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Long Ethernet Run - Copper or Fiber?

Posted on 2011-03-24
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Hypothetical question:

Let's say I had to connect a pair of IP-based devices which are 800 feet apart, outdoors. Assume a wireless link is not possible, and that bandwidth requirements are in fact minimal.

Would it be easier, more reliable, and/or cheaper to use Cat5 twister pair, with an active repeater box every 250 feet such as this:

http://www.veracityglobal.com/products/ethernet-and-poe-extension.aspx

... or would it be more preferable to run fiber optic cable with a transceiver at each end?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833127289

Again, this is to reach a few low-impact devices so I don't need high throughput as long as it's reliable. At first I feared Ground Loop issues with copper (I grew up in the audio field) but it appears my assumption was wrong as twisted-pair is transformer-isolated and therefore immune by design. But I also suppose that fiber would eliminate any RF issues as well as minimize catastrophic losses due to static electricity or lightning.

Am I missing anything that significantly points to one or the other?

Thanks!
-Adam
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Question by:adamells
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Expert Comment

by:Randy Downs
ID: 35211210
I'd go with fiber but it's likely to be more expensive.
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Randy Downs earned 250 total points
ID: 35211223
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Expert Comment

by:kdearing
ID: 35212326
If your budget allows, go with fiber.
If not, then use CAT5/6 and ethernet extenders

http://www.versatek.com/products/ethernet-extenders.htm
http://www.patton.com/products/pe_products.asp?category=146
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Author Closing Comment

by:adamells
ID: 35219235
Not sure which I'm going to do yet but I think I have all the information I need. I may actually go wireless but wanted to at least have a good handle on wire/fiber options due to less security risk/management.

Thanks!
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