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W0BTU
11-14-2009, 11:11 PM
Do you have an experience running CAT5/CAT5e/CAT6 UTP network cable beyond the 'theoretical' 100 meter limit between hubs/routers/switches? If so, I'd appreciate hearing from you.

I found lots of information on the Web that implied that it was probably possible to run farther than that, but no personal experiences of anyone who had tried that.

We need to run some cable underground (in PVC conduit) and there's no way to get power to a repeater of any kind.

TIA.

W2FCP
11-15-2009, 12:01 AM
I personally have not ever run cable that far though. An option for powering a repeater if it is needed is power over ethernet.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_over_Ethernet

W0BTU
11-15-2009, 12:30 AM
I personally have not ever run cable that far though. An option for powering a repeater if it is needed is power over ethernet.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_over_Ethernet

I appreciate the link. Just learned something.

The backhoe covered the conduit about an hour ago. If after we put RJ-45's on each end and there's a problem, maybe we'll look into that. Or maybe we'll use the CAT5e as a pull wire and replace it with fiber optic cable. ;)

Trouble is, that's an extra expense, and we're in our slow season.

FWIW, we miscalculated the distance. It was a little farther than we thought.

WA4OTD
11-15-2009, 12:32 AM
I've designed a ethernet device communication from radar to traffic cabinet for traffic control and I have tested to 100M with cheap cat5. I have a 1000 foot spool of the good stuff and plan on testing to that distance but have not done it yet.

How much longer than 100M? Are you running 10baseT or 100 or 1G? That is the guaranteed distance. Also Cat5e or cat6 is essentially same price now. I don't think it is quick as clear cut as this site suggests. Shielded cable and keeping it away from other noisy lines helps.


http://www.connectworld.net/syscon/support.htm
1. What is the difference between CAT-5, CAT-5e, CAT-6, CAT-7... The Simple Answer:
CAT-5 is rated to 100M
CAT-5e is rated to 350M
CAT-6 and CAT6e is rated to 550M or 1000M depending on your source
CAT-7 is supposedly rated to 700M or presumably 1000M

WA4OTD
11-15-2009, 12:35 AM
You can use the extra pairs of wires for POE or just hook any supply you need to those pair. Keep in mind you should not exceed ~350mA. Power injectors are cheap and easy and you can get in many different voltages.

W0BTU
11-15-2009, 01:05 AM
...How much longer than 100M? Are you running 10baseT or 100 or 1G? ...
http://www.connectworld.net/syscon/support.htm
1. What is the difference between CAT-5, CAT-5e, CAT-6, CAT-7... The Simple Answer:
CAT-5 is rated to 100M
CAT-5e is rated to 350M
CAT-6 and CAT6e is rated to 550M or 1000M depending on your source
CAT-7 is supposedly rated to 700M or presumably 1000M



About 400', maybe more. (100 meters=320 feet.)

100 BaseT.

I bought a "500 foot" spool from eBay, and there's about 10' left. However, I also bought 620' of 1/2" PVC conduit (containing the cable), and there's about 260' of that left over. Sounds like there was not 500' on the roll I bought. For once, I hope I was cheated. ;) If I wasn't, that's an awfully long distance to expect no problems with the installation.

Thanks for the link to the web site. If those figures are correct, I won't have a problem. But every other site I visited listed the same distance (90 to 100 meters max.) for CAT-5, CAT-5e, or CAT-6.

EDIT 11-27-09: There's about 65' of the cable that's not in the PVC conduit.

KD0EAH
11-15-2009, 01:13 AM
I just used a Buffalo Technology HPR54 router (http://www.buffalotech.com/products/wireless/wireless-g-high-power/wireless-g-high-power-router-and-access-point-whr-hp-g54/)and a home-brew 2.4 Ghz antenna (http://www.dxzone.com/cgi-bin/dir/jump2.cgi?ID=15580) and am powering across 900 feet of area with woods between the router and the extender.

