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Extending a UTP Cat5/6 Network over 100m


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ebrahim's Avatar
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29-Jun-2008, 08:29 PM #1
Extending a UTP Cat5/6 Network over 100m
Hi,

I am looking to join two computer networks about 200m (600 feet apart). The reason for this is because one of the networks does not have internet access and so it wants to use the other network's existing connection.

The networks both have wireless routers with ethernet ports. But because of the geography, i.e trees, buildings etc the wireless doesnt work. I am NOT looking for a wireless solution anyway.

From what I am understanding, the maximum length on a Cat5/6 network is 100m but signal diminshes after 90m. So to repeat the signal further than the 90m, a device such as computer/server/router or switch is needed in the middle to allow for another 100m extension.
Therefore, what I had thought of doing is to use two routers/switches in between so as to allow the cable to run successfuly. I am looking at the Zonet ZSR1134WE (wireless router) OR the SMC SMC105DT(Switch).
My setup will be like this then

Main Building Router w Internet---------> Router 1 (distance:20M)------->Router 2 (distance 60M)------->Network without Internet (distance 80m)

Also, I am not expecting to have to do much configuration- just plug the cables into the uplink/WAN port of the routers and disable DHCP. And if the router adresses all start with 192.168.1.x (like my Linksys), then I would have to change give each of these routers different numbers to avoid conflict.

Am I right, or I am being foolish? Please help me out and make any recommendations.

Just let me restate that there are currently two routers on the network (when unlinked), I plan to add two more routers in between to link them with wire.

The network currently without internet, will use wireless to connect its three nodes (computers). DO I have to enable DHCP on this last wireless router then?

Thank you very much.
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29-Jun-2008, 08:42 PM #2
You mentioned trees and building in the way, so I'm guessing you're talking two separate buildings. If so, your first concern is to make sure your cable between them is properly grounded.

I don't know what you expect to accomplish with this arrangement but it may be much more convenient and not all that more expensive to contract for internet service at the 2nd location or hire a professional to decide how to properly connect them.
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29-Jun-2008, 08:44 PM #3
Looks like you have the basics down. How are you planning on running the cable to each building.

You will need to power the switch or repeater that is connecting the two networks together, for this to work.

I personally would do this right the first time and have a professional company come in and link the two buildings together with Fiber. yes this will cost more and the hardware will cost more but it will be much more reliable. But you have to look at what your return on investment will be and how long it will take to recoup those costs. You may be better off just having both locations with its own Internet Connection.
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ebrahim's Avatar
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29-Jun-2008, 09:51 PM #4
Thanks for the replies guys.
Yes im talking about two separate buildings.

The second building doesnt have the capability for ADSL (I live in the Caribbean and not all lines have ADSL support). Also, fiber is hard to get not to mention very expensive down here as well.

As for hiring a professional- well I am shy to say that I am supposed to do this work for a business while working under my computer company.

I have made arrangements with an electrician/carpenter/cable guy to have the wires done. From the initial router it will run through a conduit in the wall to the Router one. From Router one it will run in the air, with a cable to support its tensions, and will be tact every 10 feet or so onto a tree (there are plenty trees in the area). It will also be on the opposite side of electrical wires and phone wires and any other wires(hence no interferecne). It will then go into a shack building to Router two. And then from here to the second network via the same method. The electrician will rewire the building to accomodate the power needed or I might get a POE enabled device as well.

TerryNet, when you say "properly grounded", do you mean in terms of electricity? Can you explain how to ground a wire to me please? I know that these wires are unshielded (hence UTP) and thus subject to interference but I did not know that there was a way to ground them.

Thank you very very much guys,
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29-Jun-2008, 09:56 PM #5
I wouldn't risk running Cat5 thru trees in the air. I would bury it underground inside a waterproof conduit.
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29-Jun-2008, 10:16 PM #6
I don't know how to ground the cable. But lightning is going to be testing to see how well it was done, especially if you're going to use trees to help attract it.

I know far less about this than Squashman, so I'm going to drop out now.
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29-Jun-2008, 10:20 PM #7
oh ok. Thanks for that Squashman.
So, in the air makes it more suscpetible to interference and signal loss/attenuation.
Thanks very much again.
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29-Jun-2008, 10:21 PM #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by TerryNet View Post
I don't know how to ground the cable. But lightning is going to be testing to see how well it was done, especially if you're going to use trees to help attract it.

I know far less about this than Squashman, so I'm going to drop out now.
Hey TerryNet. Your input is much appreciated. thank you very much. I hope lightning isnt going to be such a harsh examiner. Thanks dude.
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29-Jun-2008, 11:18 PM #9
Terry is actually on to something concerning grounding and it's not solely an issue about lightning. If the two buildings are not grounded where both share basically the same ground, you can have issues with noise over the link between buildings. This is why every install I've seen done between buildings has always been fiber based.

So I agree with Squashman that fiber is the best option here even though it will cost more than running copper in a conduit.
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30-Jun-2008, 12:33 AM #10
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Originally Posted by zx10guy View Post
Terry is actually on to something concerning grounding and it's not solely an issue about lightning. If the two buildings are not grounded where both share basically the same ground, you can have issues with noise over the link between buildings. This is why every install I've seen done between buildings has always been fiber based.

So I agree with Squashman that fiber is the best option here even though it will cost more than running copper in a conduit.
Thank you zx10guy.
I am pretty ignorant when it comes to this grounding topic. But as far as I know the buildings have the same null electrical potential.

DO you think there is a way for me to apply a ground in the cable itself by setting some of the unused twisted pairs to zero potential; or would this be something thats primitive and can go either way?

I will look at a wireless solution then, since you guys have made me aware of the dangers involved in my wired approach. Fiber is too high for the company's budget btw.

Thanks once again.
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30-Jun-2008, 12:59 AM #11
one other thing....
A metal wire will be attached to the cable and connected to the building's earth/lightning rod. Can this serve as a good ground.

I have my lan at home setup like this and it works pretty good (my lan is connected from my house to my neighbour's approx 150 ft and we share internet because ADSL is not functional on my phone line).
OR is it that my home setup just happens to work?
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cat5, cat6, ethernet extension, more than 100m, router extension

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