Archive for the ‘ Other Security Articles ’ Category

Coax Surge Protection

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

Although the cable used for digital video security systems does not carry a high voltage charge, coax surge protection is still required to protect your system from lightening and even overzealous power outages, and power surges.  If a surge makes its way to the camera or to the DVR your system could be destroyed.

While power outages and other non-lightening power surges are highly irregular for digital video security camera systems, coax surge protection is needed much more often, especially if you have outdoor cameras that could be a target for a random lightening bolt hit.

There are basically two types of cable that are used for digital camera security systems (there are more but these have got to be the most popular), RG-59 coaxial cable and for the newer technology, PoE (Power over the Ethernet).  Both of these are subject to power surges so you can see that there is more than just coax surge protection to think about.

RG-59 coaxial cable normally uses BNC type connectors.  RG-59 coaxial cable consists of a center conductor (usually pure copper) with a type of dielectric plastic around it.  Around the dielectric plastic is a braided shield type wire, and lastly the outer plenum or PVC jacket to protect the cable from normal wear and tear.  With all of this dielectric insulation (“dielectric” basically means non-electrical conducting), the coax cable is able to conduct the radio frequency without much interference coming from within the cable or outside the cable.

However, if the voltage and amperage is high enough, dielectric breakdown could possibly occur.  Dielectric break down is when the material between the metal core and shield takes on such an enormous energy surge like a lightening hit, that the dielectric material conducts electricity anyway.  In addition to the material that normally doesn’t pass a charge now conducting, the surge can go either or both ways on the outside cable, frying your camera at one end and your DVR at the other.

Telephones, cable television, and many other electric services have a box outside or inside the house with a ground wire attached.   The ground wire runs through a wall to the outside where a ground rod (a solid copper rod about 6 feet in length) has been placed (driven with a hammer) directly into the ground.  If the home does not have this grounding scheme it should have one similar to it such as a ground box or other device.  Even a cold water pipe makes an acceptable ground.

At any rate, the grounded connection is the objective of any surge suppressor.  The surge suppressor creates a path for the lightening to go that has little resistance (electricity follows the path of least resistance) safely keeping the lightening from damaging the equipment.

There are two different types of coax surge protection; the gas tube and solid-state.  Both types of technologies conduct electricity once a device-rated voltage is found across its terminals and immediately create a low-resistance path to ground.  Remember that electricity follows the path of least resistance so this low resistance path discharges the excess electricity to ground and at the same time reducing the potential voltage spike to near zero volts.  This is the course of the solid-state surge suppressor.

The gas tube has ionizable gas that is used to achieve the same sort of action as solid-state thus, achieving similar protection.

Security Camera King suggests that, especially if the cable runs outside, you use their coax surge protection (Product# SP-01) at each cable end.  The surge protector comes with the BNC ends for hooking it up to the cable and ground wire that can be connected directly to the ground wire in an electrical outlet or to the screw that holds the faceplate on the outlet.

If you would like to see the coax surge protector look under “Security Equipment>Security Camera Accessories>Security Camera Surge Protection.”  Here is the exact Web site location:

If you still have questions about coax surge protection, contact one of our security experts via on-line “Live Chat” or via telephone at 866-573-8878 Monday through Friday from 9AM to 6PM EST.


School Security Systems

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

These days school security systems consist of a little bit more than just a truant officer of the 1970’s and before.   Thanks to always evolving technology and reduced prices, a digital video security camera system usually plays a big part in school security systems as well as maintaining order within the classroom.

Many schools have gone to total digital video with a camera with audio in every room.  This provides superior documentation in the event of a student disturbance.  Likewise, the “camera in every room” policy can not only protect teachers but can protect students as well especially by documenting teacher-student situations as they occur.

The whole idea of installing a digital video camera in every classroom is not as far fetched as it may seem.  After all, before the advent of cheaper yet higher quality digital video systems, most schools used an older method of communication; the intercom.

Today, we have the advantage of disposing of the intercom and using the digital video school security system.  Not only can the school’s front office communicate with the teacher (or student) in the room via two-way audio, but a video image can be seen at the same time.  Should there be any doubt as to an altercation between two students or between a student and teacher, the entire episode is captured and recorded on the Digital Video Recorder or DVR which is usually located in the front office.

