Common CCTV problems and how to solve them
There are a lot of things that can go wrong with CCTV cameras. Many of the issues with a CCTV problem have to do with the camera. The good news in this is that it’s usually fairly easy to identify what the problem is and how to solve it. Most CCTV problems result in some kind of characteristic on the screen. This article will present six of the most common CCTV problems as well as how to resolve them.
Sun burn out
Most people believe that when a camera is rated for use outdoors that there isn’t a lot you can do to them to make them go bad. This is not the case. One of the most common of these problems is sun burn out. This problem is caused when the camera is directed in such a way that light rays enter the lens and hit the image sensor. After a while, this creates a distortion of the image. This problem results in issues such as a change in contrast and blurriness of the image. Most people know enough about cameras to know that they should not point the lens at the sun but, after all, the sun does move and can end up with light making its way to the lens and ultimately the image sensor, which is where the main problems can happen.
The best way to correct this problem before it causes damage is to monitor your camera images for a few days after you have them installed to make sure that there are no glaring “flames” on the image. If there are, try changing the direction of the camera, even slightly to correct the problem.
Most professional installers know that you should never mount a camera on a metal surface. Sometimes, especially when the camera has been improperly wired, surging and bleeding will happen with the electrical current that comes into contact with the metal surface. As a result, if your camera isn’t insulated properly, the current will reach the camera and cause lines and distortions in your image.
Fortunately, this is an easy fix. You need to determine which of your cameras–if there’s more than one–is coming into contact with a metal surface. After you have found it, remove it and either mount it onto a non conductive surface or simply mount it onto a block of wood or similar material and remount it where you want it. This will solve this problem.
A ground loop occurs when there is more than one ground connection path between two pieces of equipment. Ground loops can cause major problems with your CCTV. These problems include humming, noise, and other interference with systems such as computers, televisions and other equipment. Power supplies or cables that are faulty are a frequent cause of ground loops. Improper wiring in the building that a camera is connected to can also cause this problem.
Unfortunately, locating this problem and fixing it is neither easy nor cheap. There is a less expensive alternative, however, loop isolators, which attach to your camera and filter out the problem. It is much easier to ensure that this problem will not happen in the first place. An alternative is using IP(internet protocol) cameras instead of a wired analog.
Incompatible recording systems
There are two basic but very different recording systems, NTSC and PAL. Depending on what country you are in you will have one or the other. If you plug in a system that is not appropriate to the country you are in, you will know instantly. Your screen will be covered primarily with black lines.
The only way to correct this problem is to be careful what you buy, especially if you buy a product in a country other than the one you will be operating your equipment in.
No IR filter
IR filters or infrared cut filters are designed to eliminate infrared light wavelengths from your camera while allowing visible light waves. If you purchase an inexpensive camera, chances are good that yours does not have such a filter and you will need to be careful, and prepare to be disappointed with the quality of your image. Without an IR filter, you will have a very bright image, and even if you try to adjust the brightness of your image, you won’t be able to accomplish a good balance.
Unfortunately, there’s only one solution for this problem, buying a better camera.
Power supplies that are not appropriate to your equipment will usually show up on your screen as lines that roll from bottom to top. It’s not unheard of to also see rolling lines that run from top to bottom, so if they do, don’t rule out a power supply problem when you spot these. When this problem occurs, the image won’t move, but the lines will continue to roll. This is similar to when you have a ground loop problem, but with a power supply problem the lines will roll, and with a ground loop problem they will remain stationary.
The only way to deal with a power supply problem is to make sure that your power supply is compatible with the needs of your equipment. If they are not, you need to buy a different camera.
As stated before, there are a lot of problems that can go wrong with a CCTV system. That’s the bad news. The good news is that what is above are some of the most common problems that you can face with a CCTV system and how to fix them. Obviously, this is one of the advantages of having a professional installation done on your system.
Regardless, problems can occur, and you should know how to deal with them. Fortunately, it usually takes no more than a look at your monitor to see what the problem is or at least to give you a place to start fixing it. Working with a CCTV problem isn’t rocket science, but it can be complicated when you aren’t familiar with the equipment.
By becoming familiar with what you have from the very beginning is a huge step in the right direction towards keeping your CCTV system in top operating order for a long time.
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