Can you explain how to use Cat5 cable to wire my CCTV cameras to the DVR recorder?
Cat5 cable is a very popular and easy method of wiring in a CCTV system. Both DIY and professional installers use it and all you need is a small screwdriver, you don't need special cutters or crimping tools. The result is a neat, cut to length installation which is resistant to interference over a long distance.
You do not need IP cameras or recorders to use Cat5 cable, you can use our standard CCTV cameras and DVR recorders which saves you a lot of money. IP technology is expensive.
Cat5 cable consists or 4 pairs of wire, twisted along their length to counter interference. It is crucial to use pure copper cable for this application. CCA, (copper clad aluminium) cable must not be used. CCA Cat5 is often sold as pure copper so it is important to ensure a good source and check it carefully before undertaking an installation. As a guide if you find the metal core breaks after a couple of bends it is likely to be aluminium based Cat5.
When using Cat5 cable to join CCTV cameras to the DVR recorder you use 1 pair of wires to carry the video signal from the camera to the DVR and the remaining 3 pairs of wire to provide 12 volt power from the transformer to the camera.
Video signal requires the use of a pair of baluns. These are small electronic devices which have a standard BNC connector on one end and a pair of screw terminals on the other end. Each screw terminal is marked with a + (plus) or a - (minus) and it is important to get the polarity correct. The BNC female fitting on the balun matches the BNC male fitting on the camera fly lead and the DVR video signal input post.
DC power requires the use of a screw in 5.5 / 2.1mm female socket which takes the male fitting from the power transformer and a screw in 5.5 / 2.1mm male plug which plus into the female socket on the camera's fly lead. Once again it is important to identify which terminal is + (plus) and which is - (minus) and ensure they are joined correctly at each end. The reason we suggest using 3 pairs of wire for the DC power is to avoid voltage drop along the cable length. Twist 3 wires together and put them in the -ve terminal, twist the other three wires together and put them in the +ve terminal.
The CCTV camera video signal can be transferred up to 300 metres using the baluns we supply.
The maximum length of cable for 12 volt power supply depends on how much power the camera requires but as a guide we would recommend a maximum distance of around 50 metres.
You can use Cat5 cable to transfer multiple video signals when the CCTV cameras are powered locally. If you are only using Cat5 to transfer video signal then up to 4 camera signals can be handled by a single length of cable (1 camera per pair of wires).
Screw in DC 5.5 / 2.1mm plug
Video Balun with wires attached