Bob Dolph Answers Questions About Remote CCTV Viewing and Cat-5 Cable

Q:One of my customers has asked me for an inexpensive way to remotely view existing CCTV cameras at a remote location over the Internet. Any suggestions?

A: What you need is a cost-effective video server. The customer will need a DSL or cable modem connection at the facility as well. The video server will interface with the NTSC analog video from the existing cameras. If you are tapping off an existing camera, make sure NOT to do this with a BNC T-connector. Use an inexpensive “1-in, 2-out” video distribution amplifier. I recently ran across a cost-effective video server called “BlueNet Video” that you might want to check out (

Q:I want to know if it is OK to run 12VDC over Cat-5 UTP cable? I was thinking about powering a camera over the UTP cable.

A:Remember that category cable is typically 24-gauge wire. You can run DC voltage over the cable as long as you remember Ohm’s law, E = IR. Remember you must check how long a cable you are running for the overall resistance of the cable. Then check the load of the camera and see how much of a voltage drop the cable will cause. If you have enough voltage left over for the camera, you should be OK to go.


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