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Tips To TroubleShoot A Security Camera - June 17, 2011

Tips To TroubleShoot A Security Camera - June 17, 2011

Tips To TroubleShoot A Security Camera
By Christian M Gillman

Every now and then you may find yourself in a position where one of your security cameras has stopped working. Maybe you bought the camera used or maybe one of your long trusted cameras has malfunctioned. Whatever the case may be; there are a few steps you can take to determine whether the problem is with your camera or some other component in the system.

Useful Items To Have

If you have a secondary cctv camera that is functioning, you can probably get the following components from it; otherwise you may have to do some searching.

1. A secondary test camera.
2. A secondary video cable.
3. A secondary power source / cable.
4. A voltage meter (For Installers & Surveillance Professionals).

Swap The Camera (If Possible)

If you have a secondary camera on the system that is working; A quick test is to swap it out with the malfunctioning camera. If it doesn't work, then you can assume the problem lies in the connectivity components. If it does work however; you may be looking at a dead security camera.

Test Your Power

The first connectivity test you should do is to test to see if your power is working. If your camera has a power indicator light, you should make sure that is on. If it isn't or if it doesn't have one; you will want to take a secondary power supply / cable and attach it to the camera to see if you get any power. If you have power now; you have determined that your power cable and or supply have gone bad.

On a side note if this is a new camera you may also want to make sure you have the correct power supply. Be it 12V, 24V or whatever; if you do not have the correct voltage you may not be able to power up your camera, or you may run the risk of overloading it and frying the components.

Test Your Video

As you did with the power cable; you will want to swap out your video cable with a secondary one to test if the cable has gone bad. Also if you are connecting to a monitor or a DVR; it may be a wise idea to switch which port you are connecting to, this way you can determine if your video port has gone bad.

Voltage Test (For Installers / Technologically Adept People)

If you have a voltage meter at your disposal and you have determined that one of your cables has gone bad; you may be able to fix it. By using the voltage meter you can determine if only a small section of your cable has gone bad. If this is the case you may be able to cut out that piece of cable and splice the cable back together yourself. This can be a somewhat tricky process for some as it may involve crimping on new connectors or splicing two cable ends together.

If you don't feel comfortable fixing your own cctv cables; it may be a wise idea to buy a new pre-made cable or have a professional do it.

Christian M Gillman has worked in the surveillance industry for over 6 years. Subscribe to our monthly newsletter, learn more about surveillance, and find great products at

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