Grounding remote cameras?

EvanVanVan

Getting the hang of it
Joined
Jul 29, 2022
Messages
82
Reaction score
70
Location
NJ
Lol so after @Teken literally put the fear of god in me last night regarding lightning strikes, I'm just wondering best practices I can do at this point. For reference I reattached the diagram of my underground run(s). I have bought unshielded cat6 and PVC conduit but have not installed either (was going to this weekend).

So regarding grounding the remote cameras, I have no problem installing surge protection devices on both ends, but how do I ground them? They will be mounted 7-8' high in trees. Most of the SPDs refer to grounding directly to the pole the camera is mounted on, but that won't work when it's a tree. Do I install individual grounding rods next to each camera? That gets away from the a Single Point Ground. I attached an image from TrueCable: How To Fix a Ground Loop. It kind of seems like as long as the ethernet cable is not shielded multipoint grounds aren't an issue? Unless this is not referring to PoE devices?

Back on the house where do I ground those SPDs? Do I run a copper wire back to the electrical panel grounding bar?

Thanks
 

Attachments

Joined
Dec 28, 2019
Messages
11,509
Reaction score
27,491
Location
New Jersey
You ground the SPDs to a nearby good earth ground. At the camera end that means a ground rod. I'd say an eight foot copper rod, or ten foot galvanized 3/4" pipe like rigid conduit, and connected by a ten gauge, or larger, copper conductor. Either the rod or conduit will need an appropriate ground clamp. At the house end bond them all to a ground that goes to the common ground of the house, again using a ten gauge or larger copper conductor.

I will also defer to @Teken on this.
 

Teken

Known around here
Joined
Aug 11, 2020
Messages
1,483
Reaction score
2,643
Location
Canada
Before I or anyone else go too deep into Grounding the following basics need to be called out and understood. As I truly believe this forum and many others are meant to ask questions, share knowledge, and experiences.

- Conductor: Anything that can conduct is called a conductor and this can be anything from a rock, tree, human, and obvious metals. Anything that doesn't conduct electricity is called an insulator think rubber.

- Antenna: Anything that exceeds 25 feet will literally become an antenna. This allows something to send / receive RFI, EMI, EMF (Induced Voltage).

- Shielding: Things are shielded to absorb, reduce, reflect, and protect X from RFI, EMI, EMF. Shielding will spread and dissipate whatever while also depending upon the type of shielding draw away the RFI, EMI, EMF.

- Grounding: There are all types of ground from chassis ground, ground reference, safety ground, earth ground, component ground, etc. As it relates to a home / business the ground is intended for two purposes which is fault voltage and protection for human / equipment / structures. In the ideal world ground would be zero Ohms but that isn't ever possible in the world because everything around us has resistance.

So our primary goal is to reduce the resistance and the Potential Difference from one point to the next. Hence the importance of everything connected to a single point Earth ground within the super structure of the homes electrical panel. When everything is connected, bonded, to the same ground reference the potential will (ideally) be the same.

- Lightning: As it relates to lightning there are two distinct solutions and paths to follow even though they seem to be related in some way. As on a Global level they are but it doesn't change the fact the two are completely different. For a moment I'm going to go into a related tangent because it needs to be discussed because its not something the average Joe knows, understands, or considers.

Since the age of man we know lightning normally strikes the tallest structures / things. We know lightning normally will flow to what has the least amount of resistance. We know lightning carries the huge amount of voltage (power) and current and the same has the ability to damage and destroy whatever it strikes.

Lightning rods and lightning dissipaters have been used for decades because they are proven to work. People often like to compare a Telco tower to a home and this is completely wrong and ass backwards. One can not compare a completely metal tower to a stick home.

The obvious difference is the potential difference and the material that has or lacks resistance! :facepalm:

Any metal structure is going to conduct electricity better than a wood framed home. As such even if (Man) did absolutely nothing like SPD / Dedicated Grounding. Said tower would be more than likely fine because the tower is literally metal and is secured to the ground! We ground the tower because its not just a tower but houses electronics which are essentially small to big resistors that wont and can't last if lightning was to strike.

So man connects / bonds the electronics to the same metal tower. He than connects a dedicated ground wire that goes directly into Earth Ground.

Why???

Because no matter how conductive the tower is it has resistance and it doesn't compare to a copper wire that is connected to the Earth!

