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Jay Boy
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Long distance connection solutions?

Mon Jul 30, 2012 12:32 pm

Hello all, first post and it's asking for help. Shameless, I know. But it must be done!

My problem is simple, I'm trying to run an ethernet cable way too long. (about 300 metres)
If it was 'as the crow flies' it would only be around 150 metres, but it's more practical to use an already existing route than to dig a new one (did I mention this is all outdoors!?).
I've tried already using industrial grade stuff, as a neighbour works for BT and acquired it somehow... it is connecting, but just about. I have a tester device, and the lights co-ordinate at each end perfectly, but the signal is just so weak by the time it goes from one router to another (I have even tried adding another router about 1/3 down the line from the first, to relay a new signal, but had no joy).

My question is this, does anyone have any idea whatsoever how I could get this network set up?

Points to note:
- any switch or signal booster would need to be fair heavy duty and weather proof
- wireless/wifi will probably not work because of trees
- it is perfectly legal, as both routers and computers that will be linked to the routers are at the same address
- budget is not infinite & I only have my own mediocre skills to use


Apologies if this is the wrong section of the forum. If a moderator sees fit, feel free to move it.

Many thanks, I look forward to any replies!

Reggle
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Re: Long distance connection solutions?

Mon Jul 30, 2012 2:40 pm

The best solution would be running fiber, as this can reach these distances. Not to mention copper in the ground outside tends to attract lightning. But that's probably not within budget.

Other than that though, you've excluded most things yourself already. Wireless won't work because of trees. Switches in between need power and protection from weather.
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that1guy15
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Re: Long distance connection solutions?

Mon Jul 30, 2012 3:02 pm

Yep as Reggle said. Fiber with media converters on each in is going to be your best bet.
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Jay Boy
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Re: Long distance connection solutions?

Mon Jul 30, 2012 3:08 pm

Thanks for the replies, I'll have to get saving then!

Do you have any links to the type of fiber optic cabling I would use?
I'd imagine it would be a bit more expensive for the outdoor type stuff :(

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that1guy15
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Re: Long distance connection solutions?

Mon Jul 30, 2012 3:32 pm

MultiMode fiber will be fine as you can get up to 550 Meters with it. Fiber is actually not bad price wise as I think you will spend less than $50 for the 100M run you are looking for. The media converters though are going to be a little expensive.

A little google searching will find you a number of converters. Just pick one and match the fiber cable to the converter (either LC, ST or SC).

yeah outdoor rated fiber is going to be a little bit more expensive but there are a good number of sites online that sell cable for cheap.
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Mac SK
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Re: Long distance connection solutions?

Sat Aug 04, 2012 12:02 am

Is there any way to weather proof standard fiber...that would run throw the air. rubber coating, plastic loom for about 136 feet. I can buy used fiber converters way less than coax to ethernet converters. Or is the distance short enough to just use outdoor cat5.

Alan87i
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Re: Long distance connection solutions?

Sat Aug 04, 2012 4:55 am

136 feet is fine for cat5 , but in the ground it's a lightning rod!

Reggle
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Re: Long distance connection solutions?

Sat Aug 04, 2012 4:56 am

Mac SK wrote:Is there any way to weather proof standard fiber...that would run throw the air. rubber coating, plastic loom for about 136 feet. I can buy used fiber converters way less than coax to ethernet converters. Or is the distance short enough to just use outdoor cat5.

136 is about 41 meters... It short enough to use Copper Ethernet. But yes, it attacts lightning.
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bertschs
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Re: Long distance connection solutions?

Sat Aug 04, 2012 9:32 am

You could also use a pair of switches instead of media converters.

Get a couple Cisco 2950 or 3550 switches (with GBIC ports), and a pair of SX GBICs. They're practically giving the stuff away. Get a pair of 1000BaseT GBICs if you need to handoff gige to something.

Pre-assembled cable assemblies are easy, and cheapest, but you will not likely find such an option for outdoor/burial grade cable. It will be a small, potentially expensive, adventure to terminate yourself.

Then again, I've seen ordinary cable hold up remarkably well to the elements. Ordinary UTP direct buried for ~100m working fine for several years, with the outer jacket crumbling apart and totally missing on sections of the cable where it was exposed to UV. Still worked fine.

Or wireless installs >100m in the air, with ordinary UTP, exposed to the high wind and UV. Jacket completely stripped away, still worked fine.

