Network Cabling for Video Surveillance

By IPVM Team, Published Jan 15, 2020, 10:06am EST (Info+)

In this guide, we explain the fundamentals of network cabling for video surveillance networks, how they should be installed, and the differences in testing them for production networks.

IPVM Image

Specifically, we examine:

  • Network Cabling Defined
  • Network Cable Construction
  • Category Ratings
  • Most Surveillance Cables Cat 5e/6
  • Cat 7 And 8
  • Shielded Twisted Pair Vs. Unshielded Twisted Pair
  • Where Should STP Be Used?
  • Solid Copper Vs. Copper Clad Aluminum
  • Cable Ratings: Plenum Vs. Riser Vs. General
  • Installation Standards
  • Cable Testing Basics
  • What Cable Tester Should Integrators Use?
  • Cable Installation Best Practices
  • Labeling Is Key'
  • Documenting Cable Locations
  • Securing Cables Above Ceilings
  • Cable Jacket Colors
  • No Excessive Service Loops

Network ******* *******

"******* *****" ** **** ***** **** to ***** ** *********** ********* ******, e.g., * ***** **** * ******* closet ** * ******. **** ** referred ** ** * "********* ****", also ***** ** ********** ** ********** cabling. ******* ******* **** ******** ***** cables **** ** ******* ******* ** jacks ** ***** ****** ** ******** or ****.

** ************, *** **** ****** ********* link ** ******* * ***** ***** and ******, ***** *****.

IPVM Image

***** *** **** ***** ********** ** permanent **** ********* ** ***** ******* are ** ***. ** ***** **** in *** ******:********** ******* *** ***** ************ *****.

Network ***** ************

*** **** ******** **** ***** ** surveillance ** ***, ***** ****** ************************, ********* ******** * (********* *****). A *** ***** ******** ** * individual ********** ** * ******* *****, surrounded ** ** ******* ****** **** of *** ** ***** *******. **** pairs *** ***** ***** *** ************** in **** ******: ****, ******, *****, and *****. **** **** ******** * solid ******* ****, *.*., ****, *** a ******* ****, *.*. "*****-****".

*** ***** ***** ***** * ******* Cat * ***** ******* ***** **********:

IPVM Image

****** ********* **** ******* * ****** used ** ***** *** ****** *** to *** ******** ** *** ***** when *******. **** ****** **** ******* a ********* ***** ******* *** **** pairs ** * ******* ******* ** reduce *** **** *** ***** ******* when ******.

Category *******

******* ****** *** ***** **** ******* "categories" ********* ** ***** ************ (*********** rated ** ***). ***** ******* *** defined *****/*** *****, ***** ****** ****** **** ******** 1 ******* ******** *, ** **** as ******* ***** ** *****-***** *****. Many ** ***** ********** *** ** longer ** *** *****, *** ********** may ***** *** **** ** *** field.

**** ****** *** *, *** ** Diminishing ***

IPVM Image

******* ****** ********** ** *** ** surveillance *** * **** **, ** ******** * *** **** deprecated *** ******** ** ********** * small ****** ********* **** ** ** or ***** **************. *** * *** up *** ****** *** ********* ** security ************.

**** *** ** *** * ******* of **** ******* **** ***** ** the ***** ** **-** *** (****** referred ** ** "*****") ****** * single ******. ***** *** **** *** differences, *******:

  • *** **: *** ** ** ***** to * *** ********* ********* ** 100 ***. **'* **** *** ************ has **** *** **** ******** (*******-*), but ** ** ******* ** ******* speeds, ** ****. *** ** **** 24AWG **********, **** *** **********. *** following ***** ***** * ********* ******** Cat ** *****:

IPVM Image

  • *** *: *** * ** ***** to * *** ********* ********* ** 250 ***. ** ** ******* ** typical **** ******** (*** **/*) *** gigabit, **** *** **, *** *** also ** **** ** ***** **-******* Ethernet *** ~***' (***). *** * sometimes **** ** *** **********, ***** makes ** **** ******** *** ***** it * ****** ******* ********, ********* more **** ** ************. *** * cables **** ******** *** * ******** barrier ** *** ***** ** ******** separation ******* *****, *** ***** ********* in ** ******. *** ***** ********* can ** **** ** *** ****** of *** ***** *****:

IPVM Image

***** ***** ****** ********* ** *** category *** ************, ******* **** ***** $40 *** *** *,***' *** *** grade *** ** ***** ** ~$*** for **** **** *** *.

