The use of network-based technology for signal transport has made all the difference in ease of installation and advances in system functionality.
In order to derive the full potential available in most IP-based video surveillance systems, it’s imperative that you use the right cable and that it be installed properly.
Here are a few dos and don’ts that security integrators should consider when installing IP cameras:
1. You must match UTP connected devices, such as couplers, modular plugs and wall plates, to the Category of the cable used and do so consistently installation-wide.
2. By design and specification, cable runs in an IP camera system can only extend up to 295 feet for optimum performance.
3. Bend radius of both Cat-5e and -6 cables must be limited to four times the cable diameter; the accepted bend radius is no less than 1 inch.
4. Pull tension while installing Cat-5e/-6 cable cannot exceed 25 pounds.
5. Before stripping the sheath from a cable in a wall box, limit the length so the excess can easily be pushed back into the wall cavity.
6. Do not staple Cat-5e/-6 cable; instead, use D rings, bridle rings, J hooks and other devices that do not risk altering the outer form or dimensions of the cable.
7. Maintain a 6-10 inch parallel distance between Cat-5e and -6 cables and high-voltage wires (120/240VAC).
8. Strip Cat-5e/-6 cables back as little distance as necessary when attaching them to connecting devices.
9. Use either the T568A or T568B connection format and adhere to just one throughout the entire installation for conformity.
Cable is not the only aspect of a successful IP camera installation:
1. Whatever the make and model of the IP camera(s) is that you decide to use, it must be suitable for the environment in which it’s deployed.
2. Consider the amount of low and bright light that your camera(s) will be subjected to when making your camera selection.
3. Pay particular attention to camera placement, being mindful of the field of view, any obstructions that might prevent a clear of the target.
4. Be sure there is network connectivity available in the vicinity of where your camera will be placed.
5. Use surge protection with all outdoor cameras, especially in areas known for lightning.
6. Assure that the PoE power supply you use is adequate to the job; be sure to compute the power load before making a final choice.
7. Use a vandal-proof housing in areas prone to crime to assure the integrity of the camera.
8. Cat-6 UTP is always best, but Cat-5e should do an adequate job of handling most video transport needs which will save money.
9. Using fiber instead of metallic does have its advantages; foremost it allows you to run camera signals at greater distances and with greater bandwidth than metallic cable can provide.
10. Last but not least, use safe installation practices to assure that every installer goes home at the end of the day.