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FIber to link sites 500m from each other - then back to Cat5e
Posted: 19 August 2008 09:57 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Hi all,

We are potentially involved with a job in which we have three separate houses in which to install structured cabling and AV/Data kit. These houses are separated by farmland from each other by 500-800m. There is no problem with trenching between them.

The project managers are keen to link them by fiber optic cable and then run standard structured cabling with Cat5e internally.

The issue is that we will have up to 300 Cat5e lines carrying data and telecoms - can we port these over fiber and then re-compile them at the other end with any degree of simplicity or have we gone to the dark side with these plans?

What is the maximum run length of Cat5e or Cat6 to link premises?

Thanks, Will

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Posted: 19 August 2008 10:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Ethernet is rated to about 1,000’ - Cat5e should get you 100MB while Cat6 should get you to 1GB.  Fiber is a nice backbone option, you’ll just need to take special care in running it and you’ll need special switching hardware at each location.

You will also need to map out the infrastructure.  Phone and data will likely be seperate services and therefor require seperate networks.  If each house is going to have a unique phone number, the phone company will land the service at a box at each house, the builder should provide a location for them.

As for simplicity - I am always amused when a customer/ home owner/ builder starts the conversation with, “we want it simple” and then proceed to outline a system like the one you are describing.  There is really nothing simple about it.  You have not “gone to the dark side” but your builder/ project manager is in the twighlight zone if they expect simple or inexpensive (usually what is meant by simple).

Our job, as system integrators and custom installers is to do the planning and thinking - hopefully the end result is that the customer thinks of it as simple while appreciating the effort and work required on our part to make it so.

So now you get the enjoyable task of clearly defining the scope of work from a project that sounds already a little out of control.  Nail down your commitment even if they keep moving the target.  Write it down, get a signed contract, bill them promptly.

Happy designing!

Morgan

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Morgan Harman
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Posted: 19 August 2008 11:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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“Write it down, get a signed contract, bill them promptly” Now that’s always good advice!

Thanks very much for your input. I think budget isn’t too much of an issue but their understanding of the complexity certainly is.

Thanks again - W

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Posted: 19 August 2008 12:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Fiber is about your ONLY choice for the building link as cat5e is good for 100 meters as per EIA-TIA. Use a fiber backbone between the buildings and than network switches in the buildings that have a fiber transceiver (a regular network switch with one fiber port is common).  The rest of the ports on the switch are RJ45 and support the buildings copper.

I would define CLEARLY what the house needs are, (telecom, video, audio, network) then back up from there to the wiring closet, and then the fiber link between the buildings.

Dirk

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Posted: 19 August 2008 03:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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That fast reply option, I should pass my posts by an editor.

I stand corrected… 100 meters for ethernet.  1000’ is the typical length in a box.  smile

-Morgan

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Morgan Harman
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Posted: 19 August 2008 03:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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I wasn’t trying to correct wink.  Your statement was actually not referring to cat 5 but ethernet.  Which raises the question, how far IS ethernet good for on various transport media without the need for some sort of signal boost.

Any takers?

Dirk

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Posted: 22 August 2008 10:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Hi Guys,
CAT5e or CAT6 is good at 100 meters and you will get gigabit bandwidth.
Plenum for commercial buildings and its 35% more than riser rated.
Be careful on the switch you choose, the backplane bandwidth will need to support the application loads. Fiber is a good choice for multiple reasons.
You may also need to consider QOS (configurable quality of service) to keep the voice channel at a minimum prescribed bandwidth, you will need routers between the buildings if your IP addressing will be different. I come from the corp america network engineering world into the the AV and Integration industry.
I would be glad to help any more if needed.
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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John Merlino
Chameleon AV Integration, LLC
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Posted: 24 August 2008 05:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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You will need a pair of Fiber Optic Transceivers to convert twisted pair CAT5 or CAT6 to optical and back to twisted pair. You’ll need to splice SC connectiors on the cables and ask for SC transceivers. The easiest fiber splice kit will run $800. If your only going to need to run fiber on this job or less than a few jobs per year, I’d sub it out to another comany.

The transceivers run about $200 a pair and you need to make sure the fiber connector matches the type on the fiber termination. We get them from Virginia Electronic Component (VEC) in Virginia. Ask for Susan Norton and she’ll help you with technical questions. Link to transceivers at VEC:
https://www.catalog-on-demand.com/webcatalogs/vec/FR3/?redirect=yes

Good luck…

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Posted: 26 August 2008 07:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Check out the following product. Your application is larger and i believe there is a card cage design. I have used this in the past to extend the network from a new server room to the old one beyond 100 meters.

http://www.transition.com/TransitionNetworks/Products2/Intersection.aspx?Definition=Stand-Alone+Converter&Topology=10/100/1000+Ethernet

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