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UTP and Coaxial


What is Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP) wire?

 

Unshielded Twisted Pair wires, as the term implies are two conductors twisted around each other and are usually used for different applications from telephone systems to LANs.


 

Unshielded Twisted Pair wires are typically referred to as UTP.  UTP has the best price per meter/foot performance for CCTV applications up to 6,000 feet (1,830 meters) in length.


What is coaxial cable?

 

Coaxial cable has a circular cross-section; The Center conductor is usually a solid copper wire, surrounded by an insulator, then a “shield”, then the outer jacket.

 

 


How is UTP different from Coaxial Cable?

 

Since the wire within Coax is not twisted, then it relies on a physical metallic jacket to resist induced noise. If the coax is run across an electrically noisy environment (along power wires, close to Fluorescent fixtures, etc), then the shield may not be effective in quelling the noise. This shows up as an interference pattern on the monitor, and sometimes can disrupt viewing/recording (see below). 

 

 

 Additionally, Coax provides no inherent Ground Loop Protection. If a CCTV system, the Camera end may have a different “Ground differential” compared to the destination. If the differential is large enough, you will typically see distinct dark horizontal noise bars that travel from top to bottom of the monitor.

 

In severe cases, particularly if the destination is a digital device like a Multiplexer/DVR, then it can critically disrupt the signal or recording. This can be particularly undesirable with a DVR, because many optimize their storage by requiring a clean video signal; if it’s not, then file sizes can dramatically increase, greatly reducing the Recording duration! 


When to use twisted pair wires instead of coax for CCTV applications?

 

UTP can be used in replacement of Coaxial cable in nearly every instance. This is desirable for a number of reasons:

 

  • Coax is stiffer and physically more difficult to run; UTP is much easier to run thru walls, pipes.

 

  • Some locations have unused UTP already installed; Many phone systems do not use all pairs. Elevators are good examples where it would be economically unfeasible to retrofit Coax.

 

  • For distances longer than 1,000 feet (305 meters), UTP is typically less expensive and has better signal quality.

 

  • For small camera systems, using CAT5 is inexpensive and convenient. The RJ45 connectors directly interface with the VPD (Video, Power and Data) line of Vigitron products, simplifying installation and increasing reliability.

 

  • For larger camera systems, you can home run all your cameras to a centralized Hub area, and use multi-pair UTP Cable to bring back the video to the Head End. Multi-pair UTP is available in 50 and 100 pair configurations, being far less unwieldy and more practical than running the equivalent number of separate coax cables. Most of the new Casino CCTV systems use exclusively UTP-based solutions.

 

  • Installing CAT5 for your customer is proven way to “future-proof” the installation. Even if the current UTP Baluns & Transceivers are retired, then you can easily upgrade to IP Video Technology. Your cable is already installed, and ready to upgrade. 


Why not use shielded twisted pair wires or untwisted wires?

 

Transmitting the video signal into a twisted pair provides an effective method of canceling extraneous noise and crosstalk. Shielded twisted pair wires have more capacitance but drastically reduce the operating distance for carrying video over UTP wires. Untwisted wires are susceptible to interference that will result in a degradation of the video quality. 


What type of UTP wire works best for twisted pair CCTV transmission?

 

The Vigitron UTP CCTV transmission systems support UTP wire category 2 or better, gauges from 12 AWG to 26 AWG. Vigitron recommends using Cat 5 or better to achieve the best analog signal distance performance and future digital (IP) system transition. 


Surge Protection


Are Vigitron products transient/surge protected?

 

Most Vigitron UTP products provide surge or transient protection. These devices have built-in surge suppression to protect video equipment against voltage spikes. Unlike similar products the Vigitron surge protection circuits will not degrade by occurrence of transients. The only Vigitron product that does not have surge protection is the VB1000 series. 


How should I specify a UTP system to be the most secure in regards to Surge Protection?

 

Firstly, you should specify all UTP devices be compliant with both Differential and Common Mode protection. Secondly, make sure that each UTP device has a connection to earth ground. Note that connection of both ends to earth ground does not increase the chance of a ground loop, since the ground connections are electrically inactive until there’s a power surge. So, video quality will be unaffected. 


Installation


Can the wires be connected in a star configuration?