So in the opposite man said this is kind of ass backwards where we have done all of these things to react to Lightning! How about we do something to prevent or reduce the incidence of Lightning?!?!

Hence the birth and adoption of metal spikes, balls, and brush style dissipaters. All these things do is remove the positive / negative charged ions in the air. If there is less of these in the immediate area electricity literally won't be directed to that area / path.

So what did man just do here???

He literally prevented Lightning from being attracted in a specific area . . . Man hedges his bets by also incorporating proper Earth grounding and the use of SPD's.

Why??

Because the Earth is huge and its near impossible to fight Mother Nature and moving ions.

Now, as it relates to your image you provided up above you'll quickly note they call out what kind of Ethernet cable??? Shielded cable and everything else that comes into the building as being optional or using both. As stated earlier in the other thread if the most basics are not in place you're just buying time and Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose!

You'll note my first comment about an antenna (25 feet). Your intended span is hundreds of feet and that is absolutely going to be a massive antenna.

Regardless, here are some things to consider as you walk down this path. As it relates to shielding the ground is a OK form of shielding and thus this is why Man dug caves and tunnels into the ground. The deeper you go and more soil that covers something this helps protect X from Y.

The most basic principle is deeper the trench is its less likely to be struck by someone from above. Hence digging deeper and why all utilities are literally 6 - 12 feet in the ground for water, gas, electricity. Going deeper also provides a measure of stable temperature (frost line) and hence why you see or don't see conduit filled with water via condensation.

When a conduit is only 12" in the ground no matter how sealed the pipe is its going to sweat and moisture will build up inside hence water. You dig deeper where the ground is warmer (longer) past the frost line say 24 ~ 48" the warmer ground will have less temperature differential and thus less sweat!

Again, as you go deeper past 24" the soil will provide a measure of protection from EMF.

=============================
=============================

Your Questions:

- Grounding SPD: You literally have no ground reference leading back into the home besides the negative wire from the Ethernet cable. You're not using shielded cable which offers a ground drain wire inside the cable. You don't have a shielded RJ45 connector either connected to said shielded cable so there's no shielding / ground.

It's probably safe to say you don't have any of your equipment bonded to the service panels earth ground wire via a ground bar. Using a SPD will still offer some form of protection as some use MOV, GDT, Avalanche Diode, to complicated RLC networks with transformers, SSR's.

The SPD will essentially absorb whatever it can and than explode. The purpose of the ground is shunt to ground anything else the SPD couldn't. To be clear all SPD's are sacrificial in nature and design and it doesn't matter what the engineer uses the soul purpose of the components is to absorb the energy to protect the connected load. Once the SPD has done that part it than passes (let through) the over voltage it can't handle.

Why??

Because if it didn't there would be a spectacular explosion and ensuing fire . . .

This is why man designed and built various things to protect Human & Things.

Regardless of all the above hub bub the pressing matter is power & data. As @sebastiantombs stated early on take a 1000 foot role of wire and terminate both ends. Hook up the same to a single camera and let it run and see what you get. Assuming you see anything do exactly what you intend to do and add in those POE extenders from Andy. Hook everything up in your kitchen and to the two other cameras.

What happens?? What do you see?

Doing all of this simply affirms what is going to happen even before you break ground. None of this even addresses the massive antenna you will have there . . .
 

EvanVanVan

Getting the hang of it
Joined
Jul 29, 2022
Messages
82
Reaction score
70
Location
NJ
Before I or anyone else go too deep into Grounding the following basics need to be called out and understood. As I truly believe this forum and many others are meant to ask questions, share knowledge, and experiences.

- Conductor: Anything that can conduct is called a conductor and this can be anything from a rock, tree, human, and obvious metals. Anything that doesn't conduct electricity is called an insulator think rubber.

- Antenna: Anything that exceeds 25 feet will literally become an antenna. This allows something to send / receive RFI, EMI, EMF (Induced Voltage).

- Shielding: Things are shielded to absorb, reduce, reflect, and protect X from RFI, EMI, EMF. Shielding will spread and dissipate whatever while also depending upon the type of shielding draw away the RFI, EMI, EMF.

- Grounding: There are all types of ground from chassis ground, ground reference, safety ground, earth ground, component ground, etc. As it relates to a home / business the ground is intended for two purposes which is fault voltage and protection for human / equipment / structures. In the ideal world ground would be zero Ohms but that isn't ever possible in the world because everything around us has resistance.

