Possible alternative powering method?


#1

Hello. Love the cameras and ordered a bunch. My house has existing wiring on key junctions for motion detectors I no longer use; all these wires powered the detectors from a central alarm box. Is there any way, I can split the usb cable and attach to these wires if the amperage/voltage are correct?

I imagine this is a possibility for thousands of customers and if it is possible. I would gladly pay for some connector that did this.


#2

It is very unlikely that the voltage is the correct 5vdc that USB provides. However, the first step would be to get a meter and see what is actually being served from the alarm box. Assuming it’s not 5vdc, you may be able to get a transformer. Just one such example:

The alarm box may provide low voltage AC though, which would be more problematic.


#3

More important would be the fact that DC voltage drops drastically with distance, and the wires typically used for alarm systems most likely couldn’t handle the current draw. However, pushing a higher (12V) voltage (or even low volt AC) through the wires and rectifying back to DC at the end could be an option. I wouldn’t hold out too much hope for this, but it’s worth looking into.


#4

Thanks a lot for the suggestion. I don’t have a voltmeter but when I opened the motion detector, the little board labeled it had 12VDC coming in. The battery backup in the panel pushes out 12V. 7 amps according to the side label it has on it. I bought a converter to use at the end and see if it works. If it does, I have the added benefit of having the cameras on battery as well as my wifi (separate backup already used). Attached is a picture of the board.


#5

Most alarm systems run on 12VDC - looks like yours does. If that’s the case, you could rewire the alarm loops to draw 12V from the alarm panel. Then use a converter at the far (camera) end to get 5V. Rick suggested one such device.

Another is this one:
https://www.amazon.com/SV-PC02-Hardwire-Charger-Dashboard-Recorder/dp/B07BQQFJBG/

There’s a category of such converters intended for powering dash cams and other automotive accessories. You’ll find lots of them on-line. They generally come with either a miniUSB or a microUSB cable. For the Wyze cams, you want the latter.

To minimize power loss across long runs of alarm cables, it’s best to twin the wires. It’s common for alarm installers to use ‘quad’ (4-conductor) cable: one pair powers active detectors, like your motion detector. The other pair is for the alarm contact. If you twin the wires (use red+yellow for the positive, and green+black for the negative), the wiring resistance will be lower. Hence less power loss.


Power converter
#6

Thanks alot for the help. I will do as you suggested and let you know how it turns out.