Shop computer question

Well the real question is that I want to add a computer to my shop. Wanting to network it to the house computer and the internet, I would need about
100-120 feet of cable. Are there any problems placing computer that far apart? The longest distance I have in the house is 34 feet using Cat 5 cable. Can I go 120 feet?
Any suggestions or recommendations would be appreciated. BTW I do also have a wireless router for my wife's laptop. She is able to get about 30 feet away and then loses signal. Maybe there are better routers?
Thanks, Ivan Vegvary
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have
Shouldnt be a problem, I am running 10 baseT to a distance slightly in excess of 500 ft.--data transfer between the shop and any computers on our network is about twice as fast as transfers to our ISP, so performance at the shop doesnt suffer noticably over the computers in the residence, the DSL internet link being the major bottleneck instead.
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Why not go wireless?

feet
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about
far
5
also
our
at
the
Me ???
Because the shop is out of line of sight due to hilly terrain unless I want to build a transmitting tower of about 40 ft height--also, the buildings are on separate utility transformers, further limiting my hardware options......
And because I also ran a pair of pbx phone lines, a paging audio feed, alarm system contacts and eventually, a driveway gate control circuit within the same cable run.
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Wireless in the home is typically not all that great. There are lots of things in the way (even damp sheetrock can significantly diminish the signal), but for ease of use, you still may want to look into wireless.
Run cat 5 whatever length you need to the shop location, and put a wireless link in place in the shop area. Put the transceiver up as high as you can, so it will have the best line of sight for the shop floor. Put a decent receiver card in the PC and you're ready to go. Even in "low bandwidth" mode, an 811b link will still transfer 2mb/second, which will still be way over your feed rate, so you shouldn't notice any degradation relative to the wired Cat5, and you don't need to trail the cat5 cable through the shop when you move the computer around. If you MUST use a wired system, the best thing to do is run Cat5 to a common point in the shop, then put a switch or hub in place (switch is usually better) and wire to the standard locations you are going to use. This way, you have a minimum run from the local jack to the computer, and don't have a trip hazard running throughout the shop from the one and only jack available in the shop area.
My (home) network is dsl to my office, with a firewall/switch providing four drops. Two to to my office for PC and Notebook, my wife's office, and a nearly 300 foot run to the far end of my studio/workshop/ham radio shack. In the past, I used a hub at the ham shack location to run a cat5 cable into the workshop, but got tired or tripping over it. Finally broke down and ran 60' of cable and an AC outlet to a location over the center of the workshop area and put in a consumer quality wireless transceiver. I get full signal anywhere in the workshop, and all I need to do is plug in the computer (which is on a mobile cart along with CNC drivers) and I'm ready to go. As this is a "home shop", I don't currently need to run CNC on more than one piece of equipment at a time (yet) so it works pretty well. Having the network in place allows leaving files on the machine in my office and pulling whenever I need, so the shop computer can be an old and slow machine that was retired from office use some years ago. All in all, the combination of wire to the studio/shop/shack and wireless inside is a great combination. Being that I'm cheap, I don't see any reason to put the ham shack computer on wireless, as it works fine on a 10' Cat5 cable from the hub, but it was definitely worth the money to get the mobile computer on wireless, if only from the convenience standpoint, and it really helped from the safety point as well, as I don't have a hundred foot Cat5 cable wandering around the shop area.
Don't be afraid of wireless. It can be very helpful, but you do need to think a bit about how you install it. Bear in mind most of the manufacturers quote range over what could be considered "optimum" conditions, which are never found in the typical environment. I really thing they should not be permitted from advertising a 300 foot range for a system that requires open water between the two stations. They should be required to indicate normal range in a "typical" environment, and to state what the typical environment is... The typical home environment has computers, sheet rock (gypsum board) walls and any number of other items in the way that reduce the available signal strength, and significantly reduce the useable range of the unit.
At work, we use commercial quality units that feed two antennas, a 5dbi antenna at the transceiver, and a 12dbi antenna with a 3 degree down tilt) mounted on the roof and get typical ranges of 100+ feet inside buildings and as much as 600 feet from the outside antenna into another building (cabin or apartment). There are some places you can see as many as three transceivers, but it takes 5 of them to cover an area of about 1300 feet by 1200 feet so you can find at least one transceiver anywhere in the area. So much for the typical claims of the manufacturers. OK, With a couple of high gain directional antennas, and no hills, trees, fog or rain in between, you really can have a reliable link of nearly 4 miles, but this is a pretty rare configuration. I live in Hawaii, and just the typical fog/clouds/rain we get degrades the signal pretty quickly, and I probably don't have to describe what even a thin slice of tropical jungle does to the signal... Don't even think about a mile link, even using high gain directional antennas unless you want to put up towers that can see each other (line of sight)....
Thanks --Rick
PrecisionMachinisT wrote:

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wrote:

Sure. You're good for around 300 feet oficially and I've seen runs of twice that in quiet environments.
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Wanting
One thing here is them el cheapo homeowner hubs with the wall wart power supplys on em might burn out or perform poorly at any extended distances--I have an old Bay Networks rackmount 24 port hub I use......an ebay item, I think I paid all of $15.00 + shipping for it.
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The spec for CAT5 is 100 meters which is around 330ft. Someone mentioned seeing greater distances, and I have too, but I have also seen shorter runs that were noting but trouble. It's all in the installation.
For the longer runs, the user didn't know any better, but the analyzer that we put on showed an unusually high number of retransmits. One in particular was "only" 380 ft and the retransmit rate was about 1 frame in 10. Most of the runs that were over 300ft also had high retransmits, but this one was the worst. A couple of years later we removed all of that cabling and had an entire new CAT5 cable plant installed (CAT5e and CAT6 were not available at that time).
For the shorter runs, I remember one run of only about 240 ft was so bad that it was unuseable. This was in the brand new cable plant mentioned about. When the cable installer ran a new cable he found that he had been running next to some other cabling that had power among other things (for about 30ft). I seem to remember him saying that there was 110v, 220v, and 408v power line all together but I could be wring on that. He also found that the original cable had two kinks in it. No broken wires or anything, but kinks are bad. Both of the kinks were in an area that was very difficult to get wire into (and out of). Fortunately, we had a good installer and this was corrected before being brought into service. He actually re-routed the entire cable bundle (about 50 cables).
Wayne

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runs
that
particular
of
available
Ping here shows 0 % packet loss and less than one ms average round trip time for four 32 byte packets.
All zeros across the board.
He must of had some real hacks making up those cables and splices.
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mentioned
was
had
bad
been
(for
and
found
anything,
time
Oops, all less than ten ms.
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On Mon, 28 Jun 2004 16:07:58 +0000, NoOne N Particular wrote:

If the run is going to be outside, I'd go fiber optic. Copper will atract electricity - all sorts, none of it good, the worst being lighting. I'd also run the line in a watertight conduit. Insulation will break down eventually; the conduit will make it last that much longer.
Just my $0.02.
--Kamus
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On Tue, 29 Jun 2004 07:09:21 -0400, Kamus of Kadizhar

Insulation made in the last thirty years seems to last quite well unless it gets in the way of some manual excavation equipment. OTOH a conduit provides additional protection and makes future replacement much easier. The soft black polyethylene water pipe is about your best value for direct burial, a bare conductor buried above the conduit will help provide lightning protection. Gerry :-)} London, Canada
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Gerald:
You are in an area where lightning attacks buried conductors??? This ia a new one to me. I can see the issue of lightning striking the conductors after they exit the ground, but have never even heard of a lightning strike affecting a buried conductor, even in conduit... Unless the ground conductivity is near zero, you should never take any interference or even a lightning hit on a buried conductor. You can (and will) take lightning hits on the conductors once they are in the air or walls of your building if the building isn't protected, and even if it is, you can still get a pretty high potential from a near-strike, just from having wire above ground...
Thanks -- Rick AH7H
Gerald Miller wrote:

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wrote:

Airfields are, of necessity, flat, with the ground slopping away from the runways with the result that power cabling for lights etc. are in relatively dry ground. Even with a bare conductor above the power cable it is not unknown for lightning to destroy lighting cables. I have even seen half basketball craters in asphalt pavement caused by lightning. Gerry :-)} London, Canada
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Lighting hits tree. Travels down trunk. Travels down the roots and jumps to the wire that happens to be shielded with an insulated cover and conduit.
Happed to my dad - Pine tree sandy wet soil and his in full plastic pipe his 220 line to the barn shop.
Melted that wire. It went to the house not the barn. Hit the lighting blocks on the power line and arc'd to death (I suppose).
The power company uses a string of roller steels - like a ladder - down to a large resistor that is larger than my leg - on to ground.
Martin
Rick Frazier wrote:

