Extended reach for Ethernet up to 500 feet

Posted on 2007-04-01
Last Modified: 2008-02-01
Trying to support a single PC that is about 500 feet away (cat 5e cable distance).  Is there a super switch out there that can support that type of length?   Can I just put a switch on each end to get extended reach?
Question by:CTCknows
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LVL 95

Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 18834275
Use fiber.

Otherwise, you can put a switch in between - but you can only go 3 switches deep before you start having problems.

Author Comment

ID: 18834291
fiber is too cost prohibited in this instance.  It is only going to support a single PC in a larger network.  I can even make due with 10meg if I can get the distance out of it.  Cannot put a switch the middle since it is going across a roof from one building to another.   Other businesses between loacation A and B, A is the wire closet and B is the PC.
LVL 95

Accepted Solution

Lee W, MVP earned 500 total points
ID: 18834296

Unless of course, you are looking to FRY your equipment during a lightning strike.  Exposed, outdoor cable is the best way to cost yourself WAY more than a fiber connection and a couple of media converters.

Put simply, you will be LUCKY to get a reliable connection - SPEC is 100 Meters - 300 feet (or so)... you're nearly double that.  Try it... but you'll likely spend more in support costs and frustration than if you just do it right.

Alternatively, use wireless.  It's horribly insecure, but it would fry your equipment in a thunderstorm.
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LVL 95

Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 18834300
And don't think it can't happen - the company I used to work for lost THOUSANDS worth of equipment before they replaced their building to building copper network with fiber.

Expert Comment

ID: 18834341
You don't even need a lightening strike to fry your equipment in this configuration. The grounding differences between two buildings are great enough to pass a charge through equipment that cannot absorb such a charge.  I would definitely go wireless instead of cable, even you need to work out a way to boost the signal.  You could wire the first half, carry the signal through wireless, then wire the second half.

Expert Comment

ID: 18834450
I strongly agree with everyone else - Don't string copper across a roof, you're asking for trouble. Here is an alternative solution. Talk to you local phone company and see what you can rent a dry pair of copper for. I think it's usually about $30/mo around here anyway. Then stick one of these at each end.
I'm not sure what the phone company does for grounding, but it works. I've set up a few of these and they work great between schools. It's been a few years since I've worked with them, so there may be a newer product that will do the same thing for you. I think this one is limited to 25000 ft. I also noticed that it appears that Paradyne has been purchased by Zhones. Just check with the phone company and make sure that the distance that cable travels is less than 25000 ft and you should be fine. If I remeber correctly there is 1 of 2 dipswitches that needs to be set differently from the opposite end. It just acts as a bridge. I don't think they do any routing.

Good Luck
LVL 30

Expert Comment

ID: 18837191
You can use as many switches you want to boost a signal.
You will introduce propgation delay,but nothing that is terribly noticable.

Simple and cost effective way would be to get 2 old 10baseT thinnet NIC cards and use RG58 coax, which will give you 600 feet of distance.
Used cards are probably about 5 or ten bucks and coax is about .12./ft.
LVL 30

Expert Comment

ID: 18837238
Or,you can use the regular cards and just get 10BaseT media converters to go from rj45 to thinnet.
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Expert Comment

ID: 18837279

Expert Comment

ID: 18837585
wireless.  Mount the gear internally.  use directional antennas - for a cheap solution, try - or, better yet, snag some pre-v5 WRT54g wireless routers off of ebay, slap DD-WRT on 'em ( and set them up in a bridge configuration. You'll be golden, provided your bandwidth requirements aren't too high.

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