The Complete Homemade Security Camera Color Diagram

Introduction to Homemade Security Camera Wiring

To get your homemade security camera up and running, you’ll need to understand how to wire it properly. The most important part is connecting the power cable. For standard 12V DC power, use:

Power Cable

  • Red: Positive (+)
  • Black: Negative (-)

Connect these to your 12V DC power supply’s matching leads.

Next, you’ll want to attach your camera to a monitor so you can view the footage. Use:

Video Cable

  • Yellow: Video
  • Red: Audio Right (if your camera has audio)
  • White: Audio Left (if your camera has audio)

The yellow video lead sends the image signal to your monitor. The red and white audio leads transmit sound.

If recording footage, connect:

Recording Cable

  • Red: Video
  • White: Audio Left
  • Yellow: Video Ground

These attach to your DVR for capturing and storing footage.

With the right connections in place, your DIY security cam will be up and monitoring in no time. Be sure to test all parts are working properly and you have a strong, uninterrupted power source. Your setup is ready to start securing and safeguarding!

The Purpose of Each Wire Color in Security Cameras

A security camera has several wires, each with an important purpose. To set up your homemade security camera properly, you’ll need to understand what each colored wire does.

Red wire

The red wire provides power to your security camera. Connect it to the positive terminal of your power source, like a battery or AC adapter. Without the red power wire, your camera won’t turn on or function at all.

Black wire

The black wire is the grounding wire. It needs to be connected to the negative terminal of your power source. The grounding wire completes the circuit and allows power to flow to your camera. If it’s not properly grounded, your camera could short circuit.

Yellow wire

The yellow wire is responsible for transmitting the video signal from your camera to the recording device like a DVR. This is the most important wire for actually capturing and recording footage from your security camera. The yellow video wire needs to be connected from your camera to the video input on your DVR.

Blue and white wires

Some security cameras will also have blue and white wires. These are for the camera’s built-in microphone. The blue wire is for audio, and the white wire is a grounding wire for the audio. These let your camera pick up sound in addition to video. Connect them to the corresponding audio input on your DVR.

With all the wires properly connected, your DIY security camera will be fully operational and ready to help monitor your home! Understanding each colored wire’s purpose is key to setting up a functioning system. If you get stuck, don’t hesitate to double check your camera’s manual or do a quick web search.

Common Homemade Security Camera Wire Color Codes

The color of wires used in homemade security cameras follows a standard code to ensure proper connectivity. Knowing the correct wire color combinations will help you set up your DIY camera system with confidence.

Power wires

The power cable provides electricity to your cameras. The black wire is the hot wire, which carries the power. The white wire is the neutral or ground wire. Always connect the black wire to the power source and the white wire to the grounding screw or wire.

Video and audio cables

The video cable transmits the camera’s footage to your DVR or monitor. The common wire colors for video are:

  • Yellow: Composite video signal
  • Red, white, yellow: Component video (green is sometimes used instead of yellow)
  • BNC connectors: Typically use RG59 or RG6 coaxial cable

Audio cables (if your camera has audio) will use red and white wires. Red is for the right audio channel and white is for the left.

Ethernet cables

If your cameras connect to your DVR or network via Ethernet, use the standard Ethernet wire color code:

  1. Blue – Used for data transmission
  2. Blue/White – Used for data transmission
  3. Orange – Used for data transmission
  4. Orange/White – Used for data transmission
  5. Green – Used for data transmission
  6. Green/White – Used for data transmission
  7. Brown – Used for data transmission
  8. Brown/White – Used for data transmission

Knowing the correct color codes for power, video, audio and Ethernet wiring in your homemade security camera system will ensure all connections are made properly the first time. Be sure to double check any instructions provided with your specific cameras and equipment as well. With the proper planning and setup, you’ll have your DIY security system operational in no time.

Creating Your Own Color Code for Wires

Creating your own color code for the wires in a homemade security camera system may seem complicated, but it’s actually quite straightforward. The key is to keep things simple and consistent.


