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extending beyond cat5 300 ft limit

Posted on 2001-08-31
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Last Modified: 2013-11-09
I am wanting to run a cat 5 network cable in excess of 300 ft. I was wondering if anyone knew if there is some kind of booster or amplifier that can achive this result.  Any suggestions or links would be very helpful.
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Question by:edperks
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21 Comments
 
LVL 41

Expert Comment

by:stevenlewis
ID: 6445498
here's just one of many solutions
http://www.startech.com/networking/hubswitches.htm
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LVL 8

Expert Comment

by:scraig84
ID: 6445500
Got an extra hub laying around - especially something small, like a 4 port?  These are usually pretty cheap, although there may be a specific repeater device that's even cheaper.  Also, you technically have 328 feet between repeaters if you are referring to Ethernet's 100m distance limitation (1 meter=3.28 feet).
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LVL 41

Expert Comment

by:stevenlewis
ID: 6445502
search for switches
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LVL 56

Expert Comment

by:andyalder
ID: 6445531
If you have lots of money, www.cisco.com/warp/public/cc/pd/si/casi/ca2900lr/index.shtml might be what you're looking for.
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LVL 41

Expert Comment

by:stevenlewis
ID: 6445564
also see here
http://www.iec-usa.com/framepr.html
scroll to the bottom and see TUTXL600L 600 fett, but not cheap
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Author Comment

by:edperks
ID: 6445817
I want to clarify my problem for you guys. I am wanting to create a lan between my two computers and my neighbor's computer.  I already have a switch in place and have run the cat 5 cable between the houses at a total cable length around 375 feet.  It works, but is extremely slow when transfering between houses (works great between my two computers in my house).

So are you guys saying that a hub/switch is a repeater.  I don't think that this will solve my problem.  I think I need something to amplify the signal, basically extending the limit of 328 feet.
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LVL 5

Expert Comment

by:BlackDiamond
ID: 6445945
ed,
A hub IS a repeater.  Remember the 5-4-3 rule when building ethernet networks...  5 segments, 4 repeaters(hubs), 3 populated segments.  Using this rule, you have a maximum of 500 meters using up to 4 hubs.  If you need to expand beyond this limit, then you will need to investigate a switched network.
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LVL 41

Expert Comment

by:stevenlewis
ID: 6445958
also see here
http://www.iec-usa.com/framepr.html
scroll to the bottom and see TUTXL600L

>don't think that this will solve my problem
I agree, with the cable that long, one end doesn't know if there are any packets being sent, so you are ending up with collisions, which of course slow things down
check into a wireless connection, should be more like what you want/need
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LVL 41

Accepted Solution

by:
stevenlewis earned 800 total points
ID: 6445963
also where you have the hub placed has an affect.
150 feet-->hub-->225 feet is different than
10 feet -->hub-->365 feet
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LVL 8

Expert Comment

by:scraig84
ID: 6445986
Another suggestion - you could use a different Ethernet standard such as 10base2.  Assuming you dont have BNC connectors on your switch, you could put a cheap hub on each side with thinnet cable between and you now have 180 meters (590 feet) to work with - but no ability for 100 Mb.  Would be faster and more secure than wireless and get you the distance that twisted pair does not give you.  Also, stevenlewis makes a good point.  If you put a hub right at the edge of one of the houses, you can get more distance than from one machine to the other - unless of course the 370 feet you mentioned is between the houses which would be quite a distance unless you're on a farm or are independently wealthy.
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LVL 56

Expert Comment

by:andyalder
ID: 6446067
Even if the 2 houses were less than 300 ft apart it would be bad to join them together with copper cable unless it was optically isolated because the 2 houses could be at different earth potentials which could induce massive currents in the earth loop making noise. So saying you could gamble a hub or switch in the middle of the garden if you wanted, someone might steal it though.

I can't download the datasheet for the device you first suggested Stephen, is it optically isolated? If so it would be the business, presumably you need one each end and the pair act like a switch and buffer the signal. probably 5MB full duplex (=10MB). Still I'd go with wireless as you say, slow but you can browse the web in the garden.

Point to point wireless, microwave, line of sight optical or fibre would be much faster but just too expensive for home use.
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LVL 8

Expert Comment

by:scraig84
ID: 6446172
Hmm, interesting take - I don't think I saw anybody suggested burying a hub in the garden.  Might have to stretch quite an extension cord out there for power as well.  The idea is that hub could be placed at the edge of the house, rather than right next to the computer 100 feet further into the basement.

