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 selection ********, *********

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

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

***********

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

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

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

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

*** ******* **** *** circuits in ****** ** ****: always *** ***** ***, the ******** **** *** the ******** ****. ** more, *** ** ****. 

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

**** ******* ******* ******** ********, and ********* ******* ******** pairs ** *****. *** example, * ******* *** requires, *** **** *** the ********* ******* *** another **** ** ***** the ******. ** *** want ** ******* *** tamper ****** ** *** alarm ***** * ******* signal ** ******* ***** the *** *** *** wall ** ***** *** cover, **** **** ******* a ***** **** ** wires.

*********, *** ****** ** wires you **** **** ** dictated ** *** ****** of ******** *** **** ** carry ** *** ****. 

**********

********** ** * *** metric *** ***** ******* and ***** *** * *** contributor ** ********** ******. ********** ** ******** **** slows *** **** ** electricity. ** ******* **** using **** (****** Ω).

***** ****** ******* *** resistance ** *** ******* be ***** **** * ******** number, ***** ******* **** manufacturer ** ************. ** the ********** ** *** high, *** ***** **** show ** **** **** and **** ****. *********, you **** **** *** resistance ** *** ** possible **** ****** *** circuit. 

*** ********** ** * particular **** ** ******** **:

  • **** ******: *** ****** the **** **, *** ****** resistance ** **** ****
  • **** *********: ****** ***** ***** (*.*., ** AWG) **** **** ****** resistance **** *** **** distance **** ***** ***** wires (e.g., ** ***)
  • ********* ********: *** *******, ****** has ***** ********** **** ********
  • *******: ***** ****** **** resistance 
  • ***********: ***** ******* *** connection **** **********

**** ******* * ****, installers ****** ** ********** they *** ** ******** the resistance. * **** **** *** with **** ** *********** and ******* ** **** likely ** ***** ***** alarms **** * ***** wire run **** * ******* amount ** ******* **. 

********

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

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

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

****: **** ********** **** ****** cables ** ****, *** less *********/**** ********* ****** clad ** ******** ****** described *****.

****** **** ******** (***) wires are ** *********** ***** primary ******* ** ***** cost ******** ** **** copper. *******, *** ** only **% ** ********* as ****** *** ********* increases ********** ** ***** circuits. *** ********* ***** explains *** **********:

******** ***** ** **** **** expensive **** **** ****** and ***, **** ** is ***********. *******, ******* it ** **** ********* than ****** *** ***, it ** **** **** commonly ****. ***** ************ where ******** ** ********* used ******** ****** ***** *** short ***, ***** *** cost ************.

*****

*** *****, ** **** diameter, ** ***** ***** **** commonly **** *******:

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

***** *** ************ **** not ******* * ******** wire ********, *** ********** Security *********** ********** **** detection ******** *** * minimum ** ** *** wires and **** ***** ******** use * ******* ** 18 *** *****.

*** ***** *** ******** the **** **, *** ***** the ********** ** *** compared ** * ******* wire of ******* ******.

**** ******** ** ******** ********* to *********** **** ***** (***)********. *** ****** *** number, *** ******* *** wire is. ** ** *******, Cat5e **** ** ******* ** AWG, *** *** * resistance ** ~**Ω *** **** ****. ** *** ** commonly **** *** ***** circuits **** ** **** contacts, *** *** * resistance ** ~*Ω *** **** ****. The ***** ***** ***** the ******** **** ** different ****:

Solid ** ******** **********

***** ***** *** ** *****, with ********** ********** ** a ****** ****, ** stranded, **** **** **** wire ******* ******* ** a ****** ******. ******** wires are **** ********, ****** them ****** ** ***, and *** ******* **** more ****** ******* ********. Solid ***** *** ****** ** terminate. ********* ******** *** easier ** **** **** stranded *****, ** **** are ****** ** ******. Communication ********, ***** ***** use ********* ***** *********, are ****** ** **** with ***** *****. 

**********

********** ******** ***** *****. An*********** * ******** **** prevents *** **** ** electrons. *** ******* ** an ********* ** ** prevent * **** **** ****** into ******* **** ******* wire and ** ******* *** wire from ********* ****** ** weather **********. ****** **** ********** are * ****** ***** for ***** ************, *** can ** ***** ********* to ******** *** ****. **** running ***** ** **** **** weather, *** ********* ** the ************ *********** (** opposed ** *** ********* temperature) ****** ******** ** the ************. ** *** forecasted ******* ** ****** than *** ************ ***********, store the **** ****** ** * ****** room *** ***** ****** the ************. 

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

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

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

*** ***** *** ******** **** expensive **** *** *****, but ***** **** ********** from ********** *** *** usually ***** *** ***** temperatures. 

****** ***** *** ********* **** expensive **** *** *** CPE, *** *** ********* tough *** **** **** at **** *** *** high ************. 

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

*********

**** ***** ****** *** ********. Typically, **** ****** ** foil ******* *** ***** *** the ***** ***** ******. Some ******** ***** **** ******* an *********** ******** **** ******** to ** **** ** a ******. ******** ***** ****** be **** ******** ***** RF ************ ** * concern. *** *******, ********** wires connected ** * ***** speaker *** **** ** RF ************ *** ********* that ** ***** ** static. ** ************ *** interfere **** ****** ** zone ******** ****. ** interference *** ***** ******** glass ****** ** *****. Using ******** ***** ** ***** devices *** **** ******* trouble ******* *** ******* calls.

