Splicing cables or wires is the act of combining two wires together, and it’s an indispensable skill for someone who owns or manages properties that use security cameras. You might need to do this to repair wires, lengthen wires, or combine two different wires together.
There are two main types of security camera wires: ethernet cables and RG59 cables. Even an amateur can learn how to splice either type, and the process is relatively simple once you get some practice under your belt.
Here, we’ll show you how to splice both ethernet and RG59 cables.
Can I Splice Security Camera Wires?
By following simple instructions and tutorials, most people can splice security camera wires themselves. You’ll need some simple tools, such as wire cutters, wire strippers, electrical tape, and heat shrink tubing. Depending on how your wires are set up, you might also be able to splice wires together using a coupler, which makes the job even easier.
It’s also important to note that while you can splice security camera wires together, that doesn’t always mean you should. Splicing cables could decrease the quality of your security footage, so when possible, it might be a better idea to run a new continuous cable.
How Do You Splice Security Camera Wires?
Before you can begin splicing your security camera wires, you need to know what type of wires you’re working with.
If you have an IP security camera system, you’re likely working with Cat5 or Cat6 ethernet cables. These cables will consist of four twisted wire pairs encased in insulation.
If you have a CCTV security camera system, you’re likely working with RG59 cables. This is an older type of cable, but it’s still used in many buildings. These cables will consist of copper wire encased in various layers of insulation and shielding.
The Easiest Method for Splicing Security Camera Wires
Before you begin splicing, take a look at your wires. If they already have connectors on the ends, you’re in luck. Both ethernet cables and RG59 cables might already have connectors on the ends, and in that case, it’s easy to splice the cables.
Simply find a compatible coupler and either insert or screw the ends of the cables into the coupler. With RG59 cables, it’s a good idea to wrap the connection with electrical tape after you’re done connecting the two cables.
How to Splice Security Camera Wires
If your cables don’t already have connectors attached, you can still splice the wires together, but it will be a bit more complicated. The process will be different depending on whether you have ethernet cables or RG59 cables.
Splicing Security Camera Wires with Ethernet Cables
Ethernet cables consist of small, fine wires, so it’s important to be very gentle and intentional when working with these wires. Follow these steps to splice ethernet security camera cables:
- First, use wire strippers to remove the outer insulation, which looks like a plastic coating on each wire you need to splice. Make sure you leave enough wire exposed to work with.
- Put heat shrink tubing on only one of the wires. You’ll need this later when you’re finishing up.
- Expose the inner core of each of the eight inner wires by carefully stripping off the outer layer. You’ll want to expose about a half inch of wire so you have enough to work with. Repeat this on each cable you need to splice.
- Combine each of the eight wires individually using a butt crimp.
- Tape each of the eight connections with electrical tape. This helps strengthen the connection you’ve made.
- Before sealing up your cables, it’s a good idea to test the connection to make sure it works.
- When you’re done combining each wire, cover all of the connections with your heat shrink tubing. Use a heat gun to activate and shrink your tubing.
When you’re finished, you should have a working ethernet cable.
Splicing Security Camera Wires with RG59 Cables
You’ll follow a relatively similar process when you splice RG59 cables. The main differences are the number of layers you need to work through and the number of wires you need to splice. Follow these steps to splice RG59 security camera cables:
- Use wire strippers to remove the outer insulation on each end you need to splice. This will look like a plastic coating. Make sure you leave enough wire exposed to work with.
- Put heat shrink tubing on only one of the cables. You’ll need this later when you’re finishing up.
- Pull back the braided mesh, which is the next layer you’ll find in an RG59 cable.
- Cut and strip back the shielding and additional insulation layer; these are the next two layers you’ll find before you get to the wire. When removing these last two layers, be careful not to cut too deeply so you don’t damage the core.
- Add another piece of heat shrink tubing that you’ll use once you have your connection made.
- Use a butt crimp to connect the core on each end.
- Wrap your connection with electrical tape.
- Put the heat shrink tubing over your connection. Use a heat gun to activate and shrink your tubing.
- Put a larger butt crimp over the braided mesh.
- Pull the heat shrink tubing over this connection. Again, use a heat gun to activate and shrink your tubing.
- Wrap your connection in electrical tape again.
Depending on the type of cable you’re working with, you might have additional wires to connect when you get to the core. Some cables have additional wires for sound and to power a tilt and pan camera. If you find additional wires in the middle, follow the same process to connect those wires.
When you’re finished, you should have a single working RG59 cable.
Why Do You Need To Splice Security Camera Wires?
It might seem like quite a hassle to splice security camera wires, and it definitely takes time and effort. However, it’s good to know what to do in case you have a break in your wires and need to repair them quickly to get your security cameras back up and running.
You also might need to splice wires to lengthen a cable, move a camera, or add additional security cameras. A good splice job can save you from needing to buy new cables.