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  • DC power wiring through wall

    Not exactly a NetCam plug-in question but I figured most folks using Wireless or wired security might be using NetCam. I have a couple of the Foscam Indoor IP cams that I'm using WiFi and currently powered from wall warts plugged in nearby and running up the wall. I'd like to power them from my custom 5VDC power supply / distribution board that I built for my Foscam outdoor cameras that is located in my main wiring closet. I'm struggling with a clean and aesthetically pleasing manner of getting the 16 gauge DC cable out of the wall and connected to the cameras. The cameras are mounted about 6' high on the wall. I don't really want to put a single gang plate on the wall for one 16 gauge cable. Anyone have a suggestion for a small, almost grommet, like pass-thru "sleeve" or plate for the wall? Can you post a picture of what you've done? I'd likely transition the cameras to use wired Ethernet instead of wireless and pass both the DC power cable and Cat5 cable through the same hole.

    I've had the same "problem" with one-wire sensors mounted on the walls. I've used a combination of hiding them in other low-voltage devices like IR keypad faceplates or just using a surface mount or round flush mount telephone jack.

    Thanks,
    Jabran

  • #2
    The legacy PT Foscam that I am using in the garage is currently using a 5VDC power line run some 50 feet or so from the top of the garage ceiling to the basement. I used a chase that I used for my externally mounted speakers. The network, power and speaker wires go to a wall plate/box with 3 hole keystone jacks. The DC power barrel jack was a made up one using an RG-6 keystone jack removing the RG-6 connector and replacing it with the 12VDC barrel connector. Purchased already complete it was some $8. Made up it cost some $2.

    These are flush mounted. I did at one time take pictures of the setup and posted them here somewhere.

    The above noted I am changing the Foscam in the near future for a wide angle (1.7mm lens) HD IP camera. I have been changing over to POE. I tested a few different POE injectors and like the size of the TP-Link 3 voltages injectors. I am using these for touchscreens providing 5VDC and 12VDC cams which are not POE (even outside in weather proof boxes). The new IP HD indoor dome's with a wide angle lens / LEDs are now some $100 with a much better lens / OS than the Foscam which I can still lock up having it do two things at once. (IE: like moving the camera and changing the ambient light type stuff).
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    • #3
      Originally posted by jabrans View Post
      Not exactly a NetCam plug-in question but I figured most folks using Wireless or wired security might be using NetCam. I have a couple of the Foscam Indoor IP cams that I'm using WiFi and currently powered from wall warts plugged in nearby and running up the wall. I'd like to power them from my custom 5VDC power supply / distribution board that I built for my Foscam outdoor cameras that is located in my main wiring closet. I'm struggling with a clean and aesthetically pleasing manner of getting the 16 gauge DC cable out of the wall and connected to the cameras. The cameras are mounted about 6' high on the wall. I don't really want to put a single gang plate on the wall for one 16 gauge cable. Anyone have a suggestion for a small, almost grommet, like pass-thru "sleeve" or plate for the wall? Can you post a picture of what you've done? I'd likely transition the cameras to use wired Ethernet instead of wireless and pass both the DC power cable and Cat5 cable through the same hole.

      I've had the same "problem" with one-wire sensors mounted on the walls. I've used a combination of hiding them in other low-voltage devices like IR keypad faceplates or just using a surface mount or round flush mount telephone jack.
      Thanks,
      Jabran
      I've never found a clean, minimalist solution for exiting a wall, you typically end up either putting in a box, or just punching through the wall Never saw a mini keystone wall plate, which would be very useful. I've also used the 1" desk "grommets" with a "groove" in them for the cable and they don't look too bad.

      If you're POE, you're golden (I'm slowly working towards maximum POE), as it's a lot easier since you're only talking about one cable which is typically wall rated already (I just buy fire rated cat6 so I don't have to worry about it).
      If not POE, or wireless, I find power is the biggest issue, as you don't want to run the wimpy 20 gauge from the wall wart in the wall (and NEC says you shouldn't) to the device, so you have to come up with some sort of transition to the power plug somewhere. Unfortunately the (plug) doesn't always work well with the power cabling you used, so you want to consider that when you select the power cabling (as well as wall rated). Having a box helps if you need to splice your power run to your short DC power plug (I don't like to do splices that are not in a box)
      Home running the DC power back to the source and connecting to your distribution is optimal though, which it sounds like you're wanting to do.

