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Thread: Internet advice

  1. #1
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    Internet advice

    I live in a third world country, meaning E of I-5 in CA. We currently have AT&T for our ISP and they guarantee all the way up to, but not over 3mbps. I am fixin to get the Starlink system. Some in the area have done so and report great results. My problem is that the house is surrounded by two 4+’ dia blk Walnuts, a 125’ tall Sequoia and a 100’ Doug Fir, so the house will not be a good location for the dish. The top of my shop is the best location. Starlink provides a a modem with the system, but as I understand it they limit the length of the Cat 5 cable from the dish to said modem. My plan is to locate the modem in the shop. I will need to run a hard line from the router to the house router. I have an unused underground conduit available which I intend to use. I am going to require about 200’ of line from the shop to the house router. What type cable is best? Starlink uses Cat 5a. Would it be necessary to upgrade to a better grade of cable, and what would that be?

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Frederick View Post
    I live in a third world country, meaning E of I-5 in CA. We currently have AT&T for our ISP and they guarantee all the way up to, but not over 3mbps. I am fixin to get the Starlink system. Some in the area have done so and report great results. My problem is that the house is surrounded by two 4+’ dia blk Walnuts, a 125’ tall Sequoia and a 100’ Doug Fir, so the house will not be a good location for the dish. The top of my shop is the best location. Starlink provides a a modem with the system, but as I understand it they limit the length of the Cat 5 cable from the dish to said modem. My plan is to locate the modem in the shop. I will need to run a hard line from the router to the house router. I have an unused underground conduit available which I intend to use. I am going to require about 200’ of line from the shop to the house router. What type cable is best? Starlink uses Cat 5a. Would it be necessary to upgrade to a better grade of cable, and what would that be?
    I am not the best IT guru, but I would lean toward future-proofing - - and probably run Cat7 cable from the shop to house. It will cost a bit more, but give you gigabit capability between the 2 routers. Your next upgrade would probably be the routers - making sure they have one or more gigabit ports - if not already so equipped. As you add devices to your 'intra-net' (sub-net), they can take advantage of the higher speeds from (your) device to device. But I have no idea if you need or want this high-speed capability.

    Plain 'old' Cat5 will easily support your 3mbps connection, and copper is good for 300'.

  3. #3
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    You can buy pre-terminated, direct burial rated Cat 5E and Cat 6 cables that are just fine for this application. Just pick a length that is at least what you need for the distance between the Starlink gear and your router in the house including the conduit run. You can coil any extra at either end. Do not exceed 100 meters/300 feet, however, as that is the limit for Ethernet over copper.

    I don't agree with the extra expense for something like Cat7 which is barely a "baby" in the marketplace at this point. Cat 5E supports Gigabit connections up to 100 meters/300 feet already. I'd do fiber instead if I wanted that kind of future consideration to go well beyond gigabit. I'm actually doing the the decision dance around using fiber or copper for the line to my new shop building that goes up later in the year. I'll likely stick with Cat6 copper however, because it doesn't come with the extra termination expense for transceivers to transition between fiber and copper.
    Last edited by Jim Becker; 07-18-2022 at 1:28 PM.
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  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    ... fiber instead ...
    I considered suggesting fiber, but as you allude to, terminations exceed the average IT-civilian's DIY capability. I land a lot of Ethernet cables, and for fiber I call the pros.

  5. #5
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    Cat 7 is a category of Ethernet which is not really an industry standard. Even good old cat 5e supports gigabit. I recommend cat 6a cable which will support 10 gigabit. Actually, I would really recommend fiber if you can do it. No issues with a lightning strike with fiber. You can get pre-terminated fiber.

