If you experience the issue of HDCVI or analogue cameras dropping out and not recording at night, this is often due to voltage drop across the cable.
The reason this usually occurs at night, is because the camera draws the most power as the Infra Red LED's have turned on. The camera will usually restart and show colour bars, then go black and repeat the cycle.
Before checking for voltage drop, check the camera specifications for voltage and current draw. These specifications can be found on the product brochure, or on the camera itself.
If you camera requires 12V DC and 1 Amp, ensure the power supply meets the requirements. If you have 4 cameras drawing this amount connected to a single power supply, your power supply must be 12V DC 4 Amps. If you power supply is not meeting the cameras needs, you will experience the same symptoms as voltage drop across the cable.
Before beginning, a multimeter, 1x Male DC Jack, 1x Female DC Jack, and a piece of figure 8 wire is required.
1. Locate the camera's power supply and disconnect the cable running to the camera.
2. Using a multimeter, measure the output of the power supply. Record your findings.
3. Reconnect the power supply to the camera.
4. Locate the camera that is experiencing issues, and get access to the power connector at the back at the camera.
5. Using a multimeter, measure the voltage at the camera while the camera is connected. Record your findings. The easiest way to make measure voltage if the camera has no points to check with a multimeter, is by using 1x Male DC Jack, 1x Female DC Jack, and a piece of figure 8 wire connected as below.
6. Repeat step 5, this time covering the front of the camera forcing it into IR mode. Record your findings.
Below are our findings, your findings will vary depending on cable type, and distance.
Note that the Voltage at the camera is 10.7V which is far from what it should be, at 12V.
|Voltage at Power Supply||Voltage at Camera
- Day Mode
|Voltage at Camera
- Night Mode
Once you have identified the camera is experiencing voltage drop, there are multiple methods to resolve it.
Method 1: Replace Camera Power Supply
In some cases it is possible to use an adjustable power supply to account for voltage drop. Check the specification of the camera your are working with to see what the input tolerance is, most cameras are usually 10%, meaning a some 12V cameras can safely run at 13.2V.
When installing the power supply, disconnect the camera first, and adjust the power supply to 12V. Connect the camera, and slowly adjust the power supply until the camera reaches the desired voltage when in day mode. Use a multimeter while adjusting the voltage to ensure the correct voltage is reached.
When installing a adjustable power supply, ensure that it does not exceed the cameras maximum voltage rating, as the camera will no longer work.Cover the front of the camera forcing it into IR mode, and ensure the camera does not drop out.
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