      Z

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      • #4
        I've used these in a few places: http://www.homedepot.com/p/CE-TECH-C...HITE/203717842 unobtrusive and can be painted, try an online search for different sizes and types. Seems like it may be a fit for what you want "...small, almost grommet, like pass-thru "sleeve..."
        All Z-Wave, #101 devices, HomeTroller Series2, HomeSeer2 v.2.5.0.81, & 1x Z-Troller

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        • #5
          Very nice, I like those...

          Z

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          • #6
            Never saw a mini keystone wall plate
            I've seen one either. I used standard keystone wall plates and modded an RG-6 keystone jack with a standard power barrel connector in box. I used them also for my externally mounted wall speakers in the house (have a mix of in wall and externally mounted speakers). The garage also became a Russound audio zone. The cat5e is going to the patch panel such that making it POE will not be an issue.

            That said I redid part of the garage for LV a while ago while sealing it from the house literally doing this and that. I am also not into seeing wires either via grommets or whatever sticking out of any walls; that is me though. I did redo that part of the whole to create a kind of golf center nook adding electric (conduit), lighting and addition network cabling plus RG6 anyways for a wall mounted LCD in the nook. Still looking though for one add; antique and still cannot find one...

            It is though an accepted means of passing LV wiring as as BB does do its LCD installations by literally cutting a hole behind your new LCD and just passing the wires to another hole in your drywall.

            Monoprice is your friend as they carry much LV stuff at a reasonable cost. I did though purchase much materials for said endeavor at the local big box hardware store.

            http://www.monoprice.com/products/se...keystone+jacks

            Here is a fraction of what they have.
            Attached Files
            Last edited by Pete; July 24th, 2013, 09:05 AM.
            - Pete

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            • #7
              I'm not sure if it satisfies all the particulars of the OP's situation, but here's an alternative solution:

              http://www.flatwireready.com/

              Has anybody tried it or seen it installed? It's been on the market for a number of years now.

              I was thinking it would be very useful for providing concealed power to retrofit electric blinds, but it could just as easily provide concealed power to the OP's camera.

              Another, more brute force, way to do it is to chisel out a channel in your drywall to run the wire and/or cabling, and then cover it with nail plating, such that the top of the nail plating is still below the surface of the drywall. Then apply joint compound over that to bring it flush with the drywall surface. Then, just apply finish coats as you normally would in a drywall repair to blend it in to make it truly invisible. From what I've been told by licensed electricians, this approach is NEC compliant, but you should, of course, do your own due diligence to ensure it satisfies your particular building codes. I've seen it done for mounting 120VAC lighting at wall header beam locations, using ROMEX covered by nail plating.
              Last edited by NeverDie; July 24th, 2013, 09:19 AM.

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              • #8
                The Foscam in the garage is about 1.5 feet kind of adjacent from the speaker so I utilized one of those stickon plastic channels in the corner edges of the wall to run the LV and cat5e cable (which is going to RJ45 only). I could have just put another box / keystone jacks adjacent to the IP camera but instead his the wall plate behind the Russound speakers such that you don't see it (along with the cabling to the Foscam).

                Thinking I purchased it as the big box store but Granger has these too (purchase stuff from them too). Its only about 1.5 feet in the corner of the ceiling in the garage; but you do see it.

                For the 1-wire sensors I do a surface mount external using a one hole cover plate. It is sealed from the wall some and I put in little mini jack couples inside of the wall to a short pigtail from the sensor to the wire. Lately do also put a little tag inside with the mac address of the sensor plus the cat5e labeling stuff at the termination and where it goes to (kind of PITA). The sensors on a board typically sit inside of small legacy phone boxes (old AAG style - but I have a lot of those - low on the WAF).

                The space / chases for the Foscam today have catXX high and low and I can utilize the LV voltage unterminated wire in the future to pull more cable in the wall at some future date not needed the LV wire (16 guage paired jacketed cabling). I might add a keypad or touchscreen in the same vicinity in the future (golf nook).
                Attached Files
                Last edited by Pete; July 24th, 2013, 09:30 AM.
                - Pete

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                • #9
                  Would a circular, surface mount junction box that the foscam then gets attached to also solve the OP's asthetic conern by further concealing the wiring connections to the foscam?

                  Depending on where the foscam wiring connections are (I don't have one, so I don't know), you might use a pancake junction box and bury it in the drywall rather than use a surface mount. Or, if there's no stud or other obstruction in the way, you could use a retrofit box. I'm assuming the OP already considered and rejected this last option though.

