Fiber Optic -> Cat5 Converter -- Cabling Outside!

GoodRevrnd

Diamond Member
Dec 27, 2001
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If I use something like this Single Fiber Media Converter to run a fiberoptic cable from a house to an office trailer outside, will that be safe and work? I could have one of these at each end of the fiberoptic cable, and then plug them into hubs at each side w/ Cat5? Also, how would this compare to cost and safety of using shielded/grounded coax?
 

nightowl

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Oct 12, 2000
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As long as the converter and the Cat5 are completely inside you should have no problems at all. Fiber optic cable is going to be much safer than any type of copper based wire since it will not conduct electricity. Just make sure that you get the correct type of fiber for the converter.
 

ScottMac

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Mar 19, 2001
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A pair of these would be better. They use multi-mode fiber, work with 10 or 100 megabit Ethernet, and are pretty cheap (relatively speaking).

The unit you linked to uses single mode fiber, which is more expensive, and somewhat more delicate (it's 8.3 microns of glass instead of 62.5 microns).

If you shop around, you can find direct burial fiber, or run a pipe underground and use a long "zip cord" fiber ...kinda depends on the length. Anixter and places like them will custom make a run of fiber for you. Be careful when you handle it, don't stretch it, and leave the end caps on until you're ready to plug 'em in to the devices.

PM or post if you have questions.

Good Luck

Scott
 

Fatt

Senior member
Dec 6, 2001
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Just a thought on the install...

If you have the kind of application that's suitable for an outside, above-ground installation and you don't have the kind of cable that has a built in support wire you can use ordinary mechanics wire that can be found at any hardware store.

You'd want to be careful about tie-wrapping it because you don't want to crush the cable. but what you can do is to loosely spiral the fiber around the mechanics wire.
 

ScottMac

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Mar 19, 2001
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To go aerial, you need aerial-grade fiber, most of which can include a "messenger wire" (traveller ?) for support. Wind motion will cause abrasion of the fiber against the messenger wire and eventually allow water infiltration, which will ruin the cable.

Fiber "zip cordage" will not survive long in the elements. No interior grade cabling is likely to survive nearly as long as stuff that's built for exterior use. Since it's likely that the fiber has to be purchased, why not just buy the right stuff to begin with?

When you run a messenger, it also has to be grounded (that's the code).

FWIW

Scott

 

Fatt

Senior member
Dec 6, 2001
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That's all true.

Except the cable will hold up outdoors for a surprisingly long time.

Of course, you're talking about doing it right.

I'm just talking about the right way to do it wrong.
 

GoodRevrnd

Diamond Member
Dec 27, 2001
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Ahh... I was hoping the cabling guru would stop by. :) The link I referred to was just to get me started, I'm glad you pointed out something better AND cheaper. Do you think it would be better/cheaper to use the direct burial or pvc the zip cord cable? Cable will probably be going about 150 feet. Also, the second fiber input on the converter is for redundancy only, correct? I can't use it to draw from two seperate converters? I didn't see one that had hub/switching capabilities at that price point. Let me know if there is. As you can tell I know ZERO about cabling and fiber optics, so I really really appreciate your help. Thanks!
 

ScottMac

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Mar 19, 2001
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The unit you linked to used a single strand of single mode fiber using two wavelengths of light, one for each direction.

The AlliedTelesyn unit uses multimode fiber, two strands, one for each direction. Multimode doesn't have the right kind of physics to support multiple wavelengths for any kind of distance.

I haven't seen a transceiver unit that had any kind of switching capability ... some hubs/switches will provide a couple type of connections (like 100-FX (fiber) ports for an uplink with 12 or 24 100-T ports for host connectivity).

Part of what'll determine what's the "best"," is your environment, your budget, who's gonna trench the (pvc or fiber), who's gonna terminate the fiber, etc.

For cost, call someone like Anixter or Graybar and get a quote on each way. If you call a local data cabling installer, they should be able to quote you the cost for termination (fiber is kinda tricky, and special tools are necessary (toolkits start at US$750.00 and go WAAAAAAAAY up from there), and give you a recommendation on whether there'd be a reason to choose one way (zip in pipe VS direct burial) or the other.

If you go with direct burial, one of the more interesting parameters you'll need to know is if you'll need cable with the "-G" option ...... meaning "Is it rated for gophers, or not?" Gopher-rated cable....go figure...

Good Luck

Scott
 

Fatt

Senior member
Dec 6, 2001
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scott -

In your quote...?


I could be wrong... and often am... but i believe that was Robert Heinlein.
 

ScottMac

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Mar 19, 2001
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I s'pose it could be Heinlein...

There really is a rating for gopher protection. Some additional or stronger armour.

I was walking past the cabling tech support area once, and one guy is asking the other "Well, c'mon...is it gopher-rated or not?" ....kinda struck me funny; a bunch of grown people standing around concerned about gophers....I found out later what they were talking about.

Just one of those industry curiosities I guess.

FWIW

Scott
 

reicherb

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Nov 22, 2000
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A pair of these would be better. They use multi-mode fiber, work with 10 or 100 megabit Ethernet, and are pretty cheap (relatively speaking).

What does something like that cost?

 

ScottMac

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Mar 19, 2001
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The MSRP on the link is US$180-185.00 (depends on ST or SC connectors) per side. Allied Telesyn stuff has a pretty good margin, so it's likely that the street price will be a bit less.

Scott