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Choosing the Right 4 Wire Alarm Cable for Your Security System

With the increasing prevalence of security systems, choosing the appropriate 4 wire alarm cable is essential to ensure optimal system performance. This article will provide a comprehensive guide to selecting the right cable for your specific needs, covering factors such as material, shielding, insulation, and conductor gauge.


The material of the 4 wire alarm cable is a key determinant of its durability and performance. Solid copper is the most commonly used material as it offers excellent conductivity and flexibility. However, it is susceptible to corrosion and may not be suitable for outdoor installations. Copper-clad aluminum (CCA) is a cost-effective alternative that provides similar performance to copper at a lower price, but it is less flexible and prone to signal loss.


Shielding is a protective layer that surrounds the conductors to prevent interference from external electromagnetic sources. Foil shielding, made from aluminum or copper фольги, provides good protection against electromagnetic noise, while braid shielding, made of interwoven copper strands, offers the highest level of shielding effectiveness. However, shielded cables are more expensive and less flexible than unshielded ones.


The insulation of the 4 wire alarm cable protects the conductors from electrical shorts and environmental damage. Polyethylene (PE) is a common insulation material that offers good electrical properties and flexibility. However, it is not as durable as other materials and may deteriorate over time. Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is a more rugged insulation material that provides excellent protection against moisture and abrasion, but it is less flexible and can emit toxic fumes in the event of a fire.

Conductor Gauge

Conductor gauge refers to the thickness of the wire inside the cable. The gauge is specified by a number, with lower numbers indicating thicker wire. For 4 wire alarm cables, the common gauges are 18 AWG, 22 AWG, and 24 AWG. Thicker wire (e.g., 18 AWG) has less resistance and can transmit signals over longer distances, while thinner wire (e.g., 24 AWG) is more flexible and easier to install in tight spaces.

Other Considerations

In addition to the factors discussed above, there are other considerations to make when selecting a 4 wire alarm cable:

Flame retardance: The cable should be flame retardant to prevent the spread of fire in the event of a short circuit.

Color coding: Color-coded cables help with easy identification and installation.

Environmental conditions: Consider the environmental conditions where the cable will be installed, such as temperature, moisture, and direct sunlight.

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