There are a variety of digital video camera security systems that can be used as school security systems.  Security Camera King has an ample supply of equipment and down-to-earth reasonable prices.  To equip a school properly, all rooms should contain at least one camera.  This includes the cafeteria, gymnasium, band room, as well as each class room.

Typically, Security Camera King’s complete 32 channel Elite DVR security camera package will do the job.  If 32 cameras are not enough to adequately monitor the school, then more (4, 8, 16, or 32 camera) systems can be added until the optimum number is achieved.

Security Camera Kings 32 channel system is particularly useful in this situation.  First of all the unit comes with 32 420TVL infrared cameras.  This means you get 24/7 full coverage.  During the daylight hours the camera captures highly detailed color video and at nighttime when school is over for the day and the lights are out, the infrared (IR) technology is automatically switched on and video camera coverage continues.

However, it is not necessary to use all of the same cameras for the entire system.  For example, if you want to include surveillance of a parking lot, you could upgrade a camera to a Pan-Tilt-Zoom (PTZ) camera.  A PTZ camera is an incredibly versatile camera that allows the user to move the camera horizontally (Pan), vertically (Tilt), or zoom in on an object.  In addition a PTZ camera usually has the ability to track and follow objects such as people and vehicles.  This would provide a good handle on who is approaching the school from the outside.

All of Security Camera King’s DVRs are internet ready, so when installing your system, don’t for get to supply the DVR with an active Ethernet Cat5 cable.  Once connected to the internet, the principal, superintendent, maintenance personnel  and any one else as necessary can be set up to monitor the entire system remotely from their smartphone.

Security Camera King’s school security systems are designed to be easy to install, so easy that a maintenance employee should be able to install the system with absolutely no problems.  However, should some sort of difficulty occur, our support team of security experts are readily accessible to help you every step of the way.

In fact, our security experts can be contacted on-line by using “Live Chat” or by telephoning 866-573-8878 Monday through Friday from 9AM to 6PM EST.  They will walk you through every step of the process from the very beginning to the very end, if need be.  They’ll even help you design your system to determine what kind of equipment, how many cameras you’ll need, and so on.

So if you’re looking for a solution for theft, burglary, vandalism, bullying, student discipline and documenting student to student or student to teacher behaviors a school security system sounds like just what the doctor ordered.  We’d love to help you upgrade your school security system, so please, contact us today.


Security DVR Lockbox With Fan

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

Sometimes, even your digital video security system requires security; that’s when it’s time to consider a security DVR lockbox with fan.  Not only will it provide security protection for your digital video security equipment, but it also helps to protect it from bumps, bruises, and other human being induced injuries.

A digital video security system is only as good as the central unit, the Digital Video Recorder or DVR.  So it’s important that you provide the DVR with all the protection you can afford, because someday the DVR may return the favor with important saved video footage.

Also, don’t confuse the phrase “security DVR lockbox with Fan” with the phrase “Weatherproof Enclosure with Fan.”  Weatherproof enclosures are normally intended for exactly what their name suggests; protection from the weather and other natural elements.  These enclosures or boxes are almost always used outdoors for a variety of reasons.  They normally contain a rubber or foam gasket around the door to prevent ingress of water, snow, and other material.

A security DVR lockbox with fan on the other hand is not necessarily weather proof.  In fact, lockboxes are seldom ever weather proof.  That’s because lockboxes are designed not to keep weather and other elements from damaging the security equipment.  Instead, they are designed to keep humans from damaging or stealing the security equipment.

When a lockbox is fastened in place either on wall studs, a computer rack, lockbox brackets, or any other steadfast surface, it’s pretty difficult to remove the lock box and contents without damaging it.  That’s the whole idea, of course.  So when installing a lockbox, be certain that the box is attached with adequate fasteners that won’t fail easily and that the box is attached to something solid in the room.

Generally, it’s not necessary to use a security DVR lockbox with fan in the home, but it certainly isn’t a prohibited practice by any means.  Many times residents will purchase and install an elaborate digital video security system with great consideration and care.  They will carefully consider where to mount the cameras, inside and out, how to route the cable, etc.  But they forget about the DVR’s protection from their three children who are just the right ages that they view the DVR as a fun an intriguing toy.

