BNC connectors may be the most overlooked components of a security camera system installation. But the truth is that over 60% of the camera failures are connector related. So using the right BNC connectors for the job is vital to the durability and performance of your entire CCTV system. It is important to prepare the cable correctly, and install the connector properly to ensure your signals and connections protect the integrity of the entire camera system. So at the end of the day quality does matter!
What is a BNC connector used for?
BNC connectors are the core connector types used to connect coaxial cables between the security cameras and the security DVR. Most commonly RG59 coaxial cable is use to transmit the video signals from the security cameras back to the DVR. Both security cameras and security DVR’s have integrated female BNC connectors on them that are used to attach the coaxial cable to them. Once a BNC connector is terminated on both ends of the RG59 coaxial cable, you are then able to plug the cable directly into the cameras and DVR. The BNC connector uses a locking mechanism that creates a strong long-lasting connection. BNC connectors are very commonly used in most radio, television, video, and CCTV applications.
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Types of BNC connectors:
There are BNC connectors available for almost every coaxial cable type. Some of the most popular coaxial cables used today are RG6, RG11, and RG59 coaxial cable in plenum and non-plenum forms. In the CCTV world, the BNC connectors for plenum and non-plenum RG59 coaxial cables are by far the most common. Non-plenum cables are standard cables with a PVC jacket, and are used for installations in homes and riser buildings. Plenum rated cables have a unique jacket that includes a special compound for protecting the cable from burning fast and putting harmful toxins in the air. Using plenum rated cables and BNC connectors is mandatory in installations where cables are installed in an open-air plenum ventilation system. Plenum environments are often found in high-rise commercial business installations. It is always recommended to follow your local building codes and use the right connectors and cables that support them.
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The key is to always use the BNC connector that is designed for the coaxial cable type you are using in your installation. BNC connectors are designed to support the terminations on different coaxial cable types and jacket types. If you do not have the right BNC connector for your cable type, then the connection will only fail. Which means your security cameras will no longer transmit video, and your system will no longer be securing your home or business.
Compression or Crimp BNC connectors:
The two most common styles of BNC connectors are compression and crimp types. Compression and crimp explains the actual mechanism for terminating the BNC onto the cable. Crimp style BNC connectors are terminated by crushing the connectors sleeve onto the cable. By deforming the metal of the connector you are forcing it to crush around the cable. Crimp BNC connectors are really “old school” types, and really do not protect the terminations or create a long lasting termination. Today, most installers have moved to using more modern compression style BNC connectors. Compression BNC connectors use an actual 360 degree clamp to attach to the coaxial cable. By clamping to the cable the termination is protected from possible dust and moisture from penetrating the connection. Plus compression BNC connectors provide up to 60 pounds of pull force, which will ensure a longer lasting connection. Although compression BNC connectors come with an extra cost, they will ensure your connections are stronger, last longer, and perform much better.
Keys to buying BNC connectors:
The best way to ensure your installation is successful is to buy the BNC connector that supports your cable type. Once you have chosen your cable type, then it is easy to choose the BNC connectors you need. If you are using compression BNC connectors than you need to make sure you have a coaxial cable stripper to prepare your cable correctly, and a compression tool to terminate the connectors. If you are using crimp BNC connector then you will still need a cable stripper, but you will have to make sure you get a crimping tool that works with your cable type. The coaxial cable type you buy should clearly document the type and gauge characteristics of the cable. This documentation should be clearly written on the box of the cable, and the cables jacket. So just make sure you match the connector type with the cable type.
Most BNC connector manufacturers also make the cable strippers and tools you need to terminate their connectors. So buying BNC connectors, strippers, and termination tools within the same brand has its benefits. This often ensures that they all work together. Not all termination tools work with all brands of connectors. So it is important to use the parts that will collaborate together to provide fast, easy, long-lasting terminations.
Although BNC connectors are a small part of a CCTV installation, they play an important role in ensuring your system performs. Choosing the right connectors and buying the right tools to install them will ensure your installation is done properly. The last thing you want is your BNC connectors hindering your home and business from being secured properly. Do your research and buy right the first time!