As far as the ground noise goes - maybe the cable is strung between the windows and has additional use as a clothesline.  Maybe they buried it in the ground using a lead pipe with 6 inch walls for protection.  Who knows?  Maybe its a bad idea, maybe its not.  Wireless also has variables, such as the materials between.  Trees and plants between points will greatly interfere with wireless.  Also, certain building materials such as brick will also interfere.  If one of the devices is in the basement, the building block and earth will interfere big time.  Also, security is a big concern, as recent months have proven that the encryption protocols used on wireless data are flawed and provide zero security.  

My only point here being that there may be a number of things that may or may not work.  However, none of us have been given the full set of information, so it may be a bit premature to say that a certain technology IS the answer.

That being said, my recommendation would be to go with equipment explained in RFC 1149.  Birds are cheap and with enough of them, can provide high transer rates :)
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LVL 5

Expert Comment

by:BlackDiamond
ID: 6446309
I want to quash the misconception that wireless is slow.  You could buy 2 802.11b cards for about $250 that will do 11Mb.  I have used this successfully at about a 1.5 mile range with 2 14db antennae.  However, I would be careful with wireless right now, as there is a current exploit for WEP.  
Another solution would be to buy a couple of media converters and run fiber instead.  This will get you up to 2000 Meters per segment.  I saw the Centrecom MC14's on shopper.com for about $90 each (you would need 2).
http://www.alliedtelesyn.com/products/datasheets/prdmc1x.htm

The cable is by far the most expensive part if you go with fiber.  I would expect to pay around $350 for a pre-made cable of that length.  Check with these guys if you're interested.

http://www.cables-unlimited.com/fiber_optic_cables.html

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LVL 56

Expert Comment

by:andyalder
ID: 6446313
If you can get peg dhcp to work over avian carriers then I take my hat off to you. Mine never returned the pegs and so many packet carriers were lost to Carrier Arbitrated Termination of Source that I gave up with it.

Are you allowed to re-sell your DSL or cable link to your neighbours?



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LVL 5

Expert Comment

by:BlackDiamond
ID: 6446358
Here is an example of a successful RFC 1149 implementation. hehe

http://www.blug.linux.no/rfc1149/
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LVL 56

Expert Comment

by:andyalder
ID: 6446452
rotflmao.

But really I have the same problem edperks has so give 100 points to steven, blackD and scraig for input so far, that's why I'm listening to this thread.

How much will it cost me to run fiber for 500 metres over telegraph poles? need some armoured cable rather than the soft stuff they lay in cable ducts and someone to climb up the poles and lay the catenary cable.
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LVL 8

Expert Comment

by:scraig84
ID: 6446486
Honestly??  I have seen it done, in a semi-metro area where there were train tracks in the way of anything going below ground.  Other buildings in the way of doing anything line of sight.  It was between a business and its warehouse.  The local LEC did it for about $20k.  We then ran Ethernet over it.
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LVL 56

Expert Comment

by:andyalder
ID: 6446554
Yes honestly. I have a customer that is a garden centre, about a half a mile between the main office which is connected to internet and the new building they want to develop as an office/cyber cafe. Line of sight is dodgy, see the map at http://www.streetmap.co.uk/streetmap.dll?grid2mapi?x=372500&y=343500&title=StreetMap+-+Bridgemere+Garden+World,+Cheshire&back=~&url=~&arrow=N&nolocal=N&bimage=~&zoom=0&largeuk=N&adkey=~,GRIDCONVERT&searchType=3&value=bridgemere

I can't run the normal fiber you run in the cable ducts as it is going to hang on telegraph poles from a catenary cable. At least they own the telephone poles and can hang anything they want from them. How much is it going to cost to put half a mile of armored fibre up? AAArgh, too far for shortwave and longwave don't like being waved about.
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LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:JJ2
ID: 6448483
edperks,
The comments of the above experts are truly impressive that have aided you in your decision making though I want to add another comment for copper based solution...how about using 10 Base 5 coaxial cable as your backbone that supports a distance of 500 meters?
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Author Comment

by:edperks
ID: 6449143
Thanks, for your quick and very helpful suggestions.
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LVL 41

Expert Comment

by:stevenlewis
ID: 6449346
edperks glad we could help
Steve
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