Posts Tagged ‘ security camera cables ’

Security Camera Cables – The Different Types

Written By:
Tuesday, November 4th, 2014

What are the different types of cabling options for security cameras and how are they different?

Here at we offer three different types of security camera cables to connect your surveillance cameras to your security camera system. Finding the correct wiring method for your needs can be a bit tricky because each of these options has their own strengths and weaknesses. The three different cabling options that you can use for your security camera installation are prefabricated plug and play cable, CAT5 cable with baluns and Siamese cable. When you are installing your own security camera system most of the work takes place when you are running the cables from your cameras to where your DVR is located, so it’s nice to know that you have the type of cable that works best for you and the environment of the installation. That way you won’t have to do this work twice. This article will take a closer look at all of these options of security camera cables and help provide you with the information that you need to make this decision.

The first cabling option that we are going to take a look it are the pre-made plug and play cables. These cables are available in 25, 50, 100 and 150 foot lengths. They all have the connectors for both video and power already connected. You can even get them with a third connector at each end that will allow them to transmit audio signal, if you are planning to install microphones near where you are install a security camera. All you have to do is plug them in to the proper places (camera, DVR and power supply) and then they are ready to transmit the video signal to your DVR. This type of cable is the least expensive and the easiest to work with since it is all ready to be installed when you get them.
The down side of the plug and play cables is that they don’t offer the highest quality of video and power transmission. These cables aren’t able to consistently transmit these signals any further than 150 feet, which is why that is the maximum length of them that we sell.


The second type of security camera cables that we offer our customers is CAT5 cable. This type of cable is the same type that is used in most homes so that you can access the Internet. When they are used in a security camera installation with analog cameras they will need to be used in conjunction with small adapters, called baluns, which are connected to each end of the cables. After the baluns are connected to each end of the CAT5 cable, one balun will be connected to the security camera and the balun at the other end of the cable will be connected to the DVR and power supply. These cables transmit video and power signal better then plug and play cables, giving you a higher quality of video and allowing you to have more distance between your DVR and security cameras. The maximum distance that these cables can carry video and power is 300 feet. If you are able to bring power to a security camera from a source near where it is mounted, then these CAT5 cables can carry the video signal up to 1,500 feet. This cabling solution is also fairly inexpensive. This is the type of cable that you must use if you are installing IP cameras. The baluns are not needed with IP cameras because these cables will go directly in the camera at one and into a switch or router at the other end. When you are installing this type of camera it is also possible to run the power and video over a single CAT5 cable with the use of a power supply, if you are connecting the camera to a POE (Power Over Ethernet) switch. If you aren’t using a POE switch with these cameras then you will have to power the cameras in another way, by pulling a second wire from a power supply to the camera.

The downside of using CAT5 cable is that it is more susceptible to interference then some of the other types of cables you can use for your security cameras, but the sources of this interference is known and can be avoided. This interference is caused by running the CAT5 cables near high voltage devices or fluorescent lighting fixtures. If you are running CAT5 from your surveillance camera to your DVR, just make sure to keep the wires as far from these types of devices as possible.


The third type of cable that you can use for your security cameras is called Siamese cable. It is actually two different types of cables that connected, side by side, by a tough outer plastic insulation. One of these cables is called RG59 and the other is referred to as 18/2 wire. The RG59 is a specific type of coaxial cable and it is used to transmit the video signal from the security camera to the DVR. The 18/2 wire is actually two separate 18-gauge wires and they are used to transmit power from a power supply to the surveillance camera. These two combined cables let you bring power and video to your cameras by just pulling one cable. This is the type of cable that is used by most professional surveillance camera installation companies. Siamese cable has the capability to transmit power and video with less inference and voltage drop than the other two types of cables that have been previously discussed in this article. This means that the distance that you can transmit power and video through this cable is slightly higher than you can with CAT5. You can also transmit just the video signal a slightly longer distance than CAT5 if you are able to provide power to the camera from a source closer to where it has been mounted.


Hopefully this article has provided you with enough information to help you to decide which of these options will work best for your security camera system installation. There are many possible variables that can affect this decision. If you are concerned that the circumstances of your install might not have been addressed in this article, please contact our knowledgeable sales department and they will definitely be able to help you make this decision.


Security Camera Cables

Friday, March 4th, 2011

If you have a “wired” digital video system, you’ll want to make sure you have the correct security camera cables for it.  In this article we’ll take a look at the most common type of security camera cable and its connectors.

Digital video security cameras generally require two types of cable; one for video transmission of the camera to the DVR (Digital Video Recorder) and one for the power supply for the camera from a power supply source.

The most common security camera cable used today is the RG-59/U.  This is a coaxial cable designed specifically for low-power video signals.   Historically speaking, the name of the cable originates from the U.S. military.  RG-59 designated the type of cable and the “U” stood for general utility use.  However, the “RG” (which stood for “Radio, General”) component is no longer part of military standards, however the name use has remained, generally without the “/U” designation.

