4 Ways to Connect Security IP cameras with Fiber Optical Cable

As the increasing awareness of effective property protection, more and more people turn to surveillance system for help. Security IP camera is one of the popular devices.

Security camera system also known as video surveillance system, is the use of video cameras to transmit a signal to a specific place, on a limited set of monitors. Security IP cameras are often used for surveillance and applied in areas that may need monitoring such as banks, stores, and other areas where security is needed.

Making certain of how to connect is of great significance to make it work. Generally speaking, there are three methods for the connection of IP camera, namely, copper wire, wireless and fiber optic cable. we will mainly focus on the connecting ways by using fiber to settle down long distance IP camera deployment problem. If you are confronting with similar situation or interested in the connecting ways, please keep reading.

To begin with, let’s understand the value of fiber optical system to figure out why utilize fiber to connect  IP camera.

Fiber optic transmission is faster than copper wire. As we know, the speed of photon is faster than the speed of electron, there is a huge inherit speed difference between them. It is easily for fiber optical system to deliver 10G network. The higher speed network such as 40G, 100G, 400G are all employed fiber optical transmission. The copper can deliver 10G network, but require very special cat7 cable.

The attenuation is important in video camera system, the video broadcast is the huge data stream. Fiber optic transmission is in less attenuation. The signal always decreases as the distance increasing but the fiber optic cable can deliver lower attenuation which means that the transmission creates less signal loss. For example, if you want to deploy a IP camera over 100m, using fiber optic cable only causes 3% signal loss, while on the contrast, copper wire will lose 94% signal of the same distance.

Fiber optic cables are impervious to electromagnetic interference. Copper wire will produce electromagnetic currents that can interfere with other wires and wreak havoc on the network after improper installation. The passive signal (light) in fiber optical system make no contact with external connection and the power surges after lighting will not be absorbed by the fiber optical cable. That is why Fiber optic cables are more stable after deploying in the field, which eliminates frequent cable replacement.

The last but not least, since the fiber optical simply transmits the light in the system, which can prevent fire accident since it doesn’t conduct electricity. What’s more, it prove higher security because tapping the data from light is more difficult than electrical copper.

However, fiber optical cable does have some downsides, such as it is more difficult to be managed during the installation. As it is the fiber glass inside the cable, simple will break the cable. All the fiber optical cable has limitation. The fiber optical cable employs the light to transmit the data, all the connection need to be precise. The Ethernet cable connector can be made with crimped tools easily, the fiber connection requires special tools or craftsmanship to manual join two fiber cable in the field. Small deviation could causes mass light loss in the system.

The fiber optical link is suitable for long term operating. Once the link is setup, it can be used for years without extra maintaining. Therefore, it is a relatively good tool used to connect security IP camera, especially in the long distance deployment.

Now, let’s get to the point. In the following, we will demonstrate 4 main ways to connect IP cameras with fiber cable.

1. Use a pair of media converters

The media converter converts the electric signal to fiber optical signal or versed, so the camera’s video can be transported over the fiber cable. Two media converters are needed at both side to build the fiber link.

Usually, there are two terminal ports with a converter – RJ45 and SFP fiber port. Like convenient Ethernet ports, RJ45 is linked to security camera or main network. The two fiber ports is linked together by using the fiber cable. The fiber cable distance between camera and the main network can be 80km.

How to choose fiber cable and which connector to use depends on the SFP module installed in the media converter. The SFP module is the critical components in the media converter which generate the optical light. The single mode fiber cables are suitable for security cameras as the distance can be totally longer than multimode fiber. The SC and LC are two types of connectors. The SC connector is a little about two size bigger than LC connector. If you decide to make the fiber connection manually, SC connector is the right choose. LC connection has to be processed by using  tools.

In the media converter solutions the power needs to be dealt with separately. Both camera and media converters require power source, unlike the copper connection which can employ PoE technology to transmit both power and data over simple Ethernet cable. The fiber optical technology simply transmit the light which can’t carry the electricity.

2. Fiber with copper wire

The second way is replace the front media converter with fiber PoE extender which can be considered one special type of media converter. Except for converting the video stream to fiber signal, the extender also provide the PoE to remote IP camera. As the media converters accept power input range from 12V DC to 48V DC, the power supply unit can be moved to the back if the AC power source is not present at the front end. In case, two copper wire or composide fiber can be employed to send the DC power such as DC 48V. The maximum distance between the power supply and the camera is 2.5km. Besides, outdoor environment could be harsh, especially the summer when the sunshine is cooking the enclosure. So all the media converters, SFP modules and the extenders need to bear the wide temperature range. The industrial hardened grade products will be used for this outdoor application.

3. Fiber PoE Switch and a media converter

If there are several security IP cameras gather around in the area, fiber PoE switch is the handy tool. The fiber PoE switch has mulitple PoE ports which can takes in more than one security IP cameras, supplying both data and power over Ethernet cable. Instead of wiring each fiber optical cable to each security IP cameras, one fiber link is enough between the media converter and the fiber PoE switch. The connectivity between the fiber PoE switch and the camera stays with convenient Ethernet cable. Thanks to PoE technology, the power sources are eliminated, and with no need to be closed to each of the camera. It simplify the network design and saves the total cost. However, there is controversial opinion with this solution. Some people still prefer independent fiber link between each IP camera, because the main network which seems more reliable. One of the fiber link fails to work, which doesn’t effect the rest of the cameras. As long as the fiber PoE switch and the result of the components including Power supply unit, SFP module are the industrial hardened grade products, the Fiber PoE switch is still the reliable solution.

4. Fiber PoE Ring Network

Make an image of all the camera are being deployed straight on the street or cycle around the big area. The topology network infrastructure is inconvenient and complicated. The ring fiber network connects each others by using the fiber optical cable to create daisy chain. You may ask what if one of the switch goes failure, all the cameras linked to that switch will be offline. The ring network has to deal with these issue. The first switch need to connect the last switch to create the link. It creates the redundant path. If one of the switch goes failure, the network will reverse and take the opposite path to return to the main network. As the fiber is compact, the small wire can carry multiple strand fiber optical, it is easy to setup the straight fiber link with returned strand in the same conductor. The fiber ring network needs special fiber PoE switch. Simply connecting two switches with two fiber optical patches will break IEEE802.3 protocols. There is firmware inside the switch to determine which path directly transmits the data.

Use the fiber optical cable to connect security cameras is more easy than people expected after picking the right components. As the fiber employs light to transport the data, it requires less maintaining in future.

All ways mentioned above, hope to provide useful information for you. If you have any question or confusion , welcome to leave a comment. You can find more knowledge about security IP cameras, click here please.


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