Sales (877) 522-8836   Support (716) 229-0080 10am - 5pm EST

How to Get the Most Out of Your Security Cameras

When installing a security camera system it is important to protect that investment. Security cameras are sensitive electronics packed inside plastic or metal shells. The construction materials offer some protection. Outdoor security cameras are subject to the elements like wind, rain, and lightning. It’s important to avoid cutting corners when installing cameras. Following our guide will give you some helpful hints to avoid the hassle of broken cameras.

Use Junction Boxes for clean and durable installations

Junction boxes are great for providing cleaner installations. Hiding and protecting the connectors is another reason to use junction boxes. An extra layer of protection from weather, or vandals is necessary in today's world. Examples of IP camera and coaxial camera pigtails are below. Failure to protect these pigtail connectors will result in damaged cameras. It is important to note that pigtail connectors cannot be repaired.

Coaxial and IP pigtails that need protected

Junction boxes also provide more durable protection from vandals and extension from eaves, soffits or walls.

Vandals and intruders often look to sabotage security camera systems by damaging the cameras or cabling. Hiding and protecting the connectors and cabling inside junction boxes help a lot.

Extending cameras below soffits, eaves, or away from walls is important to avoid IR video issues. IR issues are often caused by building materials reflecting the IR light back into the camera. Junction boxes offer an easy way to mount cameras below these overhangs, or away from a wall. You can read more about IR related issues in our article here.


Use the Included Weather Grommet for IP Cameras

IP cameras include a plastic weather grommet that protects IP camera connectors. The grommet provides much needed protection to the RJ45 network port from rain. If moisture gets to the pigtail connector then it will create a short and damage the port in no time.

Using the weather grommet is better than using plastic wrap or electrical tape. Using cheap materials lead to common mistakes that damage cameras. If you are not installing a system for yourself it is recommended to check that your installer is not using this shortcut.

If you are unsure how to use the weather grommet then watch our video below:

How to connect a RJ45 Weather Proof Jack or Cable Gland

Protect the security camera from harsh elements

When installing security cameras, installers and home users are looking to get the best vantage point as possible. Sometimes this means that cameras are installed high in the air, or mounted to a pole. Care must be taken to ensure that cameras are not exposed to conditions that exceed their weather proofing standards.

Bad installations expose cameras to high winds and lightning, or allowing water to pool on the camera. Water combined with high winds can pierce through the glass in the front of the camera.

Sunlight can also damage cameras. If a camera is pointed in a direction where the sun shines directly in to the camera, the image sensor of the camera will burn out from UV radiation. Even sunlight reflected from a car's windshield for hours per day can cause image sensor damage.

Direct Sunlight in warmer climates can melt cabling or overheat cameras as well.

Lightning can strike a camera mounted on a pole or high up on a building. Lightning can also cause complete or partial system damage. The electricity can flow through cabling down into the recorder. Ethernet surge protectors limit the amount of damage a lightning strike causes.


Tips for using PTZ cameras

Pan Tilt Zoom (PTZ) cameras contain mechanical motors that can break with repeated use. They use belts to pan and tilt that wear over time.

Using tours, or patterns that pan or tilt for extended time periods will degrade parts faster than usual. We recommend setting a dwell time of 15 to 30 seconds or higher.

It’s important to note that mini-PTZ cameras are not meant to use autoscans. The smaller motors and belts are not designed for constant use.

Learn more about wear and tear from our video below.

How to get the most out of your PTZ camera

Matt Rossi is a Technical Support Manager at CCTV Camera World, a leading CCTV Camera distributor located in Buffalo, NY. He is a technical support expert for everything video surveillance related.


Connect with Matt via: Facebook