Cat * *** * *** **** ** ************

****** ****** *** * *** ******, if ****, **** ** ************. *** to ***** ************, ***** ******** ********** shielding *** **** **** ****, **** are **** **** ****** ** *********** and *******, ********* ******** ********** *** to ***.

IPVM Image

********** ** ***** ** ** ** 40 **** ** *** *, *** only *** ***** *********, ********* Because ** ****, ***** ****** *** generally **** **** ** **** ****** applications ***** **** ******** ************* *** needed.

Shielded ******* **** **. ********** ******* ****

****** ********** ******* **** ** **** common ** ************, ***** *** **** applications ***** ******** ******* **** (***) cables *** ********. ******** ******* **** contains * ****** ** ******* ******** the ******* ***** ***/** ********** *****. Technically ********,**** ******** ** ******** ******* **** cables *****, *** "***" ** *********** ****, especially ** ************ ***** **** ******** are *** ******.

*** ***** ***** ***** *** ********** metallic ********* *********** **** ***** ** STP:

IPVM Image

***** *** **** ******* $** ** $40 *** ****** ******** ** *** cabling, ******** ***** **** ** *** feet, ***** ** *** ***** ***** ~40% **** **** *** *** ********* on *** **** ********** ***** ** larger ******* ** ****** *** *** larger, ******* *** **** ***** ***.

Where ****** *** ** ****?

*** ****** ****** ** ******** ************ could ** * *******. ***** **** alone ** ****** *****, **** *** some ****** ******* ** ************ **** affect ******* *****:

  • ******** ** **** ******* ******:***** ****** *** ********* **** **** transmission **** **** *** ******** ** each *****. **** ****** *** * compliant ******** ***** ****** * ******** raceway *** ** * ****** ************ and ****** ************.
  • **** ********* *******:**** ******* *** **** ****** ***************** features **** ******** ******, ***** ************, magnetic *****, ** ********* *** ********* significant ***, ****** *** * ****** spec *********** ** ********** ************ *** manufacturing **********.
  • ********/***** *******:****** *** ******* ************* ****** *** impact **** ************. ***** * ****** handset *** *** ** *********** ****** to ** * *******, ******** **** runs **** **** ******* ********* ** transmitters ****** ** *** ***** *** to ********* ********.

Solid ****** **. ****** **** ********

**** ********, ******* ****** *** **** using ***** ****** **** *** ********** conductors. *******, **** *** ****/****** ****** may *** ******-**** ******** (***), ***** plates * ***** ******** **** **** a **** ***** ** ****** ** lower **** (***** **** ******* ******).

***** ****** ****** ** *** ***** as ** ***** ***** ** **** category ************* *****. *** *******, ** our******* ***** ********, *** ******-**** ****** ** ****** all ****** ** **** ************* *****, even ** * **** ***** ***** (~50'), ***** *** ***** ****** ****** tests ** ** ***' ******* *****.

IPVM Image

***** ****** *** ***** **** *** a ****** ******, *** ** ** not ********* **** ** **** *** more *********** ** ********* ***********, ********* voltage ****, *********, *** ***** ****** which ****** ****** ** *** **********, which ***** ****** ** ****** ***** over ****.

Cable *******: ****** **. ***** **. *******

****** ********* ** *** ******** ****** (referred ** ** "*******") **** ** rated *** *** *******, ** ***-***** cables *** ******* **** ****** *** spread *** **** **** *******. ****** cables *** **** ** *********** ********* which ****-********** **** ***** ** ******* or ****** ** *** *******.

*** **** ****** ****** ** *** in ********** ********** ** **** ******** used *** *** ********, ***** *****, though ****** ****** (***** **** ** computer *****) *** ******* ****** *****, as ****, ** **** *** **** for *******.

IPVM Image

***** ***-***** ***** ** ***** ************ could ****** ** ***** ** *** installation ** *********, ** **** ** the **** ** ******* ********* ******, and ** *****, ***** ****** ** faster ****** ** **** ** ****.

******* ** ****, **** *********** ****** specify ****** ***** ****** ** **** in *** *************, ** ***** *** be *********** ***** ******* * ***** ceiling ** **** ** * ****** or ***. *******, **** ************* ********* cable ****, ** ****** ***** ***** 2-3x ** **** ** ***-***** *****.

