Cable Strapping For IP Camera Networks

Author: Brian Rhodes, Published on Jan 02, 2019

Many say using zip-ties is asking for problems. And BICSI prohibits them. But many video surveillance integrators use them regularly. What should you do?

In this note, we contrast and explain the tradeoffs between:

  • Zipties (often Nylon)
  • Hook and Loop Straps (also called Velcro)
  • Cable Lacing (Typically Waxed String)

We also examine why zipties are risky, but still commonly used.

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Comments (9)

There may be a cable lacer or two in our midst:

I always love roaming around in /r/cableporn. One downside to it, is the negativity connected to zipties. Cable lacing is apperently the holy grail, and if you don't want to you only other option is Velcro.

Personally, I like using a combination of velcro and zipties. Velcro to bundle my patches where needed, and zipties to bundle my incoming cables. Personally, I never had troubles with zipties. As this article shows, zipties are being used in datacentres as well, and I've already seen quite a few state that they have no problems with them.

One of the motivations against zip ties from what I've seen is the comment that it takes a long time to replace a cable. Nonesense is what I think. With a cable cutter you're trough in no time.

I wonder what technicians in countries with less developed infrastructure than ours would think about how we fret about whether zipties "change the cable's physical geometry"...

Hi Rogier. I'd have to politely disagree with you on the statement that 'with a cable cutter you're through in no time'. That's not the case when one has 60+' of ladder rack and zip-ties every 6". With velcro, one could attach the new cable(s) at the furthest point, and every 15-20' or so, and quickly dress the cables in and retighten with the same velcro. Cutting zip-ties and replacing them is more costly, and not as convenient as velcro. I do agree with your use of both though, but the majority of my fasterners would be velcro. Zip-ties hold the radius better.

However, it is worth pointing out that reusing zipties is frequently not possible and they must be cut for removal during cable moves, adds, or changes.

They do make releasables as well.

Yes they do, but they are the same price as Velcro, and Velcro you don't have nearly the chance of zipties to harm the actual cable.

On ends of runs where a single cable is likely the only run to the area, we use zip ties on J-hooks. But in trunks or areas likely to have cables added in the future, I prefer using velcro. Especially in racks or in patch panels.

Which brand of hook and loop do you all prefer? This has been a contentious issue between myself and my business partner. I've tried the thin 3M stuff. I've used the cheap Amazon stuff, which is thicker and fluffy.

That myth could be busted easily by measuring different data packages with and without zipties.

Would be interesting to see the result. Without that the BICSI statement looks like a non-sense.

The BICSI Stament is taken from testing and showing alien cross talk between dressed cables. When using Zip Ties it changes the physical characteristics of the cable. That change will affect the twist of the conductor inside of the cable which does affect signal and data loss.

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