Can you elaborate more about what you are trying to do?

Could you set up a gel cell with a solar panel at the one end to power up a wireless access point?

K9STH
11-15-2009, 01:23 AM
The BICSI specifications for the maximum length of Category 5 cabling is actually 90 meters with an additional 10 meters total allowed for "jumpers" at each end. This is the specification that "Cat 5" and "Cat 5e" cable MUST meet. In the "real world", with quality cable, you can probably go considerably over the 90 meter length provided proper installation procedures are followed.

There is a BIG difference between "Cat 5" and "Cat 5e" cable and a "Cat 5" and "Cat 5e" cable installation. To maintain the higher speeds, minimum cross talk, and so forth, the cable MUST be installed properly and that requires cable rings, cable trays, maximum termination lengths outside of the "sheath" no longer than 0.5 inches (12.7 mm), use of 110 blocks (NOT 66 blocks), proper jacks, no "sharp bends" in the cable, the cable not "touching" anything except for rings, cable trays, etc., and so forth.

Many installers use "Cat 5" and "Cat 5e" cable just like "P.O.T." ("plain old telephone") cable. As such, the performance of the cable can be just like Category 2 or, at best, Category 3 levels.

Before "retiring" I was an active RCDD and I have "red lined" a lot of installations because of improper installation procedures. The contractors soon learned that the companies I worked for demanded proper installations and unless the contractor complied with BICSI installation procedures they would not be paid. After a couple of times having to rework major portions of jobs the contractors soon learned to do the job correctly the first time. The company was willing to pay a premium price for proper installations and we had a waiting list of companies that wanted to do jobs for the company. If a particular contractor didn't comply with the standards they were dropped from the rotation and another company took their place. It did not take long for the contractors to start doing the job correctly the first time.

Glen, K9STH

K8ERV
11-15-2009, 01:41 AM
Ok, so what happens if the real length is exceeded? Slow down due to packet repeats? Errors? What?

TOM K8ERV Montrose Colo

WA4OTD
11-15-2009, 01:55 AM
I've seen it also both ways on the distance. I think if you are pushing speed the distance stays the same, if you are pushing 100baseT through cat5e or cat6 you get more distance. The better cables were made for faster speeds.

Put a connector on each end in your shop and see if it works. Then you can cut one off to pull.

I personally bet you would be ok even with cat 5, 100baseT is not that fast.

If you are not using these they are great. You can push the wire through to check colors and then the crimper cuts the wires off when you squeeze.

http://www.systemsstore.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=ss&Category_Code=Platinum45 (http://www.systemsstore.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=ss&Category_Code=Platinum45)


About 400', maybe more. (100 meters=320 feet.)

100 BaseT.

I bought a "500 foot" spool from eBay, and there's about 10' left. However, I also bought 620' of 1/2" PVC conduit (containing the cable), and there's about 260' of that left over. Sounds like there was not 500' on the roll I bought. For once, I hope I was cheated. ;) If I wasn't, that's an awfully long distance to expect no problems with the installation.

Thanks for the link to the web site. If those figures are correct, I won't have a problem. But every other site I visited listed the same distance (90 to 100 meters max.) for CAT-5, CAT-5e, or CAT-6.

N2RJ
11-15-2009, 02:42 AM
Ok, so what happens if the real length is exceeded? Slow down due to packet repeats? Errors? What?

TOM K8ERV Montrose Colo

You'll get packet loss and some network interfaces might not link at all because of the attenuation.

N2RJ
11-15-2009, 02:44 AM
Do you have an experience running CAT5/CAT5e/CAT6 UTP network cable beyond the 'theoretical' 100 meter limit between hubs/routers/switches? If so, I'd appreciate hearing from you.

I found lots of information on the Web that implied that it was probably possible to run farther than that, but no personal experiences of anyone who had tried that.

We need to run some cable underground (in PVC conduit) and there's no way to get power to a repeater of any kind.

TIA.

