CCTV Surge Protection
A typical surveillance system is directly or indirectly connected to a building’s main electrical service panel. AC power, data lines and coaxial cables…are all vulnerable to surges and transients. A single surge event affecting exterior equipment, (like cameras), can follow a path leading back into a building, affecting interior equipment as well. DVRs, interior cameras, midspans and power supplies may not have received the initial surge, but because these components are connected, the entire system is at risk of damage or even destruction. The risk of damage from a surge event isn’t limited to only the interior and exterior video surveillance equipment, loads, such as HVAC units, lighting and signage can be affected by a surge event occurring elsewhere.
There are several factors that combine to make a CCTV system an easy target for damage from electrical surges. First is the broad reach of the camera network. With cameras mounted all over a building, a CCTV system consists of a wire structure with multiple ground points. This means, if one node in the system becomes electrically elevated, current will flow from the other system nodes. This network of cables is connected through the central CCTV control equipment. Current flow will be felt directly by the heart of the camera system.
Another factor is the sensitivity of the central processing equipment used in CCTV systems. Most of the central equipment is microchip based and none of it is designed to handle surge currents. The DVR (Digital Video Recorder) is the most critical of these units. It is looking for 1 volt peak to peak on its input and can be easily over loaded. It also represents the largest single cost in the system.