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What bulk cable for 4k system?

Arkangel86

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I would like to run my own cables. I have searched but not much info, what cable do you guys recommend for a 4k camera system? Cat5e or Cat6?

Also where are you purchasing? I looked at monoprice but there are so many options I have no idea why the prices vary so much and what to buy

Thanks
 

rjsimons

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For indoor runs through wall cavities Cat 6, UTP (unshielded twisted pair), solid copper, at least CM rated. Do not use stranded cable. This is what I use: Cat6 Ethernet Bulk Cable - Solid, 500Mhz, UTP, CMR, Riser Rated, Pure Bare Copper Wire, 23AWG, 1000ft, Blue - Monoprice.com This is CMR rated which isn't generally needed for residential wiring but is easier to find.

Either Cat 5e or Cat 6 will work but since Cat 6 is only a little more expensive you might as well future proof a bit and use that.

Also, be sure to use RJ45 plugs that are rated for Cat 6 and for use on solid wire... like these: 8P8C RJ45 Plug with Inserts for Solid Cat6 Ethernet Cable, 100 pcs/pack - Monoprice.com
 
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Arkangel86

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Thanks! Generally, is the cat5e that comes with the “kits” from the big box stores junk? Will it make a significant difference in video quality?
 

rjsimons

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Thanks! Generally, is the cat5e that comes with the “kits” from the big box stores junk? Will it make a significant difference in video quality?
I have no experience with those, but I suspect they have factory plugs on them so will need larger holes to feed them through walls, etc.
 

mat200

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Thanks! Generally, is the cat5e that comes with the “kits” from the big box stores junk? Will it make a significant difference in video quality?
HI Arkangel86,

The cables included in the kits are often the cheapest they can get away with giving you and thus often CCA ( copper clad alum ) - as well as rjsimons pointed out - since they have the connectors already on them - you will need to drill larger holes.

CCA cables while cheaper are problematic - potentially a fire hazard, alum is brittle compared to copper and thus more likely to break, causing all sorts of headaches trouble shooting, and not as good for sending voltage to PoE devices.

Also, you will end up with a rats nest of some sort as some cables will be far too long... and some maybe even too short.

Remember installing cabling can be a good weekend worth of your time with the help of a friend - so better to do a good job here and use better cable if you can afford to do so.
 

Solar Deity

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Thanks! Generally, is the cat5e that comes with the “kits” from the big box stores junk? Will it make a significant difference in video quality?
I have no experience with those, but I suspect they have factory plugs on them so will need larger holes to feed them through walls, etc.
They will work fine, and your video quality will not be affected. If you don't want to "drill" larger holes, cut off the RJ45 and re-terminate after fishing the cable.

Cat5e is fine. I have over 6000+ feet of this under my belt, and countless cameras installed all operating as intended.

1000FT CAT6 CAT5E UTP Solid Network Ethernet Cable Pure Copper CAT5 RJ45 Bulk US | eBay

This guy is in NJ and ships quick. That cable is solid 24AWG copper and is $58 shipped to your door. He has the same Cat6 (in 23AWG) that Monoprice sells for $50+ more (when adding shipping) for $68. That 4 way separator in the Cat6 is harder to work with when fishing or bending the cable. Don't get me wrong, it's nice stuff, and I have a 1000 feet of it on hand, but it really isn't necessary and Monoprice is Mono-over-priced.

Cable is the cheapest part of any security camera solution, but here's the thing. Most cams, including 4K cams, run at 100 Base-T anyway. A properly terminated Cat5e can do better than 350 MHz anyway, but even that is overkill for 100 Base-T. If you don't properly terminate Cat6, it won't test out to 550 MHz either. You have to use the proper RJ45 connectors and keep the untwisted portion as short as possible (<3/8"). I like these "3 piece suits" as they keep the untwisted portion as short as possible, and you can double check your cable order before crimping. They work very well with 24AWG Cat5e as well.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01K9Z3ZWA/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Here are the tools of the trade, and the flow of the 3 piece suits, with that Mono(over)price Cat6 cable mentioned above. Again, overkill but it's nice (and expensive).

SD

IMG_5339.JPG IMG_5341.JPG IMG_5349.JPG IMG_5350.JPG IMG_5351.JPG IMG_5352.JPG
 
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toolazyforalogin

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Thanks Solar Deity I was looking for 1000 feet of cat6 and that looks like a great deal. I’ll pick up the “oversized” connectors as well.
 

jcc

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For outside, I thought you had to use the more expensive cable with sheathing and a drain wire, for grounding...
 

