IP Camera Cabling Testing Statistics

By John Honovich, Published on Aug 22, 2017

Test and certify, or crimp and pray?

Some integrators certify every cable they run, while others only inspect cables that have video issues.

130 integrators shared the level of testing they do for common cable installs, and their justifications behind their choices.

Testing Choices

As we teach in our Network Cable Testing Guide, the fundamental options are:

  • Basic tests (such as wiremap and continuity testing), most commonly done with a cable verifier (~$200-$500)
  • More extensive full certification, which requires an advanced tester, often ranging $5,000-$10,000+, and more technician training
  • No tests, plug in the camera, see that it works and move on

Statistics On Testing

The vast majority of integrators test every cable they run. However, most of them just do basic verification with only a quarter of them doing full certification on cable runs, as the chart below shows:

One out of seven did no specific proactive testing of cables.

Reasons *** ***** *******

*********** **** ***** ***** testing ** *******/****** **** doing * **** *************, but ***** ********** ******* of * *** ************ or *********** ******* ********. These *** ********* ****/**** tests, *** **** ***** exclude ****** **** ******** for ********, ** ********* issues.

**** *********** **** **** overall ******* ** ********** and *** ******* ***** do *** ******* **** extensive *******:

  • "** ******* * ***** wire ***/********** **** **** gives ** *** *** customer * ******** ** any ********* *** ***** about *** ************ ** the ***** *** ******'* we *** *** ** the **** ****."
  • "** ****** ***** *** do * ***** ****/********** test. ** *** ***** also ***** * ***** certifier ** ***** *** additional ******. *** ** rarely ** * **** certify ** ***** *****. We ********* *** **** right, **** **** ** least * *** ****** from *** ***** ******. So ** **** ** we *** *** **** on ***** ** ***'* have ****** **** **** one ** **** **** couldn't ** ******** **** a ********** ******."
  • "**** ********** ******* ** asks *** *********"
  • "********** ***** *** **** of *** * *****. Our ******* ************ ** just * *** ******* home-runned ** **'** *** shipping **** ******* ** bandwidth ** *** *** cable."
  • "***** **** ***/********** ****. Satisfies ******** *** **** small ****. ****** **** require **** *************."
  • "******** ***** ************* *** generally ****** **** *** Ideal *** ** *** for **********/*******. **** ****** us ** ******* ****** wire *********** *** ******** to ****/***** ** ***** is * *******. ** long ** ** *** maintaining **** **** **** and ******* **** ***, we ***** **% ** potential ****** *** ** wiring *** *** ********."
  • "***** **** *** **********, I've **** ***** *** certification *** * **** them **** ****'* **** the ****** *****. ** tester *** £*** **** 24 *********** **** *** its ***** *** ****** a ******** *****."
  • "** ** ********** ***** unless *** *** **** requires **** *************. * continuity **** ** ********** for ** ****** ******** to ****** ***** *** no ************ ******* ** the *****."
  • "***** *******/**********. ** ***'* need ** ** * certification ** *** *****... if *** ******* **** then ** *** ****."
  • "***** *******/********** ****. * just ***'* **** *** time ** ** **** certifications ** ***** ****. I **** **** **** 1% ******* ** *** thousands ** ***** **** I've ***. ****, ** not *** **** ****** re-termination ** *** ***."
  • "***** ******* **** ********** test. ** *** ** benefit ** *** ****** nor *** **** ******** to ******* * ***** certified ******* *** ****** installations. *** ******** *** dedicated *** *******- ******* else."
  • "** ****** ** ***** wiremap ** *** ******* tests. ** **** *** Cable ****** ******* ** ensure ***** **** *** no ****** **** **** as ** *** *** on *** ********."
  • "***** **********. ******* ****** cable *********** *** *** (almost ****) ******, ** we ******* ** ***** certification"
  • "***** **** *** *** cameras ** ***** ** little ********** ******** ******** to **** ******** **** networks."

Reasons *** **** *************

***** * **** ************* test ** **** **** consuming (*** ********* ******), but **** **** ********* issues **** ***** ***** problems **** ******* ********** from ********* ** ********* loss **** * **** quality, *** **********, *********** on *** ***.

*********** ******** ** *** integrity ** *** ************, or **** ****** ***************, was * ****** ****** for *********** ***** * full ***** *************:

  • "**** *************. ** **** the ***** *** ***** are ********* ******** *** if ***** *** ****** we *** ***** ** the ******* ** ********."
  • "**** *************. ******* ****** be * ***-**** ********* infrastructure *** **** ********* properly ****** ****** ****** problems. ************* ** * vital **** ** ****. i ******** ** ** amazed ** *** **********, garbage ******* **** * see **** *** *** guarantees ********* ***** ** completely *********** ***************"
  • ** ******* * **** certification *** **** **** cable **** * ***** tester.
  • ** ** ** ** ourselves, ** ** ***** continuity *******. **** ** work **** ** ********** contractor ** ***** *********, we ******* **** **** do * **** *************, and ** ***** **** in ** * ******* of *** *************.
  • **** *************, ******** ** Tyco
  • "**** ************* **** ***** Tester. ** *** ******** can *** ***** *** cabling."
  • "**** ************* ** ****** no ****** *****"
  • "**** **** ***** ***-**** to ***** **** ******* is *** *** ******* if ***** ***** ***** install *** ** ******* issue"
  • "**** ************* ** **** as ********. ** ******** the ******* ***** ** certainty **** *** ***** plant ***'* ***** * problem."
  • "**** ****. ** ** charge *** **** ** $3.50 *** *****. ****** us ** ** ***** for ***** (*** *******)"
  • "** ** **** ************* with *** ***** ******. We **** *** ******* results ** *** ******** to **** **** *** cables **** ******* ** the **** ** ************ and ** ***** ********* should ********* ****** ***** we ***** * *******."

