Posts Tagged ‘ CCTV cable ’

CCTV Cable and Connector Types

Written By:
Friday, April 24th, 2015


When you first open up your system you may find yourself asking, “How do I connect all these wires and connectors?” As the surveillance industry grows and develops, so to do the methods of recording. Each different type of system has its own somewhat unique type of CCTV cable and/or connector. Today I’d like to break down the different cable types and how to terminate the appropriate wires that come with your system. But, before we begin, it is important to note that most of our products come with a lifetime of tech support and this service is invaluable to the end user. We highly advise contacting our tech support if you are unfamiliar with any part of the installation process. There are also un-boxing videos under virtually every product in the video tab. This will allow you to get an idea of what the product is and what type of connections it has on it.

So, what are the different types of CCTV cable and connectors? Before we go into how to connect each system, we need to understand what the different types of systems are. Let us break down the 3 main types of systems: traditional Analog, IP and HD-CVI. An IP (Internet Protocol) system operates around an NVR (Network Video Recorder) and utilizes Cat5/Cat6 (Category 5 or 6) cable and connections, and generally receives power via a POE (Power Over Ethernet) switch. While an Analog system utilizes Siamese cable (Coaxial cable with BNC connectors for video and 18-2 for power). An HD-CVI (High Definition Composite Video Interface) system utilizes the same type of cable as an Analog system but a higher grade of cable is generally recommended to accommodate the quantity and quality of data being transferred over the cable. To find out more what HD-CVI is check out our page “What is HD-CVI“.If you are unsure about which quality of cable to buy, feel free to contact our sales department and they can help you choose the best cable for your situation. Now that we know the different types of systems and their respective cables we can begin to discuss how these connections and connectors go together.

The first major system we discussed was IP, so let’s start there. IP systems utilize Cat5/Cat6 Ethernet connections as we mentioned before. When you receive this cable in a spool it does not come terminated so you will have to place the connectors on the ends, after of course, you’ve cut the appropriate length. The process for terminating CAT5/CAT6 is relatively simple. It is important to note that a Crimper tool is necessary for this process. There are two common wiring standards for CAT5/6 “TIA/EIA-568-A” and “TIA/EIA-568-B”. For our example we are going use the B standard. While this is common it may be a good idea to check which method will work best for your ideal use. The first step is to strip the shielding to expose the wires. You should strip about three quarters of an inch to have sufficient room to adjust the wiring pattern. The Color code should be as follows: white/orange, orange, white /green, blue, white/blue, green, white/brown, brown. Once you’ve arranged the wires appropriately all that’s left is to insert them into the RJ-45 jack and crimp locked. It is advised that before crimping the jack locked you ensure the bare wires are properly connected to the jack. For your convenience here is a brief video demonstrating the above description. Once this is completed test the cable by connecting two devices already known to be configured properly to ensure the cable is properly terminated.


This brings us to Analog systems. Analog cable is relatively simple however there are several types of BNC connectors you can attach to the cable. Three types to be specific, these three types are twist-on, crimp-on and compression. Twist-on is the most common and easiest to install. Crimp-on holds a slightly tighter connection but requires the correct tool and a bit of knowledge. Compression is the tightest, but also the most difficult and slightly more expensive.

Above is an example of a twist-on type connector, which is easily twisted on once the cable is cut and stripped to the appropriate length. Be sure the center most part is inserted all the way through the inside of the connector. Also, a small amount of mesh should be folded over the lip of the rubber shielding.  This will act as somewhat of a ground for the cable.  Next is an example of crimp-on type connectors.

Crimp-on connections offer a slightly more secure type of connectors.  While allowing a somewhat inexperienced user a relatively simple install.  The disadvantage to crimp-on connectors is they should be utilized with a special tool.  On a small install this might be unnecessary. This leads us to the final type of BNC connector.

The final type of BNC connector is the Compression type fitting. The compression type fitting is the most secure, but is also the most unforgiving. If the tool is misaligned or inappropriately secured a wasted fitting will cost you more in addition to the specialized tool required for the job. These fittings are often used for large installs or areas where the cable may be in a somewhat unforgiving environment.

The final part of an Analog cabling are the power connectors on the camera side of the Siamese Cable. These connectors are simply twisted on after the rubber is removed. Once the pair is twisted to its corresponding color it is simple matter of covering the exposed wire with a gel cap.

The last system we offer, HD-CVI, is, for cabling purposes almost exactly like Analog. The only difference is a higher quality cable is recommended under ideal situations. The amount of data being sent in an HD-CVI system is exponentially larger than that of traditional analog systems. As odd as this sounds in terms of physical installation there is, again, virtually no difference aside from the thickness of the cable.  This often increases so that less interference reaches the line. This allows that large amount of data to flow with less chance of interference or breakdown over distance.

So, as daunting as it all appears at first, the cabling portion of your install is relatively simple.  And when you factor in our experienced techs and lifetime tech support, you should never feel overwhelmed by a perspective install!


Wired vs. Wireless Cameras

Written By:
Wednesday, August 20th, 2014


One of the most common questions that I get asked is about wireless camera systems. Everyone wants to have wireless cameras.  I guess that Hollywood has done a lot to make people think that a completely wireless camera system is a good viable option.  There are several advantages and disadvantages to both wired and wireless cameras.  When it comes to my personal security, I will always choose the hardwired system over a wireless system any day of the week.