Arkangel86

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I would avoid ebay cable period...cable is the most labor intensive part of the install and problems are often difficult to diagnose....paying extra from a reliable source is worthwhile.
Monoprice sells on ebay lol
 

toolazyforalogin

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I would avoid ebay cable period...cable is the most labor intensive part of the install and problems are often difficult to diagnose....paying extra from a reliable source is worthwhile.
You make a good point. If I’m spending $1500 on a camera system I can spend the extra $50 to ensure decent wire. Just picked this up.


My IT friend want to kick me in the nuts. He says he’s got 1000’s of feet of CCA plenum cat6 that he would give me for free that he’s never had a problem with.
 

TonyR

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My IT friend want to kick me in the nuts. He says he’s got 1000’s of feet of CCA plenum cat6 that he would give me for free that he’s never had a problem with.
I was never an English major but from how I define 'friend' he's not a real good one to even suggest you install CCA cable, even free CCA cable. Maybe your 'friend' would agree (in writing) to help you replace all that CCA cable sometime down the road when you start having problems with it.

You are wise to spend the extra $$$ for good, solid copper. Why put $25 used tires on a $35,000 car? :cool:
 

TonyR

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If you don't properly terminate Cat6, it won't test out to 550 MHz either. You have to use the proper RJ45 connectors and keep the untwisted portion as short as possible (<3/8"). I like these "3 piece suits" as they keep the untwisted portion as short as possible, and you can double check your cable order before crimping. They work very well with 24AWG Cat5e as well.
VERY good advice, man. And to take it a step further in case newcomers to CAT-6 failed to notice, I copied one of your images and wrote some info on it to clarify the process, below. I'm big on pictures; they do so much better than words.

Your angle cut was not wasted on me and wanted to pass it on to others. After installing, I don't know, maybe 2 or 3 hundred 'straight' CAT-5's and -5e's, when I first did some Monoprice CAT-6 with their 2 piece connector last year I must admit, I struggled. After some head scratching, I decided to make it easy on myself and angle cut the cable end (as you did!) so I could more easily get the 8 conductors into the 'staggered' connector of CAT-6. The top/last part with the lip in your '3 piece suit' is almost identical to Monoprice's '2 piece suit' and performs the same function: keeps the pair twist intact for as long as possible and lines 'em up to fit the staggered RJ-45.

Thanks again for the great info (and I'll be sure to send you your cut when the royalties from this image starts pouring in...) HAH! :lol:

Angle-cut_CAT-6_2b.jpg
 
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jcc

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I burned a couple of "cheaper" Lorex cameras before I started grounding my cables, via the drain wire, and using in-line rj45 spike protection.
 

TonyR

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I burned a couple of "cheaper" Lorex cameras before I started grounding my cables, via the drain wire, and using in-line rj45 spike protection.
Incredible...I just posted THIS on another thread not 2 minutes ago. :cool:
 

jcc

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I've had one instance, so far, when the rj45 burned to a crisp, but the spike went to ground, saving the camera. I use a wire tracker to ensure a good connection on the 8 wires AND ground.
 

TonyR

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I've had one instance, so far, when the rj45 burned to a crisp, but the spike went to ground, saving the camera. I use a wire tracker to ensure a good connection on the 8 wires AND ground.
Me, too...been using El Cheapo like below, works great.

Also, regarding earth ground? I drive a 6 ft. ground rod and attach to the ground lug in that Ubiquiti protector using #10 stranded copper.

cable_tester.jpg
 
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xmfan

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I just wanted to chime in on this thread and express my thanks for all the feedback regarding cables. I've generally bought pre-fabricated, monoprice brand cables but they have been no more than 50' in length. As I dive deeper in the home security DIY experience, learning every aspect has been a fun journey so far. A lot of the stuff is over my head (for now) but that doesn't discourages me. A friend went through ADP security company to have all her cameras/NVR but she has no clue what they have installed. Doing it myself, I will have a much better understanding of all components involved, including the often overlooked cables and their quality. I will buy bulk cables/connectors and assemble myself.

As a sidebar - I am going through a similar experience by replacing my existing primary router with ubiquiti networking router and access points.
Oh So many fun projects and this darn J.O.B. keeps getting in the way - LOL
 
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