Outdoor, underground network cable advice.

Discussion in 'Networking & Security' started by GotNoRice, Mar 1, 2018.

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  1. GotNoRice

    GotNoRice [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I am looking for recommendations on ethernet cable to connect two buildings that are just over 100 yards apart (just regular dirt and grass in-between). The cable will need to be buried just slightly underground.

    I already laid down some cable about a year ago, but ran into problems. I used THIS CABLE. I got lazy and only buried about half of the cable underground right away. When I went to bury the rest about a month later, I found where a deer had chewed through part of the outer weather-proofing on part of the cable (but not the inner ethernet cable). I added some duct tape and finished burying it. The cable had been working great for ~11 months after that. We have had a pretty dry winter, and all of a sudden we got hit by a big storm (lots of rain and wind) overnight. In the morning there was no longer a connection over the ethernet cable (verified with different working devices on both ends of the cable).

    I'm not sure where or how the cable actually failed, if it is related to where the deer chewed on it a bit or not. I'm wondering if I should get the same cable again or if there is a better option. Would it be worth the extra money to try to lay down some kind of pipe or conduit instead of just direct burial?
     
  2. modi123

    modi123 [H]ardness Supreme

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    Any particular reason you didn't use a PVC conduit and bury it a bit further under the ground?
     
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  3. cheap50

    cheap50 n00bie

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    Garden hoses are small, easy to bury and offer some protection.....just sayin. I connected a barn to a house using garden hose and standard Cat 5 years ago. About 90 yds, still working today.
     
  4. uberjon

    uberjon [H]Lite

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    I used something likelike h://m.lowes.com/pd/ADS-3-4-in-x-100-ft-100-PSI-Plastic-Coil-Pipe/3514714 about 2 years ago between my house and garage. figured with the gravel best option. Air hose and string to help route the wire lol
     
  5. chess

    chess n00bie

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    make sure you use a decent conduit, and i'd use plenum just so if something gets cut the cable wont be damaged...

    Also, i'd run multiple lines just to cover your ass
     
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  6. GotNoRice

    GotNoRice [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Main reason is cost. At 300ft, approaching the limit of the Ethernet spec even, costs can build-up quick on whatever is used as a conduit. PVC is $0.50-$1 per foot most places, so we would be talking about an extra $150+. I like the garden-hose idea but 300ft of garden hose probably wouldn't be too cheap either. I want to do whatever is necessary but I'm not looking to dump hundreds of extra dollars into this unless I absolutely have to.

    Has anyone here had experience with direct burial of outdoor Ethernet cable at time of installation? I'm hesitant to immediately discount the idea of using direct burial cable again simply because of my previous experience, since part of the cable I used had already been sun-baked and had animals chewing on it before I actually got around to burying it. I have to assume it would still be working if I had not been lazy and actually buried the whole 300ft at the time of installation, though who knows. I'm trying to get an idea of how likely it is for properly-installed direct-burial cable to fail.

    Also, conduit or not, I still have to buy another spool of Ethernet cable no matter what. Anyone know of anything better than THIS while still being in the same general ballpark in terms of price?
     
  7. Nicklebon

    Nicklebon Gawd

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    Please tell that despite all this mickey mouse shit I'm reading you people are at least grounding these cables. FWIW the correct way to network between buildings is fiber.
     
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  8. GotNoRice

    GotNoRice [H]ardForum Junkie

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    What "mickey mouse shit" are you reading? In what way do you suggest that I "ground" the Ethernet cable, and what part of the Ethernet cable do you feel should be grounded?

    The purpose of the wire run is because the local Cable internet provider will not run coax cable all the way from the pole on the street to the household, which is located toward the middle of a rather large piece of land. There is, however, a water well that has it's own building for the pump. The well building is close enough to the street that the Cable ISP was willing to run coax there. We put the cablemodem in the well building, and then ran Ethernet the last 300ft to the house, where it plugs into the WAN port of the router.