In this case, a security DVR lockbox with fan is definitely a good idea.  The last thing you want to encounter is spending an ample amount of time setting up your new system, only to find out that buttons have pushed, dials have been turned, etc. such that you need to run your set up routine all over again.

This doesn’t apply to just households with young children.  Indeed, there are similar problems in the business industry.

For commercial or business applications, think carefully before installing your system, where the best place is for installing the DVR.  Once again, the last thing you need is to spend your valuable time setting up a system, only to have some curious employees change the settings unknowingly by by pushing buttons, turning dials, etc.

Also, it’s just a good habit to get into to lock the remote control up with the unit in the lockbox as well.  Although the remote control is infrared based and is unlikely to able to make any changes to the DVR inside the lockbox, this practice will help you to keep track of the remote; you’ll always know where to look for it.


So what’s this business with the security DVR lockbox with fan?  A good security lockbox should come with an operational fan.  Once the DVR is placed inside the lockbox and all sides of the box are in place and locked, a small environment has been created for which to operate the DVR.

Most electronic devices emit some sort of energy as a byproduct of their intended functions.  This byproduct is usually heat.  The DVR is such a tight compartment as a lockbox could easily over heat without the proper venting.  In addition, a continuous duty fan can suck fresh air through the lockbox and in the process aid in cooling down and keeping cool, the DVR.

Security Camera King offers two security DVR lockboxes with fans on our on-line catalog.  The only difference between the two is their size.  If you are interested in purchasing a lockbox or have additional questions concerning the lockboxes contact one of our security experts today and they will be glad to help you.


Beanie Wire Connectors

Monday, April 25th, 2011

When it comes to splicing wire together or separately, the beanie wire connector is an old standby that is tried and true.  The “B” connectors as they are often called can be used to join or splice almost any wire that ranges from about 18 to 30 gauge.  However, these are not the only wire connectors available so in this article we’ll take a look at some of the more common methods used for joining wire/cable.

Security Camera King’s premium quality Beanie wire connectors are made from the highest quality material.  The connectors have sharp, insulation piercing teeth that in most cases are able to be crimped by just using your fingers.  The connector itself contains a rubbery outer protective coating and the inside of the connector is filled with a corrosion preventative silicon gel.

These connectors are excellent for use on non-coaxial wiring components of a digital video security camera system.  For example, after running our Siamese cable with 18/2 power supply wire beanie wire connectors can be used to connect the power lead plugs to both the camera and the Digital Video Recorder or DVR end.

However, these Beanie wire connectors are not restricted to power supply wire use only.  These connectors can be used for a variety of devices requiring external wiring.  In fact, there are many applications even outside of digital video security systems where these connectors prove themselves to be easy to use yet rugged enough to last a lifetime.

The following list demonstrates what type of wire the Beanie wire connectors can be used for and the capacities (in number of wires) that each gauge  can handle.

  • #24 AWG (Insulated Wires) up to 4 wires;
  • #22 AWG (Insulated Wires) up to 4 wires;
  • #20 AWG (Insulated Wires) up to 3 wires;
  • #18 AWG (Insulated Wires) up to 3 wires; and,
  • #16 AWG (Stripped Wires) up to 3 wires


In addition to the beanie wire connectors, Security Camera King also has coaxial cable connectors for almost every king of cabling job.

For example we also have 2 piece crimp-on BNC connectors, Product# BNC-CRIMP100.  These feature both a male and matching female crimp-on connector for use with RG-49 coaxial cable.  If you need to convert a male BNC connection to a female RCA connection try using our Product# BNC-M_RCA-F.  Another convenient connector is our BNC Three-Way F/F/F.  This connector allows you to split one line into two; for example using this connector you could run a line from your camera to the DVR and another to a spot monitor.

We also have BNC Twist-on connectors. Our Product# BNC-TWIST100 are also included in our system package deals with bulk wire.  These are simple to use.  Strip the coaxial cable, twist on the connector and you’re ready to go!

One of our favorite connectors is the BNC Compression Type Connector Product# BNC-COMP100.  You’ll need our Product# COMP-TOOL, adjustable Push and Lock Crimp Tool for F, BNC, and RCA connectors.  This has got to be on of the toughest long lasting connector types available.  Once the compression tool has set the fitting, you’ll find that it takes quite a bit of force to try to remove the fitting from the cable.