 ********-******* ******* **** **** common **** *********** ******* full **************:

  • "** * ******** ** asking *** * **** 25-year ********, ** **** to ** * **** certification ****. ********* ***** testing ** ****."
  • "******* ** ** **** certification ** ***** ** provide ****-**** ******** ** cabling."
  • "** ***** ******* *** installs. ** ** ********* for ************ ********* **********."
  • "******** ******, ** **** need **** ******* **'** certify *** *****. ********* certification ** ******** *** warranty."
  • "**** ************* ** *** network *** ***** ******. This ***** *** ******** a ******** *** **** they **** **** ***."

** ***** *****, **** certifications *** **** ***** on ******** ************:

  • "**** ************* - **** customers **** **** *** pay *** **** - but ** ***, **** we **** ** * continuity ****."
  • "**** *************, ** *** a **** * ******* integrator ** *** ******. That's *** *********** *** most *****, *** *********** for *** ********** ***** networks ** **."
  • "**** *************. ******** ********* driven, *******, *********, ************."

Reasons *** ** *******

* ****** ** *********** test **** ****** **** exhibit ******** **** ********* is *********. **** ******** can **** ****/*****, ************ on ******* **** ***** margins ***** ** *******.

  • "**** ** *** ***** initially. ********** ******* ***** if ***** *** ********."
  • "****. *** ****** *** terminations *** ****** **** they *** **** *** problems *** ******** ****."
  • "**** ****** ****** ******."
  • "*** ******* ********** ********...****"
  • "******* ** *** **** of *** *******. ** it ** *****, ** typically ***'* ** *** testing. ** **** **** if *** ******* ** speced *** ** ** if *** ******** ***** for **."
  • "** ******* ** ** continuity ******* ** ** have * ******* *****. We **** **** ******* issues *** **** ******* by ********* **** ********* up *****."
  • "** **** ********** - none. ** ********* ***'* bid **** ***** ****** standards ** ******* *** required."
  • "* ****** **-******, ***** cables ** ****** ** each ***. ***** ********* is ** *** ** will ******* *** *** issues ***** *** ****."
  • "****- **** *** *** is **, *** ***** you ***** **** **** in ******** *** *****. Of ****** ** **** ample ** **********. ****** the *** ***** ** come **, **** ** measure *** *****. **** rare ***** ** ********."

Testing ******** ***** ************* **. ********** ***** *************

********* **** ********** ** installing ********** ******* ********* never **** ***** * full ************* ** *** installs, ** ** *** very *****, ***** ****** the ***** *******/********** ************. The ***** ************ ** the ******* **** *** billing ***, *** **** of ***** ****** **** be ****** **** *** installation ** *********, **** as ** ***** ******** or *******. *** ********, and *** *********, **** assurance **** *** ***** can ****** *** *** sufficiently, *** * ************* test ****** *** ***** will ** **** ** meet *** ****** *** within *** *************.

******** ********* **** ** install ****** **** ****/***** needed, *** *** ******* is ***** ** **** of *******, **** ** for * *** ** camera. ** *** ****** powers ** *** ******* video ******* *****, **** the ***** ** **********, even ** ** *** not ** ********* ** spec. *** **** ******, reduced *******, ** ******** formal ******* ** **** common *** ************* ** category ***** ********* ** security *** **. ******* purpose ***.

Comments (8)

Do integrators charge for cable certification? and if they do what is the charge?

No specific  charge.  We will factor in increased cost if it is requested as part of the quote/RFP.  How much depends on the number of drops.  

 

Can you ballpark it? Are you charging $5 per drop? 10? 50? 100?

UI1 - one of the respondents mentioned their price:

"Full cert. We do charge for this at $3.50 per cable. Clears us of go backs for cable (not working)"

Let me know if that helps.

Thanks John!

That's a very reasonable price.

It isn't something that comes up often so we don't have a flat fee or rate for it.  Maybe 2-4 times a year.  But labor wise for quotes we would normally factor in an extra 15 min per drop.  But that could scale down to 5 minutes per drop depending on the job.

Price would also depend on if you have an actual certifier onhand or not.  Factor in some cost for the purchase or rental of one. 

Cable certification should be an absolute in any install for critical cameras. Video is a higher bandwidth application and utilizes POE most of the time which affects the cables performance.

Hi

 

I am yet to see a camera doing 50 mb/s on H.264... Most of the time most cameras perhaps, save for Ultra-MP cameras 20 MP and higer are loafing around 5 to 10 Mb/s ...  IN our customers environment from Offices to school yard and even convention centers with up to 5 MP cameras, we have rarely seen 20 Mb/s .. In our books those are not the speed of a High bandwidth application. As for PoE unless we are using some PTZ we are yet to see 30 watts on a camera .. we have found <10 watts to be the norm ... 

All those are within the specs of Cat5e ... in fact you could muster these on a Cat 3 cable!! 802.3 af does support Cat 3 IOW ....thus you can go up to 12 watts and up to 100 Mb/s on Cat 3... 

I am not trying to preach for shoddy cabling and practices ... Simply that a properly installed Cat 5e cable plant is sufficient for most installs. Even higher end installs such as >10 MP and 30 fps is easily handled by Cat 5.. let alone Cat 6...

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