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The camera has a male DC plug adapter on it. I have 20 ft male / female DC extension cord that will get from the camera to the outside fixture. The camera came with a plug in wall adapter. My question is how to connect it.

I guess I could install a wall jack and pigtail it off from the fixture. I was looking for another way, something that uses the DC power plug and doesn't leave a wall wart plugged in way up high on the outside of the house.

My thought was to use something like below to pigtail off the fixture and plug the camera into it, but I'm a complete newbie when it comes to wiring so my instinct says that would be a Bad Idea(tm).

https://www.cablewholesale.com/products/power-products/power-cords/product-10w1-42202.php

So ideas? Is there a way to use the native DC plug off the fixture, or am I stuck with a wall wart? (assume there are no closer outlets on an interior wall etc)

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  • TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS! The lead in your link is designed to accept low-voltage DC and extend it some distance. If you were to connect it directly to your house wiring, you would A) be at high risk of starting a fire as 120v AC runs through very tiny wires not designed to support that voltage, and B) blow up your camera as it's directly fed 120V AC when it's expecting a much lower voltage DC signal.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Nov 7, 2021 at 17:48
  • If it's an IP camera that has an Ethernet connector you plan to use, they make PoE injectors/spitters to send power over ethernet even for devices that are not PoE capable.
    – JPhi1618
    Commented Nov 8, 2021 at 17:54

2 Answers 2

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The wall-wart is probably not outdoor-rated anyway, and you can't use it contrary to its certification (NEC 110.2) and instructions (NEC 110.3b). The extension cord might not be rated outdoor either. You would also need an outdoor box, GFCI receptacle if the circuit isn't already GFCI protected, and a laughably lying "weatherproof" in-use box cover large enough for your wall-wart. This sounds like the super hard way to do it, and that's because you're dealing with AC mains power and its harsh rules.

However, the low voltage DC coming out of the wall-wart is current-limited, and below 55W, and as such, the rules are very much relaxed.


Place the wall-wart indoors at a suitable location.

Lop the extension cord in half (or any convenient place at least 6" from an end, so you have wires to work with).

And now, you can use appropriate low-voltage wire to "add to the middle" of the outdoor-rated extension cord.

If a splice is outdoors, do it in a junction box with the wires entering the bottom and going through a clamp/grommet. The ideal installation would have a junction box mounted on the outside wall, with appropriate in-wall wiring coming through the wall and entering the back of the box (caulk this well). This extra wire would be all indoors (except for sticking out a few inches into the box), so you could use common #18 thermostat wire.

If you're running excessively long distances, you might want to use larger wire section like #14 so you don't suffer voltage drop too badly.

Since all of this wiring is low-voltage, it's fairly low-risk to install. You're not going to shock anyone or burn your house down.

For that matter, feel free to obtain the barrel plug and socket from an electronics supplier and fabricate your own extension cord from scratch.

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"am I stuck with a wall wart?"

Yes. But you're not necessarily stuck on putting the wall wart up at the fixture.

The UL/etc listing, the device warranty, and the insurance companies like devices to be used in accordance with the instructions. So if the instructions for the camera say to power it with the wall wart, it should be powered with the wall wart.

However, running low voltage DC wiring does not have all the code limitations that high-voltage wiring requires. So you can plug in the wall wart down in an accessible room inside your house, or in the attic, then run the low-voltage wire (such as one or more of your barrel-connector extension cords) through the wall to the outside, under the siding or carefully wire-stapled to the house moldings, along the attic soffit, and so on, to the camera.

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