Posts Tagged ‘ microphone ’

How to Connect a Microphone to a Security Camera System

Written By:
Tuesday, April 15th, 2014
Powered Microhone

The importance of recording audio in a surveillance system

There are state laws that differ in what is allowed when it comes to Audio Recording. Some have 1-party laws where only 1 party needs to know that they are being recorded. Other states, like here in Florida require that both parties know they are being recorded.

When allowed and according to the law in your state, audio recording in addition to video surveillance can be very useful. For instance, in a retail/office setting, you wouldn’t be able to record your customers’ conversations, but you would be able to record your employees’ conversations (as long as they are aware they are being recorded). As an owner you would be able to find out if they were fooling around or planning to steal something. Another great way to use Audio Recording would be in an office meeting to document what is being said.

The possibilities are endless for the reasons why you would want to record audio, and please do not record anyone where privacy is an issue such as restrooms and changing rooms…it is against the law. If you know you are OK with Audio surveillance according to your state law, I am going to explain how you would connect a microphone to a security camera system.

Different ways to connect a security camera microphone

In each of these illustrations I am going to explain how to connect our microphone (product# MIC) in various setups including Analog and IP Megapixel configurations.

In an analog system, setting up a microphone is pretty simple and the great thing about an analog system is that you do not have to have the microphone next to the camera. You can have the microphone in a middle of a room and have the camera in the corner of the room for example.


In this configuration I want to connect a microphone using Siamese Cable to a mini DVR system from The microphone has 2 ports coming out of it. One is for power since this is a powered microphone. The other is for the audio stream. Connecting power is just like powering an analog camera. You will use a female power lead (PT-3) and plug that into the power port of the microphone. Connect the leads of the PT-3 to the 18-2 wire of the Siamese Cable and attach the other end of the 18-2 to a distribution box.

For audio, you will need an RCA male to BNC female (RCA-M-BNC-F) since the audio port of the microphone is RCA. In this illustration I am using the RG59 of the Siamese cable with a BNC Connector to transfer the audio. On a Mini DVR, the audio imports are RCA and so you will need the RCA-M-BNC-F in order to connect the RG59 to the Mini DVR. Note: You must plug the microphone to the same channel number as the camera you want to record. Since this Mini DVR only has 4 Audio ports, you only have a choice of Channels 1-4 for the camera.

In this next illustration, I will use basically the same set up, except with a Full Size DVR.


This configuration is the same exact set up as with a Mini DVR, except the Full Size DVR has a BNC Audio Port instead of RCA. So, the only difference is on the DVR side, you will not need the BNC to RCA converter. Just connect the BNC connector into the Audio Port. Note: Make sure that the microphone is going into the same Audio Channel number as the Camera Channel.

In the next 2 illustrations I have configured the microphone with plug and play cables that have Video, Power and Audio.


In these two configurations above, the microphone needs to be close to the camera since the power is being shared via a Power Splitter (PT-6). Plug one of the female ends of the power splitter into the power port of the microphone. Plug the other one into the camera. The other side of the PT-6 will attach to the female power port of the plug and play cable. The other side of the plug and play cable will plug into a power supply.

For Audio, just attach the red audio plug of the plug and play cable into the RCA port of the microphone. Plug the other end of the cable into the Audio-in jack of the DVR. For the Mini DVR, there is an RCA Audio jack. For the Full Size DVR, you will need a BNC Male to RCA Female Connector and plug that into the BNC Audio Jack. Note: The camera has to be plugged into the same channel number as the microphone audio channel.

In the next configuration, I will show you how to connect an IP Microphone to a IP Megapixel Camera.


In the IP world, the camera itself does the encoding for audio, so the microphone connects directly to the IP Camera. For our cameras at, the only IP cameras that accept video are the ones listed in this illustration and the next one. In the illustration above, you will need an RCA Male to Male Coupler (which is the only item we do not sell) to attach the audio port of the microphone to the audio port of the IP camera. To power the microphone you will use a PT-3 Female power lead connected to a PT-4 Male Power lead via 18-2 power wire. The Female connecter plugs into the microphone and the Male connector plugs into the power supply.

