limited by physical barriers like gates, fences and walls, these barriers need to be monitored, and forced entry detected. Tools for this include traditional security devices such as cameras, PIR sensors, beams, vibration sensors and door contacts. Examples of such precautions would be to install door contacts on the doors of mini-substations or installing vibration sensors on a perimeter fence. Polygon Technologies have an “Intelligent Vibration sensor” (IVS) device that is sealed and 100% adjustable.

Power failure monitoring

The idea is that if no power is incoming, the cable has been cut. This is a very simple approach that is quite effective and economical but lacks in precision since a power failure doesn’t necessarily mean that a theft incident is in progress. It also lacks in resolution, since one would not exactly know the location of the occurrence. The Polygon Technologies GSM Commander provides built-in power fail detection because, on a given cable run, there might be only one “hot” location where a cable most likely to be stolen, and thus response teams will know exactly where to respond, even though there is no notification of where exactly it happened.

Live cable monitoring

Live cables are those that have a “live” current and dangerous. The method that criminals use in the case of live power cables is relatively simple. They often know that the cable carries power, and they are clever enough to understand the risk of electrocution. One way to detect a “shorting” event on a cable is to monitor that no current is flowing to earth. If there is a significant current in the earth conductor, the chances are very good that it is a theft attempt. The Polygon Technologies Strap CT can be easily attached to the power cable to perform this task. These measures are functional for MV cables up to 66kv and also LV cables.


Cable Theft Detection & Report Products

GSM Commander

The GSM Commander is designed to effectively manage any unattended or remote site from your cell phone, web interface or computer. The GSM Commander provides 2-way communication via SMS, GPRS and voice call. It is well suited to cable theft applications because of our unique SmartSetup software that allows the highly multifarious behaviour to be specified with no programming knowledge.

Cable Theft Monitor (CTM)

The Cable Theft Monitor (CTM) module allows you to monitor “live” or “dead” cables and provides a contact output for signalling when anything is amiss. It can easily be connected to our GSM Commander product (or any other device) to notify you remotely of any event on the cable. It is able to monitor both 3-phase and single phase cable runs. The CTM inserts a special DC signal into the cable and confirms that it is reflected at the other end of the cable. If the signal is not reflected, the CTM will detect this and activate the output contacts.

Intelligent Vibration Sensor (IVS)

This strap CT is attached around MV and LV power cables to detect earth fault currents. It provides an output contact that is connected to a GSM Commander to notify personnel.

Strap CT

This strap CT is connected to MV and LV power cables to detect earth fault currents. It gives an output contact that is connected to a GSM Commander to notify personnel of a probable theft effort.

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