*** **** ******* ** ******, *****, and ***-***** ******, *** *** ******:***** ** ****** ******* *********.

Installation *********

***** ** "*********" **** ** **** exists *** ******* *****, ***** *** others **** ********* ******* ********* *** design *** ************ ** ******* ******* and ******* **************. **********, **** ************ specifications *** ********* ** * *** or ***** ** ****, * ***** publication ****** ** *****.

***** *** ******** ***** ***** ***:

**** ** ******** ** *** ********** state **** **** ******* ** *** or **** ** *** **** ******, it ** ** *** *********'* **** interest ** **** *** ********** ** heart ** ***** ** **** *** 'nightmares' ** ***.

*** **** ***********, *** *** ******:***** *** ** ***** ************ *****.

Cable ******* ******

*** ****** ****** ** ****** ***** installation, ** ****** **** **** **** as ******** *** ****** *** ****** of ***** *************** ***** ** **** cable ***********. *******, *** ***** ***** of ****** ******** ****** ********* ** the *******.

***** *** ***** **** ***** ** cable ******:

  • ********* *** *** ******** **** ** test *** ******* ***** ***** ******* for ******* *** ******, *** ****** be ****, ** * ******* ** all ******. **** ** ** ******* more ******** ***** **** ** *********, losses, *** ****, *** *** **** less ********* **** ******, ******* *** only * *** ******* *******. **** video ******* ***** *** ** * cable ********:

  • ********** *** *** **** ********* **** of ******, ********** **** ****** **** numerous ********** ********* ** ***/******* *********. Certification ** ******** ** **** ********* in ****** *************, *** ** ***** required *** ******* ************ ********. *** main ******** ** *****, **** ********** often ******* *** $**,***+, *** **** be ************ ************. ******* ** ****, many ********** **** **** **** ********* instead ** **********.
  • ********** ******* * ******** ********* **** but ** *** *********-*********, ****** ********* to **** * '**** *****' **** intended ** ******** *** **/* ******** or ***. ********** **** *** ******* thousand *******, **** **** **** *********, but **** **** **********.

*** **** ** *********** ** ***** devices *** *** ********** **** ****, see ********** ***** ******* *****.

What ***** ****** ****** * ***?

**** ******** ********** **** *********** **** at ***** * ******** ** ****. Wiremap *** ****** *** *** *** elements ***** ****** ** ****** ************ *******, ***** ** ******* ***** installed. ** ** ****** *** ** least *** ** *** ****** ** an ************ ** **** ******* ** shorted *****. ******* ** ****** ******** and/or **-*********** *** ***** ******* ********** the *******, * ******** *** **** exactly **** ** *****.

**** *********** **** ***** **** ** use * ***** *********, ********* ** their ****** ******(*) *** ************ ** the ******** **** *******. **** *** simply **** *** **** ****** ******* of ***** ********* **** ********** *** maintaining * ********* ** ***** ***.

********** *** ********* *** **** ** security *** ************, *** *** ***** preferred ** ** *****. **** ** not ***** **** ********** **** * verifier **** ***** ** *********** ****** in ************.

Cable ************ **** *********

***** ************ *** **** ***************, *** can ******* ** ***** ** **** basic **** ********* *** *** ********. IPVM ********** ***** **** *** **** practices:

  • ***** *** ******
  • ******** ***** *********
  • *** ***** *****/*****
  • *** ********* ******* ******
  • ** *** *** ********* ******* *****

Labeling ** ***

****** ******** ** **** ******, ********** should ********* *** **** **** ** labeled *** **** ****** ** **** go. ***** * ******* ******* ** label ********* ****** *********** ******* *********** compared ** ****** ******* **** ******* tape ** * ******, ***** *** save ******** ** ********* ** ******* in *************** **** *****.

* **** ***** ****** ******* *** cable's *********** ** **** ** *** source, *** ********** **** ** ** used *** (*.*., ******, ******* *****, NVR, ***.). ** * ***** ******* a ****** ** * ******* ** the * **** ** * ****** may ** *******:

****–*-** (**** ****, ***** ***** *, Port **)

** ***** ******** ** ****** ** our** ****** ***** ******** *****

Document ***** *********

******* ***** ********* ** ********** ** invaluable *** ************ ***********. ****** ** years ***** *** ****** ** *********, technicians ********* *** *********** *** **** no **** ***** ****** *** ** or ****, *********** ********** *************** **** for ****** ******* ** *******.

****** ******* ** * ***** **** with ********* ** *** ** ********** in **** *****. *******, **** ********** platforms **** ******,*******, ************** ** ********** ****** ** ******* electronically, **** ***** ****** ****** *** later *** ****** *** ***** **** relevant *****.