In my personal experience I've been able to get it to work beyond 100m but after a certain point it won't. At the lengths you are talking about 100Mb might be more likely to work than gigabit.

N0NB
11-16-2009, 01:32 AM
Also, another problem with a longer than spec permanent link is that patch cords exhibit more loss than horizontal cable so if the link was iffy before, the channel may be NOP with the addition of the patch cords.

K3ROJ
11-17-2009, 01:23 PM
Remember, we are alllowed to run amateur radio communications on WIFI channels up to channel 6. I was able to make a link almost 2 miles away to control a remote ATV transmitter on WIFI channel 3 using about 600 milliwatts. Ony problem is, we need to indentify and a subdued morse code identifier takes care of that. Look on E-Bay for the necessary equipment and by using surplus wifi gear along with homemade antennas. The only interference I caused was a neighbors wireless network but once he moved to a higher channel, he was OK.

W9GB
11-17-2009, 06:36 PM
Do you have an experience running CAT5/CAT5e/CAT6 UTP network cable beyond the 'theoretical' 100 meter limit between hubs/routers/switches? If so, I'd appreciate hearing from you.
The EIA/TIA 568 and 569 standards (written and approved in early 1990s) -- specify 90 meters PLUS an additional 10 meters for the patch cables from the telecommunications outlet to the hub/router (one side) and the personal computer/printer/server (other side).

THINK FIBER OPTIC.
I designed at built one of the first hospital campuses using UTP and fiber optic cabling that met these new standards in 1993 .. and received national awards in 1994. Category 5 UTP cable was just introduced that year and the Ethernet fiber optic standard was still in draft.

Your problem will come with the actual network equipment (if it exceeds the minimum standards) that you will be using and how you installed the actual UTP cable (pristine cable lay and minimal chances for RFI problems).
In other words, some may work fine with 320 feet of cable, but others will not --
not a reailable or correct "install" and I would never install that length for that reason.

It sounds like you are installing a BACKBONE Network Ethernet run -- which I ALWAYS do in Fiber Optic, unless very short -- for future bandwidth increases -- that copper will never be able to handle!!

1. What is the actual distance that you are trying to achieve?? Only 320 feet?
2. Surplus fiber optic jumpers and "end of cable runs < 1 km" are very cheap -- if you know where to look! If you live in an area where Verizon is building their FiOS TV and Internet infrastructure --- it is readily available!
3. While fiber optic requires an active device (power) for operation -- it is RFI immune --- an attribute that copper UTP cable will NEVER completely achieve.

w9gb

AB1GA
11-17-2009, 07:25 PM
Ok, so what happens if the real length is exceeded? Slow down due to packet repeats? Errors? What?

TOM K8ERV Montrose Colo


From what I remember reading at the time it wasn't signal quality, but signal timing that drove the length limitations. If the cable was too long, increased skew between signal channels would cause packet errors and retransmission. If the propagation delay was too high because of excessive length, then you might not get packet transmission going at all.

In addition to the single link, timing considerations also result in the specifications limiting the number of "layers" of hubs and switches in twisted-pair Ethernet deployments.

73,

N0NB
11-18-2009, 01:21 AM
In addition to the single link, timing considerations also result in the specifications limiting the number of "layers" of hubs and switches in twisted-pair Ethernet deployments.

Now that I had not heard. In the course work for the BICSI Technician certification a limit on active devices was never mentioned. Perhaps a passive hub that did not use external power would qualify as such a device but later powered hubs do regenerate the Ethernet signal, as I understand it. Switches definitely are not subject as they process each Ethernet packet to determine which port to send it to thus generating a new packet, again as I understand it.

If there is such a limitation I've not heard of it to date and I've been doing Ethernet for a decade and Token Ring for eight years before that, although I don't claim to know everything about either. ;)

AB1GA
11-18-2009, 02:55 AM
Now that I had not heard. In the course work for the BICSI Technician certification a limit on active devices was never mentioned. Perhaps a passive hub that did not use external power would qualify as such a device but later powered hubs do regenerate the Ethernet signal, as I understand it. Switches definitely are not subject as they process each Ethernet packet to determine which port to send it to thus generating a new packet, again as I understand it.