So our primary goal is to reduce the resistance and the Potential Difference from one point to the next. Hence the importance of everything connected to a single point Earth ground within the super structure of the homes electrical panel. When everything is connected, bonded, to the same ground reference the potential will (ideally) be the same.

- Lightning: As it relates to lightning there are two distinct solutions and paths to follow even though they seem to be related in some way. As on a Global level they are but it doesn't change the fact the two are completely different. For a moment I'm going to go into a related tangent because it needs to be discussed because its not something the average Joe knows, understands, or considers.

Since the age of man we know lightning normally strikes the tallest structures / things. We know lightning normally will flow to what has the least amount of resistance. We know lightning carries the huge amount of voltage (power) and current and the same has the ability to damage and destroy whatever it strikes.

Lightning rods and lightning dissipaters have been used for decades because they are proven to work. People often like to compare a Telco tower to a home and this is completely wrong and ass backwards. One can not compare a completely metal tower to a stick home.

The obvious difference is the potential difference and the material that has or lacks resistance! :facepalm:

Any metal structure is going to conduct electricity better than a wood framed home. As such even if (Man) did absolutely nothing like SPD / Dedicated Grounding. Said tower would be more than likely fine because the tower is literally metal and is secured to the ground! We ground the tower because its not just a tower but houses electronics which are essentially small to big resistors that wont and can't last if lightning was to strike.

So man connects / bonds the electronics to the same metal tower. He than connects a dedicated ground wire that goes directly into Earth Ground.

Why???

Because no matter how conductive the tower is it has resistance and it doesn't compare to a copper wire that is connected to the Earth!

So in the opposite man said this is kind of ass backwards where we have done all of these things to react to Lightning! How about we do something to prevent or reduce the incidence of Lightning?!?!

Hence the birth and adoption of metal spikes, balls, and brush style dissipaters. All these things do is remove the positive / negative charged ions in the air. If there is less of these in the immediate area electricity literally won't be directed to that area / path.

So what did man just do here???

He literally prevented Lightning from being attracted in a specific area . . . Man hedges his bets by also incorporating proper Earth grounding and the use of SPD's.

Why??

Because the Earth is huge and its near impossible to fight Mother Nature and moving ions.

Now, as it relates to your image you provided up above you'll quickly note they call out what kind of Ethernet cable??? Shielded cable and everything else that comes into the building as being optional or using both. As stated earlier in the other thread if the most basics are not in place you're just buying time and Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose!

You'll note my first comment about an antenna (25 feet). Your intended span is hundreds of feet and that is absolutely going to be a massive antenna.

Regardless, here are some things to consider as you walk down this path. As it relates to shielding the ground is a OK form of shielding and thus this is why Man dug caves and tunnels into the ground. The deeper you go and more soil that covers something this helps protect X from Y.

The most basic principle is deeper the trench is its less likely to be struck by someone from above. Hence digging deeper and why all utilities are literally 6 - 12 feet in the ground for water, gas, electricity. Going deeper also provides a measure of stable temperature (frost line) and hence why you see or don't see conduit filled with water via condensation.

When a conduit is only 12" in the ground no matter how sealed the pipe is its going to sweat and moisture will build up inside hence water. You dig deeper where the ground is warmer (longer) past the frost line say 24 ~ 48" the warmer ground will have less temperature differential and thus less sweat!

Again, as you go deeper past 24" the soil will provide a measure of protection from EMF.

=============================
=============================

Your Questions:

- Grounding SPD: You literally have no ground reference leading back into the home besides the negative wire from the Ethernet cable. You're not using shielded cable which offers a ground drain wire inside the cable. You don't have a shielded RJ45 connector either connected to said shielded cable so there's no shielding / ground.

It's probably safe to say you don't have any of your equipment bonded to the service panels earth ground wire via a ground bar. Using a SPD will still offer some form of protection as some use MOV, GDT, Avalanche Diode, to complicated RLC networks with transformers, SSR's.

The SPD will essentially absorb whatever it can and than explode. The purpose of the ground is shunt to ground anything else the SPD couldn't. To be clear all SPD's are sacrificial in nature and design and it doesn't matter what the engineer uses the soul purpose of the components is to absorb the energy to protect the connected load. Once the SPD has done that part it than passes (let through) the over voltage it can't handle.

Why??

Because if it didn't there would be a spectacular explosion and ensuing fire . . .

