Security cameras can provide peace of mind at home or at the office, for anyone concerned about theft, intruders or other violations of their space. Some systems are complex and elaborate, involving multiple cameras and monitors, recording devices and switching systems. For less-complex situations, the easiest solution is one single-connection camera, hooked up to a single TV or CCTV monitor. Monitors are costly and use professional-style BNC connectors, but with inexpensive adaptors you can use a spare TV instead.
Using a CCTV Monitor
Mount your camera in the area you wish to monitor. If this is outdoors, be sure to purchase an outdoor or indoor/outdoor model. Place the camera in a sheltered location, if possible, to reduce its exposure to weather.
Connect one end of your BNC cable to the connector on the back of the camera. Rotate the connector until it slips over the lugs on the BNC connector, then give it a quarter-twist to lock it into place.
Run the cable through your eaves or wall, if possible, until you reach the monitor. Otherwise, take the other end of the cable and route it through your home's living areas to the CCTV monitor's location.
Connect the second end of the BNC cable to the camera, then plug the monitor into a power outlet and turn it on. Adjust the camera, if necessary, to ensure the area you wish to monitor is plainly visible.
Using a TV
Mount your camera in a suitable indoor or outdoor location. Don't use an indoor-only camera in an outdoor area, as it will quickly fail.
Attach one end of a BNC cable to your camera by pushing and twisting the connector. Alternatively, purchase an adaptor with a female BNC connector at one end and a female F connector -- the familiar cable TV connector -- at the other. Thread this into one end of an inexpensive TV cable and connect it to your CCTV camera.
Pull the cable through your house to your monitoring location. If you've used a BNC cable, you'll need an adaptor with a male F connector on one side and a male BNC connector on the other. Thread the adaptor finger-tight onto the back of your TV, then push and twist the BNC cable to connect. If you used a standard TV cable, simply thread it finger-tight onto the TV's cable/antenna connection.
Plug in the television and turn it on. Switch the channel to 3 or 4, as directed in the manual from your security camera. Adjust the camera's position or focus, if necessary, until it provides a suitable view of the area you wish to monitor.
- If the installation is temporary, or if you don't want to pull cable through your walls, use stick-on or tap-in cable clips from a retailer such as Radio Shack to secure it to your wall or baseboard. This reduces the risk of tripping over the cable.
- For a more finished appearance, route the cable through your walls or ceilings and use a wall plate to terminate it in your chosen room. You can then connect from the security wall plate, just as you would from a regular cable-TV jack.
- Either BNC or F (cable-type) connectors are available at retailers such as Radio Shack. For the occasional hobbyist, F connectors are much easier to install successfully.
- If you're mounting a camera outdoors, be sure to use a cable designed for indoor/outdoor use. They'll have heavier-duty insulated connectors, designed or the purpose. Alternatively, you can purchase a "weather boot" to weatherize the cable supplied with your camera.
- CCTV camera
- CCTV monitor (optional)
- Television (optional)
- Coaxial cable with BNC or F connectors
- BNC-to-F adaptor, female to female (optional)
- BNC-to-F adatpor, male to male (optional)
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