For years, security system installers and their customers had to make very clear-cut choices on which products they needed to best meet their security objectives that were compatible with either their pre-existing cabling or new cabling infrastructure. Available power at critical installation sites and the distribution of power to remote locations was also a major influencer when deploying anything from video surveillance to access control and accessories. System designers and installers also had to cope with limited distances for data transmission – typically 100 metres – and a range of diverse power requirements. All that changed with the advent of PoE and new intelligent switches and midspans that leverage virtually any type and combination of fibre, copper, hybrid (fibre and copper combined), coax or structured cable infrastructure to support their systems.
Furthermore, advances in video cameras and other networkable devices have reduced the need for 120V power at these end points, increased their ability to accept a range of DC power inputs and improved their networking capabilities. Coupling all these advances with new smart switches that accommodate fibre, copper, hybrid, coax or structured cable with new PoE standards that support higher wattage, facilitates the deployment of the industry’s latest surveillance and access products at greater distances. This benefits end users by greatly enhancing security and safety at their facilities and installers by providing the ability to enhance their offerings with more cost-effective and efficient system solutions.
Make powerful connections
In addition to video and access, many additional devices can also be part of a security solution, including Wi-Fi network access points, intrusion and occupancy sensors, vibration and infrared sensors, data capture points such as card readers, keypads and RFID readers and communication devices such as emergency call boxes, just to name a few. As different as each of these devices are in form and function, they all require two things to operate – power and sufficient IP network connectivity. In addition to their ability to be deployed over any combination of fibre, copper, hybrid, coax or structured cabling, new PoE standards allow these end point devices to be powered by a single network cable connection that can carry both IP network data and DC power, including IEEE 802.3af (PoE), IEEE 802.3at (PoE +) and/or IEE 802.3bt (90W).
Extending system range
New centralised power supplies provide high wattage PoE power and innovative data transmission solutions enable extended data transmission over longer distances than ever before. For example, while the 100m maximum distance for UTP Ethernet has not changed since the late ‘80s, fibre can provide great distances for 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections with 50-micron OM3 laser optimised fibre links rated for up to 550 metres (1804 feet) by the IEEE PoE standards. And single-mode links can readily connect devices well beyond the 550 metres of OM3. Using hybrid cabling, extended ranges allow surveillance and security devices to be installed over wider areas without requiring 120V electrical power on site.
There are several significant benefits to be gained from using this approach for increasing surveillance and security over greater distances. First and foremost, it allows for greatly expanded wide area situational awareness and coverage while decreasing installation costs. It also provides for greater routing flexibility without the need for 120V power to be available at remote locations for systems to operate. Equipment and installation costs can be reduced further with the use of environmentally hardened PoE switches that connect back to the headend with a single hybrid cable and can distribute power and connectivity to multiple endpoint devices and even to additional switches.
In summary, new smart switches, midspans and endpoints leverage the use of any combination of fibre, copper, hybrid, coax or structured cable infrastructure while taking advantage of new PoE standards. What a great variety of choices security professionals now have at their disposal to cost-effectively improve security and safety.
Please visit https://solutions.altronix.com/solutions/networking-power-and-data-transmission for more information on Altronix power and data transmission solutions for any infrastructure.
By Ronnie Pennington, Director of Sales for the Americas at Altronix