Wire and cable might not be the flashiest part of a security system but it is a critical part of the overall solution. There are plenty of things to consider when selecting and installing wire and cable to ensure your security system works optimally. At a minimum, wire will be used to provide power to your cameras and most of the time, wire is also used to transmit the video signal back to the DVR.
To determine the appropriate cable for your installation you must first know whether your system is analog or digital. Next, you need to know if your camera is going to be powered locally (connecting to it's power source within a few feet) or remotely. If you are connecting the camera to a remote power source, you should consider running your video and power cables together. Video security cables are available with the power and video cables run side-by-side (known as Siamese Cables) or all under one jacket. These will make installation much easier than trying to pull two separate wires.
Before installing your cameras, it is recommended that you test the cable by connecting a camera to the power supply and to the DVR. Test each pre-made cable at the DVR location, or make a short test cable when using bulk wire. This extra step can help prevent headaches by ensuring that your pre-made cables are fully functional before installing.Wiring Guide for Pre-Made Cables
Now that all connections have been made, the camera should display on the live video screen of your DVR. If you have problems or require additional assistance, please contact our technical support.
All professional grade systems use video coax cable to transmit the video from the security camera to the recorder. The maximum distance the security cameras can be from the recorder is a function of the cable rather than the camera itself. Using RG59 coax cable you can extend the camera out to 600 feet. Using RG6 coax cable you can run up to 1,000 feet. Cable is available in 500' boxes or pre-made cables in 100', 65', 35' lengths.
Wiring Guide for Bulk Cable and Custom Cable Lengths
Now that the camera has been connected to the DVR and has power run to it, the camera should be displayed on the live screen of the DVR. If you have problems or require additional assistance, please contact our technical support.
BNC fittings are used to connect the cable to both the camera and the recorder, multiplexer or monitor. You simply push the fitting on the video port on the back of the DVR or camera and turn it, it couldn't be easier.
Security cameras can be powered two ways. You can power each security camera with its own plug in power supply, or you can wire multiple security cameras back to a multi-camera power source. Both options plug into a regular 110V electrical outlet and then step the power down to 12V DC or 24V AC to feed to the camera. Make sure you match the cameras voltage to the power supply. In other words power a 12V DC camera with a 12V DC power supply and power a 24V AC camera with a 24V AC power supply. Failure to do so can result in damaged equipment.
We recommend using 12V DC equipment. 12 volt replacement parts are readily available and they filter power spikes from getting to the camera. Plug in power supplies are usually located within 6-10 feet of the security camera. The multi-camera power supplies are installed in a closet or somewhere out of the way and then a two conductor power wire is pulled to each camera. When designing a surveillance system you may want to use a combination of plug in and multi-camera power supplies. This will depend on where your power outlets are located and how easily you can pull a wire from a multi-camera power supply to each camera. Multi-camera power supplies have one fused, dedicated power output for each camera. This design provides excellent protection from power spikes and surges.
While almost any wire will work to power a camera the quality of the wire will dictate the maximum distance you can transmit power. We recommend using an 18 gauge, 2 conductor, non-shielded, twisted cable. This cable will allow you to extend the distance from the power supply to the security camera up to 300', and allow you to power two or three cameras with one wire run. This cable is very common and is used in burglar alarm and fire alarm systems as well.
We recommend this wire because:
Caution: Stay clear of systems which transmit the video and security camera power over a single cable. These systems draw power for the security cameras directly from the monitor or multiplexer. It can be extremely difficult to find compatible replacement parts and you may end up replacing the whole system (cameras included) if the power supply goes out. Remember--all professional grade CCTV equipment use BNC or RCA fittings and coax cable.