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.
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
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.
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.
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).
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
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.
First generation wireless encryption was almost worthless; IIRC passwords
sent in clear text. I gather second generaction is a bit better. Maybe I'm
just paranoid, but I wouldn't let any form of wireless near any control
If you want a clean connection in a noisy or lightning-prone environment
spend more money and go fiber optic. It would be a LOT cheaper than a
crashed CNC machining center or getting killed.
150 feet with cat 5 is no problem. A good wireless router can hit 300
ft in open air. Walls (particularly steel or re-enforced concrete) cut
that down significantly.
Put the router antena as high as possible. Basements are the pits (pun
[ ... ]
The WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy) is a *bit* better than that,
but still breakable. This is why we have a firewall at each end, and
all traffic between them is sent via ssh (Secure SHell), which encrypts
*everything* with *serious* encryption.
There is a third form -- beyond WEP -- though I forget what it
is called. I *still* would not trust it without the ssh and firewall
bit, anyway. :-)
Amen! I was not suggesting wireless. The original poster
mentioned that his wife had it, and I was advising at least turning on
encryption on that -- *not* using it for the shop connections.
The encryption serves *one* function, at least. The "warchalkers"
will usually go for the easier targets in the neighborhood. (Except for
those out to make a reputation. :-)
Indeed. I've got fiber optics running out to /dev/barn01, but
most don't know where to pick up the stuff to do that. (And I don't
even have machine tools in /dev/barn01 -- not enough power to run them.)
I use that for playing with strange computers which I don't want to
bother to find room for in the house.
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.
I enjoyed reading the previous thread, and I could use some help. I
recently installed a wireless router on my cable modem. The only
wireless computer is just in the next room. It connects fine and has
good transfer speed. But if I don't use Internet Explorer for a short
time (maybe 10-20 minutes) it "forgets" how to find the Internet.
Outlook Express still finds the email servers, but maybe because it
checks them every few minutes.
To get IE to reconnect, I have to reboot. Once IE is lost, Agent will
not find the news servers, either.
The router is a D-link DI-514 802.11b using 128 bit WEP encryption.
The card in the computer is another brand.
The OS is Win XP Pro. The processor is an Athalon running at 1.8G.
My wife's computer is in the same room with the router and is plugged
in with Cat 5 cable and has no problems.
I had considered adding another wireless card to the shop computer,
but not until I get this ironed out. The shop machine is a 200 Pentium
running Win98 and is used in dos mode with TurboCNC to drive a
Sherline mill. I don't anticipate network connectivity in dos mode, so
it shouldn't be a problem.
Any help will be greatly appreciated!
On the Beautiful Florida Space Coast, right beside the Kennedy Space Center, USA
The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is
to fill the world with fools.
--Herbert Spencer, English Philosopher (1820-1903)
I am having what sounds like exactly the same problem between two Netgear
devices (client card and access point). The computer is running Win2K.
When I use my machine from work, which is a WinXP box, it works fine...
Ron - if you get any insights I'd appreciate it if you would pass them
Ron, we have a very similar setup in our home, except it is serving 3
computers located all over the house, plus one Cat5 connection to my
old Pentium Pro 200. All the machines are running Win XP Pro.
Have you use the wireless monitor program that came with your
computer's wireless card to see what it is telling you? It should give
you, in addition to signal strength, a list of everything else it
sees. This is how we identified the source of a problem that sounds
very similar to yours.
As it turned out, there were other wireless units in the area from
time to time that shared the same band and channel. When they were in
the area, we lost our wireless connectivity. These included Sears
trucks, military vehicles, and others.
The solution was to shift the channel from the default channel to
something else, and the problem vanished.
The key is to employ the wireless monitor to identify the problem.
Once identified, the solution is generally trivial.
Then too, you may just have a flakey wireless card on the computer.
I've had trouble elsewhere with some of the off-brands, so I now use
nothing but Linksys and Belden equipment because it (1) works reliably
and (2) both firms have excellent phone support if it doesn't.
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.
Harry's post is good, but if you've noticed that the "time-to-die" is
consistent, and the wireless PC is using a PCMCIA or USB wireless
adapter, it may have "power save" turned on in the WLAN card. You
might want to poke around in the configuration utility and see if it's
Please remove the spamtrap to email me.
"I always wanted to be somebody. I should have been more specific..."