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?

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