Ethernet cables plugged into a network switch

Labeling cables can save a lot of money and headaches. While it is easy to overlook, taking time to label runs during installation significantly speeds up troubleshooting and maintenance. It should be known that when a camera is plugged into a port either on a switch or directly into the NVR, best practice is to keep that camera married too that port thus avoiding time consuming potential Config file corruptions and NVR factory defaults or camera factory resets.

It’s only human nature that when we get our electronics working we then move on forgetting to tie up any loose ends like cable labeling. This step should never be overlooked!

The question of what should or should not be labeled is mainly left up to preference or best practice since codes typically do not require devices/ cables to be labeled. Additionally, labeling is often written in bid specifications, with varying degrees of information required.

At a minimum, it is generally recommended that cables be labeled at both ends, generally at the camera and on the patch panel. In small systems, this may be as simple as a single digit numeral (such as "8" to indicate port 8) to indicate which port the cable terminates in at the head end.

Montavue security systems consist of what’s called PoE or (powered over ethernet) systems meaning that all data and power for the connected cameras is fead through the Cat5 or Cat6 cable. The PoE we're concerned with refers to a system that passes electrical power along with data on an Ethernet cable. This bundles power and data together and removes the necessity of a separate power source, which just adds more cables. A POE Switch also allows you to rig more cameras together to the same NVR. These switches can provide several ports for connecting cameras, and then those PoEs in turn can be connected to a single NVR in a “tree” style configuration, provided your switch is able to handle the power and network traffic.

With each camera having it’s own cable, you can understand why it’s important to label cables per their ports especially with larger systems. 

Whether you are a veteran installer or a DIY kind of person, the use of anything from a label maker to masking tape or simply writing on the cable with a bold black marker, we can’t emphasis the importance of keeping cables organized via labeling. 

*For more information on Montavue’s best practices refer to our Help Center