This is why man designed and built various things to protect Human & Things.

Regardless of all the above hub bub the pressing matter is power & data. As @sebastiantombs stated early on take a 1000 foot role of wire and terminate both ends. Hook up the same to a single camera and let it run and see what you get. Assuming you see anything do exactly what you intend to do and add in those POE extenders from Andy. Hook everything up in your kitchen and to the two other cameras.

What happens?? What do you see?

Doing all of this simply affirms what is going to happen even before you break ground. None of this even addresses the massive antenna you will have there . . .
Lol you talk about lightning and the rest of this stuff and it's terrifying. Lol my #1 priority is to not burn my parents house down. #2 is try not blow up the computer I just built for this project. And #3 To a lesser extent the cameras and switches, etc. But in the end the cameras and even the computer are replaceable....

A couple of things:

1. Googling it, shielded cat6 does not seem to be required for underground/direct burial runs, so what's the difference here the very long length of the run?

2. Conceivably, I could run a dedicated 10awg ground back to the house from the cameras? Would that help?

3. Is there a risk of using individual grounding rods at the cameras? I don't fully understand the dangers of multiple ground points, and only know electrical sub panels should only be grounded at the main panel, not in the sub panel. And I'm how PoE plays into that.

4. Are you saying that grounding rods or a dedicated ground wire provide no benefit and aren't worth the effort?

5. Jw would running EMT rather than PVC been equivalent to shielded cat 6? (As well as a ground back to the house?)

Thank you for help! That post is a lot to process lol. Like I said, the most important thing is not to burn the house down, other than that I'm just trying to do the best I can within reason.
 
Joined
Dec 28, 2019
Messages
11,509
Reaction score
27,491
Location
New Jersey
1 - The shielded direct burial will provide additional protection from surges that unshielded just can't provide.

2 - The resistance of a 10 gauge wire that long is far higher than the resistance of a ground at the cameras and it, too, can become a large antenna with significant current capabilities.

3 - In the case of individual surge suppressors the individual grounds are fine. There should be no common point for them to be interconnected by ground other than the earth itself.

4 - Ground rods for the surge suppressors do serve a purpose here at the cameras.

5 - EMT is not meant to be buried and is not rated for direct burial. Rigid conduit or Liquid Tite conduit can be buried and both are rated for it.

Just be aware that you are increasing the risks of lightning damage no matter what precautions you may take. The energy of a lightning bolt in a direct strike can easily approach the megawatt range. The chances of that happening are quite slim, but it could happen. You're biggest concern is getting rid of surge voltages from nearby strikes and any potential differences along the cable runs. Like teken says, a piece of wire becomes an antenna very easily, even when buried. My experience is that wire as short as 18" can be an antenna. It all depends on the frequencies involved.

As an aside, are there any radio or TV tranmitters in the area? What about cell towers or amateur radio operators? All of these can be sources of induced voltages/signals that can drive you nuts trying to find when you start stringing signal cables 1000 feet or more.
 

Teken

Known around here
Joined
Aug 11, 2020
Messages
1,483
Reaction score
2,643
Location
Canada
Lol you talk about lightning and the rest of this stuff and it's terrifying. Lol my #1 priority is to not burn my parents house down. #2 is try not blow up the computer I just built for this project. And #3 To a lesser extent the cameras and switches, etc. But in the end the cameras and even the computer are replaceable....

A couple of things:

1. Googling it, shielded cat6 does not seem to be required for underground/direct burial runs, so what's the difference here the very long length of the run? <- Shielding is used if and when people know better or when RFI, EMI, EMF is present. People don't use shielded cable because 99.99999% of them don't know the benefits / its too expansive.

2. Conceivably, I could run a dedicated 10awg ground back to the house from the cameras? Would that help? <- Waste of dollars and materials and could act as another antenna.

3. Is there a risk of using individual grounding rods at the cameras? I don't fully understand the dangers of multiple ground points, and only know electrical sub panels should only be grounded at the main panel, not in the sub panel. And I'm how PoE plays into that. <- Having multiple ground points introduces a Potential Difference its this difference that causes things to go poof. You won't know unless you measure the ground for its resistance that each location has the same potential. Hence the importance of connecting ALL ground rods together to a single point.

