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Author Topic: Can Wireless cameras be converted to wired ?  (Read 184354 times)

mfe

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Can Wireless cameras be converted to wired ?
« on: August 04, 2007, 12:45:31 PM »

I have several wireless x-10 cameras but recently bought a home with plenty of attic and crawl space.  Over the years the wireless cameras have performed "OK" but I'm wondering if they can be converted to "wired" cameras?  Anyone with any experience here?  thanks
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Puck

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Re: Can Wireless cameras be converted to wired ?
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2007, 07:25:56 PM »

Yes they can. I have recently converted all mine.

NOTE: This mod will void the warranty and should only be done by those with experience and/or comfortable with performing these type of electrical modifications.

When you remove the bottom of the base you will see the 5 wires joining the camera to the RF transmitter:

  • Black: Ground
  • Blue: Signal Return
  • Red: Power
  • Yellow: Video
  • White: Audio

You can cut these wires and attach a cable to them. Remember to leave enough wire to work with. The RF transmitter and antenna can then be removed since you will no longer need it. Standard 4-conductor phone cable works good since you can join the Blue & Black wires together.

Sorry I don't have any pictures; if I ever have to open one again I'll update this post.
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tom j

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Re: Can Wireless cameras be converted to wired ?
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2007, 08:47:23 PM »

Yes they can. I have recently converted all mine.

NOTE: This mod will void the warranty and should only be done by those with experience and/or comfortable with performing these type of electrical modifications.

When you remove the bottom of the base you will see the 5 wires joining the camera to the RF transmitter:

  • Black: Ground
  • Blue: Signal Return
  • Red: Power
  • Yellow: Video
  • White: Audio

You can cut these wires and attach a cable to them. Remember to leave enough wire to work with. The RF transmitter and antenna can then be removed since you will no longer need it. Standard 4-conductor phone cable works good since you can join the Blue & Black wires together.

Sorry I don't have any pictures; if I ever have to open one again I'll update this post.


Say Puck I didn't know you could do that x10 should offer this option well ya gota get a point for this one!

Tom j
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mfe

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Re: Can Wireless cameras be converted to wired ?
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2007, 04:39:52 AM »

Thanks very much, not experienced but have one old b/w I'm willing to experiment with. 

mfe
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bohica

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Re: Can Wireless cameras be converted to wired ?
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2007, 11:09:11 AM »

Sorry to jump in late...newbie.  Thanks for the info Puck, I was wondering about this also.  But did converting the cameras improve the picture/reception?  Was that your reason for converting them?  Also I am assuming you used a standard RJ11 connector on the other end with RCA converter, were you able to buy the RCA converter from X10, somewhere else, or did you have some laying around?

TIA
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Puck

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Re: Can Wireless cameras be converted to wired ?
« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2007, 12:50:10 PM »

Hi bohica and welcome to the forum.

I changed mine to wired to eliminate the noise (visual as well as audible) with the wireless cameras. Too much interference from things like cordless phones (mine & most likely my neighbours), household obstacles, distance, direction, etc.

Result: clean video and only the sounds picked up by the cameras.

I used 4-wire phone cable since I had a lot of it already available. 6-wire with running separate grounds would be ideal.

I did use RJ11 connectors, but I made a junction box that these plugged into. This box joins the cameras signals together and distributes it with RCA cables to a Cable Modulator which in turn distributes the signals to all house TVs & computers via the existing cable system on an unused channel.
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KDR

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Re: Can Wireless cameras be converted to wired ?
« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2007, 06:59:07 PM »

Thanks Puck for the link to the modulator. Looks like what i was looking for at the right price. How long have you had yours and have you had any problems with it?

----------------KDR
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Puck

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Re: Can Wireless cameras be converted to wired ?
« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2007, 07:11:06 PM »

Hey KDR,

I purchased it back in May and have been running it ever since. It works as good as advertised. :)

With it's Output signal combined with the normal Cable TV signal (using a splitter backwards) I have not seen any signal degradation with the normal cable channels.

Since I am sending the signal throughout the house to 3 TV's and 4 PC's, I do use a cable booster amplifier after the combiner just because of the number of loads.