 

All Vigitron products need to be used with point-to-point connection wires. Any star configuration or extra hanging pair of wires or stubs will cause ghosting effect and severe distortion in video signals. 


Can the wires be spliced or connected through punch-down blocks?

 

Yes. UTP wires can be connected through punch-down boxes, or they can be spliced. Video can be sent through a dozen of these connections without significant degradation. There should not be any stubs or loose wires, and the connection should be separated from surge suppression device (e.g., MOV) and telephone system. 


Can video twisted pair wires coexist in the same cable bundle with other wires?

 

Since Vigitron products provide balanced signals with high noise cancellation and cross talk immunity, it is acceptable to have twisted pair wires in the same bundle. 


Are Vigitron products adjustable for various distances?

 

The Vigitron passive devices or transceivers do not require any adjustment for up to 750 feet. Vigitron active devices are easily adjustable for various distances by using a simple adjustment on the active device(s). There is no need to know the exact lengths of wire or use a look up table to adjust the distance. 


Can the range be extended? Can passive and active devices be combined?

 

For less than 750 feet (230 meters), you can use passive devices on each end. For runs up to 3,000 feet (915 meters), then use a passive transmitter behind the camera with an active receiver. For up to 6,000 feet (1,830 meters), use active devices on both ends. Vigitron does not recommend cascading twisted pair transceivers as repeaters to further extend the distance. 


Can multiple camera signals be combined under the same Cat 5 cable?

 

Yes, since each camera signal uses one pair, then up to four camera signals can be transmitted under the standard Cat 5 UTP cable. 


Can we use the same Cat 5 cable to pass power to the camera, without affecting video quality?

 

Yes. Vigitron provides solutions that use two pairs of the same Cat 5 cable to deliver 24 or 28 VAC to most fixed analog cameras without affect the video picture quality. However, power will be attenuated faster than video signal with distance. 


Can power lines and other signals cause interference?

 

Primary power lines may also coexist as long as they abide by the local electrical code specifications. 


The Vigitron Difference


What is the deal with some companies quoting 750 feet, vs. those who quote 1,000 feet w/ passive devices?

 

Virtually all reputable UTP manufacturers have similar recommendations for the passive-to-passive applications. With a passive ONLY system, UTP can support 1,000 feet as long as the destination is an analog device such as a video monitor or a common matrix switcher.

 

If the destination is a digital device like a DVR or Multiplexer, then the video inputs on those devices are more sensitive to the signal losses and may experience Video loss detection, or intermittent alarming inherited from a runs over 750 feet. 


Is there really any difference in performance between Vigitron and the other brands?

 

Vigitron’s Passive solutions have better or equal visual quality to any of the major brands here in the USA. Some of the video performance advantages are more apparent using test equipment, but can be hard to differentiate with the naked eye. Most reputable USA brands will generally exhibit a good quality image as long as you follow the recommendations of each manufacturer.


All Vigitron products are designed from the ground up to support a broader CCTV application around the world. For those customers using PAL (European) video, our solutions demonstrated extended bandwidth support that provided sharper and higher-resolution video compared to other competing products. 


How are Vigitron Active solutions better in quality?

 

With active solutions, all UTP manufacturers require a manual distance adjustment(s), to calibrate the Transmitter and/or Receiver to the UTP wire distance. All competitors require two adjustments per Active device. Our solutions require a single or no adjustment, making calibration a snap.


Furthermore, the presence of the noise increases the file size of the DVR images storage. Vigitron systems have been thoroughly tested at both rated minimum and maximum distances have found no undue effects to the DVR recording quality. 


How are you able to keep your prices lower than the major competition?

 

All Vigitron solutions are designed in the USA and manufactured both here in the USA and abroad. The modular design and assembly of the components gives Vigitron the flexibility to manufacture our products for you in the most efficient manner.

 

When combining with Vigitron’s focused marketing strategy, Vigitron is able to pass the savings to you, while strengthening customer support and appropriate larger R&D efforts to develop other class-leader solutions.

 

Vigitron products have been sold worldwide over the past decade, providing reliable, high quality CCTV connectivity for a multitude of satisfied customers. We strive to provide a solution more cost-effective than the competition, with performance second to none.

 

These are some of the many compelling reasons to use Vigitron products, and we encourage you to try them out. 


