New Audio Surveillance Device Eliminates 3 Cables (Louroe)By Ethan Ace, Published Sep 16, 2014, 12:00am EDT
Adding audio to IP surveillance systems can be a pain, often requiring a completely separate set of devices with their own cabling scheme and power supplies, incompatible with the single UTP usually run for cameras.
In this note we take a look at what this box does and how it may simplify audio installations.
The IF-PX is a small (6"x3") surface mount device located near the camera with these key functions:
- PoE power extraction: Using only a single cable, the IF-PX provides 12VDC power to devices such as microphones and speakers, and passes PoE through to the camera or encoder, as well. This eliminates the need for separate UTP cables for microphone and speaker power and signal usually required.
- Microphone preamp: The IF-PX accepts input from typical line level microphones via terminal block or 2.5mm input jack, and includes a built-in preamp with gain control. This allows fine grain control over mic levels, which many IP cameras do not provide.
- Audio interface: Four-wire interface to Louroe's speakers and microphones is provided, which normally requires connection to a 12VDC powered interface, adding another separate cable run.
Street price of the IF-PX is about $260 USD, based on dealer price. This is more than twice the price of Louroe's conventional IF-1 audio interface (~$100 online).
However, this device can eliminate three separate cables normally required: a shielded twisted pair for the microphone and two UTP cables for the speaker and power. The savings in materials, installation labor, and simpler troubleshooting may be attractive to many integrators, despite the higher interface cost, especially considering the limited audio installation experience of most integrators.
Few, if any devices similar to the IF-PX exist. The Axis P8221 Network I/O audio module (~$350 online) provides audio interface over PoE with inputs for mic or line level microphones including phantom power, as well as a 4-ohm speaker output. However, it does not provide 12VDC power, which many mics and speakers intended for surveillance require. Additionally, it requires a separate cable run, as it does not pass through power.
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