So, you might get lucky too... Or maybe a squirrel will gnaw through your jumper on day#2. ;)

Mac SK
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Re: Long distance connection solutions?

Sat Aug 04, 2012 5:51 pm

Yes lightning...that why I liked the optic idea. The outdoor fiber rated cost kills the cheapness of the project. I can get coax adapters for the cost of outdoor fiber. Plus Ill need lighting arrestors for the coax or cat5 setups. I have wi-fi now and it still drops out. The 41 meters is the only outdoor part the rest will be indoors. It has to go over an alley way so underground conduit is not possible. I was looking at huds with BNC but the old ones are all just 10mbps...the 10/100's are too high priced with BNC. I messed up when I passed on some fiber repeaters at the thrift store for $7.00. May try a directional antenna on the WI-Fi....but for some reason the idea of setting up the wired network turns me on...is that messed up or what.:)

Mac SK
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Re: Long distance connection solutions?

Sat Aug 04, 2012 6:43 pm

Wow! Your right about the cisco switches...$14.00 Is this stuff on the way out or what?. How do you do this? Adapt the GBIC port to SC MM fiber. I cant find any GBIC cable with connector in long runs...on ebay.

bertschs
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Re: Long distance connection solutions?

Sun Aug 05, 2012 3:25 pm

You just stick a 1000baseSX or 1000baseLX GBIC into the GBIC port on the switch.

As for long runs, you're just looking for OM1 or OM2 multimode cable with SC-SC ends. They do come up on eBay now and then. Make sure it has a return policy though, and then bench test with your two devices before running it.

If you need, you can expand your options a bit by looking for a single-mode cable as well. The LX GBICs should be only slightly more expensive than the SX.

For such a long run, you may be able to shave some cost off by looking for a cable with fairly obsolete connectors. E.g. ST, FC, ... Then use a short jumper and a coupler to turn it back to SC. If possible, look for something that has SC on one end, and obsolete connector on the other. You then only need to get a coupler and jumper for one end.

if you're looking for couplers, you can sometimes find bulkhead panels cheaper, which is basically a piece of plastic with several couplers pre-installed.

Mac SK
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Re: Long distance connection solutions?

Sun Aug 05, 2012 11:08 pm

Yes I think I understand the GBIC setup now. Seen some used switches on ebay that have the ports already. The out door fiber is like 99 cents a foot with out connectors...with connectors $151 + ship. Still like to try and waterproof standard fiber..its like $50. Not thrilled with the orange jacket anyway. How about spray black liquid rubber on the jacket. Ive found some ethernet to fiber converter box's real cheap..have ST connectors..Im biding on them now. What would be the best way to attach the fiber to the house eve...some kind of nylon cable holder? Hey thanks for the insight in other ways to do this. May have more ? later. Thanks

bertschs
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Re: Long distance connection solutions?

Mon Aug 06, 2012 1:05 pm

I'm afraid you've entered uncharted territory, at least from my own perspective and experience. Let us know how it works out.. And if it does, then for how long. :)

My main concern is that the exposure to UV will deteriorate the cable over time. First the jacket, and then the cladding. When the cladding goes, it can no longer serve as a waveguide, and your signal will drop out.

My next concern would be moisture. If the cladding material is water permeable, then it could interfere with the refractive properties of the cladding, causing bit errors or worse.

If you do end up spraying something on, or running it through something, then it too should be UV resistant, though you might still have some positive effect even if it isn't.

Before you blow your money on the longer jumper, you could test some of this with a short jumper. E.g. Coil it up in a bucket of water and see what affect it has over the course of a week. Hah

Good luck.

bertschs
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Re: Long distance connection solutions?

Mon Aug 06, 2012 1:08 pm

Also, if you end up using tie wraps to secure your cable anywhere, make sure they are UV rated. If not, they'll crumble to dust in your hands in less than a year.

Mac SK
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Re: Long distance connection solutions?

Mon Aug 06, 2012 2:19 pm

Thanks, get insight....wish I could find someone who has done this with standard fiber...but the budget may be better for outdoor rated fiber as I just got 2 TRENDnet MM ST converters for $11.00.

bertschs
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Re: Long distance connection solutions?

Mon Aug 06, 2012 2:43 pm

Cheap. Must be 100Mbps then?

Mac SK
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Re: Long distance connection solutions?

Mon Aug 06, 2012 9:56 pm

Yes 100Mbps...My current wireless set up is way less. Anything has to be better. Still like the GBIC idea if the right stuff comes my way.

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