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Old 09-22-2014, 01:24 PM   #1
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Security Camera using 12V AC


Hello:
I'd like to install a security camera at the entrance to my driveway. The batter powered ones don't seem to have good reviews so I'm opting for 120V AC. the problem is the only power I have out there is 12V AC supplying some low voltage lighting. Is there a way to step-up the voltage from 12V AC to 120V AC and more importantly, will it be suitable for an exterior installation?
Thanks,
Mike
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Old 09-22-2014, 01:59 PM   #2
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Yes, just take a 120 volt to 12 volt transformer and run the power in on the 12 volt side getting 120 volts AC out. What kind of camera is this? Most of the ones I have seen run on 12, 9, or 5 volts anyway, from a wall wart. You might need low voltage DC, but that is easy to get from 12 volts AC.
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Old 09-22-2014, 02:38 PM   #3
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I assumed that I would have to convert the 12V AC into 120V AC so that I could plug in the wall wart. If I can get a 12V AC to 12V DC converter, cut off the end of the power supply and wire it directly to the camera, that would be great.

I thought I'd get something inexpensive to begin with, then upgrade when I'm sure the power source is good. I'm considering something like this --> http://www.lightinthebox.com/tenvis-...n_p266438.html

Since it's 12V DC I'll need to get a converter from AC to DC. Any suggestions?
Thanks.
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Old 09-22-2014, 02:39 PM   #4
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Low voltage lighting is usually controlled by a timer, photo eye, or both.

That means that you will not have power for your camera unless the lights are on.

It is better to pickup a 120V source and run the wires needed to a point near your camera location.
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Old 09-22-2014, 02:41 PM   #5
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Thanks. I realize that but the only problems I have ever had occurred at night. For now, that time frame should suffice.
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Old 09-22-2014, 02:53 PM   #6
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What is your available current for that 12Vac? And how much current does the 120Vac camera use?

Assuming a 'perfect' step up transformer, if the new camera pulls 0.1A @ 120Vac, your 12Vac needs to supply at least 1A.

I'm also guessing that your planning on wireless?

A couple of suggestions....

Look into POE (Power Over Ethernet). Connecting the camera on Ethernet will give you substantial more performance

Maybe consider a longer range camera? One that you can mount near to the house and see the entrance to the drive.
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Old 09-22-2014, 05:36 PM   #7
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Does the 120v camera use a internal power supply ?
Or does it use a wall wart ?
Using a back to front tranny seems the easiest option at this point.

Or perhaps look around for some better quality 12v camera's
There must be some out there, surely.
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Old 09-22-2014, 05:58 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmxtothemax View Post
Does the 120v camera use a internal power supply ?
Or does it use a wall wart ?
Using a back to front tranny seems the easiest option at this point.

Or perhaps look around for some better quality 12v camera's
There must be some out there, surely.
DM...when I think about it, except for POE, I don't think I've ever seen a consumer style security camera that was actually AC powered. All use an external power supply which usually puts out 12Vdc or so.

Even the POE cameras are DC...it's just done at the router end.

So...if the OP has good wiring for the yard lights....say 14g or better...DC losses in it would be minimal and that wiring should work fine.
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Old 09-22-2014, 07:24 PM   #9
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I was thinking like wise,
That's why I asked about the power supply
is it internal or external.

If the 12v feed is AC,
then it will need rectification, filtering and regulation.
cause once you put a filter cap on it the voltage will rise
to well beyond 12vdc.
so some regulation will be required.
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Old 09-22-2014, 08:40 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ddawg16 View Post
DM...when I think about it, except for POE, I don't think I've ever seen a consumer style security camera that was actually AC powered. All use an external power supply which usually puts out 12Vdc or so.

Even the POE cameras are DC...it's just done at the router end.

So...if the OP has good wiring for the yard lights....say 14g or better...DC losses in it would be minimal and that wiring should work fine.
They are out there. POE you have to either have the POE injector, or a switch that supports that feature. You also have to place a Lightning protector that can handle POE, where the Ethernet (outdoor rated), enters the building and tie the ground screw on the protector, to either a cold water pipe that is copper as it exits the building, or grounded to the Earth Ground rod for incoming power.

Personally if this is going to be for a standard security system, that comes with a dvr, I would just wire it up that route. If you are buying a separate computer to use as a DVR, then you need also a way to handle the IP's for the cameras, so they can see the DVR. This means more work.



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