Signal Support


Do Vigitron products provide PTZ (Pan-Tilt-zoom) support over twisted pair?

 

Yes. All Vigitron passive transceivers provide support for “up-the-coax” or other types of PTZ signals, as well as, audio and video signals less than 750 feet (230 meters). Our Active solutions do not pass those signals, however most PTZ’s allow use of a separate data line to provide PTZ control. Our VPD (Video, Power, and Data) line will address these concerns. 


Can the PTZ (RS-422 and RS485) signals be transmitted over UTP?

 

RS-422 or RS-485 signals are hard-wired (2 wires) between the PTZ equipment. Vigitron provides solutions to send data (PTZ) signal within the same Cat 5 bundle as the video signal. 


How do I fix the ground loop interference?

 

A good way to fix or prevent this problem is to use Vigitron’s active receivers or Vi1060 Isolation Transformer. These devices contain electronics designed to prevent the excess of electricity from disrupting the signal. 


Why is the video wavy with a rolling bar when using passive balun and passive receiver?

 

You may have a ground loop issue. Use a Vigitron active receiver (with ground loop immunity built-in) or Vi1060 Isolation Transformer. 


What is Automatic Video Compensation (AVC)?

 

Vigitron’s 6300 and 6200 series automatically adjust picture quality without the need for manual DIP switches or rotary potentiometers. Within the supported distance, Vi6300/6200 measures the incoming video signal and automatically compensates factors such as high/low frequencies and cable attenuation to optimize the video signal quality to the DVR or multiplexer. 


IP Camera Distances


Can I position my IP cameras further than the 100m limit?

Vigitron’s Vi2301 UTP IP Video and PoE extender and Vi2401 UTP to Coax IP and PoE extender are the solutions for any application that require power and IP video transmission over distances greater than 100 meters (328 ft). Symmetric Bandwidth (SBW™) assures virtually no bandwidth loss with the ability of transmitting Jumbo Frames up to 9000 bytes to handle the highest megapixel cameras. 


Vigitron’s patent pending Pass-Through-PoE (PTP™) process provides power to both extenders and camera without the need for local power to eliminate installation costs for power outlets. Both the Vi2301 and Vi2401 are  NEMA-TS2 traffic safety certified for operating temperature ranges of -40C to +75C for long duration of reliable operation under extreme temperature conditions. 


What is the most cost effective method to convert an existing analog coax installation?

The most cost effective method is to leave the coax in place and use extenders at each end of the cable. This type of device will transmit IP video and PoE over coax, and covert the UTP wiring to coax. 


There are several important considerations. While coax offers higher bandwidth and thereby longer IP video transmission, it has a higher resistance to power transmission which becomes the most limiting factor. Next, while the cable resistance used to determine IP video and PoE transmission is standardize for UTP as part of the 802.3 related standards, no such standard exists for using the coax cable. The type of cabling (and even the resistance of the most common cable), RG59, can have a huge effect on transmission distance results.  Coax cable resistance varies starting at 7 ohms per 300m (1000ft) to past 40 ohms for the distance. A difference of almost six times along with an associated cost difference. 


It is important that you investigate the details of specification claims made by manufacturers providing extenders and transceivers as to how they affect performance. You could select a solution based on the distance, then only to find out that it requires an expensive coax with 7 ohms (one that doesn’t meet the existing coax already installed).


Single Pair UTP Cable to IP and PoE


Can a single twisted pair cable be used to transmit IP video and PoE? If so, what are the limitations?

Yes, you can transmit IP video over a single twist pair, but not PoE power. IP video and PoE transmission require four pairs, so using a single pair only allow for the transmission of data (IP video) and not power.  Using a single pair as opposed to four pairs also affects internal resistance.  Resistance is higher using a single pair, so distances will be shorter.

 

When using the Vigitron’s Vi2300 series with four pairs, IP video transmission up to 909m (3000 ft) is possible; while combinations of IP Video and PoE will result in distances of about 638m (2100 ft). Reducing the cable to a single pair reduces distances to approximately 300m (about 1000 ft) for IP video only.

 

Differences in types of cable, such as CAT 3 verses CAT 5, and even differences in the quality of cable within a specific category (CAT) can have a dramatic effect on performance. With any installation, considerations must also be given to the number of wire splices.  Each splice has the potential of increasing the overall system resistance and lowering performances.