Finally, we also offer a BNC female to BNC Female barrel type connector, our Product# BNC-BARREL.

Remember that coaxial connectors cannot be used on average two pair wire and beanie wire connectors cannot be used on coaxial cable.  However, Security Camera king sells just about every possible combination of BNC/coaxial cable connector so you shouldn’t ever have a problem of not being able to connect a cable with a connector.

If you have any addition questions or concerns about the beanie wire connectors or any of the coaxial cable connectors, please fee free to contact one of your live security experts using on-line “Live Chat” or by calling us at 866-573-8878 Monday through Friday between the hours of 9am to 6pm EST and we’ll be glad to answer any of your questions and/or place your order.


IR Illuminators

Friday, April 22nd, 2011

IR (InfraRed) Illuminators can shed a whole new light on digital vide recording in total darkness.  Security Camera King offers several IR Illuminators in addition to the long range IR cameras for your low-light to no-light digital video security and surveillances applications.

The average digital video security and surveillance system consists of three major components; one or more cameras, a DVR, and one or more monitors. For this article, let’s take a closer look at the digital video cameras and IR Illuminators.

A digital video camera has one main function; to transfer the image in it its field of view created by reflective light into an electronic image that can be seen on a monitor’s display.  It does this by using a lens, a photosensitive sensor chip and several Integrated Circuit (IC) chips.

To be more specific the camera has something called a Field Of View for FOV.  This FOV is the area that the camera sees at a given time; the lens job is to gather the light created by the FOV and focus it onto a mall 1/4 to 1/2 inch photosensitive chip.

There are two such chips used today.  They are the Charged Coupled Device or CCD and the Complementary Metal Oxide Semi conductor or CMOS.  Although each chip works differently, the both yield the same final product; electronic data that can be used to create a digital video image.


One very interesting note about these two sensors chips:  Both chips are inherently sensitive to IR radiation of the near InfraRed spectrum.  The potential for this incidental characteristic is enormous.

True day/night cameras use the available IR radiation that is present to produce their video image.  They use very sensitive photo sensors.  During the day time or in places where there is visible light, they utilize an IR cut filter that is mechanically moved in front of the sensor to prevent excess IR radiation from striking the sensor.  These usually produce color images.  Excess IR can result in poor video image quality for these sensors.

A night vision IR camera uses IR Illuminators to “light up” the images in its FOV.  Most cameras use an array of IR light emitting diodes or LEDs.  They produce IR “light” that the sensor readily detects but that our human eyes can’t see.

This offers a great advantage in that an area can be “flooded” with IR “light” but we would never know it because our eyes cannot see this type of light.

Generally speaking, the more LED’s the Better the IR video Image.  However, due to camera size constraints, only so many IR LEDs can be packed around the camera’s lens.  Therefore, if additional or stronger IR light is used, the further the camera can “see” and the better the quality of the video image.  This cam be easily accomplished by using additional IR Illuminators.

There are many types of IR Illuminators.  Frequently, these are used outdoors to extend the range of IR cameras, but the can be used indoors as well.  Generally speaking, the more IR LEDs the longer the range and the better quality of the video.

One particularly nice benefit of using IR Illuminators is that the LEDs create adequate light at a fraction of the cost of regular, visible light yielding light bulbs.  Security Camera King offers many IR cameras and IR illuminators (sold Separately) on our Web catalog. These include Product# OIL-60IR100 which has a 100 foot IR range, Product# OIL-40IR300 which has a 300 foot IR range, and Product# HAWK-4IR which has a 250 foot IR range.  The first two mentioned above operate on 12VDC while the third illuminator is a dual voltage (it can use 12VDC or 24VAC)

This also is a good time to discuss range.  Remember that each IR camera type has a range.  The range is the distance the camera can “see” in the dark.  Actually, the range is more specifically a function of the number and size of the IR LEDs used.

At any rate, always make sure you know what the IR range of a camera is before purchasing it.  Measure and determine the actual footage of coverage that you will need before purchasing the illuminator.  If the camera’s range falls short of your measured range, it may be time to consider purchasing an IR illuminator to extend your available range and increase the “flood” of light in your cameras FOV.