23
\$\begingroup\$

I am building a house. It's located about 2000 feet away from the nearest Internet cable. I had to run our electrical service underground the whole way, and have already installed a conduit for internet/phone cables from end to end with pull points every 1000 feet.

My question is: what's a cost-effective way to establish a reliable, high-speed Ethernet connection at this distance? It will be used to provide Internet service as well as video/audio feeds and control signals. I think 100 Mbps each direction would be satisfactory as a target max speed for the connection.

We will have electrical power available at both ends of the connection.

I have looked into Ethernet extenders, but the max speed seems to drop drastically as the distance increases.

I would love to use fiber, but I can't find an inexpensive termination method.

I don't think wireless is practical, because we don't have line-of-sight between the endpoints due to a large area of trees.

A satellite or 4G connection is not suitable due to price, speed, and reliability, plus the need for audio/video/control signals across the distance.

Thanks for any guidance!

UPDATE 2016:

I installed RG6 gel-filled direct-bury coax cable (in PVC conduit for added protection) and used Ethernet-to-coax extenders (TrendNet TPA-311) and am VERY pleased with the results. At a cost of $50 or less per device, it's very reasonable cost. Also, RG6 coax, if you shop around, is very cheap.

I am able to achieve 60Mbit Internet speed (which is my ISP's max offering in my area) and these devices are very stable - no crashes or need to reboot them. I even installed a T to split the line halfway in order to connect another building to the network.

One very important note: Be sure to install high quality grounded surge protection at EACH termination point. I used these. I tried the system without surge protection, and within a week my TPA-311 devices were destroyed. I disassembled them to diagnose the problem and found several components vaporized due to a high energy event. Lesson learned. Since installing surge protection, we've had several large lightning storms and we're still working rock solid.

Other installation notes:

  • Get a cheap coax crimper and bulk coax terminators. They are very easy to install. No need for any expensive tools.

  • For long pulls, a cable lubricant is absolutely essential. Our first pull of about 800 feet was without lubricant, and I began to doubt we would ever make it. Subsequent pulls (even longer distances) with lubricant were easy.

Update after 1.5 years - still working perfectly! Have not needed to replace any components (except a battery in my UPS). Very pleased with this solution!

\$\endgroup\$
  • \$\begingroup\$ Define inexpensive and please do tell us at what did you look exactly? Fiber is the only real way that I see. Also, modern Ethernet connections are full-duplex, so you get same speed both ways. There are media converters for gigabit fiber, for example TP-Link MC210CS that are in the $50-60 range. \$\endgroup\$ – AndrejaKo Feb 19 '15 at 16:45
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ I will second the vote for fiber. Termination is usually handled by a telecom company that has the equipment (you wouldn't buy it for one time use). Once terminated you shouldn't have to deal with it again. Choose your termination form factor such as ST or SC and use a media converter to convert to copper gigabit Ethernet. \$\endgroup\$ – Tinkerer Feb 19 '15 at 23:21
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Since the run is entirely on my property past the d-mark, the telco would not touch it. Thus I have to do everything myself. Thus an inexpensive termination (sub $20 USD per termination) would be the goal. \$\endgroup\$ – Ryan Griggs Feb 20 '15 at 16:46
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I think the coax solution proposed below by @bigjosh is the most reasonable, due to the cost of coax cable, the ease of termination, and reasonable price of extender hardware. Would love to have fiber, but due to the high cost of connector termination installation (i.e. cleaving tool, etc) I think it's not practical for me :( \$\endgroup\$ – Ryan Griggs Feb 20 '15 at 16:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ Belden's FX Brilliance tool-less terminators might work, but could I cut/polish the fiber with common household tools? (belden.com/docs/upload/…) \$\endgroup\$ – Ryan Griggs Feb 20 '15 at 16:54
11
\$\begingroup\$

You want an Ethernet over coax extender like this one...

https://www.amazon.com/StarTech-com-Gigabit-Ethernet-Unmanaged-Extender/dp/B00AMCKN80/ref=as_sl_pc_ss_til?tag=joshcom-20&linkCode=w01&linkId=B6C47PTXNGHWHVUT&creativeASIN=B00AMCKN80

It should easily be able get you to 100Mbps @ 2000ft (~600 meters) using any supported coax cable...

