Installing your own CCTV system can not only save you money but also feels incredibly satisfying after you’ve completed the job!
However, this will be a complex DIY project and will require a lot of knowledge about both color code wiring and the tools needed. Luckily, in this article we will cover both of these topics in detail.
There are 5 types of cable used in CCTV security wiring in total and it is often difficult to find clear instructions on each wire and their color coding online, so having all of that information in one place is perfect for anyone looking to learn or brush up on their wiring skills.
The article will cover the differences between each wire and show you how to get confident in your ability to wire each one.
Let this article guide you through the process and show you how to properly get your CCTV system set up perfectly.
It should be noted that if you still feel unsure or get confused at any point, contact a professional as you want to make sure you’re setting things up correctly and safely!
The Various Tools You Will Need
There are a number of tools you will need to set up a hard wired surveillance system and they can be quite confusing.
From siamese to ethernet cables, you will need a tool to strip back the cable jacket and expose the inner conductors and different strippers need to be used for both of them.
Most of the tools listed here can be found at your local hardware store, and the staff can point you in the right direction. Or, if you’re more well versed in CCTV and electrics, you can purchase all the equipment needed through Amazon.com.
Ethernet Cable Stripper
For the best results, a modular crimping tool to terminate an ethernet cable. If you are setting up an IP security camera system, you should use a cat 5e Ethernet cable to secure it and send power and data to your IP security camera.
If you would prefer to have something smaller and less bulky in your tool box then you can opt for a mini wire/cable stipper, it is often cheaper than the larger version and does the job just as well.
Siamese Cable Stripper
When dealing with an analog CCTV system, it is usually better to use siamese cables.
The siamese cable stripper is not quite the same as the one for the ethernet cables as it has a wider diameter one one side, which is solely used to strip back the outer jack cable and a narrow diameter on the other, used to strip the inner insulator.
It has a textured braid comb, which is used to pull out the outer copper braid. Ethernet cables often need different types of cable strippers and there are ones that have been specially designed for the diameter of the coax cable.
Preset Coax Stripper
A preset coax stripper is used for setting each specific size and is often faster and easier to use as it can be adjusted. Though this type of stripper is not as flexible and is mainly used for cutting one cable size exclusively.
It is a simple but very reliable tool and can be bought for around $10. This handy piece of equipment would be a great addition to any toolbox if you deal with RG-59 coax cable often.
Preset coax strippers are spring loaded in design and provide the perfect pressure against wire. The speed ring that comes attached also makes it quick and easy to strip the jacket from the wire.
Adjustable Coax Cable
Though not as easy to use as its cousin the preset cox stripper, this tool works particularly well if you are working with different coaxial cables. Very simple to operate, you can adjust the tool with the thumb screw.
It also comes with an adjustable stripping blade for different insulation thickness and prevents damage of shielding and conductors.
Unfortunately, most of the time, the lines available for this stipper will be too big to use.
If you are mainly working with ethernet or siamese cables, it is often much better to use a multi stripper tool for any cable stripping. This tool is best used on telephone/audio cable, coaxial cable, ethernet cable.
The multi stripper is adjustable so that it can be used for different sized wires. On the other hand, the coaxial cable stripper can be readjusted to handle RG 59, RG 6 Quad and RG 7/11 cables.
So might be just as useful for those types during a job.
Adding Connectors To Bulk Cables
Once the cables have been stripped, it’s time to add the connectors. You will need specific tools for this job, like RJ45 connectors for the ethernet cables and BNC connectors for siamese wires.
Both types of connectors look almost identical but perform different functions, so be sure to check which ones you are using before you start.
A crimp tool is used to connect both RJ 45 and BNC connectors. They both work in the same way by crushing and crimping the sides of the connectors in the cables.
Any professional crimping tool will have an efficient ratcheting mechanism.
The ratcheting mechanism works as wire connectors are crimped by squeezing the handle through a complete ratcheting cycle until the handle releases automatically.
This ratcheting function allows you to secure a wire connector while you insert the wires into the crimp.
The tool also has a star wheel attached that allows the user to adjust the crimping height in order to ensure the right amount of force is applied.
A designated quick release lever allows you to open the crimper jaws in any position. A crimping die provides rock solid crimps every time.
RJ45 Crimp Tools
This tool is also known as a modular crimp tool and is used to connect eight conductors, passing through the conductor into the cable jacket.
BNC crimp tools have a similar functionality but are used to connect the ends of siamese cables.
Network Cable Color Chart
The color cables used in ethernet cables is different from others as it has a much different use. Of course it also comes down to the intended environment the cable is going into and why it is being used.
A good example is the classification that the government uses for ethernet cables regarding the functions that they perform, eg – yellow for top secret, red for medium and blue for unclassified data.
- Gray Ethernet – Gray ethernet cables represent the standard or average ethernet connection and are mainly used for residential or commercial purposes.
