12 volts and video over CAT5


New Member

I have been reading this forum for a little while now and really enjoy all the info.
I have read that you can supply voltage to the cameras (with IR) via cat5.
I wanted to know if there was an easy formula that would tell you how many amps you can pass per foot, etc...

I am planning on installing some cameras as far as 150 feet from the DVR.
I wanted to know if that would work fine or if the camera (and IRs) would make the cable overheat.

If it is possible and I wanted to pass the video there as well, what is the best way to split the cables in the pairs between the video signal and the power?
Can I put 1 pair together for the Power+, then another for the power- and then maybe one pair for Video Signal and the last one for video ground?

Would it be preferable to install Siamese RG59?
(Cat5 is already there so it would be easier)

Thank you all for your help.

150 feet should be fine. You will need Video Baluns though (2 per camera).

For IR cameras, make sure you don't underpower them or the IR won't work very well.

Yes, you can run both the power and the video over the same cat5.
Thank you for the prompt response.
Those devices are very expensive!
If I need 2 per camera, it adds quite a bit to the project...

Any other idea? :p

Not really. If you want to make sure you get a good video signal at 150 feet, you will probably need those. You can try it without them but in all likelyhood, you'll need them. Your other choice is to pull more expensive coax.
I run my IR camera video & power (1 pair for video, 1 pair for power, wich is 500mA@12VDC) over cat5 (about 175ft), using the baluns Martin suggested. Works great. I tried it without baluns first, but it adds some strange distortions to the video feed, so it didn't take me long to get these baluns. Using baluns, or the coax cable, is the only right way of doing it, or you will regret it later.
AutomatedOutlet said:
150 feet should be fine. You will need Video Baluns though (2 per camera).
From that web page:
You need to order 2 for each end of the Cat5E wire.
Shouldn't that be "You need to order 2 per cable, one for each end of the Cat5E wire. " The current text implies to me that I would need two baluns at EACH end. Sorry, just being my normal over analyzing self :p
All right then, I guess that I would have to go this route.
Is siamese-coaxial (or cat5+coax) more expensive than cat5 + baluns?

Are baluns all the same?

Thank you,
You can figure it out:

If you already have cat5 to the locations, it was posted above you could use that for power. Then all you need is the video side. For a little over $100 you can get a spool of 1000 feet of coax.

If that 1000 feet will cover your runs it sounds like you are covered. Total cost: ~$100

If you use the baluns like electron said he was using and you already have the wire run, your cost is roughly $46 ($23 x2 plus shipping, etc) per run.

So if you have more than two cameras, the coax seems to be cheaper. Then again, factor in the cost (real or your time) in running the coax to the other locations, which could be difficult or easy depending on your setup.

I was planning on running cameras myself, but I have a slew of projects ahead of it. I was planning on running coax and something else (hadn't defined it yet) for power, but I had seen baluns that were much more expensive. I may have to reconsider this after seeing these lower prices and the good reports.
Well Mike,

Thank you for the info.
I have fairly decent access to pull new cables.
I guess then that coax would be the best since I have up to 6 cameras to install...

For info, is the quality through coax better than cat5+baluns for runs around 150 feet?

I suppose that I need to buy RG69...
Is that correct or is RG6 better?

Thank you for all your help,

AutomatedOutlet said:
Make sure that if you run coax that you also pull wire for the power. 22-2 should be fine for that.
All right.
Thank you.

I guess that I could run CAT5 for power.
I have tons of CAT5.

I bought the cameras that came with 100ft of video/power cable. This elimates the need for the balans. Which cameras are you using?