Choose Your Colors

Select 4 to 6 colors to use for your camera wiring, such as:

  • Red
  • Blue
  • Yellow
  • Green
  • White
  • Black

These are common wire colors that are easy to find and keep track of. Buy spools of wire in the gage needed for your camera power and signal.

The Complete Homemade Security Camera Color Diagram
The Complete Homemade Security Camera Color Diagram

Assign Each Color a Purpose

Once you have your wire colors picked out, designate each one for a specific purpose in your system:

  • Red: Power (+)
  • Black: Power (-) / Ground
  • Blue: Video signal
  • Yellow: Audio signal (if using microphones)
  • Green: Internet / Ethernet
  • White: Spare or optional function

Label Both Ends of Each Wire

To avoid confusion later, clearly label about 6 to 8 inches of both ends of each wire with its color and purpose using a permanent marker, label maker or heat shrink tubing with pre-printed labels. For example, you might label the red wire as “RED – POWER (+)” and the blue wire as “BLUE – VIDEO”.

Record Your Color Code

Keep a written record of the color code system you created for your security camera wiring. Note the purpose of each wire color in case you need to troubleshoot or modify the system in the future. Also indicate which cameras and system components each wire connects.

Test Your Connections

Double check that all your wire connections are secure and correct before powering on your security camera system. Once everything is connected properly and the color coding is verified, you can turn your system on with confidence knowing any issues will be easy to diagnose thanks to your logical and well-documented wire color code.

Frequently Asked Questions About Homemade Security Camera Wiring

You probably have a few questions about how to wire up your homemade security camera. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions to help you get started.

What do the wire colors mean?

The most common wire colors you’ll find are:

  • Red: Provides power (+)
  • Black: Ground (-)
  • Yellow: Video signal
  • White: Audio signal (if your camera has a mic)

Some systems may use different colors, so always double check with your camera’s instructions.

How do I connect the power supply?

To provide power to your security camera, you’ll need a power supply unit (PSU). Connect the red wire from your camera to the positive (+) terminal on the PSU and the black wire to the negative (-) terminal. Make sure the voltage of the PSU matches your camera’s requirements.

Should I run the wires inside or outside the wall?

Running the wires inside your wall provides a cleaner look but requires drilling holes and patching them up. Running them outside the wall along baseboards, ceilings and door/window frames is easier but the wires will be visible. It depends on your skills and preferences. If running them inside, be very careful not to damage any existing electrical wiring.

How far can the signal travel?

The maximum distance an analog security camera signal can travel depends on the quality of your cable and transmitters/receivers. As a general rule of thumb, you can expect a range of:

  • 300 to 500 feet for basic RG59 coaxial cable
  • Up to 1,000 feet for high-quality RG6 coaxial cable and video baluns
  • Up to 1 mile or more using additional video transmitters and receivers

The key is using high-quality, well-shielded cable and strong transmitters/receivers for the best and longest signal transmission. Test your full setup to ensure the image quality is still good over the required distance.

Do I need additional equipment?

In addition to your security cameras, PSUs and cabling, you may need other equipment like:

  • A DVR or NVR to record footage
  • A monitor to view live footage
  • Video splitters and baluns to connect multiple cameras
  • Surge protectors to protect from power spikes
  • Additional storage like SD cards or hard drives for your DVR/NVR

The specific equipment you need will depend on your security camera setup and how you want to view and record footage. Plan it out before purchasing to ensure you have everything required.


Now you’ve got all the details to get your homemade security camera up and running. You’ve figured out the wiring, chosen your camera type, and know how to connect everything to your DVR or NVR. Once it’s installed, you’ll have an affordable security system customized to your needs that provides 24/7 monitoring and alerts. And the best part is you did it yourself, gaining useful skills along the way. Monitoring your home has never been easier or more budget-friendly. With your new security camera system in place, you can rest assured knowing your property is protected and you have an eye on things even when you’re not home.

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