I bought one of the Harbor Freight 4 camera video surveillance systems to keep an eye on my driveway and yard.

Two problems arose.
1. Cable distance. "Tech support" says the 'cables' can't be more than the 60' that comes with the system because of loss of signal...( obviously never heard of Instructables.com)....The wires in question are very thin <1/8" with RCA and power connector on one end, BNC and power connector on the receiver end.
Can I adapt the RCA camera up to exterior coax and run a larger 12V power cord alongside the coax, then convert the video signal back down to the BNC connector and achieve a 'boostable' signal?
2. I have solar panels and 12 volt batteries throughout the property, sheds and garage. Would I be able to just power the camera locally instead of running a power cord from the receiver power supply to the camera?
    And.. what's a BALUN?


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JohnS3044 months ago

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framistan6 years ago
Video should be sent on cable type RG58 for best impedance matching... but if you convert the video to channel 3 or 4 using a small cheap MODULATOR... then it could be sent pretty far also... but now you would want to use RG59 or RG6 type cable (RG6 has less loss but is more expensive.) Then at the RECEIVE end, you will need to put the signal into an old VCR or DVD player that has a TUNER so you can DEMODULATE it off of channel 3/4 to go to the TV.
GrumpyOldGoat (author)  framistan6 years ago
Thanks for the reply. Maybe I asked the wrong question, failed to supply enough info, or possibly based my question on poorly researched solutions.

I have a thousand feet of 'surplus' exterior grade coax the contractor donated to me when the local cable company replaced the old cable on the poles. So, the 'quality' should not be an issue, the type RG56-59-whatever I do not know what the difference is, but I assume the connectors are fairly standard?

Checking into a 'Video Booster/amplifier" turned into a challenge pricewise, and I'm not certain that the stuff I looked at would work in this case.
So I would probably need a schematic to build something.

And would the booster/amplifier work best on the sending end, or the receiving end?

Thank You again, and that THANKS is extended to all respondents.

It appears that Evertech (read my earlier comment) only sells RG59 on rolls, which is 75 ohm cable. If that means these things are all 75 ohm, I would advise against using 50 ohm cable like RG58, or your video might not be as clear. However, I have not seen a spec on the camera's as far as their output impedance.

BALUN is an old ham radio term that comes from the phrase "BALanced to UNbalanced", which, in simple terms means twisted pair, as in CAT5 cable, to coax. I haven't tried it yet with my HF cameras, but supposedly you can make longer runs by running them through CAT5 using baluns. Go to Evertech USA's site (an Amazon vender) and they sell them in various quantities. I bought some wide angle lenses from Evertech and am happy with them but that's all so far. They look like a good source for DIY because they sell small quantities. By the way, is anyone reading this interested in what I've learned about converting a HF camera to a 2.1mm wide angle (about 105 degrees) lens?

I agree with Nacho,
Yes, you can add a boosting amplifier to drive the cable better.
A quality coax might make a heck of a lot of difference to begin with.
You MIGHT try a video amp at the input to your monitor.

NachoMahma6 years ago
1)  How far do you need to go?
2)  Shouldn't be a problem.
.  A balun (balanced-unbalanced) is an impedance-matching transformer. Common when dealing with coax and twin-lead in the same system. Google is your friend. Not sure why you would have one in your system.