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

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

  • ******
  • *****
  • ***/*** 

*** ********* **** ****** is ******, ** ***. The ***** ** * building **** *** *********** air ** ****** ****** *****. *** *******, *** *** between *** ********** ******* and *** **** ******* is ***** ********** ****** space. ** *** **, the *** ********* **** wires run ** **** ***** meet ******* ************ *** fire ********** (** **** the **** **** *** **** ****** the **** ******* *** plenum *****) *** ******** (so **** * ******* wire jacket **** *** **** off ***** ***** ** it **** ****** ** catch ****.

***** ***** ** *****, ** CMR, *** ******** ** be *** **** ***** to ***** ** ***-****** space, *** **** **** stringent **** ********** *** toxicity *********. 

***/*** (***** * *** class *) *** *** general ******* / "** wall" ***, ******** *** lowest ***** ** **** resistance. This ** *** ******* rating **** **** **** considerations *** *** * concern. ***** ***** ** a ***** ********* ********** between *** *** ***, in ******** **** *** used *************** *** ******* is ********* ***** / labeled *** **** *** and ***.

Common **** *****

*** **** ****** **** *****, in ***** ** ****** use ** ***** ******* are:

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

********, **********, ** ***, 2 ********* ** *** wire most ******** **** *** detection ******** **** ** magnetic ********. **** **** *** be ****** *** (****, with *** *** ***** ***** together) ** ***** (*****, with *** *** ***** ******* together). ***** ** ** performance ********** ******* *** or *****. *** ******** to *** ****** ** simply ******** **********.

** *** * ********* wire (commonly ***** ** ****) ** **** ** ******* ******* requiring *** ********, **** as **** ** ***** break *********, ** ************* circuits **** ** *** telephone *********.

******** ** *** * conductor **** ** ********* **** for ************ ******* **** sirens *** ******* ******** **** as ******* *** **** expanders.

****** ********* ** *** device ************, ***** ***** wires (with ** ***) ** *** usually ***********, ** ***** conductors *** *** **** for **** ***** *******. 

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?

Login to read this IPVM report.
Why do I need to log in?
IPVM conducts unique testing and research funded by member's payments enabling us to offer the most independent, accurate and in-depth information.

Related Reports

Installation Course - Register Now on Aug 15, 2019
Register Now for the September 2019 Video Surveillance Install Course. This is a unique installation course in a market where little practical...
Milestone "GDPR-ready" Certification Claim Critiqued on Aug 12, 2019
Milestone is touting that its latest XProtect VMS is "GDPR-ready" with a 'European Privacy Seal'. However, our investigation raises significant...
Avigilon Blue VSaaS Tested on Aug 05, 2019
Avigilon says Blue is a "powerful integrator cloud service platform", easy to set up and configure, quickly scale business, by leveraging cloud...
Hikvision 4K Camera Shootout on Aug 02, 2019
With their latest Smart Series 5 cameras, Hikvision is claiming cameras "fully loaded" with "state-of-the-art technology for high performance and...
Responsibility Split Selecting Locks - Statistics on Jul 22, 2019
A heated access debate surrounds who should pick and install the locks. While responsible for selecting the control systems, integrators often...
Hikvision ColorVu Camera Tested on Jun 24, 2019
Hikvision says their new ColorVu line captures "vivid chromatic images in darkness", with unconventional white light illuminations whereas most...
Risk of Amazon Alexa Guard: No Battery Or Cell Backup on Jun 20, 2019
Amazon positions its Alexa Guard Service as a "smart home security system" and says it can help you "keep your home safe". However, the...
ADT Eliminating Acquired Brands, Unifying Under 'Commercial' Brand on Jun 14, 2019
ADT is eliminating the brands of the many integrators it has acquired over the past few years, including Red Hawk, Aronson Security Group (ASG),...
Dumber Techs, Bad Box Movers, Says Australian Distributor on Jun 10, 2019
Techs today are "dumber" than they used to be, despite better education and training and that makes a typical day "frustrating" for one...
"New" Arecont Fixes Failures "Without A Fight" on Jun 05, 2019
The "old" Arecont was infamous not only for its camera failures but for making their "partners" fight to get them fixed. IPVM drew the ire of...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Uniview Beats Intel In Trademark Lawsuit on Aug 19, 2019
Uniview has won a long-running trademark lawsuit brought by Intel, with Beijing's highest court reversing an earlier Intel win, centered on...
Suprema Biometric Mass Leak Examined on Aug 19, 2019
While Suprema is rarely discussed even within the physical security market, the South Korean biometrics manufacturer made global news this past...
Verkada People And Face Analytics Tested on Aug 16, 2019
This week, Verkada released "People Analytics", including face analytics that they describe is a "game-changing feature" that "pushes the...
Dahua OEM Directory 2019 on Aug 16, 2019
US Government banned Dahua OEMs for dozens of companies. The following directory includes 40+ of those companies with a graphic and links to...
Installation Course - Register Now on Aug 15, 2019
Register Now for the September 2019 Video Surveillance Install Course. This is a unique installation course in a market where little practical...
Axis Suffers Outage, Provides Postmortem on Aug 15, 2019
This week, Axis suffered an outage impacting their website and cloud services. Inside this note, we examined what happened, what was impacted...
Hikvision Scrutinized In The Netherlands on Aug 15, 2019
Hikvision is facing unprecedented scrutiny in the Netherlands, at the same time the US government ban has taken effect. This week, a Dutch...
Axis 4K Camera Shootout 2019 on Aug 14, 2019
Axis' 4K Q3518-LVE claims the "best video quality possible", with Lightfinder super low light performance, Axis' high end Forensic WDR, and...
CheckMySystems Company Profile on Aug 14, 2019
CheckMySystems says that too many users respond, "I get an email when something is wrong" when talking about their video system maintenance plan,...
Hikvision OEM Directory on Aug 13, 2019
The Chinese government-owned and US-government banned Hikvision has become the world's largest video surveillance manufacturer and generally hidden...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact