I have an existing security camera under a porch that is wired by coax cable. I would like to replace the camera with the Wyze Cam (in an enclosure). Unfortunately, there is no easy access to power in that area. Is there any way I can send power to the Wyze camera using the existing coax? I would think I would need to connect the wall wart to the coax on one end and connect the micro USB connection to the coax on the other end. Anyone else do this, and what parts did you use? Thanks!
It’s best to feed a higher voltage over the coax (say 12VDC), and then use a DC-to-DC converter at the camera to obtain 5VDC. There are several articles posted on this forum about this technique.
An elegant solution to obtain power is a standard coax 12VDC power adaptor (intended for powering CATV distribution amps).
Thanks! I get how I would provide 12v power using the adapter you linked to. Do you know how I would convert from coax to usb-c to connect to the Wyze camera? I looked at the discussion you linked to but didn’t see anything about coax to USB. Thanks for any help you can provide. I’d love it if I didn’t have to go through the trouble and ugliness of running an outlet to that area.
A dashcam power kit will provide the connectivity required:
- a captive microUSB plug, typically on the end of 6’ or so of cable. (be sure to get a kit with microUSB, not miniUSB).
- bare leads (a red wire and a black wire) intended to be connected to automotive fuse block. You’d need to strip an inch or so off the end of the coax to make the connection. Connect the black wire to the shield, and the red wire to the central coax conductor. Soldering is best, but a couple of small wire nuts would work. Insulate the two connections with electrical tape.
Thanks for the detailed description! To be clear, when connecting to the coax I would use the outer shield and the inner wire as pictured?
That’s it! Assuming you’re using a standard dashcam connection kit, the red wire connects to the inner wire, and the black to the outer (shield).
You can make the connections with a couple of twist-on wire nuts, often called “Marrettes”. It’s important to make a good tight connection, esp if they’re outdoors (subject to moisture, condensation, cold, etc).
Depending on how you’re feeding power into the coax (in the basement), you do the same thing. Positive lead to the inner wire and negative lead (a.k.a. ground to the shield). You could use a standard 12VDC wall wart power supply, but the coax power adapter I linked earlier is the most elegant way to do it. (however, if it’s down in the basement, who cares about elegance:-)
Thanks again for taking the time. I need to make sure if I have the room for the car kit inside the exterior wall. I’ll circle back when I get it done.
before you connect the wires, use some dieletric grease to prevent corrosion. Between the moisture and dissimilar metals, you could have an issue. You could also use silicone grease or vaseline as a last resort.
You’ll thank me later when you bare wire ends don’t dissolve, especially if you’re near the coast.
Thanks for everyone’s help! After some trial and error trying to find the correct coax cable on the powered end, I got everything working and running. Works perfectly! Definitely would have done a much worse/hacked install had I not gotten this help.
Hi All, Any chance you have any more pics or videos of this? I tried google so far not able to find this soldering technique you mentioned.
Sorry, I don’t have any pictures and everything is in the wall at this point. I didn’t do any soldering though…I just twisted the shield wire strands into a single strand and connected that to the wire and then used the center cable to connect the other wire. I used wire nuts and then wrapped in electrical tape to make sure everything stayed connected.
Hope that helps.
@JZeld - just ran across this. How is it working?
In one house I’ve unused coax running all over, this may be one elegant solution to get power to my cams .
@kyphos - any particular kit you would recommend? Any idea how far the coax could carry the power?
If you’re feeding 12VDC into coax, you could easily get 100+ feet. Then use a dashcam kit at the camera end to convert the 12V into 5VDC. A few months back, I linked to a dashcam kit on Amazon that I’ve used, but there are lots on the (Amazon) market.
There will certainly be some voltage drop across a long run of coax, which is determined by Ohm’s Law. So if you feed a long run with 12VDC, the voltage at the far end will be somewhat less. A single V2 with the night-mode LEDs on draws less than 500 mA from a 5V supply. If the feed is 12V, the current draw will be less than half that; hence less IR drop due to the resistance of the coax. The resistance of a 100’ run of quality** RG6 coax is around 1.6 ohms.
