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CCTV Power Supply and Electricity

Using the right CCTV power supply is important. Without the right power supply, cameras will not function properly. This isn’t good if one day your camera goes bad and you get robbed. You would not have any footage to back it up or prove that you got robbed. With multiple options to choose from we offer a huge variety of power supplies.

You need to figure out before you purchase a power supply how many cameras your system will be running. You also need to know how much current each camera will use. I recommend to get a bigger power supply then you need in case you want to get more cameras, or just to make sure your power is adequate.

Knowing how many cameras you want is the most important role in determining whether you need a power adapter or a power supply box. If it’s just one camera you’ll only need a 12v DC power supply, such as the one pictured below.

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1 Amp Power Supply

If you have 16 cameras then you might want a power supply box. You can mount a power distribution box on a nearby wall and plug it into a standard outlet. A power distribution box is also secure as it is a metal box and is usually locked and requires a key. They are also durable and sometimes weatherproof. A power distribution box makes it easier to manage the power for multiple cameras at a central point, which is usually near the DVR. It makes the camera installation look better and it’s easier to run cable and have it organized. Instead of having 16 power supply plugs, you can just connect all the wires into the power distribution box. All your wires that power your cameras can run easily into the power supply, instead of have wires hanging all around your DVR. The power supply plugs into a standard 110 volt wall outlet. There are 4,8,16,and 18 channel power supply boxes.

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8 Channel Power Distribution Box

With IP cameras a POE switch can be used to send power over the Ethernet cable. POE (Power over Ethernet) has made it a lot easier to power cables and have network access. By having them be powered over the samecable that delivers data it makes it a lot cleaner installation and less trouble to the installers, or yourself if you are doing your own installation. An analog camera usually requires two cables. One for video/data and one for power. With an IP camera, the video and power can run down the same cable using a POE switch. This saves time and costs.

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4 Port POE Switch

When you buy a new system and already know what power supply to buy it will save you a headache later on.

When buying a surveillance system package, the right power supply is usually included and it will be practically plug and play. If you need to get a new power supply for any reason, keep your eye out for how many cameras it could withstand and also the brand of the power supply. Also look for the UL certification to make sure it meets the highest safety standards.

When connecting wires to your power supply, make sure you have a screwdriver and wire-strippers. Also it helps to have a staple gun with rounded staples to secure any visible wire to a wall. It should only take a few minutes to install a power supply. However, if you are not very experienced with any DYI projects call your installer or a handyman to help you install it.

To avoid any problems in the future sometimes it’s a good idea to call a qualified installer. A professional. There are plenty of professional installers that will do all the dirty work for you. If you have the extra money it’s a good idea to get it done professional as they run wires correctly and make it look neat.

TIP: half an amp is 500 milliamps.

What does 12vDC and 24vAC mean? what’s the difference? Lets start with 12vDC. What does DC mean? DC stands for direct current, meaning its electrical current running through a wire is unidirectional (it only goes one way). The electrons keep cycling through one path going one way. This was made famous by Thomas Edison. He tried using it in houses and almost powered towns with it.

AC on the other hand stands for alternating current. It means electrons travel in two directions and alternate back and force. This is now used in household electricity and was made famous by Nikola tesla (The Tesla automobile was named after him). AC is what we use today. We use 60 htz, which means it alternates 60 times a second. The electricity switches direction 60 times per second. In the United states all wall outlets use AC power.

AC/DC… the band got there band’s name after there younger sister saw the initials AC/DC on a sewing machine.

What is voltage? Voltage is basically electrical pressure that runs through a wire. For example, on a battery with 1.5 volts it is safe to touch because 1.5V is too low of voltage to give you a shock. Although high voltage is dangerous like the 120V that comes out of a wall outlet. To begin to understand voltage you need to know what an electron is. A battery is designed to create the force to move electrons. Conductors (usually copper) provide a path for electrons to flow on, which is called current. A electron is a negatively charged particle that spins around the outside of an atom. Electrons are what moves through wires and make electricity work. When electrons move through a wire its called current. Electrons travel outside the negative side of a battery and are attracted to the positive side. But, never connect a wire directly from the negative side to the positive side, that will cause a short circuit. The conductor will get hot and the battery will quickly lose energy.

For more information on different power supplies, take a look at some of our CCTV power supplies.

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