Here is a simplified schematic to show how everthing is connected:



Puck Edit: added picture.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2009, 12:30:26 AM by Dave_x10_L »
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bohica

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Re: Can Wireless cameras be converted to wired ?
« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2007, 08:41:05 AM »

Thanks for diagram!  I am assuming this config will only work if you have analog cable and not digital going through a cable box, is that correct?  I don't see how you would able to control the channels through a cable box.  If I am wrong or there is a way around it, someone please let me know because I would love to try this out.

Thanks again Puck.
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Puck

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Re: Can Wireless cameras be converted to wired ?
« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2007, 09:04:25 AM »

Thanks for diagram!  I am assuming this config will only work if you have analog cable and not digital going through a cable box, is that correct?  I don't see how you would able to control the channels through a cable box.  If I am wrong or there is a way around it, someone please let me know because I would love to try this out.

Thanks again Puck.

You are correct about the cable here just being the regular analog. Digital cable control signals will not feedback through the amplifier.

I also have digital cable too. I do a 3 way split right at my house feed. One for the internet, one for digital cable to the home theatre TV, and the 3rd for regular analog cable house distribution used in the diagram above.

Thanks for pointing that out bohica. That definitely could of confused people.
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bronco

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Re: Can Wireless cameras be converted to wired ?
« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2007, 06:38:06 PM »

Puck, your diagram indicates only one modulator.  Are you using 4?  One for each camera.
I have a similar setup but I use a modulator for each camera and combine them with the analog tv channels from my cable company.
On my analog TV, this works good, giving me the regular Cable channels and my cameras.  I have to balance the power between the cameras and the cable channels with amps. 
I tried to combine the cameras with the digital tv but it just messed up the digital tv, so I sent the cameras to an analog input on the digital tv.
Works good. 
This of course requires changing the tv to the analog input and then selecting a channel.  It is easier on the analog tv, all my wife had to do is change the channel to the camera she wanted.
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Puck

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Re: Can Wireless cameras be converted to wired ?
« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2007, 07:05:08 PM »

bronco: I just use the one modulator. I actually have 7 cameras that have all their videos tied together, as well as their audios tied together, to create just the one input to the modulator. I use motion sensors & AHP macros to control them so that only one camera will be on at any one time.

Since I use my dedicated home automation PC's TV card to record (via a VCR Commander), I needed all camera signals to appear on just one channel.

That modulator works so good, I plan on getting another to transmit the currently tuned digital TV channel to all the analog TV's as well.
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bronco

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Re: Can Wireless cameras be converted to wired ?
« Reply #12 on: August 31, 2007, 12:37:25 PM »

I use AHP to record whatever channel I have coming in.  I also have a multiviewer that takes in 9 audio/videos and outputs to another Modulator (ch-88) that I usually record.

I use a dakota alert for a motion detector that is more reliable than the x10 one.  although I have used x10 ones to record deer, racoons, etc.
The problem there was that every time a deer would move it triggered the motion det.  This overwhelmed AHP and sometimes it worked and sometimes not.  I tried using flags but that was never successful.  Finally, I put the receiver for the motion det on an appliance module and had AHP cut the power to the receiver while I recorded for a while.  Then I would turn the power back on.  This proved to be more reliable.

Also, even using there "outside" motion det, the Det would die in about a year.

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Puck

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Re: Can Wireless cameras be converted to wired ?
« Reply #13 on: August 31, 2007, 01:14:44 PM »

Also, even using there "outside" motion det, the Det would die in about a year.

Which model(s) were you using?

I only use the MS16A ActiveEyes for about 2 years now and only had one problem. That problem was with one that was fully exposed to sunlight every day. The little rubber cap on the top dried out and eventually fell off. The next time it rained, it failed. I now have them either positioned where they will not be directly exposed to the elements or I caulk over the little rubber cap.

I do know what you mean obout sensitivity; I manage to get a video of every stray cat in the neighbourhood.  ::)
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bronco

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Re: Can Wireless cameras be converted to wired ?
« Reply #14 on: August 31, 2007, 11:23:14 PM »

I have used MS13A(indoor),  MS14a(outdoor), and DM10a(form the robo dog, outdoor)

the ms14a had the rubber cap you mentioned.  I had them outside fully exposed to the weather.

I sealed the MS13A and it lasted longer than the MS14A.  The only thing x10 did to the ms14a was put a rubber gasket for the battery compartment.  Guess it never occured to them that water can get in the back of it.  No seal there.
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