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Do I need to ground a Cat5e Cable or an Outdoor Camera to protect against lightning..

Posted on 2011-09-11
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
I bought a Panasonic C160A Outdoor Webcam that.  With the C160A I am running an outdoor CAT 5e cable (80ft Cat5e Outdoor Waterproof Ethernet Cable Direct Burial 80 ft Shielded) outside from the camera housing into the indoor of my house which then connects  to my power transfer unit, from the power transfer unit it connects to the router.

 I do not plan on burying the cat 5e cable outside (it will lay on the ground until it enters the house) .  However, I am concerned that I need to ground the cable wire ?  If so how do I ground a cable wire ?  Is grounding necessary ?  Do I need to ground the Camera ?  The wire specifics are below:

Shielded RJ45 Connectors
Color- Black
Length: 80FT
Can be buried underground or used outdoors
Waterproof (Outdoor Rated)
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Question by:upobDaPlaya
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Seperate grounding is not usually needed.

If you live some place like Florida, like me (Lighting Capital Of the U.S.), and the cam is on a stand alone pole, it might be a good idea to make sure the pole is grounded. That will help with stary static, but nothing will stop a direct hit.
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stary  = stray
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by:upobDaPlaya
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Hi coral47

Does separate grounding imply that grounding is taking place somewhere else ?  
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_ earned 134 total points
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You get basic grounding through the Cat cable > nic > computer > wall socket.

Some cams do have a grounding screw on them, so it's usually a good idea to use it even if it is only a wire to a piece of pipe in the dirt.

If it makes you happier, run a piece of wire from the mounting bracket (they are usually metal) to ground.   ; )
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by:microwhat
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Also besides the grounding of what ever the cam is mounted to. You should also run the cat5 wire through a PVC pipe as a unprotected wire like that can experience side flash. Also a Cat5 Surge protect wouldn't be a bad idea.
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by:Tomunique
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How is your unit mounted?  pole? or eves of the house?

if you can put a grounded bracket around the unit, that would help avoid the problem in the first place.  Help guide the current to the ground.  Create your own path of least resistance.  But, a large enough zap may arc and go any which way.  You can't ground the inside of the cable, that would mess with the current flow, but you want to work to avoid getting the charge there in the first place.  

Also, I agree with Microwhat with covering the cat5 and/or burring it.  Just to keep stray weedeaters from damaging it.

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by:iconnectu
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If use google and search for "Lightning Strike Protector" you will find some products, which will save your Ethernet Devices from Lightnings. Its not done, when you only ground the camera. And don't forget, some insurance companies don't pay, when you don't use an Ethernet Protector!
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by:Callandor
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I have had NICs zapped by surges through cables.  Cat5e has ground wires for each of the signals, but they are not designed to handle lightning surges - they are on the order of 24 gauge, and a few hundred watts can destroy a cat5e wire.  The only thing you can do is try to protect against slight surges - there is shielded cat5e, and there are UPS units with some cat5e surge protection, but nothing can really protect against lightning strikes or induced surges by them.
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by:upobDaPlaya
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But if the webcam is a poe device would not surge run along the ethernet...then the power transfer unit (where the ethernet connects to the power source) then it the surge would run thru my houses elect sysyem which is grounded and not contimue to my router
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by:Tomunique
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If you take a direct hit.. unless someone's come up with some amazing high-end commercial grade device, you're not going to control the flow, you're going to encourage it.
You could take a hit to the house or feed to the house, and it could reverse itself and blow out your camera.

Lightning is so un-controlled, all you can do is "encourage" it to ground, as quickly as possible.  
It wants to find ground, the imbalance is what triggered it (the lightning burst).

Tom


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by:Callandor
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>But if the webcam is a poe device would not surge run along the ethernet...then the power transfer unit (where the ethernet connects to the power source) then it the surge would run thru my houses elect sysyem which is grounded and not contimue to my router

If lightning strikes nearby, a surge can be induced in any wires that are not shielded.  In turn, anything attached to the wires can get fried.
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by:upobDaPlaya
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Ok...I will ground the webcam which is under an eave.  I will attach a wire and stretch it down a few feet onto a pole which will be buried into the ground.  As for the cat5e cable I bought shielded cat5e.  Do I still need to ground 5e if the cable is "shielded rj 45".  

I noticed that where my cable comcast cable enters the house that comcast has grounded the coaxial by attaching a wire on the coaxial to my outdoor electrical meter which has a grounding pole at this location.  Note my electrical is buried and where the electrical conduit enters the house from the outside they placed a meter and a grounding pole.  Comcast apparently is leveraging off this grounding pole by attaching a wire from the coaxial to this electrical grounding pole.

Should I do the same for the cat5e as comcast did for the coaxial.  It looks like they used some type of bracket to attach the wire from the coaxial to the ground pole.  I went online and took a look at the price of cat5e surge suppressors and they seemed expensive, however if my router gets fried then the price is cheap.  I have not found a grounding bracket online yet, but my hope is that it is cheaper and is appropriate for my goal.
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>> ...comcast has grounded the coaxial by attaching a wire on the coaxial...

How exactly?
To a "tap"? Wrapped around the metal "nut? Just the cable?
Most of the one I have seen are to a "tap", just to give some added protection.

As said before, a direct or very close near miss by lighting is pretty much a lost cause.
The best you can do in that case is have some kind of surge protection and hope it limits the damage.
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by:upobDaPlaya
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Thanks everyone I will do my best to add a cat5 surge suppressor and ground the camera.  It sounds like thats the best I can do...
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by:upobDaPlaya
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These responses are exactly why I signed up for EE
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Thank you much.    : )
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