I have a front gate with single pair alarm wire and need to provide a method to transmit both video and PoE.

The answer is Vigitron’s Vi2400 series and Vi0030 single pair balun. The combination of the two allows you to transmit both PoE and IP Video over a single pair. The combination has been certified on 18-2, 22-2, and 24-2 wiring. The actual distance will depend on the wiring but distances up to 1700ft are possible. When considering this type of installation, it is important to restrict it to a single video run per cable as reduced noise cancellation will affect performance.


IP and PoE Extended Distance Design


What are some considerations when designing an extended distance IP and PoE camera system?

There are several important considerations.Let’s start with the ones you know.


  • Divide your cameras by manufacturer and model number. Different cameras will have different requirements depending on their power requirements and bandwidth. Codecs other than H.264 or the use of dual streaming will generally require bandwidths of 100Mbps, as opposed to 10Mbps.
  • Determine if you will be using local camera power or transmitting PoE. In general, using local power simplifies the process, but requires additional costs to power it. Some cameras are only powered by PoE and do not accept local power. So your camera selection may be based on the camera’s power method.
  • If the camera is going to be powered by PoE, you need to specify the power source (PoE network switch or injector) and made sure it will provide enough power to meet the camera’s requirements.
  • What is the transmission media, UTP or Coax? If it’s coax, you will need to convert the UTP cable to coax.
  • What is the transmission distance? No external transmission equipment is required for distances of 100m (328ft) or less using UTP cable. You would need to know the longest distance required for distances over 100m to assure that all other cameras will be able to transmit their signals properly.

Read specifications of transmission products carefully. Don’t be fooled by great distance claims. Both data (video) and PoE have physical limitations.


Now here are the things you don’t know.


  • Is the camera power quoted on the manufacturer’s product specification sheet the only power required? Many current IP cameras have several auxiliary features such as day/night operation, auto back focus, and PTZ.  These functions require extra power during start-up. It takes more power to start up a function than to maintain it in operation. This need for start-up power is called a surge and results in a rapid rise in power. If this power is not taken into consideration, the power source may not have adequate power to meet the surge requirements and will result in a power shut down from the source.
  • Many manufacturers of extended distance transmission products are not clear as to the conditions that exist at their longest quoted distances. As distances increase, bandwidth decreases resulting in packet (or video frame) loss and power loss. In addition, achieving longer distances may require the use of more expensive cable with lower resistance characteristics than typically found in common installations.
  • If the cable is already installed, what type is it? Does it have any splits? Are there any junction boxes used. 

60W PoE and Wire


What is the pin configuration for transmitting extended distance IP and PoE on Cat 5e?

The pin configuration within a Cat cable is standardized by both function and color.


The Cat cable is broken into pairs of wires. Each pair supports an individual function that relates to the transmission of data or present power in the form of PoE. As the wiring is segregated into pairs, the cable is sometime referred as a “4 pair”. 


When both connectors are the same from one end to the other, the cable is called a “straight through”. This means the pins are matched at both ends. When the pins are reversed from each side, the cable is called “cross over”.


Straight through cables can either be A to A or B to B connections. A to A was adapted by the US government. B to B is most commonly used for industrial applications.


Other considerations involve Power pver Ethernet. In the 802.3af standard, there are actually two different wiring configurations. Mode A mixes both PoE and data on the same lines that are used for data transmission and reception. Mode B transmits PoE separately from data.


Are the methods used for 802.3af (15.4W) and 802.3at different?

No, the wiring and the same for both. Vigitron configures their PoE Midspans and Extended transmission products to operate on both Mode A and Mode B configurations to assure compatibility with any product that requires PoE power.


Why is there less power received by the camera than transmitted for PoE?

 For 802.3af, the source power or Power Source Equipment (PSE) is 15.4W, but the power received at the camera side is 12.95W. For 802.3at, the PSE power is 30W, but the power received at the camera side is only 25.5W.

 

The difference between the PSE power and the power received at the camera side, referred to as the PD or Power Device, is due to the loss in the cable. The 802.3 PoE specifications are based on the use of CAT cabling. This resistance is fixed at approximately 0.188 ohms per meter, so the amount of loss and resulting power can be set at the camera side.  As such a higher PSE power results in more loss over the same cable at the same distance.

