Network Extending please help!

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Feb 29, 2012
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Please help!

I am extending the network at our office to the building next door, which is about 20 or 25 metres away. What is my best option - run Cat5 cabling from ethernet switches between each building, or a wireless point-to-point system?

The suggestions so far are cabling inside pvc tubing between the buildings for the outside area, with a switch at the new building.

What really is the best option? Factoring in lifespan, practicality, product availability, and of course price?
 

deca300

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Jan 28, 2010
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Cable to be safe!

Hi there,

To be honest wifi isnt always all that stable. Like you said... Cable and switch would do the trick! it would be the best safest and most reliable way to go....
I have done something like this and its been running over a year now. No problems.. Not once!

:)
 
Joined
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Best place to get cabling? I got a quote on cat5 solid @ R2.35 ex vat per metre, but it is only in 500m rolls. What the hell am I gonna do with 500 metres of cable?

Thanks for the help thus far! Appreciate all comments.
 

PsyWulf

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Buy a 300m roll,run 2 or 3 cables for redundancy but only use 1 at any time or you'll start getting feedback issues
 

RoganDawes

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If you are going in between buildings, you should not be using cable. Too much risk of electrical interference, including such lovely things as ground loops, induction from lighting strike, etc.

Optical fibre is the way to go. Not as cheap, unfortunately, but the correct solution.
 

thisgeek

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If you are going in between buildings, you should not be using cable. Too much risk of electrical interference, including such lovely things as ground loops, induction from lighting strike, etc.

Optical fibre is the way to go. Not as cheap, unfortunately, but the correct solution.

I agree with this. Fibre is the way to go.

Ideally you would want to run at least two cables (doesn't matter if it's the same physical cable, as long as there is enough fibres for more than one actual link), and preferably have both linked directly to trunked fibre ports on switches at either end. Depending on how much data you're going to be shunting across those links, a single port could be a bottle neck.

Alternatively, instead of using fibre ports on switches, you could have fibre to ethernet transceivers on either end of the cables, and then plug in to the switches. It will still be good if you could trunk the ports, otherwise simply plug the one in and leave the other one in case the first cable stuffs out for whatever reason.
 

MightyQuin

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If you are going in between buildings, you should not be using cable. Too much risk of electrical interference, including such lovely things as ground loops, induction from lighting strike, etc.

Optical fibre is the way to go. Not as cheap, unfortunately, but the correct solution.

It is only 20 - 25 meters. Fibre is overkill here and also makes the whole scenario very pricey indeed. Cable is fine when isolated properly...
 

The_Unbeliever

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No, CAT5 cable between two buildings will not do.

Especially with lightning.

In my experience, we had a client, two buildings about 10 meters apart. CAT5 under the ground between the two buildings.

Lightning did zap the server and a switch. Not fun.

So my recommendation is to go for fiber. In the short run it'll be expensive, but in the long run it'll be much better as your equipment won't get fried by lightning.
 
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What about surge-protectors on each end? R2 per metre and a standard switch for Cat5 vs R400 for 2 metres Fiber and something stupid like R900 for each converter, it'll be cheaper just to replace the switches 10 times. Even the R10 a metre of UG Cat5 is fine.

Besides I'm planning on having it in pvc along the wall and over the alleyway, not necessarily dug into ground. At this rate I'm just going to get a damn new connection in the second building.
 
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AstroTurf

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If you go cat 5 or 6, make sure you get shielded, outdoor cable.

Been running a network between 3 buildings for around 9 years with no lightning or other issues.
 

bdt

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To sum up the aforementioned: shielded CAT5e to the required length with a li'l magic black box on each end and then your normal indoor cable to get to where you need the connections to be. Oh, and you'll obviously need the accompanying conduit.

Now a question: does one ground only one side so as to avoid a ground-loop situation?
 

Roman4604

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Now a question: does one ground only one side so as to avoid a ground-loop situation?
The problem with lightning is not that current will be induced via the CAT5 cable (shielded or not), but rather it will come through the power on one side (closest to the strike), and will try to earth via the Ethernet connection to the other side's mains. This is likely to pop/fry any low voltage electronics e.g. Ethernet ports.