4. Are you saying that grounding rods or a dedicated ground wire provide no benefit and aren't worth the effort? <- A dedicated ground rod is normally installed and used in isolated installations, think solar powered camera which isn't connected to anything else. If all you wanted to do was to ground the three cameras to protect the equipment from lightning this relies on using shielded cable. Having said this providing a path to Earth ground for the SPD does help and is required to see any benefits of said SPD.

Again, this all hinges on the fact everything is grounded together to reduce the voltage difference potential / resistance.


5. Jw would running EMT rather than PVC been equivalent to shielded cat 6? (As well as a ground back to the house?) <- That would be one way to incorporate a ground but it doesn't provide shielding in the purest form.

Thank you for help! That post is a lot to process lol. Like I said, the most important thing is not to burn the house down, other than that I'm just trying to do the best I can within reason.
Answers in line and it should be noted by the time you spent any money on EMT, 1000 feet worth of ground wire, you would have ended up saving or broke even using shielded cable. The simple use of shielded cable is literally one giant ground wire connected to your homes single point earth ground if bonded correctly.

All of this is predicated on the fact all components are shielded to offer grounding . . .
 

EvanVanVan

Getting the hang of it
Joined
Jul 29, 2022
Messages
82
Reaction score
70
Location
NJ
Thanks for the help, guys. And just to clarify, the total distance of the longest camera is 475'. Google Maps kind of confuses matters noting the 100-ft increment hash marks, that make it look like 300'+400' individual runs instead of 100'+ runs they are in reality.

As an aside, are there any radio or TV tranmitters in the area? What about cell towers or amateur radio operators? All of these can be sources of induced voltages/signals that can drive you nuts trying to find when you start stringing signal cables 1000 feet or more.
No, nothing like that.. For better or worse they're two-tenths of a mile from a lake lol :confused: I'm assuming that only makes things worse haha.:facepalm:
 
Joined
Dec 28, 2019
Messages
11,509
Reaction score
27,491
Location
New Jersey
Yes and no. The lake may be more prone to strikes but the ground, below the frost line, is probably "wetter" which will lower the ground resistance.

Remember, you're trying to mitigate and not prevent. The chances of something going wrong are pretty low but if they do go wrong an unprotected system would be definitely devastated and even a well protected system can be devastated as well. Since Murphy seems to go everywhere it pays to be prepared. The best we/you can hope to do is shunt any momentary surges to ground.
 

EvanVanVan

Getting the hang of it
Joined
Jul 29, 2022
Messages
82
Reaction score
70
Location
NJ
Yeah, I think I'll talk add a voltage regulator before the UPS as well. I know it won't really help surged from the cat6 into the house but they do lose power pretty regularly too.
 

Kimco

Getting the hang of it
Joined
Jul 3, 2022
Messages
22
Reaction score
28
Location
Vale, SD
Question.

I have a fuse box out at my garage and in out buildings, each has it's own ground rod.

Can I use those ground rods for other things, like cameras, electric fence chargers? Or is it unwise/unsafe to share the grounding rod?
 

Teken

Known around here
Joined
Aug 11, 2020
Messages
1,483
Reaction score
2,643
Location
Canada
Question.

I have a fuse box out at my garage and in out buildings, each has it's own ground rod.

Can I use those ground rods for other things, like cameras, electric fence chargers? Or is it unwise/unsafe to share the grounding rod?
Follow the electrical code in your region as outlined by the NEC / CEC. At a high level connecting (bonding) to an existing earth ground is perfectly fine and required to insure there isn't a difference in voltage potential. Some things to consider as it relates to a security camera which hasn't been discussed thus far.

  • Building: Do not use the exterior of the building as a ground reference because it won't be at the same potential.
  • Bonding: Follow the installation manual for what ever accessory is to be used to affix / secure to the same
  • Star Washer: If a piece of wire is to be affixed to a metal structure a SS star washer should be used. The immediate area should be cleaned with an abrasive for a clean surface and than covered.
  • Wire: The ground wire should be of sufficient (AWG / Gauge) to conduct the expected fault current (amps). The wire should always be as short as possible with no sharp bends. The cable should be so rated for outdoor use, UV, and extreme temperatures rated known to be present.
  • Materials: All hardware should be stainless steel or weather rated to reduce corrosion.
  • Inhibitors: Its best practice to either apply outdoor rated caulk over any bolts / screws so they don't rust. Applying dielectric grease is also fine to reduce moisture while promoting conductivity.
  • Nyogel: Do not use any kind of conductive compound such as Nyogel unless you know when to / not to.
 
Top