In the movie, the main character is shown tapping into a network of surveillance cameras. enter image description here She uses a SCSI connector which allows her to send the camera footage to a remote computer. enter image description here

I know it's a fictional movie, but I'm curious to know how unrealistic this is.

  1. The SCSI connector in the film is exactly 34 strands. Are 34-pin SCSI's used for anything other than old floppy drives?
  2. Is it possible to transmit 9 surveillance cameras over a single SCSI ribbon? (any kind of SCSI in existence)
  3. If a surveillance system actually used SCSI ribbons to transmit video feeds, would it be possible to introduce a SCSI clamp/connector in the middle of the ribbon to view footage traversing the cable?

1 Answer 1


SCSI cables would not be used to carry video signal, but ribbon cables would be used to connect controllers. Given the few details you provide, it would be more likely that a controller was added to change where the video signals from all those CAT6 cables ended up.

Can you vampire tap a SCSI cable to duplicate a video signal? No. You would be more likely to sever all those little wires. Vampire taps need to be used on thick cables to ensure the integrity of the cable.

So, yes, plugging in ribbon cables looks all old-school techy (just like mounting keyboards vertically on walls). And a nice flat 34-strand ribbon cable makes a nice visual for clipping something on to. But in reality, it would have been more realistic to interact with the CAT6 cables that are actually carrying video signal.

  • Small nitpick: the connectors for ribbon cable are effectively two prong vampire taps (e.g. goo.gl/images/9p2u7j). It would be fairly easy to connect to the middle of a flat ribbon cable.
    – David
    Commented Jan 26, 2019 at 0:52
  • 1
    @David completely agree, but can you add one of those to the middle of a cable and maintain the signal to the endpoint? My experience says 'no' (I have tried when I was building IDE-based systems).
    – schroeder
    Commented Jan 26, 2019 at 14:20

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