So it depends on the power wiring, but best to earth the mains (with proper ground spike) on both sides. May work out cheaper/easier to get two fibre converters and a fibre lead?
 

Wimhotep

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If you are going in between buildings, you should not be using cable. Too much risk of electrical interference, including such lovely things as ground loops, induction from lighting strike, etc.

Optical fibre is the way to go. Not as cheap, unfortunately, but the correct solution.

Agree + 1
No lightning damage with Fibre
 

bdt

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The problem with lightning is not that current will be induced via the CAT5 cable (shielded or not), but rather it will come through the power on one side (closest to the strike), and will try to earth via the Ethernet connection to the other side's mains. This is likely to pop/fry any low voltage electronics e.g. Ethernet ports.
Okay, a point worth considering. But, between shielded CAT5 (more for the better weather resistance but every little bit helps) and Ethernet surge arrestors being as cheap as they are, and how those magic little boxes have saved my 5 IP cameras during this summer's storm season (and before using them I lost ALL of the last bunch to induced spikes), I would personally be prepared to give it a go.
 

FlatspinZA

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Personally, I'd just take a Dlink DAP3520 and wire it to the existing router in the existing building, put another one on the new building, wire it to a switch/wireless router, and Bob's your uncle. Less hassle, quick to install, and fairly economical.

It will even boost your existing wireless signal, to boot.

Wireless technology has improved a lot, and I game over a wireless link that sits about 20m away from me. Connected at 81Mpbs ATM, but that's because we have slower wireless clients on the same link.
 
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hungrybeaver

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I'd go with fibre too. Our new extension (10-15m apart) has fibre running across to both stories into separate switches. Fibre isn't expensive either... at R400/m you are being way way overcharged.. for my most recent fibre job I was quoted on R27/m for 24core fibre, and R17/m for 8core. The stuff is cheap, its the splicing and switch requirements that can be a bit pricey. You can sue Media Converters if your switches can't take GBIC/SFP modules to connect the fibre to the LAN. At all of my branches any networking that leaves the main building is fibre. I've had too much trouble with outside CAT5 runs.

If you must go with CAT5, don't run 1 cable. Run about 4 and configure the switches the use the 4 ports as 1 so you have a 4GB trunking between them. Make sure its shielded.
 

ponder

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I will second all the suggestions and reasons for fibre!

If you want to do fibre on the cheap look at buying two media converters and have a long fo patch lead made up or get a premade one IF you are gonna run it in a conduit that wont get damaged. I would not do this but it's an option and should be really cheap.
 

grubsner

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Feb 21, 2005
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Please do not use CAT5/6 STP or UTP for any inter building connections. You will have issues...

Buy two of these multimode media converters from Scoop.
http://www.scoopdistribution.co.za/product_info.php?cPath=40&products_id=1185

If you are not a dealer add 30% to the price +VAT. Still a good price. I use these units and they give full duplex through-put at 200 Mbps (100 up and 100 down).

Then buy a length of pre-terminated multimode (orange) fibre patch leades with SC connectors. These leads are cheap. a 30m SC/SC MM patchcord will cost R293 + VAT. You can also have a length of your choice made up. Only drawback to this approach is that the cable must be handled with a bit of extra care when drawing through a conduit and also the connectors require a 25mm conduit as a minimum. With this appoach no need to splice fibres etc. Also don;t run these patch leads outdoors. They are not completely water tight adn not UV resistant. I use 25 mm white PVC conduit indoors or more flexible 25 mm black irrigation piping for outdoor undergound routes. Contact The network warehouse for all the fibre goodies 011 805 4111 http://www.tnw.co.za The pacth leads will be similar to this http://www.ebay.com/itm/Secure-Fibr...505?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2eacbe1ed9


Connect the Media converters with the MM fibre and plug into your router at both ends. Benefit is that you can upgarde to 1 Gig Media converters with the same fibre.

http://www.scoopdistribution.co.za/product_info.php?cPath=40&products_id=1097

Drop me a PM if you need further assistance...
HTH
 
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