Tips For Buying CCTV Cable

Tips For Buying CCTV Cable

By Christian M Gillman

Most surveillance systems these days are wired and use a lot of CCTV cabling. Whether it is RG59 Coax or UTP wiring; there are a couple notes to keep in mind when building your system and selecting your CCTV cable.

Cable Length

When purchasing your CCTV cable for your surveillance system you need to know your lengths. Simply put you need to know how far it is from your camera to your DVR. When you figure out the length you have a couple options.

You can purchase a pre-made cable that is already cut and ready at a specific length, or you can get a custom cable made.

If you buy a pre-made cable you are going to want to purchase one that is at least 1 or 2 feet longer than what you need. The reason for this is because you don’t want a cable with a lot of tension in it; because it will put stress on your connectors and the cable itself. You also don’t want to have the cable be too much longer than your run because it will then sit coiled up next to your DVR and potentially cause interference within your surveillance system.

If you can’t find a pre-made CCTV cable that fits within these parameters, you may want to consider getting a cable length cut by a professional. Now you can either have someone trained cut and crimp the cable for your system, or you can order the cable length and connectors and attempt to do it yourself.

If you plan to do it yourself; you need to be absolutely sure you know what you are doing. The reason being is because if you mess up the connection even slightly; you may end up with a bad connection with lower quality output or no output whatsoever. Furthermore if you mess up the crimp, you will end up having to cut it off and start again; which means you now have less cable to work with.

Honestly if you have any doubt about your crimping ability, it would be a wiser choice to pay the couple extra bucks and get a cable specifically made for your CCTV system.

Cable Type

This topic can be expanded on in a lot of detail, but the two basics have to do with length and type.

Firstly you need to know what type of surveillance camera you have, and what type of connections it uses. This is pretty much a no brainer, but by knowing this you will know what type of cable you will need; or you will at least be able to tell a professional and they can determine the CCTV cable you will need.

Secondly you should have the length of the cable run in mind. It is good to know this because after long distances your video signal can begin to degrade. Certain CCTV cable types can help with this, depending on how long the run is.

Christian M Gillman has worked in the surveillance industry for over 6 years. Subscribe to our monthly newsletter, learn more about surveillance, and find great products at

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