Coaxial cable - longer runs are possible with careful planning and installation.

We have a long cable run in a CCTV installation and the end user wants to continue using an analogue camera which delivers good low light performance and low latency – could you tell us how long we can go?

A: Coaxial cable runs should be short and as direct as possible, with straight lines being preferable. Don’t run RG-59 cables further than 150m without amplification at the camera output to give intermediate signal boosting. A good amplifier in a quality installation will pump range up as much as 5x.

Another option when faced with long cable runs is to use powered coax. This saves dollars in that power cable need not be run to the camera. You can also use twisted pair cables and with the right setup and protection, these will give you a cable run between 500-1500m. Common signal transmission woes will demand implementation of suppression and fidelity control – they’ll be visible on the monitor during setup.

But there are other problems that are harder to pin down. Resolution loss is always difficult and tends to be the result of upper end amplitude loss that results from the use of a cable with a specification that’s too low for the distance of your cable run. Other typical causes can be things like too many bends in the run, kinks under pressure, too many joins, or damage to the cable caused by damage to the braided outer or inner cores.