First of all what is a Balun? Without going into too much technical detail a balun will allow you to change the signal from a CCTV camera that uses a coax cable to use a Cat5e cable instead. In essence all you will be doing is taking the signals from each part of the coax cable and transferring them to a twisted pair in a Cat5e cable.
Why use a Balun?
Sometimes there are scenarios when you will need to use an Ethernet cable instead of a coax cable. This normally relates to distances as a video signal can reach further distances over Cat5e than with regular coax cables. It’s also down to personal preference; some people prefer using baluns as it’s quicker and less fiddly than terminating your own coax cables. You can also run power and video down the same Cat5e cable if using baluns but we wouldn’t recommend it on longer runs as the power could interfere with the video signal. Currently the new POC cameras and DVRs will not work with baluns. This is due to the power being intertwined with the video signal and at the moment there are no blauns that are able to split these and transfer them down an ethernet cable.
If it’s easier to use why use coaxial cables at all?
Some people prefer the video quality on a coax cable although the differences are very minor. A lot of people would point to using Cat5e cables and baluns as you will also be future proofing if you were to upgrade to an IP CCTV system. All that you would need to do is crimp an RJ45 on the ends of the cables and plug these into the cameras. There are a few devices that could convert an IP signal to use a coax cable but these do cost a lot more than a balun so if you were in a position to use Cat5e cables then it might be worth considering.
Using SPRO PTZ cameras and auto-focus cameras on SPRO DVR’s will also work using baluns on a Cat5e cable. So there is no real downside to using a balun, although I would like to add that unless you are hiding the balun in a junction box or base of the camera it doesn’t look very neat.
How to use a Balun
In order to use a balun you will need to choose a twisted pair to use with the balun. This will need to be the same on both ends of the cable you are using, so if you were to use the solid green and striped green for the positive and negative on the balun then on the other end of the cable you would also use the solid green and striped green twisted pair for the positive and negative on the balun.
The baluns we sell here have push pin terminal connectors so after you have stripped the cable push the button down and insert the bare wire. Once released the pin will grip the cable and secure the connection. On the BNC side of the balun simply insert and twist the end from the camera or DVR. Once everything is connected then the video signal will be carried through from the camera to the DVR as if it was using just the one continuous coax cable.