If there is such a limitation I've not heard of it to date and I've been doing Ethernet for a decade and Token Ring for eight years before that, although I don't claim to know everything about either. ;)

My use of the word "layers" was not precise, but the need to leave the office kept me from finding a better phrasing in the time remaining. In fact, the limits on hop count for unswitched and switched backbones have different sources, and since it's been a long time since I actually deployed a network, I wouldn't be surprised if all of the limits have been removed by technical advances in the field.

For shared Ethernet systems, addition of segments using repeaters, bridges, and active hubs extended the collision domain, and if not controlled, response time specs would be violated because of the delay introduced by the regeneration circuitry as well as the additional cable length. I had never heard the term at the time, but the IEEE introduced the "5-4-3" rule to help ensure shared backbone networks would be reliable. Since shared backbone networks are probably as rare as hen's teeth today, this hop count guideline has almost certainly gone away. Note this wasn't a spec, but rather a design guideline, dependent on the technology of the day.

When switched networks hit the scene, the notion of a collision domain sort of went away because there were no collisions, at least not with store-and-forward switches. (With cut-through switches, it seems it could have been possible to have a collision if two sources wanted to talk to the same target at the same time, but I'd imagine that happened rarely.) But although switches broke up collision domains, they didn't break up broadcast domains until VLAN technology was introduced. Lots of folks misused switches, which were cheaper than full routers, but passed all broadcast packets. Some of those broadcast storms were glorious to behold (from a distance). At the same time, the flexible connectivity of switches meant that redundant paths between hosts had to be discovered and blocked, and the spanning tree protocol used to do this had limits imposed by the capability of the switching hardware; I remember numbers between three and seven, but I'd wager that on modern gear the limit is so large as to be irrelevant, or there are now better architectural approaches to deploying big networks.

Sorry for being long winded, especially if I've been repeating stuff you already know, but sometimes you just can't help wandering down Memory Lane a bit.

:)

73,

KJ4HMO
11-18-2009, 11:55 AM
Now that I had not heard. In the course work for the BICSI Technician certification a limit on active devices was never mentioned. Perhaps a passive hub that did not use external power would qualify as such a device but later powered hubs do regenerate the Ethernet signal, as I understand it. Switches definitely are not subject as they process each Ethernet packet to determine which port to send it to thus generating a new packet, again as I understand it.

If there is such a limitation I've not heard of it to date and I've been doing Ethernet for a decade and Token Ring for eight years before that, although I don't claim to know everything about either. ;)


I have heard of limitations from 2 BICSI certified installers that I deal with. All I could find online about it was this.

http://itknowledgeexchange.techtarget.com/itanswers/how-many-switches-can-you-have-in-a-network/

N2RJ
11-18-2009, 05:52 PM
Remember, we are alllowed to run amateur radio communications on WIFI channels up to channel 6. I was able to make a link almost 2 miles away to control a remote ATV transmitter on WIFI channel 3 using about 600 milliwatts. Ony problem is, we need to indentify and a subdued morse code identifier takes care of that. Look on E-Bay for the necessary equipment and by using surplus wifi gear along with homemade antennas. The only interference I caused was a neighbors wireless network but once he moved to a higher channel, he was OK.

Using ham radio means that no commercial content or encryption is allowed.

Regarding the identification, no need for subdued morse code. Just put your callsign as your SSID and that will suffice.

KC4RAN
11-18-2009, 06:23 PM
Using ham radio means that no commercial content or encryption is allowed.

Regarding the identification, no need for subdued morse code. Just put your callsign as your SSID and that will suffice.
Which pretty much eliminates web surfing on the internet, period. And reading your email (spam, advertisements).