    The router (old computer running PFSense) on one end of the ethernet cable is grounded with a standard 3-prong outlet. The cablemodem (Arris SB6183) on the other side of the ethernet cable only uses a 2-prong power adapter, but is plugged into a UPS that is grounded via a 3-prong outlet. Because it is located in a well building, the electric sockets in there are already grounded to the same metal pipes that go all the way to the main house and are connected to ground there also. I can't imagine there being much electrical potential for a ground loop, etc, in that case. I've also verified that both devices on the end of the cable still work. If it was some sort of electrical surge that killed the cable, I have to imagine that it would have taken a toll on the devices plugged in to each side of the cable also.

    Fiber... expensive and delicate, pretty much exactly what I don't want for this project. If the cablemodem can handle hundreds if not thousands of yards of coax connected to the ISP side then I think it should probably be fine with 300ft of Ethernet on the local side. Everything has already operated great for about a year until the ethernet cable stopped working, which I do feel was my own fault.
     
  9. Nicklebon

    Nicklebon Gawd

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    Words fail me ... You do realize all that coax is grounded at the curb/pole and the run from the curb/pole is grounded before entering your house right? You should also realize running conductive cable from the outside into your house without grounding it is a good way to burn it down. If you don't know these things and don't know how how to do it properly, you clearly do not, then hire it out. Just because it hasn't happened yet doesn't mean it won't. I also mention if an inspector sees it you'll have problem as well.
     
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  10. GotNoRice

    GotNoRice [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Why didn't you answer any of the questions that I asked, and chose to focus on being argumentative and throwing things further off-topic instead?

    Ethernet cable connected to a device that is grounded is not considered grounded? You consider Ethernet cable to be conductive from the outside? Transmission voltage over Ethernet is like 2V max, if it was conductive then you would have all kinds of voltage from external sources running through the cable. That is why it's insulated. I'm still 100% open to hearing your suggestions on how I should be grounding the Ethernet cable.
     
  11. modi123

    modi123 [H]ardness Supreme

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  12. Megglers

    Megglers [H]Lite

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    At this point wouldn't it be just as easy to run coax from where your isp stopped. They make nice direct burial coax, that would be "grounded" as well. Then all your network components would be in the house. For what it is worth I have an 80ft run of regular cat5 buried 6 inches running from my house to garage that has been working fine for 2.5 years. I have all the conduit and cable to upgrade, just waiting for a reason to dig an 80ft trench. :)
     
  13. BlueLineSwinger

    BlueLineSwinger Limp Gawd

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    Huh? Plenum-rated has nothing to do with damage resistance. It's mainly about fire resistance and smoke toxicity. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plenum_cable



    This and wireless are the correct answers.
     
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  14. mnewxcv

    mnewxcv [H]ardness Supreme

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    Couple directional antennas would be my vote... Rather than digging a 300ft trench.
     
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  15. GotNoRice

    GotNoRice [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I've yet to come across wireless that can match wired performance, and to even get close we're talking $$$. The ground is not totally flat; there is not actually any line-of-sight between the locations anyway unless I want to put the antenna on a fairly tall tower or something. Thankfully the neighbor has a tractor which makes digging the trench extremely easy.
     
  16. Elf_Boy

    Elf_Boy 2[H]4U

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    IMO Fiber in whatever conduit is available is likely the best option. Once you add costs though it can get expensive.

    Last I checked the fiber itself isnt too bad, the adapters to copper on either side is what get costly, it has been a while since I've looked at the tech however.
     
  17. GotNoRice

    GotNoRice [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Yeah realistically I'm looking at spending maybe $100 max here. That's probably not really even enough to build a decent conduit, but might be enough to get a better direct-burial Ethernet cable spool than the spool I got last time if anyone has a suggestion in that regard. I'm definitely not looking at fiber or wireless. The well building is wired to the same breaker box as everything else in the house is, so I don't really think this is the same as if I was connecting two separate houses together.
     
  18. bds1904

    bds1904 Gawd

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    If you want it to last you need direct burial, armored, gel filled cat5.

    You then bond the armor at both ends to a ground with a floating bond.

