Running CAT5e beyond 100 meters

Discussion in 'Computers, Hardware, and Operating Systems' started by W0BTU, Nov 14, 2009.

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  1. W0BTU

    W0BTU Ham Member QRZ Page

    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.

    Last edited: Nov 14, 2009
  2. W2FCP

    W2FCP Ham Member QRZ Page

  3. W0BTU

    W0BTU Ham Member QRZ Page

    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.
  4. WA4OTD

    WA4OTD XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    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.
    1. What is the difference between CAT-5, CAT-5e, CAT-6, CAT-7... [FONT=Arial,Helvetica,Univers,Zurich BT][SIZE=-1]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
  5. WA4OTD

    WA4OTD XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    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.
  6. W0BTU

    W0BTU Ham Member QRZ Page

    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.
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2009
  7. KD0EAH

    KD0EAH Ham Member QRZ Page

    I just used a Buffalo Technology HPR54 router and a home-brew 2.4 Ghz antenna 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?
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2009
  8. K9STH

    K9STH Ham Member Staff Member QRZ Page

    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
  9. K8ERV

    K8ERV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Ok, so what happens if the real length is exceeded? Slow down due to packet repeats? Errors? What?

    TOM K8ERV Montrose Colo
  10. WA4OTD

    WA4OTD XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    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.

    Last edited: Nov 15, 2009
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