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                  • #10
                    Yup; they still sell these but today they have keystone jack inserts; some are just for one and others are for 2-3 and so forth. I think that the 1-2 keystone surface mount junction boxes are the same size such that you can today use two keystone jacks and tomorrow utilize only one for the POE to camera connection.

                    I use these in the attic for my serial to whatever devices (and other extended over cat5e serial connections). IE: I utilize a tiny combo experimental GPS board (years now) for time sync; antenna and board are in the attic of my two story home; tiny thing connected via serial to the basement comm closet. The little GPS board has multiple in and outs plus bluetooth; its more for development purposes than functional stuff. (I have though tested the USB, serial and Bluetooth and currently settled on the serial output).

                    I am seeing little Arduino computers now and might just build a little NTP server and just stick it in the attic instead of what I am doing today which is really kind of antiquated.
                    Attached Files
                    Last edited by Pete; July 24th, 2013, 09:46 AM.
                    - Pete

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                    • #11
                      Pete,

                      How hot does your attic get? I know you've got sensors galore, so you probably know the answer definitely.

                      Attic concealment has a lot of advantages, but I'm not sure whether most electronics can take the heat. As far as I know, cold is never really a concern for electronics.

                      As for heat, what's a good rule of thumb for deciding when air temp is too hot for unrated electronics?

                      Before I did ridge venting, my attic air temp got to a high of around 130F. After ridge venting, the high is now closer to 110F. I used a little Exetech device (model 40102F) that comes with a wired temperature probe to time&date stamps the max and min temperatures. It comes in really handy for establishing a temperature range.
                      Last edited by NeverDie; July 24th, 2013, 10:56 AM.

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                      • #12
                        The attic is both vented and insulated well. I don't pay attention much as I have worked up there in the middle of the day during the summer and same with winter. The heat or cold never bugged me. That said I am redoing much of my 1-wire network and currently I am not running some of my xap stuff (so I cannot see the attic temp today) because of another issue.

                        Its large and I can literally live up there. The serially connected hardware there has done well in the last 6-7 years?. I have done much stuff up there though; built some catwalks, added electric and storage area floors using plastic porus floorboard (kind of expensive little endeavor) for attic flooring? I don't have a bathroom up there but can almost use it for living space today. I did add much lighting such that it does sort of become daylight up there when I turn on the lights.

                        One time consuming endeavor was putting a chandelier lift up there. I had to build a sort of support infrastructure for it because the chandelier is on a very high ceiling (entrance to home). The lift was kind of heavy. That said I have spent much time up there as the second floor is totally wired. I do not though have switches or patch panels et al up there as all of that is in the comm closet.

                        I do have a cousin that turned his attic into another room in the house and get away I guess as he did the whole MM video thing and basically built it for his own personal entertainment room music and video...interesting because it is not configured for more than like 2-3 folks; small....did similiar in my very first home but added a bathroom and a guest bedroom aside from the MM / music room. Personally I recall preferring to the main floor living space at the time?

                        I will do a graph over time of 2nd floor and attic temps when my 1-wire stuff/xap et al stuff is back on line.
                        Last edited by Pete; July 24th, 2013, 10:58 AM.
                        - Pete

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                        • #13
                          Either you're a demigod, or there's something unusual about your venting and insulation for you to barely notice your attic heat in Florida during the summer.

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                          • #14
                            I was referring to the home in the Midwest. Interesting because I have also done much work in the attic in the Florida house. This was a tear down though of a home built around 1956 or so. That said insulation et all of the attic in the home is pretty good but I do not have sensors there. It is also very large. The roof there though is tile type (terracotta); the new home infrastructure (windows et al) is very energy minded if that makes any sense? It was rebuilt in 2001 or so. We have been there though since the 80's. I liked the old house layout a bit better; this one is some 10 feet plus elevated except for the garage. The pool though was built up high where as the old one was at ground level. It is a nicer view though than before.

                            Interesting because I did sort of "build" an attic working infrastructure (cat walks and storage) above the wiring closet and needed to be working up there some when I terminated all of the cabling. It wasn't that hot in July there sometimes (ceiling though are higher). There is no hardware up there but much cabling everywhere; today not even all terminated but does go into the wiring closet and some is just rolled up in the attic.

                            There I put just wood flooring over the insulation and did add lights. The roof peak and space is larger in FL than in the midwest. (some 12 plus feet)....
                            Last edited by Pete; July 24th, 2013, 02:38 PM.
                            - Pete

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Pete View Post
                              plastic porus floorboard
                              What is that, and why did you pick it over plywood or OSB? Pete, you are truly a fountain of unusual, interesting information.

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