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Tips To Select Your CCTV Cables By - April 27, 2011

Tips To Select Your CCTV Cables By - April 27, 2011

Tips To Select Your CCTV Cables By
By Christian M Gillman

If you are installing a wired surveillance system complete with runs of cables for your video and power signals; you should first take a quick moment to consider the following before purchasing your CCTV cables. These tips will help you gain a bit of knowledge and understanding necessary for purchasing your cables.

Fire Codes and CCTV Cables

If you are installing your CCTV cables in an area which supports return air flow in the ventilation; then you are going to need to use a plenum rated CCTV wires. Areas that support return air flow are generally the locations that are used for heating and air conditioning. If this is not the case however a standard PVC coaxial CCTV cable is acceptable.

CCTV Cable Distances

It is very important you have a good idea of how far you CCTV cables are going to have to run before you go about purchasing. The reason for this is because the further your distances the more degradation and failing of your signals can occur dependent on the type of cable.

If you are going to be installing your system with a max of 600ft - 800ft in between devices; then a standard RG59 coaxial cable should be fine. If you need further distances however; you may consider upgrading to a RG6 cable. Furthermore if you are using a mini coaxial cable; you will want to limit its application to less than around 200ft for best results.

Know What Your CCTV Cameras Use

Standard Composite Video CCTV Cameras

In general your standard CCTV cameras use an analog composite video signal of 1V peak to peak (NOT RF). This is extremely important to know because an RF signal uses aluminum coax to send the signal to your receivers or TV system. This is why you should always use a copper braid / copper core coax for your composite video coming out of your security cameras. If possible choose a coaxial CCTV cable with a 95% braid and a SOLID copper core.

Network Cameras

A composite coaxial CCTV cable is generally not needed for standard network CCTV cameras and they will use a network Ethernet cable such as CAT 3, CAT 5, CAT 6, etc... These cables include plenum and non plenum ratings just as your composite coaxial cables do.

By knowing what type of CCTV wires your security camera uses, the distance at which your cables will operate, and a bit of information about cable installation in ventilation situations; you will better prepare yourself to make an informed and knowledgeable decision when purchasing your CCTV wire.

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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