How to Fix Your IP Security Camera's Damaged RJ45 Ethernet Connection
If you’ve ever had a damaged RJ45 connection on your security camera, then you know just how frustrating this can be. Not only is your security camera unusable, but your warranty is voided. But hold on! Before you give up on your camera, there is a quick fix that could get your camera back up and running. Here’s how to fix your security camera’s damaged cable connection step-by-step.
- Cut off the damaged connector
- Crimp an RJ45 connector onto your camera’s cable
- Use an Ethernet coupler to connect the camera to your network
- Test it out to see if your camera is working
Depending on the type of damage and the amount of damage done to your connector, this fix may or may not work. For instance, if you got rain inside your connector, there’s a good chance it already fried your camera. But if the damage is confined only to the connector, then this fix should get you back up and running in no time. If you’re not sure how far the damage has spread, it’s still worth a shot. I mean, the alternative is throwing away your camera.
So with that said, let’s jump into it! First, you need a few supplies.
Tools You Need For Fixing Your Security Camera’s Pigtail
For this project, you need four things:
- A camera with a damaged RJ45 connection
- An RJ45 pass-through connector
- An RJ45 crimp tool
- An Ethernet coupler
- A cup of coffee (optional, but preferred)
You can pick up all of these tools (minus the damaged camera and cup of coffee) on our website. Just click the links above if you need anything. Don’t worry about buying a full pack of couplers or connectors just for this one project. First, it may take you a couple of tries to get it right, so it’s always good to have extra connectors. But also, these are just good supplies to have on hand anyway. You never know when you’re going to need to terminate an Ethernet cable or fix a damaged security camera.
Step One: Cut Off the Damaged Connector
Now that you have your supplies, it’s time to get to work. Using your crimp tool or a pair of wire cutters, cut off the damaged connector. You can actually cut off the whole pigtail if you don’t need the other connections.
Now take your crimp tool and strip back your camera’s cable jacket. You’ll probably find some insulation in there, but you can just pull that back to reveal the colored wires inside. You can also cut off that insulation just to make sure it’s out of the way.
Step Two: Terminate Your Cable
Next we’re going to terminate our camera’s cable, which just means we’re going to crimp our RJ45 connector onto the end of it. This is going to look a little different depending on your camera.
Terminating an R-Series Cable
We'll start with R-Series cameras, which are a bit trickier than the rest, simply because it doesn’t have a full set of wires. When you cut open your cable and strip back the jacket, you’ll see a total of eight cables: orange, orange and white, green, and green and white. These are familiar. But then there’s red, red and white, black, and black and white.
Go ahead and cut off the solid red and the solid black; these are from the 12V DC connector, so if you're using Power over Ethernet, you don’t need them. If you're not using Power over Ethernet, go ahead and cut these wires off and get yourself a PoE switch. You'll thank me later. I suppose you could also wire these two cables to a 12V DC power supply, but why make things more difficult on yourself than necessary?
Once we cut those off, we’re left with six wires. Which means we’re going to have to be very careful about how we terminate this cable.
If you take a close look at your RJ45 pass-through connector, you’ll see eight tiny little rivets. These rivets are used to guide your wires into the eight pins. But since we don’t have eight wires, we’re going to have to skip some of these rivets.
We’re going to use the orange and green cables for our two data pairs. But instead of two energized pairs, we’re only going to use the red stripe and black stripe for power. The red stripe will be positive (in the place of the blue solid and blue stripe wires) and the black stripe will be negative (in the place of the brown stripe and brown solid wires).
So here’s the order we need:
It may take a bit of practice getting those wires in just the right place, but trust me. If I can do it, you can do it.
Once everything is in the right order, slide the pass-through connector over the cable and crimp it into place. Congrats! You can now move onto step three.
Terminating an H-Series Cable
If you have an H-Series camera, the process is going to be pretty straightforward. Once you strip your cable and pull back the insulation, you should see ten wires: the eight standard wires you find in an Ethernet cable (although these will be different colors) and the two wires from the 12V DC connection.
Again, take those two power wires (the red and the black) and cut them off.
Once those power wires are out of the way, you’re left with eight colored wires. If you’re used to terminating Ethernet connections, then this might look a little scary, because these aren’t the eight colors that you’re used to. That’s okay! We’ll help you line these up in the correct order.
The standard eight colors are orange, orange and white, green, green and white, blue, blue and white, brown, and brown and white. In a standard Ethernet cable, the two orange wires and the two green wires are used for data, while the blue and brown wires are used for PoE.
Inside your H-Series connection, you will have wires with these colors: white, brown, blue, gray, purple, green, yellow, and orange.
Get these in the correct order:
Slide the RJ45 connector over your cable and crimp it down. Congrats! You can now move onto step three.
Additional Cable Types
Depending on your camera, you may find different wires inside your cable. For instance, if your camera’s pigtail had audio connections, alarm connections, BNC connections, or anything else, you’ll obviously have more wires to deal with in your cable. But knowing how to handle the two types of pigtails above, you should be able to navigate your way through any other type of camera you come across. Just be careful to pay close attention to your camera’s pinout diagram.
Step Three: Finishing Up
At this point, you should have a terminated Ethernet cable coming out of your camera. All you need to do now is connect your Ethernet coupler to the camera, and you now have a security camera with your very own make-shift pigtail. Connect that bad boy to your network and see if she fires up.
If your camera turns on and shows up on your network, congratulations. You have successfully brought your camera back from the dead. If your camera turns on but doesn’t show up on your network, double-check that you have all the wires in the correct order. If your camera isn’t turning on at all, then the damage may not have been confined to the connection and your camera may be done for.
If your camera is working again, you may need to weatherproof that connection before you install it outside. To do that, just pick up some weatherproof tape and go to town. Make sure everything is fully covered. It’s not going to look pretty, but I never said this fix would be aesthetically pleasing.
Did this fix worked for you? Do you have any other tips for dealing with a damaged security camera? Share it with us in the comments below! It just might help out someone else. If you run into any issues during this process and have questions, don’t hesitate to give us a shout. We’re always here to help.