Altronix is a pioneer in providing the security professional with solutions and alternatives including power supplies/ chargers, timers and relays. Over the last few years Altronix has brought out several new products which are aimed at the structured cable market.
Specifically, the products provide solutions for devices which are designed to be used in a structured wiring environment including IP, Fire, Life Safety, Security, Access Control and Video Surveillance.
The term ‘structured cabling’ was originally used to describe a standardized cabling architecture, specified by EIA/TIA 568 but it is often also used to describe building, campus or municipality cabling infrastructure.
Elements of Structured Cable Architecture include:
Point of Demarcation is where the public switched telephone network (PSTN) ends and the on-premises wiring begins.
Equipment or Telecommunications Rooms contain the hubs, central patch panels and other consolidation points (normally 19 inch rack-mounted) for the building, campus or municipality’s network and other subsystems.
Vertical or Riser Cabling connects between the equipment/telecommunications rooms, frequently between floors, although they may be on the same floor also. This is why riser diagrams are not necessarily schematics of inter-floor wiring, but instead are diagrams showing inter-device connections.
Horizontal Wiring connects telecommunications rooms to individual outlets or work areas on the floor.
Work-Area Components connect end-user equipment to outlets of the horizontal cabling system.
Structured cabling is classified in the NEC (National Electric Code) as Low Voltage or Limited Energy. Cabling types used in structured cable plants include category 5e (CAT-5e), category 6 (CAT-6), and fiber optic cabling, multi-conductor shielded and non-shielded cable.
Terminations and interconnects employ a variety of modular connectors, jacks, plugs, splices, and terminal strips.
ALTRONIX recognized that although analog video and coaxial cable had been the legacy technologies for decades, there were drawbacks to coax and as IP technologies have matured also recognized the benefits of IP and structured wiring.
Anatomy of a Video Surveillance System
Three main drawbacks to coax are price; handling issues and performance, not necessarily in that order,
Compared to UTP, coax is expensive. In most video systems, Siamese cable is used. Siamese cable is a composite construction combining a coax cable and a pair of stranded wires used to power the camera. Compared to UTP (unshielded twisted pair), Siamese is expensive.
For as long there was no viable alternative, the industry used coax, but when technologies permitted the transmission of analog over untwisted pair, the trend caught on and ALTRONIX has led the transition with a host of products designed for the purpose of replacing coax with UTP for analog video applications. Compared to UTP, coax is bulky.
Analog over UTP
We were faced with pulling cable for 32 cameras for a large public library which was an old building featuring plaster and wire lath, built like a bomb shelter, three stories and few dropped ceilings. Our first thought was how much better it would be for the installation crew not having to pull Siamese.
Running Siamese is a battle. Besides its weight and diameter, Siamese is rigid and not flexible. It snags knots and gets caught (especially for the younger, less experienced installers). For retrofit installations, it is not the ideal choice.
UTP goes in faster and easier, and by using it, the customer is getting a future-proof infrastructure leaving the door open (or ajar) for a future upgrade to IP cameras.
On another project involving a high school athletic complex, the design called for placement of several cameras in remote structures located several hundred feet from the head-end.
Plan A would be to trench and install several Siamese cables.
The Altronix NetWay allows users to maximize their current investment in IP video surveillance systems, and allows system designers to take full advantage of the network platform.