Good rule of thumb: If you wouldn't read it over the air, don't transmit it digitally. Rule-wise, there's no difference.

W0BTU
11-18-2009, 07:40 PM
I very much appreciate all the helpful replies to my question. I should know tomorrow if it works, and I'll post the results here.

Wifi was my first choice. However, the antenna seller backed out (http://forums.qrz.com/showthread.php?t=220367) and the ditch was going to be filled in, so myself and another ham put the CAT5e in the conduit in the ditch before the backhoe operator returned to fill it. Long story.

KB2HSH
11-22-2009, 05:14 AM
I am a PBX Technician for a living. While we wouldn't run over-lengths on a regular basis, if the customer insists (and I am a govt. contractor), I will.

Case in point was one of my NYS customers last December. They have an ENORMOUS building, with 99.9% of the runs done properly and perfectly. However, they had one run in particular that was by itself in a warehouse. They had no intention of running a switch, etc. The run was 375 feet. We use Cat 6 for everything, since that is what state and Fed "require" now.

It wouldn't pass Cat6 testing, nor would it pass Cat 5 or 5e. It DID pass 10Base-T, however...and it wiremapped.

I asked my contact exactly what it would be used for. He told me that it was for a PC that was used once or twice a week, and it used a DOS ordering program. So, since it wasn't going to be a "mission critical" terminal, I ran the line. But, I also informed my contact that I could neither certify the cable nor warranty it. Once I explained to Albany the situation, they were OK with it.

It is still in service with no issues.

SO, it can be done...I just don't like doing it.

John KB2HSH

W0BTU
11-22-2009, 10:20 PM
... The run was 375 feet. We use Cat 6 for everything, since that is what state and Fed "require" now.

It wouldn't pass Cat6 testing, nor would it pass Cat 5 or 5e. It DID pass 10Base-T, however...and it wiremapped....

Hi John,

Thanks for your experience. We did get it working at 100 Mbps, but ran no tests other than checking e-mail one time. It's disconnected until we can wire it properly at the far end.

I'm estimating this run at 400 feet, but we haven't accurately measured it yet.

One of the options if it is not reliable is to try a 10Base-T hub sitting here. This application is not that critical, either.

Too bad there's no such things as 100Base-2. If I recall, 10Base-2 using coax had a far greater maximum length.

W9GB
11-22-2009, 11:43 PM
It wouldn't pass Cat6 testing, nor would it pass Cat 5 or 5e. It DID pass 10Base-T, however...and it wiremapped.
Jhn -

That is what most people MISS. When the EIA/TIA 568/569 were first written (early 1990s), ONLY 10 to 16 Mbs existed (10-Base-T Etherent and Token-Ring 16 Mb). FDDI (fiber optic) was used for 100 MB runs and there were a handful of proprietary (non-standard) protocols and methods.
In fact my first section of cable wiring for the hospital in 1991 was with Category 4 .. since Category 5 was not yet widely available.
We switched as soon as it was available (and had to deal with Teflon/Plenum rated cable shortages).

Fast Ethernet took too long to get approved in 1990s as HP fought for their no CDMA approach in the 100-Base-T standard versus about everyone else. Switching technology made some of the issues "go away".

As for the 400 feet run --- IF you can pass 10-Base-T with no packet loss, be happy. Fast Ethernet may work, but you may observe some packet loss (which will slow down overall speed)

w9gb

N2RJ
11-26-2009, 02:08 AM
Which pretty much eliminates web surfing on the internet, period. And reading your email (spam, advertisements).

Pretty much, except if you have a system like WinLink where you restrict the commercial content... ;)

N2RJ
11-26-2009, 02:12 AM
2. Surplus fiber optic jumpers and "end of cable runs < 1 km" are very cheap -- if you know where to look! If you live in an area where Verizon is building their FiOS TV and Internet infrastructure --- it is readily available!
3. While fiber optic requires an active device (power) for operation -- it is RFI immune --- an attribute that copper UTP cable will NEVER completely achieve.

w9gb

I saw this at Dayton two years ago.

