Wires for Burglar Alarms

By: Ari Erenthal, Published on Jan 26, 2017

Most commercial and many higher end residential alarm systems rely on wired sensors. These require installers to run wires between the sensor and a control panel. In the following tutorial, we examine wire selection criteria, including

  • Resistance
  • Material
  • Gauge
  • Insulators
  • Ratings

**** ********** *** **** higher *** *********** ***** systems **** ** ***** sensors. ***** ******* ********** to *** ***** ******* the ****** *** * control *****. ** *** following ********, ** ******* wire ********* ********, *********

  • **********
  • ********
  • *****
  • **********
  • *******

[***************]

***********

*** ***** ******** ***** to ********,****, ***************************, ****** **** ***** to ********* ******:

  • * ********* ** * substance ******* ***** *********** passes, ********* ******* *** metal *** **** ** made **
  • * **** ** * conductor **** ** *****, typically ******, ****** ********* aluminum, *** ******** **** a ****** (********** ***** are ********* **** **** in ********** ************)
  • * ***** ** * set ** ***** ***** together ***** * ****** jacket

****** *** ***** ******** to ** ***** ***** (14 ***, ** ***, 22 ***, ***.) *** number ** ********** (***** a *****), **** ** 18/4, **/*, ***.

***** ******* ***** * Pair ** *****

*** ******* **** *** circuits ** ****** ** this: ****** *** ***** are, *** ******** **** and *** ******** ****. No ****, *** ** less.

* ******* ** *** path *********** ***** ******* the ******** ******** ** the ***** *****, *** to *** ****, ***** is *** ******, *** back ** *** ***** panel, ****** * *** circle. *********, ***** ******* requires *** *****, *** to ***** *** ******** side ** *** ******* from *** ***** *** to *** ******, *** another ** ***** *** negative **** ** *** circuit **** ** **** the ****** ** *** alarm *****.

**** ******* ******* ******** circuits, *** ********* ******* multiple ***** ** *****. For *******, * ******* PIR ********, *** **** for *** ********* ******* and ******* **** ** power *** ******. ** you **** ** ******* the ****** ****** ** the ***** ***** * trouble ****** ** ******* pulls *** *** *** the **** ** ***** the *****, **** **** require * ***** **** of *****.

*********, *** ****** ** wires *** **** **** be ******** ** *** number ** ******** *** need ** ***** ** the ****.

**********

********** ** * *** metric *** ***** ******* and ***** *** * key *********** ** ********** levels.********** ** ******** **** slows *** **** ** electricity. ** ******* **** using **** (****** Ω).

***** ****** ******* *** resistance ** *** ******* be ***** **** * specific ******, ***** ******* from ************ ** ************. If *** ********** ** too ****, *** ***** will **** ** **** zone *** **** ****. Therefore, *** **** **** the ********** ** *** as ******** **** ****** the *******.

*** ********** ** * particular **** ** ******** by:

  • **** ******: *** ****** the **** **, *** higher ********** ** **** have
  • **** *********: ****** ***** wires (*.*., ** ***) will **** ****** ********** over *** **** ******** than ***** ***** ***** (e.g., ** ***)
  • ********* ********: *** *******, copper *** ***** ********** than ********
  • *******: ***** ****** **** resistance
  • ***********: ***** ******* *** connection **** **********

**** ******* * ****, installers ****** ** ********** they *** ** ******** the **********. * **** wire *** **** **** of *********** *** ******* is **** ****** ** cause ***** ****** **** a ***** **** *** with * ******* ****** of ******* **.

********

***** *** ***** ********* commonly **** *** ***** wires:

  • ******
  • ****** **** ********
  • ********

****** ** *** **** commonly ****, *** **** conductor ** *********** (*** therefore *** ***** **********) of *** ***** ****** above, ** ******** *** installing *** *** ****** be ********. *** **** negative ** ****** **** compared ** **** ********* copper **** ******** *** aluminum ******. ************, ****** cables **** ************** ****** ** *********** *********** ****** ** ****.

****: **** ********** **** copper ****** ** ****, not **** *********/**** ********* copper **** ** ******** cables ********* *****.

****** **** ******** (***) wires *** ** *********** whose ******* ******* ** lower **** ******** ** just ******. *******, *** is **** **% ** efficient ** ****** *** therefore ********* ********** ** alarm ********. *** ********* video ******** *** **********:

******** ***** ** **** less ********* **** **** copper *** ***, **** it ** ***********. *******, because ** ** **** efficient **** ****** *** CCA, ** ** **** less ******** ****. ***** applications ***** ******** ** sometimes **** ******** ****** wires *** ***** ***, super *** **** ************.

*****

*** *****, ** **** diameter, ** ***** ***** most ******** **** *******:

  • ** *** (*******)
  • ** ***
  • ** *** (*******)

***** *** ************ **** not ******* * ******** wire ********, *** ********** Security *********** ********** **** detection ******** *** * minimum ** ** *** wires *** **** ***** circuits *** * ******* of ** *** *****.

