Link to home
Create AccountLog in
Avatar of AbacusInfoTech

asked on

Where to source shielded external network cable...

I need to source a reel of shielded external network cable - if there is such a thing.

I can find plenty of people selling external quality network cable (I have some in my garage anyway), and plenty of people selling shielded network cable, but I can not find anybody that sells shielded external quality network cable. I would prefer CAT6 but would be happy with CAT5e. Can anybody point me in the right direction?

I of course would prefer a UK supplier.

As background: We are having a new office built and the electrical trench is going in next week. I have asked the electrician to cable-tie the network cable which I am trying to source to his electrical cable to save digging another trench. I only need to run a couple of network cables to the new office, but because the cable will be a 10mm SWA cable I want to reduce or eliminate the electrical interference. The alternative would be to dig another trench but I'd much rather not!

Avatar of Aaron Street
Aaron Street
Flag of United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland image

Link to home
Create an account to see this answer
Signing up is free. No credit card required.
Create Account
Link to home
Create an account to see this answer
Signing up is free. No credit card required.
Create Account
Avatar of pseudocyber

I buried copper one time, and despite lightning protection, we got a hit and it took out our key systems and the whole hospital where I was at lost four days of data as a result.  Luckily, I didn't get fired - but I got burned by buried copper and have learned to fear to tread there.
for very short runs i have suggest copper on EE before. however if you are going to the trouble of burrying it. and you are running it next to electrical wires. then fiber would be the way to go..

You can buy a set lenth of fiber already terminated (so you dont have to pay for some one to come in and slice the ends on site for you) and a media converter is cheap these days.

So really for a little bit extra you will get a much better solution
Avatar of AbacusInfoTech


The run is about 60 metres from the switch I am going from to the new building. I have never used fiber before, can anyone point me to a good fiber faq? I will certainly look into it.

One other reason (forgot to mention it...!) I wanted to use copper is because I want to run a phone extension to the office, and I know I can use one of my network cables for this purpose.

Any thoughts as a result of this new info anyone?
Link to home
Create an account to see this answer
Signing up is free. No credit card required.
Create Account
I use a company called lintel for my fiber installs.

and you should be fine with the phones.

the media converts jsut convert the signel from fiber to copper.. so you end up with a 60m bit of fibre with coper patch leads at either end. so i think you phone will still work fine.

i would get at least 4core cable layed. so then you can put in one link and at any time its easy to hook up the second for more speed or redundence..

but i agree with Trey, burrying a plastic pipe with a draw string is a great idea! then you can put in fiber or cable now and then when ever you want you can pull through aniother cable with out having to dig the trench again!
A couple of points:

1.) Conduit - the larger, the better - to allow you max flexibility & conduit fill.  According to standards and practices, you cannot fill a conduit generally more than 50% full, so it depends on the conduit and cable.  Mult conduits, are cheap, and of course more flexibility.

2.) If it goes in the ground, plan for it to get wet.  Therefore, all cable needs to be rated accordingly - either for in the ground conduit, or direct burial.

3.) Be aware of digging - you don't want to cut something when you dig - been there, done that.  Get all utilities marked.  In addition work with facilities to identify other, non-utility, buried things  ... like say, LAN & telephone cabling ...

4.) Digging agian, protect your stuff - deeper is better but of course the deeper you go the harder it is to dig and therefore the more expensive to dig.  Thicker more sturdy conduit is better, but of course more expensive.

5.) Redundancy is better - if you're laying backbone cabling, if you can afford it, two or more paths are a lot better than one.

6.) Fiber for network & telcom if possible.  If not, I don't know the cable designation, but I've heard it called "icky pick" - gell filled cable keeps out water - very messey to work with.

7.) Lightning protection for metalic cabling.

8.) Lightning protection for metalic cabling.

9.) Lightning protection ...

10.) some Fiber cabling has metal in it - for armor and/or strength.  Be aware - and protect it with lightning.

11.) If you connect buildings with metalic cabling (copper) you need to consult someone who knows about telecom bonding & grounding and issues between grounding potential differences and how it can affect your systems and how to mitigate.

12.) Given all the above - bring in a consultant and/or hire an experienced telcom cabling contractor.

Hope this helps.
Be aware - and protect it with lightning.

Protect it FOR lightning ... of course ;)
Ps.  Just reread your original post.  Running network cabling parallel to High Voltage is a bad idea.  Running it in the same pathway is a worse idea, and against National Electrical Code in the US.  At a MINIMUM, put it in METAL conduit, properly grounded on both ends.
although i agree with trey that getting fibre terminated on site is the better idea. it will be a fair bit more expensive. preterminiated cable is not taht much more expensive than non terminated cable. but expect to pay for a few hours work for some one to do it on site. and fibre splicers ddont come cheap!

and if you take care you can easly and safly pull through a 60 lenth.
Thank you all very much for your comments and your obvious experience on the matter. I have emailed a number of cable suppliers and they have all told me they do not stock what I was originally looking for (network cable which is BOTH shielded AND external grade). Maybe there isn't such a thing? If so, judging by everybody's hesitance to put it next to electrical cable there is probably a good reason.

I welcomed all comments about fiber and looked into it as an alternative. While the costs are not too bad, they are greater than I had hoped. You see I already have a reel of external grade network cable and network equipment for both ends. Running fiber means I would have to buy both the fiber and new network equipment. Maybe I could do this for a couple of hundred pounds, but I have decided against it.

Instead, my chosen solution is actually to bury my existing, external grade network cable in an entirely separate trench. It will mean I need to dig a small trench to the office but will not need to spend any money on the solution. The new trench is running several metres away from the electrical trench and will enter the building in a different location. Even though I have no concerns about cable damage from human sources (this office is being built in my garden) I have been given some thick PVC pipe which will act as a protection against accidental digging and from rodents...

Thank you all for your time on this one. I very much appreciate it. I am open to suggestions about where to assign points - if at all...?!

if at all...?!

When I ask questions, and don't take the recommendation, I at least try to assign points evenly between those people who made sincere and informative suggestions.  
Noted, as you can tell from my last post. All posts were helpful so I will give points to everybody that made valid points that had not been previously made. If that makes sense.....

Thanks all again.
Thanks all for your time.
Good luck with your project, thanks Abacus...