IPVM Image

Secure ****** ***** *******

***** ******* ***** **** ******** ** along ******* *** * *** ** becoming * ********** ******* **** **** time. ***-******** **** *** ***** ***** tray, *-*****, ** ****** ***** *** prevent ***** ****** ** ******** ***** above *** *******.

*** ****** ***** **** ******** ** trays *** ***** ** ***:

IPVM Image

Use ********* ******* ******

***** ********* ****** ** ***** ** identify ******** ******* *** ** ****** to ******* ***** ****** ** ** staff **** ********** ******** ******. **** cables ** **** *** ***** *** used *******, ** *** ** ********* to ******* ***** ***** ** ***** in * ***** ****** **** ********** to ****** * ****** ***.

IPVM Image

******* '****' *** '****' ******** ****** are *** **** ****** ******** ******, and '***' ** ******** *** **** system ************, *** **** '******** *****' colors *** ***** ************ ********* ** most ************ *** ******, *******, *******, and *******. ******* **** ***-******** ***** options *** ********* ** ****** ****, and *** **** ******* ** ***** lead **** *** ***** ****.

No ********* ******* *****

**** ** *** **** ******, *** needlessly *****, ****** ** *********** ** to *** *** ********* ******* ** cable ** '******* *****' ** *** end ** ***** **** ** ***** 10' ** **' ***** ****** **** 3' ***** *******.

IPVM Image

******* ***** ****** ******* * *** feet ** ***** ******* ** ***** potential ****** ****** ** ******* **** relocation. *******, ******* ** ****** ** fifty **** ** *** *** ** runs '**** ** ****' ********** ****** cost *** ******* *******.

Comments (25)

Service loops should contain a few feet of extra cabling to cover potential camera shifts or network rack relocation. However, coiling up twenty or fifty feet at the end of runs 'just in case' needlessly drives cost and creates clutter.

It could also put a run beyond the standard 100m length to be certified if the length is getting close to max (and assuming the certification is a concern for the client/spec).

Agree: 2
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

I am curious if anyone has experience, positive or negative, using small diameter (also called reduced diameter, or "mini") CAT 6 patch cords? Typically stranded 28AWG, they are bit more flexible and offer less density in an already congested cabinet. Thanks.

Agree: 2
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

We have not had issues but when the Fluke team was in the house they tested a patch cable it failed miserably but like I said they work.

Agree
Disagree
Informative: 2
Unhelpful
Funny

We have tested them with our Fluke and they pass. If you get some from a reputable manufacturer they include the manufacture's Fluke test document.

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

Got a link to some that pass?

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

I don't use the mini patch cables as a standard, but I have used the below patch cables for wall mount IP phones that are mounted on a keystone phone plate. They have worked fine.

Right angle patch cable

Dynacom 1 Port Stainless Steel Wall Phone Plate

For patch panel to switch, I like to use Neat-Patch with 2' patch cables.

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

I have used them in training classes that I do. I use 1 - 25 ft mini/thin cables for camera that use poe and poe+. However I have used them at home on a longer run with a coupler on an existing cable and it wouldn't provide enough power for a ptz with poe+. The existing cable when used with a coupler in a standard cable worked fine.

The weight and space reduction for my training kit was amazing, but I wouldn't use it for more than a patch cable...

Agree
Disagree
Informative: 1
Unhelpful
Funny

I have only had 1 negative issue with them and that was because of PoE. Was called to troubleshoot a camera going on and off line. The camera was drawing 60 watts from PoE, the switch was rated for PoE Max/High and once I swapped the 28 AWG cable out for a regular patch cable the issue went away. Other than that one instance, my experience has been extremely positive. The cable are a lot more flexible, the thinness make them significantly easier to manage and because the over all density of cable is less it makes them much easier to move around the in the switch ports and patch panels. I have started using them as my primary cables for my laptop.

Agree
Disagree
Informative: 4
Unhelpful
Funny

They surely cannot handle 60W PoE. Most manufacturers note that.

Agree
Disagree
Informative: 1
Unhelpful
Funny

We have found them "very fragile" so we stopped using them. I intend to give them another try since the test was in just a few project by one manufacturer.

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

This is one project where we have tried to use them but after a few not working we replaced all of them.

The mini certainly look nicer and are easier to work with.

The first photo is only mini patch cables, the second is a mix of both types and the last photo is using regular patch cables.

