I dunno if any1 has this but i wish to get a really really realy cheap (preferabbly homemade) 'CCTV' system for our hall. I want one placed in the back stage area and then leading to the booth. Its long and complicated to explain why, generally to do with the fact that the curtain dood , cant work it out himself so i have to cue him via a can from the box

any help appreciated

Tom Clements
Technical Director
Well, if you get all the parts, thats the only expensive part. All you need is a video camera, a cable, and a TV.

Take the camera, attach a cable to the video out, and run that to a TV.

The TD of my school did that last year (put the camera on a tripod on the side of the house) because he was playing flute in the pit and wanted to be able to see what was happening on stage.

I don't know how much money you have to spend on this, and how permanent you want it, but those are the only 3 things you need.
A company called Marlin P. Jones & Associates deals mostly in surplus and discontinued electronics. In their latest catalog, I noticed a wireless security camera (their stock number 15052-ST) and receiver for $79.95. Just add a TV. A big advantage is that you don't have to string coax from the stage to the booth. The range is supposed to be 250 feet, and it operates in the 2.4 GHz band, well away from anything used by wireless mics. They also have wired cameras pretty cheap if you're inclined to go that route. I bought 8 board-level cameras a video switcher and a time-lapse VCR from them for my home-security system, and was pretty happy with what I got.

yea, it should be fine. It could be easier if you go to radio shack and buy a longer cable.
emanueltech said:
Ye i have a camera and a tv in the booth and short cables , but do you think it would be ok to make longer video cables out of the ones i have and run them from the back (booth) to the stage?


Well, that depends. How many of these "short cables" are you planning to join, and about how long is the run. If too long, you may get enough signal loss to get a really crappy picture, and, everytime you join them together witha barrel you're going to lose additional signal.
Video signals are made up of high-speed pulses, similar to DMX-512 lighting control only much, much faster. As with DMX-512, the cable impedance must be matched to avoid reflections. With DMX-512, reflections can cause lights to misbehave sporadically. With video, reflections can cause ghost images and weak, snowy pictures.

Reflections are generated any time the impedance of the cable changes. Splices, in particular, are likely to have a different impedance from the rest of the cable. It doesn't matter whether you actually splice the cable or use a double-female "barrel" connector to put two cables together, it creates an impedance discontinuity. Building a long cable out of several shorter cables isn't a really good idea, though if you can put up with ghosts and snow in the picture, it is probably the cheapest way to go.
why not buy a whole roll of cable... will come usful in the future if you want to add extra camera's or extra tv's into the loop.

we used to have one at our school hall, and it was a tv on the back wall so the orchestra could see what was happening on stage. it was fixed cheapo b&w camera with a infra red sorta thing in it so when it whent black u could still see stuff cost us like 50bucks AUD for the camera at the local electornics store.. and just plucked the tv from a classroom lol
DMXTools said:
The range is supposed to be 250 feet, and it operates in the 2.4 GHz band,
Make sure you don't have any wireless home phones in the area, as the bands for home wireless phones are 1.9 GHz, 2.4 GHz, and 5.8 GHz. Also, if you are getting a snowy image from wireless cameras at oddly sporatic times, check to find the proximity of the nearest microwave as some cheaper ones put out an unbelievable amount of interference.
on our cctv setup at the theatre, when you dim the lights in a crossfade or just pull the GM down the monitors go crazy, all white and blurry then when the x-fade or gm is fully down they go back to normal =)
This is sort of off topic, but at my high school whenever we have run long video cable runs (for CCTV or projectors or stuff like that) we have used BNC cable. Can anyone tell me what the difference is between BNC and coaxial cables besides the connectors. Thanks.

Users who are viewing this thread