Bob Dolph Answers Questions on Pre-Wires, Lightning Hitting Cameras

Q: I have run across a pre-wire by another company, but I have not been able to locate the company or find where the wires are located in the walls. There is not a basement and the attic is insulated. Any tips on how I can find the pre-wired locations?
A: Even if you find the name of the pre-wire company from the builder you may not get the full story on the hidden alarm wire locations. You might want to check with the builder or look in the neighborhood for a similar style home that was pre-wired by the same company and the alarm system has already been installed. Check to see where the alarm components were installed and that should give you some good clues. This little tip can save you a lot of time searching for wire locations.

Q: I have a CCTV camera in a parking lot that gets hit by lightning all the time. I have put surge suppression on the cables, but the camera gets nailed and the suppression protects the rest of the system most of the time. Do you have any suggestions on saving my customer the loss of cameras?
A:Try isolating the camera housing from the metal pole. Find some PVC pipe that is about the same diameter at the pole. Split a short piece in half lengthwise. Use bands to strap the camera mount over both pieces of the split PVC pipe which is placed around the pole. This will act as an insulator so that the camera and metal mounting are not touching the metal pole. If this looks too much like a jury-rig, then change out the housing. Many of the today’s CCTV camera mounts and enclosures are made out of non-conductive material.


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