Lightning Protection for outdoor cameras

doxymoron

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I recently moved into a new home, and had them run CAT 6 cable to multiple outdoor locations for my POE cameras. The cameras are connected to a Ubiquiti 16 port POE switch. Since spring/summer, anytime there is a lightning storm, the switch will cut the power to the ports momentarily and all devices (indoor/outdoor cameras and 2 WAP) will restart. The switch itself will stay on. I am looking for a solution for this. Is it as simple as running my outdoor cameras to a network surge protection device? I am looking at something like this:

19

Please let me know if there is something else I should be looking at, I don't have much experience with this.
 

VorlonFrog

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Not much you can do about lightning, except for providing two things:
1. Solid copper ground wire, connected to a deeply-planted stake in the ground
2. Present a more attractive target away from the camera, similar to #1

As far as the power-failure aspect of it, get a good UPS with decent capacity and connect the POE switch through it.
 

doxymoron

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Well the problem is occurring when there is lightning in the general area, not even that close it's causing the issue. I was looking for a solution for that. I know there is not much to be done with a direct hit. My POE switch is connected to a UPS. It is staying up, but all power to the ports are cut during strikes (I'm assuming it's by design?). I've been trying to read up, but everything seems to say I need a network surge protector somewhere in the mix between the cameras and the switch.
 

Rich.L

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Just thinking out loud here.

I assume your switch is plugged in to a surge protector. If not, that might be an initial option.

Surge protectors like everything else come in different ratings to protect different types of equipment. Maybe a surge protector that is better rated to low power sensetive electronics?

A whole house surge protector may also be an option. There are some that have the ability to sense multiple issues and respond accordingly to prevent a surge.

Maybe place the Ubiquiti device on an UPS to ensure stable power is avaialble to all cameras?
 

doxymoron

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The switch was originally on a surge protector when the issue started. Then I put it on a UPS and the issue continued. From what I've been reading, I think the problem is due to ESD during lightning storms affecting the outdoor cameras and causing the switch to power off the POE ports to protect itself. But I'm no expert. Was hoping someone might have had the same issue.
 

J Sigmo

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I'd be tempted to try three things.

I would try an Ethernet surge suppressor, with its ground tied well to the ground of the POE switch so the voltage limiting is made with respect to what the switch is calling "ground".

I'd try a different POE switch, different make and model. Perhaps this particular one is extremely sensitive so the ESD spikes.

Another option might be to use shielded cat 5/6
Yes. And tie the shields at the SWITCH end only, NOT at the camera ends at all. You want the "intercepted" garbage to be referenced to the switch end, and anything that makes it through the shielding to be "common mode" at the switch.

The nice thing about Ethernet is that it is transformer coupled at both ends. This means that you have isolation and "balanced" signal coupling, which greatly reduces the effects of any common mode noise and also, because of the isolation, some protection from potential differences from one end to the other, which are very common with nearby lightning strikes.

But the surge protector might clip off some excessive induced voltages and give you an additional level of protection.

Although tedious, you could also try disconnecting different cameras to see if the problem is originating from one of them in particular. Perhaps that camera or the cable to it is compromised in some way or making contact with another conductor somewhere such that you are picking up more noise from the nearby strikes than you normally would.
 

aristobrat

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Both of my Unifi PoE switches (8-port and 16-port) do that.

When the same cameras are connected to other PoE switches (I have one from XyXEL (managed) and one from TRENDnet (unmanaged) from before I got my Unifi stuff), there are no problems with storms.

With the older Unifi switch firmware from last year, I’d have to take manual action to restore PoE after storms, and lightning strikes nowhere close could cause the issue. The newer firmware from this year usually restores PoE automatically after a bit and storms have to be a lot closer before the switches drop PoE.

If I move to a non-Unifi switch, I lose a lot of visibility into the network. So far the reboots haven’t been enough hassle for me to do that. This issue has several big threads on the Unifi community going on for over a year now. They collect logs and send RMA units but there has been no solution, ... seems like a bad switch design that they don’t want to admit to.
 
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