cable/disance/speed chart

\$\endgroup\$
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the info. However the problem with that type is that as the distance increases, the speed decreases. Per their spec, at 300m the max speed is 75Mbit/s, and 1km it drops to 10Mbit/s. \$\endgroup\$ – Ryan Griggs Feb 19 '15 at 16:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ I did find this one, which may offer higher speeds: ethernetextender.com/ethernet-extension-products/… \$\endgroup\$ – Ryan Griggs Feb 19 '15 at 16:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ The speed depends on range and cable quality. If you have room in the conduit, you should be able to get 112Mbps @ 2000 feet over RG-11 cable. The length/speed/distance chart for the coax model is available at sgcdn.startech.com/005329/media/sets/EOC1110x_Manual/…. \$\endgroup\$ – bigjosh Feb 19 '15 at 16:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ I like the idea of the coax-based solution. 1) coax is cheap! 2) I can fit multiple RG6 cables in my 1/2" conduit 3) 144Mbps at ~600m with RG6 looks well within spec. 4) the extender hardware seems reasonably priced. THANKS! \$\endgroup\$ – Ryan Griggs Feb 19 '15 at 17:36
4
\$\begingroup\$

100Base-FX seems to be right with 2km as its max theoretic distance, and there appear to be converters available at reasonable prices. Or is the termination problem one of attaching the connectors to the end of the fiber? I would have thought it was possible to just order one of the correct length.

\$\endgroup\$
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes the termination (attaching the connectors) is the problem. Trying to pull the cable through the conduit with ends attached would probably damage it. May not even fit, due to size of conduit. \$\endgroup\$ – Ryan Griggs Feb 19 '15 at 16:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Ryan Griggs Do research connector types. There's a whole science about that and what's compatible with what, but there are any connectors that have exterior protection for the fiber core and that are same size or smaller than regular 8P8C connector. For example DIN optical connector is very small and then you can get an adapter from that to whatever you want to use in the end. \$\endgroup\$ – AndrejaKo Feb 19 '15 at 16:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ I see termination kits for < $100 on Ali, but don't know how well they work. \$\endgroup\$ – Spehro Pefhany Feb 19 '15 at 20:39
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ You can buy pre-terminated fiber lengths that are designed to be pulled through ducts. On the ones I bought there was a short section of hoze that covered the connectors. On one end of the hose was a pulling eye, on the other end was an adaptor peice that screwed to the gland on the cable. This gland was in turn bonded to the kevlar reinforcements in the cable. \$\endgroup\$ – Peter Green Oct 27 '15 at 11:57
0
\$\begingroup\$

Don't know if this is a practical approach, but maybe you could use power over ethernet repeaters.

One unit typically extends the range by 100m, I've seen one advertised to be chainable six times, so you would get 600m, which is quite close to the 2000ft (it was the ALLNET ALL048600, sorry I only found a German description). Maybe you could provide power from both sides, to easily bridge that distance.

This would also allow gigabit ethernet.

But you would have to buy 6 repeaters - and install them somehow along the line. Doesn't sound like the most reliable solution.

\$\endgroup\$
  • \$\begingroup\$ I can't chain due to no breaks in the conduit. I only have two pull points, each at about 1000 feet. Otherwise, the conduit is buried about 2.5 feet deep. But thanks for the info! \$\endgroup\$ – Ryan Griggs Feb 19 '15 at 17:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ Oh dear, I read something along the line of every 100 feet (missed a zero there) a pull point... never mind my answer then. \$\endgroup\$ – Arsenal Feb 19 '15 at 21:12
0
\$\begingroup\$

As long as you have power at the remote end and an approximation of line of sight, Wifi and a yagi at each end would be a fraction of the cost of a cabling run.

\$\endgroup\$
  • \$\begingroup\$ As stated, no line of sight due to heavily wooded area. \$\endgroup\$ – Ryan Griggs Feb 20 '15 at 16:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ @RyanGriggs Maybe you can wireless hop for part of the distance, from home to the trees or the trees to the cable? \$\endgroup\$ – markt Feb 20 '15 at 20:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ Everything is underground, don't want antennas in the middle of the field. Also would have to run at least 75% of the run to get around the trees. Thanks \$\endgroup\$ – Ryan Griggs Feb 20 '15 at 22:36

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.