I am going to need to supply power from a plug-in power module (wall wort) as far away as 30 to 50 ft. What is the current draw that a typical IP wireless camera draws (such as the Foscam F18910W)?
I guess more to the point, what gauge wire do people use to supply these cameras from a distance away? I would like to make the wire as small a gauge as possible for ease of installation and to make the wiring as invisible as possible. I was thinking along the lines of 20 or 22 ga.
If someone has a favorite 2 conductor cable they use, please supply the make and part number.
You most likely. Would be much better off using something like this with a Ethernet cable for a single camera like the Foscam FI8910W that doesn't support PoE natively. You would also be able to continue to use wireless, if needed as well which native PoE only cameras. Generally, can't do and in that case simply use the Ethernet cable for power. While continuing to use wireless access for the FI8910W if needed.
So the actual Ethernet cable could be a very short length ("Not actually being run to a Router/AP") and simply running from a AC outlet to the Active PoE injector to the Active PoE splitter while continuing to use wireless for the camera. Both of which are included in the package below for use with a single camera. Since you will need both a power source and Active PoE Splitter to step down that power source voltage back down to the 5V DC 2 Amps needed at the camera. The package below is ideal for IP Cameras like the FI8910W and others, that don't natively support PoE, it supports up to 200 feet distances, using standard Ethernet cable. You say you will need 30-50 feet. So it will be fine:http://foscam.us/products/active-poe-injector-splitter-upto-200ft.html
The package above is stable. They ship free and have a 1 year warranty. I have personally used them dozens of times. Sometimes well exceeding their 200 foot limitation statement by going a full 100 meters. I have used them exclusively since the first one I purchased. Because I have had no reason to switch to others due to any problems with any of them so far. The oldest is still running strong with the Active PoE splitter being outside ("In plastic"), after 2+ years.
Also, what's your time worth? Just two hours of tinkering around to solve this issue. Might very well justify the cost alone.
These are slam dunk to use. Open the box they came in. Set the voltage switch on the Active PoE splitter to 5V ("In your case") plug the DC adapter from the Active PoE splitter into the camera DC plug. Plug the Ethernet cable ends into the Active PoE injector and splitter. Plug the Active PoE injector into a AC socket. All Done. No headaches and dependable. I am sure you can find others cheaper. But I value stability and these are not that pricey, as a packaged set, compared to others I have yet to experiment with.
Note: Of course you could also do a complete Ethernet cable run all the way to a Router/AP not requiring to use wireless for the camera and instead use wired Ethernet, placing the Active PoE injector near the Router/AP location and then only leaving the Active PoE splitter near the camera location. If that distance is shorter then 201 feet. Using the package above. If the distance was longer then 201 feet. You could place the Active PoE injector somewhere along the Ethernet cable run between the Router/AP and the camera to be within the 200 foot range from the camera as well.
Of course, you could try extending the DC cable as needed as well. By using your own homegrown combination of gaged wire and DC adapter/power supply. But once you exceed say 10-12 feet, you as you stated and clearly know. Would need to increase power and/or wire gage as well. This then, would no longer be considered PoE because it was not using standard Ethernet cable to supply power.
Fair warning. I have seen and worked with many Foscam camera owners who tried doing this. Being a Moderator in the Foscam.us Forum. The vast majority, well over 95 percent, have failed with camera issues of cameras rebooting or camera stability issues. When IR lights and PTZ controls were used at the same time and other power based issues like that. When trying to do this with 5V DC 2 Amp Foscam IP Camera models for distances over 20 feet. That did not support PoE natively as the FI8910W does not. You can do a search in the Foscam.us Forum about this. If needed.
The issue here is more about the camera not natively supporting PoE and requiring 5V DC 2 Amps at the camera location and the line loss associated with 30-50 foot distances at that voltage. If the cameras power requirements were say 12V DC. This might be more manageable using other methods vs. Active PoE methods.
If you still decide to go that route. Here is a accurate calculator you can use for that calculation. The FI8910W comes with a 5V DC 2 amp AC/DC power supply. So when using the calculator below. Please make sure that you still deliver 2 Amps at 5V DC, all the way to the camera, based on the distance you use in the calculator. To be on the safe side. I say this because when the IR lights are on there is of course a larger current draw more at about 1.5 Amps but there is an initial current spike when the IR lights go from off to on and not meeting that current spike requirement, can in some cases cause the camera to auto-reboot. Which you will avoid, by getting a full 5V DC 2 Amps to the camera:http://www.solar-wind.co.uk/cable-sizing-DC-cables.html