How to wire security cameras with cat5 cable

Written by harvey birdman
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How to wire security cameras with cat5 cable
Ethernet cables can carry many kinds of data. (Ethernet crossover cable image by lefebvre_jonathan from

Ethernet connections are great wires for security cameras because of their large bandwidth. This allows you to use one wire for both the video stream and the motor controls. The fewer wires you have going from the rear of the camera, the more easily you are able to hide the wires. In addition, Cat 5 cables can hook up to your router or computer without any hardware adaptors, reducing the overall installation cost of any Cat 5-based security system.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Rotary hammer
  • Caulk
  • Caulk gun
  • Stud finder
  • Safety goggles
  • Foam
  • Cable hook
  • Pliers

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  1. 1

    Sketch out where the wire will need to travel to go from the security camera to your security monitor system. You do not necessarily want the shortest path; you want the path that requires the least drilling. Ideally you should just have the wire go through the wall directly behind the camera and then have it run through ducting until it emerges in your security room.

  2. 2

    Use the stud finder on the wall directly behind the camera to find where the studs are if this is an outside camera. If this is an inside camera, you will not need to do any drilling. Once you have found a spot in the wall free of obstructions, put on your safety goggles and plug in the rotary hammer. Drill with a quarter-inch rotary hammer bit and go into the wall until you come clear out the other side.

  3. 3

    Plug the Cat 5 cable into the rear of the camera through the rear of the hole. Then spool out enough cable for the camera to be able to move freely. Tape the cable to the wall securely so that the weight of the Cat 5 cabling does not yank on the camera itself. Slide the other end of the Cat 5 cable into the air ducting. Use a cable hook, a slim metal rod with a hook on the end, to fish the cable from vent to vent. Do this until you have reached the security room where you will use a pair of pliers to wedge apart the vent slits so that the Cat 5 cable can come out.

  4. 4

    Plug the Cat 5 cable into your security set-up then go back outside if you are doing an outside camera installation. Fill the gap in the hole you drilled with foam, styrofoam peanuts work well in this circumstance. Put some weather resistant caulk into your caulk gun and cover the hole and foam. Use a thick covering to ensure there are no air gaps. This is to prevent air leaks as well as insect infestations. Repeat this process on the other side to fully seal the hole.

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