Installation Time! Installing Security Cameras and Systems
Tips to Install a Security Camera System
Learning how to install a security camera or an entire home security system is not terribly difficult to do. This task does, however, require careful planning and attention to detail in order to assure that a system is properly installed. Precise instructions will be included with the camera system, but the following are a few useful tips that can be applied to most installations.
Preparing to Install a Security Camera System
In the process of selecting the right cameras to install, it will be necessary to know how wide of an angle is needed to effectively view what is going on in or around a property. It helps to know that a high millimeter camera translates into a narrow vision field, while a lower millimeter camera represents a wider vision field. One is not necessarily better than the other, but simply depends on what an individual would like a camera to monitor. Do not ignore this important detail as it is common for people to buy the wrong millimeter camera. If a customer asks or is unsure about whether to purchase a high or a low millimeter camera, we often suggest investing in a vari-focal camera, which can be manually adjusted to any millimeter ranging from 2.5 to 10.
When selecting a camera, it is also important to note that there are differences between indoor and outdoor security camera systems. The most important difference relates to the camera’s ability to withstand dust and moisture, which is defined in what is known as an Ingress Protection rating (IP rating). If installing an outdoor camera system, a high IP rating is strongly recommended. This rating consists of a two-digit number, with the first digit indicating how much dust a camera can safely tolerate while the second digit indicates how well it can withstand liquids. Dust ratings range from zero to six, with six being the highest; while liquid ratings range from zero to eight, with eight being the highest. An IP rating of 68 is the absolute highest and best rating that an outdoor camera system can achieve.
The Right Power Supply
In preparing to install a new security camera system, taking the time to calculate the necessary power supply is crucial. The final decision will depend upon how many cameras will be used and the current that is drawn on each camera. When doing the conversions necessary to figure this out, a good rule of thumb is to remember that 500 milliamps equals half of a single amp.
Before attempting to install surveillance cameras at a home or business, know precisely how many cameras are needed and where each one will be placed. Doors, windows, patios, driveways and walkways are among the most common places most people consider when mounting a system. The number of channels a system allows indicates how many cameras can be viewed on the same DVR. For instance, a four channel system accommodates up to four cameras, while a 16 channel system can accommodate up to 16 cameras. It will also be necessary to measure the distance running from each camera position to the wherever the DVR will be placed in order to determine how much cable will be needed.
When determining where to place a camera, consider mounting it at least 10 feet high to prevent tampering or accidental contact with the camera. Do not mount the camera, however, before testing its vision field from an intended location. This is to assure that it is being placed at an adequate and unobstructed viewing angle prior to a final mounting.
DVR positioning should also be considered beforehand. The DVR must be positioned in such a way that it is able to connect to a stable power supply and access the Internet at the same time. Since several wires will connect to the DVR, do not be afraid to drill a larger hole in a wall in preparing to accommodate all of them.
Additional Parts Needed to Install a Security Camera System
The main parts needed to install surveillance cameras will be included with any kit purchased. Additional cabling may be needed, however. It will, therefore, be necessary to measure precisely how much cable wiring is needed before beginning the surveillance cameras installation process. If prefabricated cable has been provided, nothing additional needs to be acquired. If, however, a roll of cable is being used, BNC cable and power connections will also need to be purchased.
When purchasing additional cable for a security camera systems installation, there are two types to consider: siamese or standard siamese. Such may be purchased in measurements of 26, 60 or 100 feet. Or a 500 foot roll of cable can be purchased from which the exact cable needed can be cut to size. The latter is recommended if a lot of runs will be made since the average coaxial only runs approximately 150 feet.
If purchasing additional cable, of course, a wire cutting device will need to be on hand while installing the security camera wiring. Depending upon where the wiring will be positioned, a drill may also be needed to provide additional holes needed to run cables from the outside to the inside of the building. Also while most cameras only weigh a few pounds or less, a lag bolt, a butterfly, an easy anchor or some other type of hardware is an optional purchase in order to best assure that the camera is adequately supported over time.
Depending on the mounting location, some opt to use a junction box to hide excess wiring and cabling connections. Note that there will almost always be excess lead when installing a system. Whether a junction box is used or not, leaving enough slack in the wiring to create ‘drip loop’ is advisable in order to allow rainwater to drip off of the cable instead of running into the wall or the junction box.
A Great Do-It-Yourself Weekend Project
After determining where to place the camera and at what angle, mount it as instructed in the directions provided in the original kit. Most adults can learn how to install a security camera by following the tips provided here, as well as the camera manufacturer’s instructions. This project takes time, especially for someone who has never done it before, but it can typically be completed in two days or less. We recommend approaching a camera installation as a DIY weekend project to allow enough time for it to be completed correctly.