I’m looking for solutions for a home network that I can do myself.
I want to do a network run between my house and my garage. There two are separated by about 60 feet, and the ground between is paved and landscaped. I’d rather not rip that out to run another line, but there is already conduit that runs power between the two. I can’t run ethernet with power lines, but I think I could run fiber.
That’s where I run into ignorance. I have experience running ethernet cable, but none with fiber. What do I need to know? What equipment do I need? What will this cost?
Other possibilities would be a raised cable (not ideal), or maybe a directional antenna/receiver pair. Am I missing something?
The trouble with fiber is that you need special modules to plug it into. As long as you’re not worried too much about the cable breaking because someone ploughs through it or some such, you could probably use cheap indoor fiber and be fine for many years.
However, I think you’re overthinking this, if you put a wifi base station in front of the window you should have reasonable reception in the garage as long as it doesn’t have metal walls. If it does, put a wifi repeater in front of a window or make a hole for an antenna or some such.
Are you worried about EMI? Is that the issue with not wanting to run ethernet with the power? I would at least give it a shot if you don’t want to go the wi-fi repeater route. It’ll cost next to nothing to implement and might work just fine. Fiber will definitely cost more than nothing.
In many locations, the building code prohibits running any other electrical signal wiring in the same conduit as power lines. But as fiber optic cables are not electrically conductive, they might be legally permissible in the same conduit as power lines. Also, the electrical signal interference from the power lines would not affect them. Plus they are physically quite small, and probably easier to fit into that already-used conduit.
Ah! building codes. :smack:I didn’t think of that.
But as someone who runs both copper and fiber in a data center as a job, I have to say that fiber is a bigger pain in the ass to run than copper. Yeah, it’s skinnier. But the LC connectors make it just as fat as CAT5/6. Plus it is way more fragile, so you can’t yank on it like you can CAT5/6. Nor can you put sharp bends in the run.
Not to mention the cost. I’m not sure about consumer level stuff, but I know the SFP’s (the transceivers that convert optical to electrical) can run several hundred bucks each, and you need one for each end. Plus a router/switch that can accept them. A 20 meter duplex LC-LC fiber cable alone will be like $30-$40 or more. 20 meters of CAT5 you can probably find for free as scrap.
Some of the cable supply houses will “wrap” cables any way you want. SO you can get regular Ethernet wrapped in an outdoor covering, and string it from eaves to eaves like a phone cable. (While you’re at it, include a phone cable in the wrap to allow for an extension in the garage?)
Code prohibits power and signal running together in case something causes wear and a shot, so power gets fed onto the signal cable, therefore energizing equipment at either end (shock hazard) or risking a fire.
Strong vote for eop - Ethernet over power. As long as circuit arrangement in your place allows it ( likely it does) you can get solid speeds for cheap. It also networks the entire rest of your house as as freebie!
This is basically what I was thinking. Whether or not the code allows it or interference would be a major problem, running low-voltage cabling with power lines is just asking for trouble if something goes wrong.
This might make it untenable to pull through an existing conduit. I don’t know how sharp the bends are, and while it’s not packed to the gills, it’s kind of full, so I might need to yank on it…
I could do this, but it looks tacky. And we don’t have a landline, so the phone cable isn’t necessary. Any phone we might get in the future would probably be internet telephony anyway. I’m actually planning to pull the existing phone lines out of the house and replace them with Cat 6. They’re all just sitting in the wall behind blank faceplates, presumably because the previous owners didn’t use them either.
Oops. I posted the link for the gbic connectors which won’t help if you don’t have commercial routers laying around but there is an option for rj45 there. What you’ll want is an RJ45 to fibre media connector. Amazon and Newegg (as well as monoprice) carry them and so long as you can negotiate the cable through the conduit you should be golden.