Comprehensive Surveillance Cabling GuideAuthor: Brian Rhodes, Published on Dec 17, 2014
Surveillance cabling seems mundane, yet is a critical topic. A system with the best equipment can still be a failure if the network connecting it is shoddy or not properly installed, while carefully designed and installed cable can potentially be used for decades.
In this guide, we assemble important IPVM cable posts in one spot as a reference for designers, installers, and specifiers to brush up on guidelines for successful security networks.
Understanding the Options
When it comes to networking cameras, Category 5/5e cabling is tops. However, these requirements are often misstated, misunderstood, and clouded in confusing terminology. The selections below describe the differences between common ethernet cable grades, how they are terminated, and the difference in how they are shielded:
- Cat 5e vs. Cat 6 for IP Cameras?
- UTP Cable Termination for Cameras
- STP vs UTP for Surveillance
- Estimating IP Camera Cabling Costs
Architectural Design Impacts
Of the hundreds of ways to cable cameras, the building itself often further dictates which type of cable to use. Failure to observe the areas where cable is run can create serious hazards, result in performance issues, or drive needless costs:
- Riser vs Plenum Cabling Explained
- Conduit for Surveillance Explained
- Cabling Through Firewalls
- Rodent Proof Cabling
Running cable right is important to prevent costly troubleshooting and inflating the risk of damage. Whether running cable through walls, under ground, and then checking them to ensure nothing was damaged in the process, the updates below cover cable install basics:
- Cabling Best Practices Guide
- Cable Labelling Best Practices
- Cable Trenching for Surveillance
- Testing Ethernet Cables
Using What's Already Installed
In many cases, older surveillance systems are already installed. Making use of existing cabling is a potential cost saver for network cameras, even if it is 'analog' coax or simple UTP:
Long Distance Challenges
Not all cameras can be connected to a switch less than 300 feet away. Many IP cameras need to be run hundreds, even thousands of meters away from the nearest network closet. Whether it is hanging cameras in a large building or throughout a huge parking lot, cabling requirements change over long distances:
- Long IP Camera Run Options: Fiber, PoE Extenders and EoC Examined
- Powering Cameras over Long Distance
- Surveillance Cameras on Light Poles Tutorial
Finally, for situations dealing with extreme distances measuring kM or miles, or where high-bandwidth capacity backbones are needed, glass fiber is required. While the average surveillance installer may be intimidated by the particulars of fiber optics, many products are available to make it easier to design and installer glass fiber networks:
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