A wireless camera is a camera in which the video is transmitted over the air to a receiver which captures and records the video.  A wired camera is a camera that transmits the video over a hardwired connection to a receiver. The camera generally not only transmits the video over the cable, but with the correct cable can get it’s power source that way as well.

Pros of Wireless Cameras

There are some pros to having a wireless camera system. The biggest pro would be the fact that installation is generally easier.  When you do not have to worry about climbing through attics or fishing wires through ceiling and walls, the job just got easier.  Typically all you need to worry about when installing a wireless surveillance system with regards to the camera is having a power source in a relatively close proximity to the camera.  Once that is done, all you need to do is mount the cameras and set up your recording device.  This sounds great on the surface, but in reality it’s not that easy.

Cons of Wireless Cameras

With wireless cameras there are a multitude of downfalls.  One of the biggest downfalls that I see are picture quality.  With almost every wireless camera that I have seen on the market, the resolution quality is generally less than 702×480.  When it comes to quality surveillance cameras you want a higher resolution to gather as much detail of the image as possible.  I feel that the reason a lower resolution image is used is so that it can transmit the video footage in more frames per second with less latency in the video.  Another downfall with wireless is that they generally are in the 2.4ghz spectrum.  If you look around most places, that spectrum is inundated with use.  Generally speaking there are 14 channels available in this range.  Inside of this range you have everything from wireless B and G networks, some parts of wireless N networks, a new wireless network AD which is in it’s draft phase will still use some of this range, microwave ovens, baby monitors, digital cordless telephones, car alarms, and bluetooth adapters.

This range of frequency is very crowded and the overlapping of channels with their frequency ranges is a recipe for disaster in a security system.  Adding in yet more devices that are on the same bandwidth, you are asking for interference.  With interference you will get lost signal, dropped signals, and lost video.  I don’t know about you, but I want to know that my CCTV system is always going to record when I needed it to.  Lets say you want to put a camera in a spot without a close power outlet, you have one of a few options.  You can either try and find a battery powered camera, good luck finding anything worth it, have an outlet wired closer to the camera location, or move your camera location closer to an outlet.  These all seem to me that they are more trouble than they are worth.  When I am installing a camera, I want to be able to put it where I am going to get the best possible shot, not where power is going to dictate.  If you find good locations with close power, you better hope that there is no major obstructions in the way, like too many concrete walls, or any of the other items that may interfere with the signal.  If you want a wireless Pan Tilt Zoom camera, they are out there, but if the video signal doesn’t come in do you think the control of the camera is going to be any better.

Pros of Wired Cameras

With every type of method, there are pros and cons.  One of the pros of having your cameras hardwired is that you can count on the picture coming into your recorder.  The power and video can be ran on 1 cable, so everything can be centrally located.  No interference from telephones, bluetooth, wireless networks, microwave ovens, baby monitors, or car alarms.  A wider selection of camera styles are available for use.  You can have a Pan Tilt Zoom camera, to allow you to have one camera to look all around.  You can add audio to your security system without major hassles.  No need for the cameras to be mounted close to a power source, the cable will carry it wherever you need, within reason.  If you use a power distribution box up to 16 of your cameras can be powered with one unit, eliminating multiple power supplies.  There are several different types of wire that can be used to wire your cameras.  You can do simple plug and play, separate RG59 or RG6 and 18/2, Siamese, or Cat 5 cable to wire your cameras.  Wired cameras are harder for someone to disrupt the service of the camera system, by not allowing frequency jamming devices to interrupt you video signal.

Cons of Wired Cameras

With every wiring job comes some complications.  When you are wiring a camera system it is no different.  You can run into studs, concrete block, and other obstacles that can not be seen with drywall up.  You typically have to climb around in an attic and deal with insulation.  You will have to fish wires down walls and around other objects in your path.  If you lay the cable on a high powered line you will get interference on the picture of that camera.  If you choose to use any cable other than plug and play cables, you will have to terminate the ends for it to work properly.


There are some advantages and disadvantages for both types of camera styles.  I personally feel that if a wireless option is what you are looking for, you should do an IP solution with access points and an omni directional antenna.  With this type of setup you are getting the highest rate of resolution for security cameras and you are dealing with network based protocol with better transmission than standard 2.4ghz wireless receivers and transceivers.  With this type of a setup you will still need a power supply close to the camera location for the access point and the camera.  Another cool thing you can do is if you need a camera at a location that is too far to run a cable, and there is line of sight, there are access point/bridges that can travel for miles.  This is very useful for gates and remote camera locations but you will still need a power source.  This will save you from trenching a cable all the way to the camera location.

There are some downfalls to this type of setup, you are sending high quality images over the air and most units can only handle a portion of the data at once.  Most access points are limited to 150 mbps (Megabytes Per Second) up and down. When you are talking about a high resolution image you may be able to get approximately eight 2MP cameras before running into network issues.  If you want to get around this you may want to use multiple access points/bridges to communicate with each other and then you will have 150 mbps on each set of units instead of being limited to the one omni directional access point.  By doing this type of a setup you will be limited to the switch that they go into.

You can probably tell by now my which way I lean when it comes to wired vs wireless.  I am a firm believer that if you are going to spend the time and money to do something, you should do it right the first time and not have to do it over again.  I do not want to have to worry about not getting the images from my camera to my DVR, take the trouble to have to have electrical reran just to fit a camera location, or settle for subpar equipment just to make my job easier.  Wireless cameras are still in the infancy and I feel are years away if ever from being perfected.