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Spy Camera Scenario: Setting up an Office CCTV System

Scenario:
I am the manager in a large sales office, spread across several floors in our property. Unfortunately, due to suspicions of theft, we are currently in the market for a multi-camera Office CCTV system. However, because of the amount of cabling we already have, we would like to avoid running any new AV cables to the cameras. It is also vital that the images are free from interference and have a stable signal.

Lobby ready for an office cctv system

Solution:
In situations where running new  cabling is impractical, the first instinct is often to look towards Wireless equipment. This can offer a versatile installation that can be quickly adjusted, and prevents the need to run new AV cables. In this scenario however, Wireless CCTV would actually have some significant hindrances. Most offices, for example, have a lot of WiFi networks, which are one of the most common causes of interference and picture breakdown. Not only that, but due to frequency restrictions almost all wireless kits are limited to 4 cameras in one location, obviously not suitable if you need a larger 8 or 16 camera security system.

BNC Video Balun (Pair)- Transmit CCTV over Cat5 Cable
Our BNC Video Baluns- Transmit CCTV over Cat5 Cable

For these reasons, we would actually recommend a wired system, but one connected with our range of CCTV Video Baluns. Now, we are well aware that connectors and adapters are not the most exciting subjects, but these unassuming little devices really are a great way to provide an alternate wiring set up. Simply put, they let you take a video signal straight from a CCTV camera, and run it down a standard CAT5 or RJ45 cable- the same type commonly used for internet connections. Crucially for the scenario described, most offices will already have a large supply of CAT5 cable ran throughout the building for computers and phones. Using these Baluns means you can connect together a large CCTV system using this existing infrastructure, rather than having to create new cable runs, or to drill new holes.

CAT5 cable ends
Most offices will already have Cat5 cable installed

Using Baluns for CCTV also provides other benefits in an office environment. If you were looking to keep your camera locations secret for instance, then standard CAT5 cabling would look a lot less suspicious than the bulkier coax cables normally used. Depending on the quality of cable, you can also run the signal down much longer distances- even up to 300m. The devices are available either with or without power, and “active” versions are available, that boost the signal, enabling them to work over even longer distances.

This means that despite their small size and cost, these little connectors are a great way to simplify a large scale installation!

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