5 Mistakes to Avoid When Installing an IP Security Camera

Five Mistakes to Avoid When Installing an IP Security Camera

The setup of an IP camera system is relatively simple provided the installer has a basic idea of how these cameras work. However, there are some things that may trap the unwary and cause major headaches. These issues range from poor cable connections, PoE problems to incompatible camera systems. Here are five things to avoid.

1. Bad Cable Connections

Although it’s easy to buy readymade Cat 5 and 6 cabling, the standard lengths mean the installer is going to have too much cable. It’s much simpler to buy a roll of cable, cut it to length and fit RJ-45 connectors using special crimping tools.

However, it’s not as simple as that, because minor flaws in the cutting, stripping and crimping of the cable can lead to noise, signal reflection and errors. This is particularly the case with Cat 6 cables designed for high data transmission rates. Typical mistakes include poor crimping, incorrect connections and stripping off too much of the outer covering. These faults aren’t detectable with normal testers yet they can cause havoc when setting up an IP camera system. The best way to get around this is to use a digital cable tester to check that the connections are sound, the wiring is correct and the cable is capable of operating at the required speed.

2. Poor Cable

Be careful to use decent quality cable. Avoid buying on price because not all cable that’s available complies with the appropriate specifications. Typical issues include excessive crosstalk, poor signal-to-noise ratio and insufficient speed. Also be aware that these cables, especially Cat 6 cable, must not be bent sharply or kinked, and the cable length must not exceed the maximum recommended length of 100 meters (330 feet).

Cable performance can be checked using a digital network cable tester to measure the link speed capability of the cable, its signal-to-noise ratio and to measure its length.

3. Camera Power Supply

Most cameras use Power over Ethernet (PoE), and power can be supplied through a PoE-enabled switch or router or by using a mid-span injection power supply. The power supply automatically detects a PoE-capable device and will only energize if everything is correct. If the camera needs 25.5 watt PoE, it will not work on 12.95 watt PoE, so it’s best to use a PoE-capable network tester to verify PoE power.

4. Non-Static IP Address

Most domestic systems do not have a fixed IP address. As a device connects, it’s automatically given an IP address. This is a problem if a domestic IP camera system needs static addresses for one or other component. In most instances, it’s possible to configure the router to provide a static IP address, but this isn’t always the case. So before setting up a domestic IP system, check that the IP address requirements are alright.

5. Cameras Without DDNS Capability

If it’s necessary to access cameras remotely, then the camera system must have DDNS capability that allows you to assign a domain name to the camera. This is linked to a DDNS host that’s automatically updated with the current camera IP address, allowing you to connect remotely. Not all IP cameras have this ability, especially those with older technology.

Using a Network Tester

There is nothing more difficult than working in the dark. Although it’s possible to access some of the above information from a PC, it doesn’t help if the network isn’t working. This is where T3 Innovation’s cable and network testers are beneficial with their ability to identify cable faults, map networks, measure noise and trace cables. Don’t work in the dark; choose the right tester to simplify your work.