 

The selection of distance transmission limitation was designed to result in a resistance value, known as impedance for signals, which would match that of the receiving device. In electronics, the maximum signal quality results when these values are matched within a system.

 

Vigitron’s Midspans and extended distance transmission products are designed to provide full Class 0, Class 3 (15.4W 802.3af), and Class 4 (30W 802.3at) at the stated distances. Almost all camera manufactures have changed their camera power requirements from specific power levels to require full class power at the camera’s location. This assures proper camera operation under potential increased power requirements that results from auxiliary operations such as day/night, LED, auto back focus, and PTZ operations. With Vigitron’s products, our “True Performance” assures that you meet all IP camera’s power requirements.


With regard to Coax to UTP convertors, are the conditions the same as those applied to UTP?

Yes, but with one important difference. The use of PoE over coax was never standardized. As such, there are no guidelines as to the required resistance of the cable. As resistance is a key element of transmission performance, the wide range of coax resistance may results in performance differences.  Many manufacturers will indicate extreme performance distances without indicating the actual coax resistance, which is usually dependent upon very expensive coax that is not commonly used.


Vigitron’s certification testing is conducted under real world conditions with our “True Performance” test results. Whether it’s coax or UTP, both selected cable resistive values are selected to be as close as possible to the 802.3 standards. This also results in the ability of customers to judge performance using standard cost cabling. Testing is done to reflect end-to-end bandwidth at 10Mbps or 100Mbps and full class power. 


How does a 60W transmission work?

Currently, there are no standards for 60W transmission. However, in order to provide higher power, IP camera manufacturers that provide 60W solutions are using a system that is in effect 802.3at (30W) X 2.  Using Mode A, the system requires the camera to have 2 PDs. In turn, this requires any PSE to address both PDs.


Vigitron’s approach to providing 60W and extended 60W operation maintains the 802.3 safety standards by addressing the IP cameras’ PDs and assuring proper power shut down in the effect of shorts. Power is never forced. In addition, Vigitron’s 60W solutions are certified tested for operation with both Axis and Sony standard accessory PSE provided with their 60W cameras. 


How come Vigitron doesn’t offer a solution to transmit 60W over coax?

It is possible to provide 60W over coax. However, there are several considerations.  First, in order to maintain proper operations and safety as called for by the 802.3 PoE specifications, the power source (or Power Source Equipment) must “communicate” or wake up the PD (Power Device – e.g. camera) and establish how much power is required. In the event of a significant increase in power, the system is designed to shut down to avoid damage.

 

Coax is basically a 2 wire solution and cannot address both PDs, required for current 60W camera designs. In order to power a 60W camera without the use of PD communication requires the power to be forced. In the event of any short, the power would continue to be provided and would damage all the devices being powered. 60W unchecked can result in significant damage to cameras.

 

Second, the structure of coax cable results in a high resistance to power and higher power levels are faced with increased resistance. 60W power transmission would not result in usable distance. A third element relates back to coax cable resistance, which unlike UTP cable is not specified for IP and PoE transmission. Cable resistance various over a wide range as does quality all of which will affect performance.

 

It is important to note the difference between the terms “Injector” and “PSE”. An injector is a power source with no communication to the device it is powering. An injector provides one level of power regardless of the actual power required by the device and regardless of continued higher levels might result in damage. More importantly in the event of a short, an injector will provide increased power levels that results from the short until such time when either it fails or the device it is powering fails.

 

A PSE “communicates” with the device it is powering by the action of the device’s PD. When this occurs, the PSE is informed as to how much power is required and provides the requested amount. In the event of a short, the PSE wlll shut down to protect both the power source and the device being powered. 


Are there any applications that required “forced power” and if so, how is the equipment protection maintained?

 The use of “forced power” should be avoided at all costs. However, there are some situations where it cannot. The PSE-PD 802.3 relationship is based on the ability of the PSE issuing a “detection pulse” to wake up the camera. If the detection pulse is not received by the camera, the PSE will not receive the required feedback to deliver power.

