Video Security System
Posted by Thomas Butcher, Senior Applications Engineer on Aug 3rd 2021
About 18 months ago, after several thefts and vandalism to property and equipment on your business's fenced-in lot, and a few break-ins on the office/warehouse, you installed a video security system. It’s been great. The attempts decreased, and you even caught a few of the “perps”.
But, one thing is still bugging you. Shortly after the one-year warranty expired, you’ve had to make several service call requests to the installer, to repair or replace a camera, and even one to replace the DVR in the office. One time, a customer backed into one of the poles with a camera. Scratch one camera. Two other times, there were lightning storms in the area. You got to experience the thrill of upgrading to the newer model cameras, since the ones you had aren’t made anymore. But, three times, two cameras and the DVR stopped working for no known reason. Each one a separate occurrence. Each time, the technician said the board inside the camera, and the control board for the DVR, just “wore out”. In fact, when he showed you the boards, neither one of you could see any damage or discoloration to indicate where the board had failed.
The technician replaced the boards with new ones, and everything worked again. But you got to thinking, if the boards had taken a surge strong enough to cause failure, shouldn’t there be some evidence of that damage visible on the board? What the technician didn’t tell you, or maybe even they didn’t know, is that the boards were quite possibly damaged by surges created by the operation of equipment within your own facility.
The controls for almost every HVAC system, elevator, compressor, production motor, LED and electronic ballast lighting, assembly line, and sprinkler system, along with every computer, monitor, printer, phone system, PA system, and the myriad of small, electronic gadgets you have around the office for making your working life easier, including the cameras and DVR, are running on DC voltage. The problem is, your facility is running on AC voltage from the electric utility supplying power from the utility grid. To get to the DC voltage, your equipment uses everything from Variable Frequency Drives and bridge rectifiers, to switch-mode power supplies, to change the AC voltage to DC voltage.
These conversion devices create the DC voltage by drawing current from the AC power line in pulses. To draw this current, it is turning on and off four to six time PER CYCLE, 60 cycles per second. This is continuous, for the full time the electronic controls are operating. 864,000 to 1,296,000 times per hour! These current pulses produce an inductive kick on the voltage wave form, creating a surge. In most cases, the surge is relatively low level. By itself, it has almost no deteriorating effect on any of the nearby electronic circuits or motors. But it’s not alone. It has at least 863,999 friends every hour. They’re traveling on the wiring inside your facility, looking for a point of resistance, where they can create heat. These points of resistance are everywhere inside your facility. The windings of motors, filaments, power supplies, and ballasts of lighting, circuits boards, and even inside processor chips in computers and other electronics, are all potential points of resistance. And, to add insult to injury, the cameras and DVR each have their own switch-mode power supply to add to the mix.
Wouldn’t it be great if there was a way to protect your cameras and DVR, and everything else in your facility, from not only lightning, but also from the low-level, cumulative surges created by the operation of your own equipment? Well, you wouldn’t be reading this if we didn’t already have that solved.
The SpikeStopper line of home, business, commercial and industrial surge protective devices can provide surge protection for the service entrance, distribution and branch panels, phone lines, coax cable, network cables, alarm circuits, and even security camera systems. We have a full line of surge protective devices, all economically priced, to get you the level of protection you need to survive in today’s electrical environment, at a price you can actually live with. We can not only handle the lightning type impulse surges, but we are one of a very few companies that can protect you from the low level, cumulative damaging, ring wave surges created by your own, and even your neighbor’s equipment.
Whether your cameras and DVR work on coax, twisted pair, or network cable, we can protect them. And protection for the 120 Vac and 12 to 24 Vdc lines are also available. Give us a call. We’ll be happy to work with you to get the right system for your needs.