- Green Ethernet – Green cables are best to signify crossover connections and connect different devices to computers.
- Yellow Ethernet – Yellow ethernet cables can be used to power over the internet and deliver a 30w current when used in ethernet twisted cables.
Blue Ethernet – Blue ethernet cables function for the terminal server connections. A terminal server works for the links of multipurpose systems without modems and other network interfaces.
Ethernet VS Siamese VS Coaxial Cable
The main difference between Ethernet and Siamese cables is that ethernet cables send power and video data inside the same cable through twisted pairs.
Whereas siamese cables transmit power and video data through two separate insulated cables that are connected.
Though both cables are very reliable and work well in different systems, the ethernet cable is faster in terms of performance, while siamese cables offer more in terms of longevity.
Ethernet cables tend to be less expensive than siamese cables though they don’t last as long. Ethernet cables are also usually more hassle free to set up and thus, save you time.
These are two different cables connected together, allowing you to power security cameras and receive video signals using one cable run.
RG-59 Siamese cables are often used for analog or HD-over-coax security cameras that use a BNC connector.
To connect this security camera wire type to a surveillance system, you’ll need to separate the cables for their intended use at the end of the cable run.
After separating the cables, you’ll notice that one cable contains two copper wires, which are intended to power the security cameras.
These wires should be connected to a 12 voltage power source.
The coaxial cable is the larger cable, and its purpose is to connect your analog video camera to a DVR system, which allows the reception of video signals from security cameras.
It’s worth noting that there are two types of siamese coax cables: pre-made or prefabricated cables that come with end connectors and varying lengths, and spool siamese coax cables, which come without pre-made connectors so users need to put a connector at the end and cut at any length based on their needs.
Siamese cables are the better choice for video signals and can use two different lines for different systems.
A Guide To Different Cable Colors And Their Uses
Security cameras use cables to transfer all data to a central hub; it uses extra wires of different colors in order to achieve this.
These wires have various functions to perform based upon their positions but they must be connected correctly to do this.
It is really important to be aware of the different functions of each cable and imperative to understand the color codes of each one.
There are five colored wires in security cameras; one yellow, two red and two black. In some rare cases, you will find a white wire too.
- Yellow wire – The yellow wire in security cameras is related to video sharing and transferring data. It is known as a positive wire. However, the yellow wire inside the black is 99.9% coaxial.
- Red wire – These are two electrical wires and are made for DC12 volt positive currents and are also called positive cables.
- Black wire – The black wires are negative wires mostly used to transmit video, and the other is power supply.
Wiring RJ45 And Ethernet Cables
If you plan to connect the Ethernet cable to an RJ 45 connector, a modular crimp tool is used.
You will need to line up the eight conductors by passing through the connector and the cable jacket.
Now, you’ll need to insert the cable and the connector to the crimp tool.
Benefits Of Siamese Cables
- Siamese cables can be used in both video and power cables.
- Video can run in RG 59 cables and power runs in an 18 gauge pair.
- It is made of solid copper core and 75-ohm impedance, which makes it particularly sturdy.
- It has 95% copper braided shielding, making it able to withstand more wear and tear.
- The cable can be cut to exact lengths as it is very pliable.
- It can work on twist-on, crimp-on and compression BNC connectors.
Benefits Of Ethernet Cables
- The speed that Ethernet connection offers is much faster compared to a wireless connection.
- Unlike Wi-Fi, where the risk of cyber attacks or interference is much higher, an Ethernet connection can give you much more security.
- The connection with Ethernet cables is much more reliable.
- Ethernet cables are not only more reliable, but they are more efficient.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Kind Of Cable Is Used For Security Cameras?
In order to hook up your security camera, you will need to transmit video through some form of cable.
You can use RG59 cable, RCA plug and play cable, and CAT5 cable for any CCTV set up as all of these are both compatible and reliable. These are the main three types of security cable.
How Do You Splice Wires For A Security Camera?
To splice wires, you’ll need to remove the outer insulation to free up a few inches of wire at the end of each cable.
It is excellent practice to slide a piece of heat shrink tubing at the end of one wire to start, so that when you have finished with it, you can shrink and immobilize the splice.
It will also look much neater and more professional this way.
What Are The Color Code Wires?
A green wire, or even green with a yellow stripe is the protective ground wire. A white wire would be neutral and the hot, single phase wires are black and red in the case of the second act.
Three phase lines are red, black and blue. It is good to take note of these, especially if you’ll be plicing or connecting any of them yourself. If unsure, you should always contact a professional electrician.
If you use the color code guides provided above correctly, it should be easy to connect them up properly.
However, caution should always be used when taking on jobs like these as any confusion or minor mistakes can be dangerous to your person and damage your system.
So, before you get started make sure you have all the tools you will need to hand, and you’re familiar with how to use them. Also make sure you have thoroughly read through the color code sections of the article.