Bad Weather and Lightning can affect your IP and CCTV Camera Surveillance Applications
Today, CCTV systems are widely used for the protection of people, facilities, and assets. These systems feature CCTV cameras that are used in conjunction with other security systems such as security alarms for identifying the security risks and mitigating them to avoid untoward incidents. Internet-protocol based systems are also a type of CCTV systems, and they are extensively used in various industrial and commercial facilities. Externally mounted CCTV cameras and IP-based network surveillance systems are a common sight in various facilities. Although they alert users about the risks, they are also vulnerable to bad weather and lightning owing to their delicate construction. How to protect these IP-based and CCTV cameral surveillance systems? Read the post to know these answers and more.
A Small Discussion on How CCTV and IP-based Surveillance Camera Systems and Network Attract Lightning
Today, video surveillance systems are run on dedicated video networks, which are directly connected to the police control room, telecom room, or the data center. Along with the camera, the network is made of various devices like Ethernet switches
, transmitters, receivers, and so on. All these devices support digital signal transmission. Any high-voltage surge caused due to lightning or other weather conditions can cause damages to Ethernet switches, and other network devices connected to it. How lightning affects such networks? The following pointers will help you understand it better.
The cameras are usually installed on metal towers or poles with a height of 10-50 meters and are connected using coaxial cables like RG-59U.
In the instance of lightning, the grounding charges start traveling to the pole and get attracted to the charges in lightning.
When the storm evolves to a certain level, all grounding charges get attracted to the lightning charges. The grounding charges traveling upwards and the downward traveling lightning charges generate a lightning channel.
This channels act as the carrier of the current from lightning and damages the camera and all network equipment connected to it.
As a result of this, the connection between the control room and the camera is hampered. In many cases, it can be restored only on the replacement of the camera and network equipment. This leads to heavy losses in terms of money, time, and endangered security. The use of fiber optic cables and devices have helped users mitigate these issues to a large extent. How? Read the next section to know the answers.
A Few Proven Practices to Safeguard Your CCTV and IP-based Camera Surveillance Systems and Network Equipment from Lightning
The following tips will help minimize the lightning effect on IP-based cameras and CCTV surveillance systems.
Traditionally, coaxial cables were used for transmission in these IP-based and CCTV camera surveillance applications. In recent years, these coaxial cables have been replaced by unshielded twisted pair (UTP) and fiber optic cables. Again UTP cables may pose certain challenges when it comes to transmission, due to technical reasons. This is where fiber optic cables can make a difference. They are designed for better-quality transmission, and are immune to lightning or other weather conditions and electromagnetic interference.
In networks that use UTP cables and fiber optic cables, the use of fiber optic converters is recommended. These converters convert copper signals to optical and transmit it over the fiber optic cable, and on the other end, the receiver converts the signals back to electrical signals. Many fiber optic converters provide isolation from lightning strikes, grounding loops, and so on.
In addition to these, the following tips also work:
Avoid mounting the camera directly to the metal pole, instead use power supply panels to power the cameras.
Use security mounts to secure your camera and protect it from lightning and natural disasters like hurricanes, thunderstorms, hail, and so on.
Choose IP66 rated cameras over regular CCTV cameras because they can withstand most challenges thrown by the weather.
Use a customized enclosure to protect your camera and sensitive equipment.
Along with investing in quality CCTV cameras, it is also important to invest in quality fiber optic video kits. When buying these kits do not forget to check the specifications and their performance in such adverse conditions. If these are not known, you must get in touch with the manufacturer or the supplier. VERSITRON is a leading manufacturer of fiber optic devices including CCTV fiber optic video installation kits
. These kits possess all equipment necessary to convert the analog camera signals to optic signals. They are already installed in hundreds of facilities across the US and are proven to withstand lightning, voltage surges, and electromagnetic interference. You can get in touch with their team for more information on the same.
R.W. Tull is the President of Versitron Inc. He works closely with clients to review layout diagrams and drawings in order to ensure that the best fiber optic solution is achieved for a particular project.