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100 meters is the best you can expect in a quiet signal area. In problem areas, use a fiber link. You really can't run Cat5 in high interference areas without significant problems (even for relatively short runs). Where I work (inside Hawaii National Park on the Big Island) we have enough lightning that we moved all of our outside computer cabling over to fiber. It really cut down the near-strike damage to computers and other equipment that uses typical communications protocols. Still haven't moved the phones over, so we routinely replace line cards in our phone switch as they are compromised/damaged by near strikes. So far as I know, we haven't had a direct strike, but I can tell you that near strikes (within a mile or two) can and will randomly destroy equipment connected to wires that are in the air. It's really strange, because the damage is rarely the line that is closest to the strike, but may be one half or all the way across the camp (a quarter of a mile farther away). Go figure... Lightning and it's effects is truly a wonder of nature. Despite the trouble it causes me in getting things repaired, I still like to watch nature's display of electrical power...
Thanks --Rick
NoOne N Particular wrote:

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wrote:

I stopped at a motel in Saskatchewan once that had a U shaped driveway and a Neon sign in the middle of the space delimited by the driveway. Between the motel office and the sign, right across the driveway was a couple of sawhorses acting as a temporary barrier to keep customers from driving into a foot-deep trench that ran between the sign and the office. The sign was not lit and I asked the proprieter if he was installing new cable to a sign that had obviously been up a while. "No," he said, "ligntning hit the thing last night and that's what dug that trench. There's nothing at the bottom of the trench where the power cable used to be buried!"
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wrote:

It makes a mess out of underground telephone cables, too, even though it's bonded and grounded nine ways to heck. Even in low-lightning Los Angeles, we had a lightning strike hit a pole riser and wipe out over a mile of 1800 - 2400 pair underground cable. The lightning strike refused to bleed off to ground, and it jumped between different hundred pair groups (and slagged them) as it traveled down the cable and hit the various splice points.

Bad news: You have to replace two neon transformers, three sections of neon tubing, re-paint the sign face, 100 feet of conduit and power feed wires, timer, breaker...
Good news: You won't need a backhoe to dig the trench, only a shovel to fill it back in. ;-)
I'd suggest a big lightning rod for the top of that sign, 000 cable or better down the sign, and run the ground network wires the other direction from the power feed.
Oh, and whenever you set up a wireless internet link, be SURE to turn on all the security protocols - Wired Equivalent Protocol, non- standard SSID, no SSID broadcasting, etc. The hackers don't want to steal your CAD plans - but they would like to pull up and park on the public street by your garage for an hour, and hack around in your office computer files looking for account numbers and passwords. Or better yet, send a few million pieces of Spam E-mail over the link, and let you get blamed because they came from your ISP connection.
And consider unplugging the link totally when you're not using it. Then there's no way anyone can abuse it, even if they take the time and effort to get past the security.
--<< Bruce >>--
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Electrician for Westend Electric - CA726700
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John Ings wrote:

I would not like to be standing along that line. Bet it was a quick and busy time.
martin
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    It depends on the speed. You can go a greater distance with a 10BaseT connection than with a 100BaseT connection -- but of course the data transfers are slower. I feel pretty sure that the 100 foot plus range is within reason for the 10BaseT, but I have my doubts about pushing 100BaseT over it. I think that your network hardware will step down in speed if it can't establish a 100BaseT connection.
    I would really *not* set up the networking so the machine shop computer(s) are visible from the outside net -- especially if one is going to be running a CNC machine tool. You want to think about might happen if in the middle of a cut on a big milling machine, the computer controlling it is taken over by a virus. For getting things from the outside -- use one of the computers in the house to get it, and then transfer it over a private net (e.g. 10.?.?.? ip range, or 192.200.?.?, or one other which I forget for the moment -- all ones which will *not* be routed to the outside net unless you set up a proxy to do it.

    Does she have encryption turned on on that wireless router? If not, then people outside can connect to your computers and use your network connection. I see about a half dozen wireless networks from my house, and only one of them has encryption enabled (other than my own, which also has a true firewall at each end of a connection to a friend's house.)
    You can get better range outdoors than you can through the house walls. You can add directional antennas to increase the range in specific directions. (This is what the person sitting parked in the street will probably be using to connect to your wife's computer, and perhaps snoop on her passwords to connect to her ISP.
    Good Luck,         DoN.
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