In the next illustration the IP microphone will connect to any of our IP Pan Tilt Zoom (PTZ) cameras.


In this last configuration, I am showing how to connect an IP microphone to any of our IP PTZ cameras. The power will be setup exactly the same as in the preceding diagram. For audio, the IP PTZ has 2 wires coming out of it. Those 2 wires you will need to connect into a Balun-P and then the BNC connector of the Balun-P connects into an RCA-M-BNC-F which connects to the RCA port of the microphone.

In any of these 6 configurations, the audio is crisp and clear and you will be amazed of the quality audio you can record. Please, just remember to follow the laws of your state. If you ever need any assistance, our products come with Free tech Support.


Legalities of audio recording

Written By:
Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

Recording audio in conjunction with video can make a huge difference in the value of the video. Audio recording could be used as evidence in employee misconduct investigations, insurance liability claims or even criminal trials. However, there are state and federal laws that must be considered when recording audio. Not properly following these laws can result in criminal and/or civil charges and it is unlikely that the recorded audio will be admissible in court.

The first law that must be considered is the Electronic Communications Privacy Act. This statute allows you to record phone calls and other electronically transmitted audio sources as long as one of the parties being recorded gives consent. This is known as “One party consent”. This means that, if you are one of the two parties in a phone call, you can record the call because you are giving yourself consent to be recorded. If you are not a party in the conversation, then at least one of the parties must give consent.

Now, that all sounds simple enough. Well, that is only the federal law regarding recording audio. There is still state law to consider as well. Each state has its own laws governing the recording of conversations. Most states just echo the federal law and require one party consent to record a conversation. There are currently 37 states with one party consent laws. These states are: Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming and the District of Columbia.

Although Nevada is considered to be a one party consent state, there have been various interpretations of their law, so to err on the side of caution, we should consider it to be an “all party consent” state. All party consent means that all parties involved in any of the audio that is recorded must give consent. Currently 12 states require all parties to give consent to be recorded. These states are: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Washington.  In California, there is an exception – you can record a conversation with the consent of only one party if criminal activity (kidnapping, extortion, bribery or a violent felony) is involved.

In both one party and all party consent situations, audio can still be recorded. The governing law with regards to recording audio is Title 18, Part 1, Chapter 119 of the US Code. As with most laws, trying to read and understand it is a daunting task. But it all comes down to one definition in this code. Section 2510 Paragraph 2 states:

“oral communication” means any oral communication uttered by a person exhibiting an expectation that such communication is not subject to interception under circumstances justifying such expectation, but such term does not include any electronic communication.

So, this essentially means that, if a person expects their conversation to be private, then it is illegal to record it. So, it is up to you to ensure that they don’t have any expectation of privacy. Most of this can be achieved with proper signage. If, when a customer comes into your business, they see conspicuous signs that say “AUDIO RECORDING IN PROGRESS” or something to that effect, then they surely cannot assume that their conversations will be private. By choosing to remain in your place of business, they are in effect giving legal consent to being recorded. This fulfills the intent of the law. Many companies include a clause in their employment handbook that states that audio recording is conducted. Employees sign a consent form as a condition of employment. In this case, no signage is required in the workplace except in areas where customers are being served or other persons that have not consented may be recorded.

The laws governing audio recording are not on the books to keep you from recording. Their only purpose is to ensure that everyone’s right to privacy is respected. So, as long as the spirit of the law is taken into consideration, and all parties involved are properly aware of the situation, there should be no legal barrier to recording audio with your surveillance system.

Note: this information is based on the opinions and interpretation of the author and is for general informational purposes. This is NOT legal advice. Do not rely on any of this information without verifying same with your attorney.