For really long runs, it’s best to feed the coax with 24VDC, and use a dashcam kit capable of running with either 12 or 24 VDC. A higher voltage supply is better, as the IR drop will be lower. While coax cable is designed to conduct RF signals (2 GHz or even more), it’s quite capable of carrying DC. In fact, CATV systems power some distribution amps and other cable plant with power supplied over their coax trunks.
NB - the construction of the coax has a significant impact on DC performance. The centre conductor of some cable is copper-coated steel (CCS). Other ‘better’ cable uses solid copper for the centre conductor (BC). The latter has much lower resistance; hence less voltage loss, and is preferred for supplying DC power.
@kyphos thanks so much for this the very valuable feedback in this post. I’m trying to wrap my head around the easiest way to do this. Here’s what I’ve come up with (your Amz link was no longer available):
AC to 12DV coax output:
DC to DC step-down:
USB female solder connector
Amazon B071ZXCGLV (sorry, the post only allows me to post 2 links)
Not sure if what I’m doing is right and really appreciate your feedback:
Will the above work like this:
AC -> AC to Coax adapter -> DC/DC stepdown to 5V -> USB female connector using 2 random wires
If I attach only one of these AC to Coax 12V adptors in the basement connected via existing coax splitter/cables all over the house, is that sufficient or do I need an AC to coax for each cam?
What you’re suggesting is approximately right. (ie, close, but no cigar…)
If I understand your post, this is what you’re trying to do:
AC -> AC to Coax adapter -> -----long run of coax carrying 12VDC — -> DC/DC stepdown to 5V -> USB female connector using 2 random wires -> Wyze USB/microUSB cable -> Wyzecam.
The issue with your proposed gear is that the Wallmount AC Coax adapter is under-powered. It’s rated for 12V @ 200mA max. That’s 2.4 watts. I’ve measured my Wyzecams - they draw around 1.6W in day mode, and 2.2W in night mode with the IR illuminators turned on. The 2.4W that is theoretically available from the AC coax adapter won’t reach the camera. There will be some power loss in the run of coax cable (the longer the cable, the greater the loss), and the DC-DC stepdown converter will also have loss. Depending on the design, they might be 80-90% efficient. So that 2.4W power supply is pretty close to the edge to power a even a single V2 (though it might work just fine if your coax run is short).
Note that the V2 camera consumes more power if it has the sensor bridge add-on plugged into the back.
Note that the Wyze pancam consumes more power than the V2, especially when the motors are running.
Your notion of using a single AC coax power supply to feed multiple runs of coax (and thus power many Wyze cameras) is viable in theory. Of course the single AC coax power supply needs to have a power rating high enough to power all the cameras you intend to connect (plus, the losses in the cable runs and the stepdown converters).
A 12V @ 1A supply (=12 watts) might power 4 or 5 V2s, assuming that all of them will have the IR illumination enabled.
This I know will work - just tried it today. Need to replace a Night Owl wired DVR system. Since power wiring is in place, just need to push 5V/1A per v2 (or v3) over the existing wiring:
5V/10A power supply --> 4 (and/or 8) DC splitter --> DC female to USB A female adapter --> Wyze USB A male to microUSB cable --> v2 (or v3) camera
Bill of Materials:
5V/10A power supply ~$20:
4 (and/or 8) DC splitter: used existing Night Owl splitter
DC female to USB A female adapter ~$6:
Wyze USB A male to microUSB cable: supplied with v2 or v3 camera
The only real dependency is how long the power cable runs. Other than that, this setup should run for most configurations.
FULL DISCLOSURE: I don’t make a dime off of any of these products. I do, however, run a consultancy that is more than happy to help. (https://wsii.net)
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