Why Single Conductor?

Single Conductor technology offers more cost advantages than you might think. Interchangeability of components, backwards and forwards compatibility and minimal down time are just some of the benefits that come with owning and operating a Subsite Electronics inspection system.

Single Conductor Solution

The Key Advantages

  • The cable is smaller, normally ¼ inch diameter and stronger than any of the reinforced multi-conductor cable. Single conductor cable has breaking strength greater than 5,000 lbs when the typical multi-conductor cable has a breaking strength of 2,000 lbs or less.
  • The single conductor cable is simple to maintain and the end connectors can be replaced in a matter of minutes. Typically multi-conductor cable requires several hours of labor and advanced technical skills to splice or troubleshoot multiple wires.
  • The life expectancy of the single conductor cable has been proven to be at least three times that of any multi-conductor cable. Not only does single conductor cable cost less initially, its long life expectancy saves you substantial amounts of money over the life of the equipment.  In the event of catastrophic damage to the single conductor cable, the camera and controller circuits automatically detect an issue and shut down instantaneously, thereby preventing any damage to the camera, tractor or controller. Multi-conductor systems are normally unable to provide this kind of protection. Because of the high current lighting wires, in a combined cable with low voltage camera power and video signal wires, full camera and controller protection is nearly impossible.

Understanding Single Conductor Technology

Single conductor is a term which refers to the cable design used to connect the inspection camera and accessories to the control system. The central core of single conductor cable is constructed by wrapping copper strands around a single stranded insulated wire. A plastic jacket is then extruded over this coaxial cable and two layers of galvanized steel wire are Contra-Helically wrapped for strength and protection of the coaxial cable. These galvanized wires are also used as a safety ground for the system.

This produces a ¼ cable with amazing breaking strength that is capable of transmitting equipment power, multiple camera video signals and equipment control signals simultaneously. This allows us to supply power to the camera, tractor and lights and control the equipment functions, like pan & tilt, tractor speed selection, stop, freewheel and many more, at the same time as transmitting multiple video signals to the control unit.

Unlike Multi Conductor, the video signal quality is not affected by the length of cable. The video signal is modulated at the camera and sent to the controller. Then the controller demodulates the signal and reproduces the original high quality image that is seen on the monitor and recorded.

Because safety is important, we want you to know that the 80-120 volts needed to perform these functions are applied only to the center conductor wire. For the operator to come in contact with the voltage three metallic layers and two insulation layers would have to be severed. With Multi Conductor the only protection is the plastic like outer jacket and the individual wire insulation.

This makes single conductor cable extremely safe to use and is the reason it is approved for use in hazardous locations.

Manufacturers offering multi-conductor systems may state that single conductor technology is old technology and unnecessarily complicates the electronic circuits within the camera and tractor and that added sophistication of the electronic circuits is overcome by the use of multi-conductor cable. Current advancements in electronic technology have proven that the reliability of any added circuitry is far greater than the difficulty of dealing with a multi-conductor cable and its related complications.

Consider this when you think of Single Conductor Technology:
Today at your home you have 250 plus channels of television, high speed internet and your telephone all on Single Conductor Technology. Why wouldn’t you want to run your video inspection equipment on today’s technology?