Security Cameras
and Surveillance

Part 7 - Making a CCTV BNC Compression Cable


A 10 Part GeoVision Series by Camera Security Now
In this GeoVision Configuration video Josh explains how to make a CCTV cable using BNC Compression Ends. As you have seen from our previous videos, understanding and even building your own PC based DVR is something that anyone can do. However, building and installing your DVR is just the first step in completing any type of security camera project. Since every video surveillance system needs cameras, and the vast majority of cameras on the market today are still hard wired, the next step in your project might be just that. Wiring the cameras to your DVR.

Of course there are many type of cables that will be compatible for a CCTV camera, as well as many types of BNC ends that you could chose from should you decide to make your own cable wire. However, our preferred solution to security camera wiring is the classic do-it yourself RG-59 Siamese cable with a Compression fitting. The first question you might ask is why would we recommend making your own cable over buying a pre-made cable? That's a good question, and generally making your own cable is much more reliable and often times cheaper than buying pre-made cable. But like everything else in the world of security cameras, keep in mind a pre-made cable has it's place. Pre-made cable is the choice for extremely long runs, or for use with 24 Volt AC cameras and even for outside use. IN these situations pre-made cables are simply not an option.

Another factor that tends to sway us toward the do it yourself cable theory is that the classic RG-59 cable is much better insulated than any pre-made cable on the market. A simple visual inspection of a pre-made and a bulk RG59U cable will show that one is about the thickness of a pencil, and the other the thickness of a strand of spaghetti. So when the environment is unknown, or the amount of electrical interference the cable is exposed to is expected to be high, then the larger and better insulated do it yourself RG59U cable wins hands down in these situations. Such cable is typically sold in spools of 500 feet and rolls of 1000 feet can easily be special ordered if not in stock.

But, when it comes to the next question of how to terminate your RG-59 cable, that too has many possible answers. Our preference is a BNC Compression fitting. Unlike a traditional "crimp on" connector that literally smashes the connector around the cable, a compression fitting applies internal pressure within the fitting to grab the cable in a snug and even manner giving a watertight seal that is suited for outdoor use.

You may or may not have noticed but a compression fitting is the same type of fitting you will see in use by your cable, satellite TV, or internet provider. They know this fitting will be the most reliable and even though the cost per end is slightly higher than the crimp on type, the durability of the compression fitting more than pays for itself which is exactly why we recommend it. This type of compression fitting of course does require a special compression tool as it's physically impossible for a traditional crimping tool to compress the connector in this manner. With that one exception however the other tools necessary to make your own security camera cables are the same basic strippers and equipment that you may already have.