 

While 802.3af/at is considered a “standard”,there are differences in the way IP camera manufacturers handle detection pulses. The most used method is called “two-step”, which transmits the detection pulse as two voltage levels. However, some camera manufactures use a “four step”. In this case, the PD will not respond to a two-step signal.  802.3at compounds this further by either being Type 1 or Type 2. Type 1 has the PSE issue one detection pulse as in 802.3af. Type 2 requires the PD to receive two detection pulses, one as in 802.3af and the second one, which tells the PSE to provide a higher power level than 802.3af (greater than 15.4W from the PSE). Type 2 is supposed to be compatible with Type 1. However, this is not the case many times in IP cameras.

 

The ability of the camera to receive the proper detection pulse is greatly affected by the resistance between the PSE and PD. This is why maintaining the proper cable resistance is so important. Many times, there is no control over previously installed cable.

 

 

Overcoming these problems requires no issuing a detection pulse and forcing the power, exposing the system to the previously stated potential problems. However, Vigitron’s Vi2208/Vi2216 and their related “A” series midspans, and the Vi2500 and Vi2600 midspan extender products offer a unique solution. In both 802.3af and 802.3at operations, forced power can be set to levels that will provide power required for operation and surges, but protect cameras and power sources from runaway shorts. When the power level reaches the user’s setting, it will shut down operations in the same way as if the PSE-PD communications are set.  


Solving Bandwidth Problems


My system uses a mixture of different megapixels cameras. I am having video quality issues with the 5MP and 10 MP cameras.

Most network switches are designed for data, such as word and excel files, and not the higher packet sizes required by video. Both IP data and video are transmitted in packets. For video, these are sometimes referred to as “Video Frames”. The more megapixels a camera has, the larger the packet size.  Almost all IP video cameras output  their signals use a  100Mbps port. However, most network switches that receive signals at 100Mbps can only resolve (pass) packet sizes of approximately 1518 bytes. This is approximately equals to 2MP camera, depending on the codec.  In general, cameras with MP resolution greater than 2MP will transmit video in packets larger than 1518 bytes. This results in problems that allow the port to properly pass the camera signal.

 

Vigitron’s Vi3026 and Vi3010 network switches allow you to set a specific frame size, regardless of the input bandwidth. This means that the port will be able to resolve the full packet size ranging up to 9600, even at 100Mbps. 


When the switch is half loaded, video images are fine. However, when the switch is fully loaded (all ports in used), video deteriorates. Why is that?

This is a function of the switch fabric or sometimes referred to as throughput. In a network switch, all ports have a common connection which is how information is passed between ports. In order to properly pass the camera signals when all ports are connected, the switch fabric must be at least two times the total bandwidth of all ports. In most network switches, this is not the case. The limitations of a switch fabric will block the transmission of a fully loaded switch.  As the bandwidth of an IP camera can change depending on the amount of motion within a picture, increasing with motion can lead to a significant number of frames being blocked, particularly when the activity occurs and recording is required.


How do I know if the problem is a function of the camera, the switch, or both?

Vigitron’s switches could help you identify problem areas to avoid returning products and only to have the manufacturer tells you that nothing is wrong. A single screen provides complete information on the number of packets and individual packet size transmitted and received, while counting errors and the number of numbers.


Solving PoE Problems


I set up my switch’s PoE to match the PoE requirements for my camera, but it will not power up.

There could be several reasons for this. The first is how your switch allocates its PoE power. Many switches share power between ports. In this case, as the number of PoE devices connected to the switch increases, the amount of power available to each port decreases. Also, it is important to note the differences between the total switch power and the amount of power available for PoE. This is often called the “PoE Budget”. When calculating available PoE power, you may find that your switch cannot support all of your cameras. Be careful not to confuse the ability of a switch’s PoE port to handle power as opposed to the actual available power.


The switch has enough per port power for all the connected cameras, but it still doesn’t work.

 Many network switches are designed only for data communications and not for the demands of IP cameras, which usually required higher and more consistent power. In many cases, the switch’s power supply output will operate on an efficiency factor based on what devices are operational at any given time. This can result in a variation of available power. 


What is the solution for this?

Vigitron’s Vi3026 and Vi3010 network PoE switches are designed for IP camera installations. The main power supply and PoE Budget are fixed with no variations regardless of the number of devices connected and active.

