Wiring a video security system can be a difficult task. It could involve crawling in attics, drilling through concrete, trenching and bending conduit. For this reason, it is often best to outsource this task to a local service provider not only for simplicity but also to ensure that your wiring is compliant with municipal codes.
There are two main types of wiring: analog and digital. Digital video security cameras (IP cameras) are easier to wire because commonly available CAT5 cable is all that is required for both video transmission and power. Many homes and businesses may already be wired with CAT5 and the wire itself is easy to work with. Analog security cameras require RG-59 or RG-6 coaxial cable to transmit the video signal and they also require a 12V or 24V pair for power . You have the choice of running a separate power line or to use a popular “siamese” cable which joins coaxial and power in one cable, while maintaining shielding. It is also possible to provide power for analog security cameras close to where they are mounted, but centralizing is recommended for simple UPS implementations.
Coaxial cable is available in a variety of types to meet fire codes and resistance. Both RG59 cctv wire and RG6 are available in “underground” versions that have thicker jackets meant for being buried. Using RG59, a color image can be sent up to 200m and a black and white image 300m. Available in spools of 500′ or 1000′, BNC connectors need to be fitted to both ends of the cables using either a screw, crimp or compression tool. For smaller applications, pre made siamese cable is available in a variety of lengths. This is ideal for installations where wiring does not need to be run through small holes such as ceiling tiles, along floors or wiring closets. It is possible to wire analog security cameras with CAT5 using “baluns” which are essentially media converters.
IP cameras can reduce costs of video security system implementations since common and possibly existing network components such as Ethernet wiring and switches can be used. PoE IP cameras do not require additional power runs – one Ethernet cable does it all. To leverage existing hubs/switches that do not have PoE ports, power injectors are an affordable alternative. IP cameras also allow for wireless point-to-point connectivity.
Surveillance system wiring is a unique task for every installation and there is always more than one solution. Got questions? Contact us!