    Then you need an Ethernet lightning arrestor at each end.

    https://www.discount-low-voltage.com/Cable/Burial-Category-5e/SE-04-601-55

    https://www.ebay.com/i/362056037390?chn=ps&fl=a

    https://m.newegg.com/products/0EP-0...fT4FqTXrB_Xo--VaBzYaAjgMEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds

    Doing it any other way with copper is asking to have a building burn to the ground like someone hasn’t been paid in months and can’t find their stapler.

    When you add it all up some conduit, cheap preterminated multimode fiber and media converters are the same price. At least then you end up with something that is repairable without digging again.
     
  19. thrash408

    thrash408 Limp Gawd

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    I'd do this. Run coax in conduit for a one time fix and then no more worrying about this.
     
  20. Brian_B

    Brian_B [H]ard|Gawd

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    PVC conduit is the cheapest method bar none. It’s a hell of a lot cheaper than digging it up and re-running it in a few months/years.

    Direct burial sucks - if the deer get it above ground, the gophers/mice/squirrels/moles/bugs will get it underground.

    Also, even in conduit, you want to run outdoor rates cable. You don’t need direct burial rates though. Direct burial is a waste of time and money.

    At 100M you are approaching the useful limit of Ethernet. It should work if you terminate properly but don’t expect to get top speed.
     
  21. stormy1

    stormy1 [H]ard|Gawd

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    While I agree fiber is the best, I came across a run a while back that was over 500 feet in a factory that was getting full gig spreed out of some junky cat5 with 0 packet loss and had been doing so for many many years.
    Myself anything over 200ish or if there is potential for ground loops I try to get them to run fiber.
     
  22. goodcooper

    goodcooper [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Some pre-terminated fiber in a garden hose and call it a day

    if running the above and using media converters or whatever you need is too much, a couple of ubnt loco will get the job done


    The key is to electrically separate the two buildings, wireless, fiber: good

    any copper: bad
     
  23. GotNoRice

    GotNoRice [H]ardForum Junkie

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    What exactly defines a "separate building" in an electrical context? Is distance the only variable? The two buildings in my case are part of the same property. The 2nd building houses a water pump for a water well. It is connected to the exact same breaker box as the rest of the house, and with the metal water pipes connecting the two buildings also, there is not much ground potential. How is this any different electrically than connecting two bedrooms that are right next to each other? I'm not asking these questions to be argumentative; I want to understand what is at play here.
     
  24. Elf_Boy

    Elf_Boy 2[H]4U

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    Doing some very hasty google searches I found fiber for $.19 per foot and rj45 Ethernet to fiber converters for $31 and likely less.
     
  25. GotNoRice

    GotNoRice [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Thanks for the tip, but I've already mentioned in this thread that I have absolutely no interest in fiber. I understand why electrically isolating two different locations, with two different breaker boxes, etc, would make sense. What I don't understand is why there is a need to electrically isolate two locations that already share a common breaker box, already share a common ground via underground metal pipes, etc. Electrically how would this be any different than running an Ethernet cable between a bedroom and the living room or similar?
     
  26. Brian_B

    Brian_B [H]ard|Gawd

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    You are correct, if they are both getting power from the same breaker box, no real worries.

    If it were two different breaker boxes, with two different grounds, there could be issues.
     
  27. goodcooper

    goodcooper [H]ardForum Junkie

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    You're still going to have some potential differences, but if both are only grounded from a single point, you'd probably be ok, but I think you're likely overcomplicating the fiber... I don't think it's as expensive or difficult as you think it is
     
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  28. Dead Parrot

    Dead Parrot [H]ard|Gawd

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    Sounds like you are in a rural or near rural area. Might see if any of your neighbors have a trenching unit. If so, you could bury whatever solution you go with deep enough to avoid the average mole or random t-post. And it could turn the job from a PITA to a couple hour project.

    My vote for the solution is a run of coax. Just get whatever the cable companies use. Seems to last years.
     
  29. Orddie

    Orddie 2[H]4U

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    in your OP you said just slightly. i would like to suggest you got a bit past the tip and and go +1 foot down.
     
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