Here are some frequently asked questions about window and door sensors with security camera systems.
How are window and door sensors used with security camera systems?
The most common way to integrate a door sensor with a security camera system is to hard wire the sensor to the same surveillance DVR that your security cameras are connected to. You must make sure that your DVR has alarm inputs. Please refer to this installation diagram. You can also watch this video to learn How-to Trigger Video Surveillance Recording from a Magnetic Door Sensor.
- What type of cable is used to wire window and door sensors / detectors to DVRs?
The following types of cable can be used to wire magnetic door and window sensors: CAT-5 cable (one pair), 18/2 conductor power cable.
- Do window / door sensors require power?
No. Magnetic door sensors are "dry contact" which means that are volt free.
- What is the maximum cable distance for dry contacts?
The max cable length for dry contact wiring is 1000 feet / 300 meters. This assumes that you are using a high quality CAT-5 cable (one pair) or 18/2 conductor cable.
- Can I use multiple window and door sensors with my surveillance system?
Yes, as long as your DVR has multiple alarm input ports, you can use sensors. Different model DVRs support different numbers of alarm inputs so consult the specification or contact us if you need help.
- Can I also use motion detectors on the same system?
Yes, window / door alarm sensors and PIR motion detectors can be used on the same surveillance system as long as the system has enough alarm input ports to support all of the sensors that you want to integrate.
Watch this video to learn how to connect a magnetic door sensor to the alarm input of a Viewtron
security camera DVR or IP camera NVR. The video also shows viewers how to configure the DVR to start video recording, take a snapshot image, and pop-up live video of a security camera when the door sensor is opened. You can also setup the DVR / NVR to send a push notification to the mobile app when the magnetic door sensor is opened. You can find complete setup instructions on how-to connect a magnetic door sensor to a DVR here.
The above installation diagram shows how-to wire a magnetic door sensor / window sensor to the alarm input panel of a surveillance DVR.
- 18/2 power cable or 1 of the pairs from CAT-5 network cable is typically used to wire the alarm sensor to the DVR.
- One of the contacts of the door sensor has wire terminals that the cable attaches to.
- The right side of the diagram shows the alarm input block on the back of the DVR. One of the wires connects to an alarm input port and the other connects to a ground terminal. Please note that the maximum distance that you are run cable to dry contact door sensors is approximately 1000 feet.
- Last, the DVR must be configured to trigger an alarm and take some type of action such as video surveillance recording, image snapshots, and mobile app push notification.