*** ***** *** ******** the **** **, *** lower *** ********** ** has ******** ** * thinner **** ** ******* length.

**** ******** ** ******** according ** *********** **** ***** (***)********. *** ****** *** number, *** ******* *** wire **. ** ** example, ***** **** ** usually ** ***, *** has * ********** ** ~25Ω *** **** ****. ** *** ** commonly **** *** ***** circuits **** ** **** contacts, *** *** * resistance ** ~*Ω *** **** ****. The ***** ***** ***** the ******** **** ** different ****:

Solid ** ******** **********

***** ***** *** ** solid, **** ********** ********** of * ****** ****, or ********, **** **** thin **** ******* ******* in * ****** ******. Stranded ***** *** **** flexible, ****** **** ****** to ***, *** *** sustain **** **** ****** without ********. ***** ***** are ****** ** *********. Detection ******** *** ****** to **** **** ******** wires, ** **** *** easier ** ******. ************* circuits, ***** ***** *** miniature ***** *********, *** easier ** **** **** solid *****.

**********

********** ******** ***** *****. An*********** * ******** **** prevents *** **** ** electrons. *** ******* ** an ********* ** ** prevent * **** **** coming **** ******* **** another **** *** ** protect *** **** **** corrosion ****** ** ******* conditions. ****** **** ********** are * ****** ***** for ***** ************, *** can ** ***** ********* to ******** *** ****. When ******* ***** ** very **** *******, *** attention ** *** ************ temperature (** ******* ** the ********* ***********) ****** provided ** *** ************. If *** ********** ******* is ****** **** *** installation ***********, ***** *** wire ****** ** * heated **** *** ***** before *** ************.

*** **** ****** ********** are:

  • ***
  • ***
  • ****** *** ***** **************

*** ** * ***** common *** **** ********* insulator, *** *** ****** brittle ** *** ************, so **** **** ** taken **** ******* *** coated ***** ** **********.

*** ***** *** ******** more ********* **** *** wires, *** ***** **** protection **** ********** *** are ******* ***** *** lower ************.

****** ***** *** ********* more ********* **** *** and ***, *** *** extremely ***** *** **** well ** **** *** and **** ************.

**** ***** *** ***** for***** ** *******************, ***** ******* ******* a **** ********* ******** that ** ***-***** *** does *** ***** ****** when ******, ****** *** other ********** ******** *****.

*********

**** ***** ****** *** shielded. *********, **** ****** is **** ******* *** wires *** *** ***** cable ******. **** ******** wires **** ******* ** uninsulated ******** **** ******** to ** **** ** a ******. ******** ***** should ** **** ******** where ** ************ ** a *******. *** *******, unshielded ***** ********* ** a ***** ******* *** pick ** ** ************ and ********* **** ** noise ** ******. ** interference *** ********* **** keypad ** **** ******** data. ** ************ *** cause ******** ***** ****** to *****. ***** ******** wires ** ***** ******* can **** ******* ******* signals *** ******* *****.

Fire ********** *******

* ******* *** ******** used ** ***** *****:

  • ******
  • *****
  • ***/***

*** ********* **** ****** is ******, ** ***. The ***** ** * building **** *** *********** air ** ************ *****.*** *******, *** *** between *** ********** ******* and *** **** ******* is ***** ********** ****** space. ** *** **, the *** ********* **** wires *** ** **** space **** ******* ************ for **** ********** (** that *** **** **** not **** ****** *** fire ******* *** ****** space) *** ******** (** that * ******* **** jacket **** *** **** off ***** ***** ** it **** ****** ** catch ****.

***** ***** ** *****, or ***, *** ******** to ** *** **** floor ** ***** ** non-plenum *****, *** **** less ********* **** ********** and ******** *********.

***/*** (***** * *** class *) *** *** general ******* / "** wall" ***, ******** *** lowest ***** ** **** resistance. **** ** *** typical ****** **** **** fire ************** *** *** a *******. ***** ***** is * ***** ********* difference ******* *** *** CL3, ** ******** **** are **** *************** *** cabling ** ********* ***** / ******* *** **** CL2 *** ***.

Common **** *****

*** **** ****** **** types, ** ***** ** common *** ** ***** systems ***:

  • ********, **********, ** ***, 2 ********* ****
  • ** *** * ********* wire (****)
  • ******** ** *** * conductor ****

********, **********, ** ***, 2 ********* ** *** wire **** ******** **** for ********* ******** **** as ******** ********. **** wire *** ** ****** zip (****, **** *** two ***** ***** ********) or ***** (*****, **** the *** ***** ******* together). ***** ** ** performance ********** ******* *** or *****. *** ******** to *** ****** ** simply ******** **********.

** *** * ********* wire (******** ***** ******)** **** ** ******* devices ********* *** ********, such ** **** ** glass ***** *********, ** communication ******** **** ** the ********* *********.

******** ** *** * conductor **** ** ********* used *** ************ ******* like ****** *** ******* circuits **** ** ******* and **** *********.

****** ********* ** *** device ************, ***** ***** wires (**** ** ***) is *** ******* ***********, as ***** ********** *** too **** *** **** alarm *******.

Comments (3)

The wider the diameter the wire is, the lower the resistance it has compared to a thinner wire of similar length.

I think it must be higher the resistance instead of lower the resistance

No, the quote is correct in the article. A larger gauge conductor, say 100' of 18 Ga is going to have less resistance than 100' of 22 Ga. The large conductor can also support more current as a result.

Here is a simple calculator. There are also charts available online that are useful when determining voltage drop for a given length of cable in a circuit.

I would like to see some discussion on shield grounding, intermittent shields and when you should not use shielding. My experience is that many technicians don't understand the need for, or the correct grounding practice. Strange system anomalies can happen when stray EMF visits our cable plant!

While you are at it, how about a discussion on surge suppressors?

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