BNC Connectors: What are they?

Published: 23rd February 2011
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If you are installing a CCTV system there is a good chance you are using BNC connectors. BNC connectors are the most common connector types used to terminate RG59 coaxial cables prior to attaching them to your security cameras and DVR (Digital Video Recorder). BNC connectors are simple to install and are known for being one of the most durable long lasting connectors ever made!

The BNC connector is historically known as an RF connector used for the coaxial cable types which connect radio, Television, and other radio-frequency electronic equipment. The connector was named after its bayonet mount locking mechanism and its inventors, Paul Neill and Carl Concelman. The basic BNC connector is a male type mounted at each end of a cable. The BNC connector has a center pin connected to the center cable conductor and a metal tube connected to the outer cable shield. The BNC connector is designed with a rotating ring that is located outside the tube that locks the cable to the female BNC connector. Although BNC connectors are most famous for connecting CCTV security cameras to a security DVR they can also be used to connect monitors. Many CCTV monitors feature BNC outputs that are used to deliver high quality video from the DVR to the monitor for high quality viewing.

A BNC connector usually comes in a crimp or compression type. Although both are very popular and have their pros and cons the type of BNC connectors you choose comes down to personal choice! Although crimp style BNC connectors are cheaper in price and simple to install they are not as effective as compression style BNC connectors. A crimp style BNC connector is terminated by crushing the metal of the connector around the cable to create a solid connection. A compression style connector actually clamps to the cable via a 360 degree compression crimp. The compression style BNC connectors are nicer looking, last longer, provide a stronger connection, and provide the best protection against moisture, water, and dust elements that could damage the termination. The 360 degree compression crimp mechanism of compression connectors will ensure the BNC connector lasts longer!

The most important decision you make is to ensure you have the right BNC connectors that works with the coaxial cable type you are using. If the coaxial cable type and the BNC connectors do not match the end result will either be a poor signal or no signal at all! BNC connectors are available for pretty much any type of coaxial cable available. The most common BCN connectors are those used with RG59 and RG6 coaxial cable in CCTV applications. Many people confuse these CCTV cables with the coaxial cables used for cable TV. The truth is that these are different cable types so make sure you are using coaxial cable for CCTV to support your security camera installation. Other popular BNC connectors include those that will fit on plenum rated cables. To ensure success in terminating BNC connectors do your research, read your cable specifications, and get the right BNC connectors that are designed for your cable.

The most important decision you can make is to choose the BNC connector that is compatible with the cable you are using. Pay close attention to the specifications so you can choose the right BNC connector to do the job right the first time!


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