 

Vigitron’s network switches are designed for IP camera installations. Vigitron’s switches also maintain up to a 30% separation between sources supplying power for switch operations and PoE using two separate outputs for increased reliability and stability.


I removed all of my cameras except one, but the camera still will not power up.

If a camera does power up on start-up and you have eliminated other potentials, it could be due to the camera’s surge power during start-up.  PoE cameras are no different than other electric devices. Start-up power is usually greater than power required for continuous operation.  Vigitron’s detailed testing of IP cameras has shown the potential for start-up surges requiring up to 20% more than operational power.

 

If the switch PoE is set to fixed PoE power output and the surge or even the operational amount exceeds this, the port will completely shut down power and will not restart. 


What is the solution?

Vigitron’s Vi3026 and Vi3010 network switches sample PoE port power. Where power requirements are exceeded, PoE power to the port will shut down. Unlike other switches, our switches will retry up to three times to reapply PoE based on user programmable delays, often avoiding the potential for a service call.


What happens if the PoE power is still shut down after three attempts?

Most PoE switches will only allow you set a fixed value for output PoE port power. If the camera requires more power, the port will just shut down. Vigitron’s switches allow you to set any specific power requirement to any value within the 802.3af (15.4W) and 802.3at (30W).

 

Most important and a key difference is that our switches evaluate power requirements based on the requested power from camera and will vary power as required by the device the port is connected to.

 


Are there any other reasons why a detection pulse may not be received by a camera?

Yes, this can be due to how a camera receives a detection pulse. Some parts of the of 802.3 PoE standard are not always standardize. Detection pulses can be either two point (legacy) or 4 point. A switch issuing a four point may not turn a camera on that only response to a 2 point. Our switches can be set to either, but have an additional setting that assures connection, regardless of which one the camera response to. 


If I have programmed the correct PoE, how will I know if I need more?

There are many factors within a network infrastructure that determine actual PoE power requirements. Our switches can help you determine actual power requirements. While a camera manufacturer’s specification may indicate the power required to operate a camera. It will not tell you the actual power to turn the camera on, or reflect extra power requirements due to transmission line resistance. Our switches monitor PoE requirements and compare actual usage in terms of PD class to what was programmed and the actual switch output. By monitoring this during start up, changes can be made so the switch can provide the power actually required.  


Could I damage the switch if it has multiple cameras connected that require high power during start-up?

Yes, when a switch is connected to PTZ cameras, there will be a high power surge at start-up as they go to a zero reference position. In actual applications, this has been known to shut down power completely and could actually damage the switch’s power supply. 


Is there anything that could prevent this?

With most network PoE switches, no. Vigitron’s network switches allow you to program per port PoE application over a 5 minute for each port. This allows PoE power to be applied in a safe manner to prevent surges that could damage the switch.


What does this means in terms of reliable power for start-up functions?

The ability to set a PoE value allows you to compensate for the additional power required during the camera set-up and functions, and delay PoE power for multiple devices with high surge potential to eliminate possible damages from the start-up surges.  For example, if your camera requires 15.4W, you can program a setting for 19W and the switch will provide the extra power when required without shutting down while maintaining the safety within the 802.3 PoE standard to prevent damage should a shutdown occurs. 


Where does this extra power come from?

Vigitron’s switches maintain a power reserve over that of the total power capacity required for 802.3af and 802.3at operations. This reserve can be applied to cameras that might require it due to the surges.


What happens in the event my connection is lost or a connection is not made during initial start-up?

In most cases, this could result in a service call. Connections are not made during start-up or are lost during normal operation for various reasons.  Most of the time, the physical connection may already be established, but communications to a camera and PoE application may not be.  As this can occur at any time, lost connections in the middle of the night may result for a camera being off line until the physical intervention takes place.


Our switches contain a unique programming function that allows an individual switch port to directly establish communication with the device connected to it. During normal operations, the Vigitron switch will send the device (camera) an ICMP (Internet Control Message Protocol) packet to check the camera’s PD (connection and PoE) status. If communication is lost, the switch will attempt to re-establish communication up to three times over a duration as programmed by the operator. If communication is not re-established, the switch will automatically reboot the camera if programmed. This action can take place unattended, helping to reduce the potential for significant camera down time and service calls. The PoE auto checking can be programmed to report to the SNMP and Sys log functions for notification and record keeping.