CAT5 Conversion Saves Bundle(s)
By Laurie Valenzi
Ever get in a situation where you have just completed a big security job and just as the invoice is handed over, the customer says, "You know, we really should have put some cameras on the back side of the property. Is it too late?" You cringe and you grimace, forcing a smile through gritted teeth and say, "Why no, sir, if you want it, we can do it." As you walk away banging your fists against your head, you stop to recall just exactly how much slack coax you pulled, and wonder if there is even access to power in these after-thought locations.
Up until recently you would have been looking at a ridiculous retro job on a brand new site; a job that would have cost you more time and your client more money—possibly so much that he or she would have passed on the addition altogether. But now there are products on the market
that cure this headache better than your local pharmacist ever could.
There are a variety of solution-oriented baluns, transceivers and distribution hubs, such as the MOC5 series from DirectConnect that will let you carry audio, video, data and power over CAT5 wiring—simply convert the coax, borrow a spare pair of CAT5 and choose the appropriate product to distribute your signal. There are simple baluns that convert a single BNC to a single CAT5, four BNC to a single CAT5, a single BNC with left and right RCA to a single CAT5 and so on. There are also more sophisticated versions of each product that allow you to carry 12V power over a shorter distance when a receptacle isn't readily available.
Although these products are great solutions for retro jobs, they also serve an economical purpose when specified for new jobs, as well. Imagine only having to pull CAT5 over your longest distance (up to 2.4 km), rather than coax, and control wire. This can add up to tremendous savings for you and your client, and will make room in the budget for higher-margin products such as better cameras, modulators, monitors, DVRs and the like. It's a win-win situation for everyone.