Agree
Disagree
Informative: 2
Unhelpful
Funny

Moderators: if possible please rotate the last 2 photos. The rotate buttons do not work at the moment.

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

Great report. I'm surprised there's no mention of tie wraps vs Velcro straps.

One surefire way to know if an installation was done by a competant team or not is the use of tie wraps on a bundle of CAT cables cinched down to half (sarc) the un-wrapped diameter.

Use Velcro straps and gently tighten!

Say "NO" to tie wraps!

Agree: 6
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

Hmm here in the UK I have never seen cable installations done with velcro. Is it a new trend?

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

I may have been a little too strong in comment.

If you are going to use tie wraps, don't distort the cable linearity by pulling the tie wrap too tight. nice description of impacts here -

Beauty Isn’t Skin Deep | Fluke Networks

Agree
Disagree
Informative: 2
Unhelpful
Funny

How do you feel about T25s then?

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

I don't know if it's a new trend but I always thought it was the proper tool for the task.

Also, velcro straps massively easier to move, remove, change location, add/delete cables with accuracy in half the time and no mess on the floor.

Agree: 3
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

For extended distances- I'm interested to know if anyone here has experience using the cable called "GameChanger", by Paige Electric (GameChanger Cable | Datacom Solutions).

We have not tried yet, though might try it on a job coming up with 500ft runs.

Thanks

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

Jared - we have not tested GameChanger, but we have a discussion about it here.

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

I've purchased 1 spindle of 1000ft and have used it on a run for an Axis PTZ camera that requires 60W. The installation runs about 475ft-500ft and works perfect. Previously I was using cat5e for a lower watt camera and it would cut in and out. I see many other locations that would benefit from using this cabling. The cable is $$$ but its cheaper than running the veracity units all over the place creating additional points of failure.

Agree
Disagree
Informative: 1
Unhelpful
Funny

We all know that 802.3 caps max length at 328 ft. We also know that ethernet doesn't immediately stop at that length either.

When doing something like a 500 ft run, how are the two reconciled to the customer? Not a criticism, genuinely curious. Having once done a government install they spec'd everything down to the damn cable color so I suppose less demanding customers are more lenient as long as it works?

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

I wouldn't say as long as it works as lower cable requirements means that the 60w power that is needed at the camera wouldn't be sufficient. This cabling gets the power needed to power up the camera.

I do agree tho that it would be hard to express to the customer the cost savings and how to spec cabling that is almost double the cost or another box of cable.

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

Maybe I didn't express my thought clearly enough. What I was wondering is how a run of cable that is NOT able to be certified to 802.3 spec (i.e. beyond 328 ft) is explained to the customer.

Like I'd said we all know that the data signal doesn't stop at 328 ft; indeed tests have been done at distances far beyond that and ethernet continues to work just fine. In fact I think the argument could (and should) be made that the 328 ft spec needs to be updated to something better suited to modern technology which allows for reliable longer links. However, some clients presently will outright reject any run that doesn't meet the 328 ft spec.

This Gamechanger cable seems to very specifically market itself as a "non-spec" solution that works anyways, which is out-of-the-box thinking but puzzling in a world dominated by stringent specs and certifications. I'm just curious how the customer feels about it, or if they even care.

Agree
Disagree
Informative: 1
Unhelpful
Funny

Fluke added support on all of their DSX certifiers for gamchanger cable. Newer certifiers ship with that, and older models can update to firmware 6.0 or newer for gamechanger certification support. They state that they support up to ~200 meters / ~650 ft. Customers may feel better with those drops certified by a Fluke. I emailed Fluke asking for more details on certifying cable that is beyond the standard's specifications.

Agree
Disagree
Informative: 3
Unhelpful
Funny

Very interesting, thank you. I too am quite curious as to what specification the Fluke meter is certifying, because surely there isn't an IEEE spec exclusively for gamechanger cable (god I hate that word).

I suspect they'll probably answer something to the effect of the GC cable "spec" must meet the same crosstalk/attenuation/etc. levels at 200m which a CAT5/6 is required to meet at 100m. That's probably the best you can do without rewriting the spec for longer cables, although at some point IEEE ought to be doing that anyways and it seems overdue.

Agree
Disagree
Informative: 1
Unhelpful
Funny
Login to read this IPVM report.
Why do I need to log in?
IPVM conducts reporting, tutorials and software funded by subscriber's payments enabling us to offer the most independent, accurate and in-depth information.
Loading Related Reports