How to Tap Into Security Cams

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If you have a security camera you would like to tap into so you can view it from another monitor or DVR you can easily do this for under $10 in parts per camera. If you are tapping into RG-59 (standard security camera cable) you cannot exceed 600 feet of total cable length, for RG-6 the total cable limit is 1000 feet. Also be aware that every time you tap into the cable you are degrading the signal; if the signal is degraded too much it will become unusable.

Things You'll Need

  • Four RG-59 or RG-6 connectors (depending on the cable type)
  • RG-59 or RG-6 BNC “T” adapter, female-female-female
  • RG-59 or RG-6 cable
  • Crimper
  • Coaxial wire stripper
  • Wire cutters
  • Knife
  • Disconnect the camera from the DVR and unplug the camera power supply.

  • Choose the location of your tap. If you can choose an indoor location, you will not have to seal the connectors from the elements. If you must install the tap outside, wrap the “T” adapter and both connectors in electrical tape or somehow seal them from the elements.

  • Cut the coaxial cable only; do not cut the power supply wires. Most camera cables are Siamese-type cable that incorporates the coaxial cable and the power wires in one unit. There are two types of Siamese cable. In the most common type of Siamese cable, the coax and power wires are joined together like two speaker wires. Simply split the wires apart using a knife; being careful not to damage either the coax or power wires (the coax is the larger round wire). The other type of Siamese cable incorporates the wires and coax inside a loose-fitting sleeve. To separate the power wires from the coax carefully cut a slit in the sleeve lengthwise about ten inches and pull the coax out (the coax is the black or white wire and the power wires are red and black).

  • Strip both ends of the cable you just cut and install connectors on each end of the camera cable and each end of the cable you are using for your tap.

  • Plug each cable into the “T” adapter. Electrically, it does not matter which part of the “T” you plug the cables into, but it is convention to plug the camera cables into the top of the “T” and you tap into the bottom of the “T.”

  • Plug the other end of your tap cable into a DVR or monitor, plug your camera back into the DVR or monitor and plug in the power supply.

Tips & Warnings

  • The most difficult part of tapping into the security camera is installing the connectors. Watch the YouTube videos for the type of cable you have and practice installing a few connectors before you make your tap.

References

  • Photo Credit Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images
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