It looked like HAL had some of the bad food and puked in the parking lot.

If you look carefully, there were some fiber optic cables in there.

Yes, they were free.

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/205/505077959_d9bf2e8a4c_b.jpg

VK2FMJC
11-26-2009, 05:09 AM
Talking about what happens beyond 100m with Cat5....

I m the IT Manager at a car dealership & last week the pre delivery department wanted to use their online diagnostic machine in more than one bay, instead of having to move the vehicle to be tested next to the only cat5 outlet in the area.

I grabbed a 30m cable & plugged it in to the outlet with my laptop to see if it would work,the pre delivery area is at the furthest wall away from the server room switch's so I figured an extra 30m may stop it working, but it worked fine, I could ping the diagnostic server in Germany, I could also surf the Internet just fine too....

Then a few days later when the technician attempted to use the diagnostic machine (Siemens dedicated device with win2000 embedded) it did not work at all.

I plugged my laptop into the line & it worked as before, Internet & ping all 100%, so I plugged the machine into the outlet with the shorter cable they used before & it worked!

The estimated cable distance would be probably about 90 meters by the time it goes out of the server room & down the workshop wall then along another wall & back up the other side of the workshop, so adding 30m pushed it over the limit.

The network card in the older Siemens unit was obviously sensitive to voltage drops in long runs, but the newer laptop network interface could handle the drop!

So what did I do? I fitted a Wifi to lan bridge on the Siemens unit :D

Michael

W0BTU
11-28-2009, 02:42 AM
Talking about what happens beyond 100m with Cat5....
...

Interesting.


Well, it sure does work at 100Mb/s, in fact it works too good. When the Vista laptop on the end of that run downloads updates, etc., it bogs the other 7+ PCs on the router down. I may need to change some QoS router settings to slow it down.

I don't have any fancy cable testing equipment. I could put a Linux PC (or boot Knoppix in the laptop) to run further tests for line quality; but the way it acts, there's not enough dropped packets, retries, etc. to make it worth further testing.

The mostly underground CAT5e is between two routers: a D-Link DI-808HV and a Netgear WGU-624. A single run of Remee Type CMR 24 AWG #5AE244UTPRL2R CAT5-E cable between the routers. No splices, etc.

Thanks again to all who replied.

K7FAQ
12-27-2009, 06:56 AM
Ok, so what happens if the real length is exceeded? Slow down due to packet repeats? Errors? What?

TOM K8ERV Montrose Colo

I have experienced installations where the customer stated "it's worked for over a year and now ..."

If you are exceeding 300' my best advice is to address the matter. It may work for a while but one day will come when the equipment decides enough is enough. (i.e. you may get away with higher swr readings until the finals have had enough...) For instances of longer runs between buildings, your best choice is to use "Media Converters" on each end and fiber optic to connect them. I recently priced converters at Fry's Electronics http://www.frys.com and found that they were not that unreasonable.

HTH,
Steven

KJ4OLL
12-29-2009, 02:16 AM
+1 on the previous comments on using fiber-optic cable.

Note the small Ethernet switch in the rack w/ the radio gear in the shack:

http://i180.photobucket.com/albums/x257/fish1_07/radio_ethernet_fiberswitch.jpg

The orange cable on the Center Right in the photo is a Multi-mode fiber patch cable,
LC connector on one end, ST on the other.
The same Ethernet rig is on the house 150ft away.

If you run a metallic, low voltage conductor (Ethernet), there may be problems blowing up the NIC at either end.

The two buildings electrical systems will sometimes try to use the PC/NIC/CAT-5 as a current path for static or any differences in potential between the electrical systems.

We have bad lightning here in the Summer, no buried low voltage stuff survives for long.

So if the CAT-5 gives trouble, remember that it makes a very fine pull-string to use to pull the fiber in next!

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