Solved Network cabling: Copper or fibre?

Dell corporation / Inspiron 7720
May 14, 2014 at 14:54:22
Specs: Windows 8.1 64-bit, Intel i7 3630QM, 8Gb DDR 1600
Will keep it (somewhat) brief here.
Running a physical network for about 400Ft in an underground conduit along with a 125v 60hz power main. Don't really trust WiFi under the circumstances, want a steady connection. Also planning for gigabit to make full use of a NAS going in next week.

Options are:
A. Use copper ethernet, probably CAT6 to help with crosstalk, with a buried repeater in the middle (~200 ft) powered by the mains + surge arresters at either end of the line. Or:
B. Run fibre along the entire run, with optic transceivers connecting to local ethernet at each end.

I'm leaning towards the fibre, as I'm wary of possible underground power surges with a good $5K of equipment at either end of the line. Non-conductive fibre takes care of that, also has plenty of speed. At the same time rough estimates put the copper ethernet at a good $150 or more less than the fibre setup, may or may not be an issue.

Which?

~oldie
Not everyone can decipher Klingon script...
chay' ta' SoH tlhe' vam Doch Daq


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#1
May 14, 2014 at 15:08:07
✔ Best Answer
There's no question in my mind what to use. I would go with fiber.

It might be a little more expensive but it's worth it.

The maximum segment length of Cat6 is 100 m (320 ft) so you would need at least one repeater in your 400 ft run. Multimode can easily span 400 ft without any additional equipment. Singlemode can cover even longer distances (25 km's if memory serves me).

Plus, you can get more bandwidth ("speed" is the wrong measurement) out of fiber optic. We're moving to 10 Gig in our server room and the same fiber will do 40 Gig. So if/when the time comes to upgrade to 40, we won't need to replace any cable, just GBIC's.

Finally, you could buy a multi strand, preterminated cable that would allow multiple connections. We use a lot of 5 pair preterminated fiber cables between our closets and in our server room.

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

***William Henley***


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#2
May 14, 2014 at 15:34:45
@Curt indeed. In fact, with that information I might even be able to run fibre to other places I have in mind that are a long ways away. Just that the cost might be questionable.

Thanks for the tips. Next noob question: Do you know of a reliable supplier of the fibre materials needed? I don't entirely trust the sellers on amazon, and from experience Ebay is off the map.

~oldie
Not everyone can decipher Klingon script...
chay' ta' SoH tlhe' vam Doch Daq

message edited by OLDISGOOD


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#3
May 15, 2014 at 07:15:35
I'll get back to you on supplier.

I don't order equipment here at work. One of my coworkers handles that.

I just emailed him and once he responds I'll post the info in here.

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

***William Henley***


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Related Solutions

#4
May 15, 2014 at 09:58:16
Good thing you decided on fiber because you can't run copper Ethernet in the same conduit as power.

Answers are only as good as the information you provide.
How to properly post a question:
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#5
May 15, 2014 at 11:58:14
Ok, so I talked to my coworker and unless you live in Canada, you're going to want to look for another source. If you do live in Canada then PM me and I'll send you their web address.

I would suggest you hit local distributors as well as online companies that ship to your locale and price compare and go with whomever gives you the best price.

Do the devices at each end of the run have GBIC's or GBIC slots? If so, then you get your GBIC's first so you know what type of ends to get on the cable (LC/SC/SX etc). If not, you'll need a media converter at each end (fiber to copper and vice versa) and you'll still want to settle on these devices before ordering cable to ensure your cable has the correct connectors.

If you have no need for more than one link, I'd get a single pair fiber optic cable as it'll be cheaper than multiple pairs.

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

***William Henley***


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#6
May 15, 2014 at 19:47:35
Ok then, my plan was to just go with media converters, as each system is already set up with gigabit ethernet at either end. I can just use the converters and a short patch cord from the existing routers/switches and I should be good to go.

I guess I can just look around for suppliers, since i'm definately not in Canada. Google solves all ;-) I have a local company in mind right now that might be able to get stuff through, but that I'm not too sure about. Living far out from anything doesn't bode well for finding parts either.

~oldie
Not everyone can decipher Klingon script...
chay' ta' SoH tlhe' vam Doch Daq


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#7
June 23, 2014 at 23:29:05
Happy to say that a local ISP was able to get me some surplus fibre plus a couple media converters for cheap and the system is happily dumping data away in the trench. First real networking experience I should say, beyond the stringing of my own puny Cat5e in my house.

~oldie
Not everyone can decipher Klingon script...
chay' ta' SoH tlhe' vam Doch Daq


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#8
June 24, 2014 at 06:54:54
Nice!

It's always great to finish up a project and have it all work. I would have never thought to check with a local ISP to see if they had any leftovers. That's good thinking and hopefully saved you a bundle.

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

***William Henley***


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