RG-59 security camera cable has a unique characteristic that makes it a good match for use with video transmissions.  It has the same impedance as an antenna, such as the “rabbit ears” type that was used on televisions.  This impedance of 75 ohms makes the cable a good choice for radio frequency transmissions for televisions, DVRs, and security camera video.  RG-59 is smaller than typical cable television cable, RG-6, and is therefore less obtrusive and easier to manipulate.

However, RG-59 has a tendency toward high-frequency losses over long distances (greater than RG-6 for example) but 750 feet seems to be a generally agreed upon length before significant losses appear.  These can also be corrected with drop amplifiers or active (powered) baluns to boost signals.  For most security camera systems applications, RG-59 coaxial cable works well.

The RG-59 security camera cable consists of an outer plastic sheath (the colored cover or jacket of the cable), followed by a copper braid shield (it looks like a mesh or netting of fine wire), underneath which is an inner dielectric insulator (often looks like a milky white thick plastic material somewhat like a drinking straw) that contains a copper-plated or solid copper (better performance) center wire core.

RG-59 cable is usually fitted with one of three different types of connector; F connectors (used most commonly for cable television applications), RCA plugs (often used by DVD players), and BNC connectors.  By far the most common type of security camera cable connector is the BNC.

The BNC connector provides a means of connection for both the shield and core of the cable.  The connector has “male” and “female” plug types that when inserted together and twisted properly, stay locked together.  In fact “BNC” stands for the bayonet like locking mechanism (B), and Paul Neill (N) and Carl Concelman (C) it’s inventors.

Security Camera King offers three different types of BNC connectors based on how they attach to the RG-59 cable.  Connectors are fastened to the security camera cables either by twisting on, crimping, or compression.  Twisting is the simplest and requires no additional tools once the wire is stripped and trimmed.  Crimping, when done properly, generally holds the connector to the cable better but requires the use of a crimping tool.  The best connection that provides the greatest strength is the compression BNC and it requires a compression tool.

Security cameras also require a power supply cable.  This is normally standard 18 gauge copper wire with plastic insulation.  The power for most security cameras is low voltage DC current of 12 volts or low voltage AC current of only 24 volts and this wire is suitable for carrying the power supply of either.  The power supply cable that terminates at the security camera end usually does so using either screw terminals for each wire (often for AC) or a 2.5 mm female type power plug (often for DC) with a positive center.

Security Camera King offers complete security camera systems that include security camera cables for both power and video transmission.  We offer pre-cut lengths of video and power supply cable with connectors already installed for “plug n play” use.

For applications with differing distances of cameras from the DVR, we offer bulk Siamese RG-59/18-2 cable with twist-on connectors.  This cable consists of both the RG-59 video transmission cable and the 18 gauge 2-wire power supply cable.  One cable means one run per camera saving you time and work.

There also offer other types of less common security camera cables.  Check our Web catalog for more information.


CCTV Cable Types

Sunday, September 20th, 2009

So, you have decided that you are going to install your own security camera system. Among the many choices you will have to make is the type of cable you will use to connect your cameras to the DVR. There are many options and your choice will depend on your level of proficiency running the cable, the distance you need to run the cable and the environment the cable will run in. Here is a brief run down of your cable choices:

–          Pre-Fabricated cables:

Pre-fabricated cable are the simplest form of cable because they are basically plug and play and will usually run both your power and video on one cable with the BNC connectors already installed on each end. They are available in various lengths. The most common lengths are 25’ft, 50’ft, 100’ft and 150’ft. They can also be found with power, video and audio in one cable. These cables are usually lower quality than true coax options, but are suitable for most basic installations. They are also among the least expensive options.

–          Siamese Cable:

Most professionals in the security industry will use Siamese cable. Siamese cable is actually the combination of two cables in one. It includes RG59 for video transmission and 18/2 for power. Siamese cable uses a true copper core which is more efficient for transmitting video that pre-fabricated cable. This cable is usually purchased in spools of either 500’ft or 1000’ft and is cut to the length you need. This cable also requires the installer to terminate the cable themselves using their own preferred form of BNC connectors. This option is usually acceptable for runs up to 1000’ft.

–          Combination of Coax and 18/2:

Sometimes you cannot run power and video back to a single point. In this case you can use separate runs of Coax such as RG59 or RG6 and power such as 18/2 or 18/4. This option is usually more expensive but is sometimes the only option. This option is usually acceptable for runs up to 1000’ft.

–          Cat5 or Cat6:

There are several benefits to using Cat5. Eventually the CCTV industry will migrate to an all IP solution. Network cameras do not transmit over Coax. A Cat5 or Cat6 cable would allow you to migrate to IP cameras in the future without the need for new cabling. In order to use Cat5 or Cat6 you will need to use video baluns. Baluns are available with video only, video and power, and video, power and audio. The more pairs used for transmission, the longer the distance you will get. In general, video will transmit up to 1200 feet with passive video baluns and can transmit 2000 or more feet with active baluns. Power will not run those distances, so when running further than a few hundred feet you will need to run power separately.

–          Fiber:

Fiber is typically the best option, but is the most difficult to install and by far the most expensive. The benefit of fiber is the long distances you can run which is typically miles. Fiber would require the use of expensive transmitters and receivers that convert the video signal from analog to digital and back to analog again. You cannot run power over fiber so you would need to run fiber separately.