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High speed over CAT3 cabling

Posted on 2004-10-23
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Last Modified: 2013-11-09
Hi,

I have a building that is cabled with CAT3 (no condiuts) and it would cost too much to recable it.  

I need to run high bandwidth from the ground floor server room up to the 2 upper floors.  

Wireless is an option that I would like to avoid: the signal is not very good running through the floors of this building - apparently there's lots of metal in the floors - and the security is not ideal.

What I thought to find is a wideband modem device that I could set at each end of the CAT3 cabling to get up to 40+Mbps through the cable.  Most cable modems will do this speed, but can't be connected in a point-to-point mode as they require a big expensive access device on one side (normally an ISP).

A basic diagram of what I plan is:

[server room switch]<--CAT5 UTP Drop-->[modem device]<--Existing CAT3 to upper floors-->[modem device]<--CAT5 UTP Drop-->[LAN Switch]

What device can I use as the modem device in this diagram?   Has anyone done this before?  What hardware would you recommend to do this with a limited budget?

Thanks!
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Question by:Chipm0nk
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    by:lrmoore
    Sounds like a job for Long Range Ethernet, but it might be outside the budget
    http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/hw/switches/ps4916/

    I don't know of any other product that can give you anywhere near 40Mb over cat3 wire..
    At least none with Ethernet capability.
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    by:Chipm0nk
    It doesn't have to be Ethernet over the CAT3... could be a signal bridge only.  I just need Ethernet on the CAT5 drops.
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    by:
    I meant with Ethernet input on one interface, modulate however over the wire, then output Ethernet back on the other side..
    Else you would have to have a router with serial interface on each end..

    You should be able to run up to 10Mb over CAT3. If you have enough pairs, you can run multiple uplinks. Depending on the switches, you can then bundle them together in one "Etherchannel"  
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    by:Chipm0nk
    Single links for the floors as far as I can tell.

    I want to get better than CAT3 for streaming media from the server room to the upper floors.

    I checked out the LRE and it apparently only gets 12/9 up/down bandwidth - so not really worth the price when you've got CAT3 at 10Mb already... but would be great if you only had a POTS line to work with.

    I might really be out of luck...

    The backup plan would be 802.11g bridge points with directional antennas running vertical firewalled from the LAN with IPSEC in between the firewalls...  total cost of about $500 for 54Mbps (2 access points at $100 ea, 2 antennas at $30 ea, 2 firewalls at $125 ea)

    [servers]<-->[Linksys VP41 firewall w/IPSec endpoint]<--CAT5-->[802.11g bridge]<-->Wireless<-->[802.11g br]<-CAT5->[Linksys VP41 w/IPSec endpoint]<-->[LAN]

    Can you come up with a better solution for the same or less $?
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    by:Chipm0nk
    Or, ideally, a wired solution that will achieve the same bandwidth for around the same budget...
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    by:lrmoore
    The wireless bridge idea is probably your best bet, but in my opinion you can do without the firewalls. In bridge only mode, you don't run the risk of anyone associating to it like you would if it was an access point. Enable encryption, set them to only associate with each other,  and that should be all you need to do.
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    by:Chipm0nk
    Thanks!
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    Expert Comment

    by:public
    Did you try sending 100 BT over the cat 3 cables? It may work, some ot the cables were good enough for 100 Mbps.
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    by:Chipm0nk
    I'm planning to try it when we get the building in November, but I'm not going to count on it...
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