    I doubt the cheap Chinese cat 7/8 Ethernet cables all over Amazon really meet those standards. Most people are not even aware that cat 8 is really two standards. One for 25 gigabit and one for 40 gigabit. The 40 gigabit cables don't even have the same RJ45 connectors.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Malcolm McLeod View Post
    I considered suggesting fiber, but as you allude to, terminations exceed the average IT-civilian's DIY capability. I land a lot of Ethernet cables, and for fiber I call the pros.
    It can actually be "plug and play", but the cost for the pre terminated fiber (including being sure connector types are matched across the board) and the cost of the transceivers would be pretty hard to justify for most consumers. Being an IT/Telecom guy, I might consider it just because it's interesting (and I'm on a fiber fed 1 gig symmetrical Internet service that could go higher if I wanted to pay for it in what is likely the near future), but even I can't honestly justify it if I'm being honest.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    It can actually be "plug and play", but the cost for the pre terminated fiber (including being sure connector types are matched across the board) and the cost of the transceivers would be pretty hard to justify for most consumers. Being an IT/Telecom guy, I might consider it just because it's interesting (and I'm on a fiber fed 1 gig symmetrical Internet service that could go higher if I wanted to pay for it in what is likely the near future), but even I can't honestly justify it if I'm being honest.
    Never really looked into fiber, Jim. Not even available here until this year, and SWMBO would kill me if she had to change her e-mail address.

    Out of curiosity, what kind of ballpark figures are you talking about for pre-terminated fiber cable and transceivers?
    - “It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.” – Albert Einstein
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  8. #8
    for what it's worth--

    I recently got tired of the wireless reception in my garage shop. What I did for a fix was I bought a 75' long flat Cat6 ethernet cable, which is connected to a 4-port hub, which is connected to my main Linksys EA8500 router via a 25' ethernet cable. From the hub the new cable runs run up and across the basement ceiling and into my garage-- I have an old but still working Netgear WNDR4300 router that I connected the new ethernet cable to, then connected the 2 garage computers to the Netgear router with 15' ethernet cables. I really didn't think it would work well or at all due to the long cable runs but it works great, MUCH better than the spotty wireless ever did...
    ========================================
    ELEVEN - rotary cutter tool machines
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  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    ...
    I don't agree with the extra expense for something like Cat7 which is barely a "baby" in the marketplace at this point. ...
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Elfert View Post
    Cat 7 is a category of Ethernet which is not really an industry standard. Even good old cat 5e supports gigabit. ...
    I am not a pro in the IT space (I 'live' in the L2, just wink at the L3 thru a firewall, and can't spell L4), so I won't die on a Cat7 hill. It was/is the only standard I was aware of that supported 10Gbps - - and I believe it was ratified as a standard in 2002-ish(?). My IT guy down the hall says don't use 5e for 1 gigabit, go to 6; and 6e for 10 gigabit - - YMMV. (Ignoring the Cat8 mystery.)

    After 2 minutes of Giggling, I rescind my recommendation for Cat7 on the simple fact that it might be hard to find; so Cat6e for me. Industry certainly seems to have shunned 7.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Kev Williams View Post
    ... the spotty wireless ...
    Sounds like you have a solution, but when faced with a similar aggravation, The Boss bought a mesh network for our house. Problem. Solved.

  11. #11
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    Cat 5 , cat 5e and/or cat 6 - all have a maximum length of 328 feet.
    My granddad always said, :As one door closes, another opens".
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Engelhardt View Post
    Cat 5 , cat 5e and/or cat 6 - all have a maximum length of 328 feet.
    I have a nearly 300’ underground run of direct burial Cat6 cable in conduit from the gigabit cable modem in my house to my shop. Works well.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Lightstone View Post
    Never really looked into fiber, Jim. Not even available here until this year, and SWMBO would kill me if she had to change her e-mail address.

    Out of curiosity, what kind of ballpark figures are you talking about for pre-terminated fiber cable and transceivers?
    For the first thing, you'd need a provider that offers Fiber based Internet service. It's available in some areas; not available in most and because of the cost of deployment, it's unlikely to become ubiquitous despite the fact that it's the only (current) technology that can reliably provide very high speed and reliability. Rather, major carriers are more interested in home Internet based on fixed 5G wireless, including those that already have a major footprint with fiber, such as Verizon and ATT. (Frontier has the fiber they bought from Verizon...not sure how they are still in business financially, however) As to the email...it's never a good idea to use ISP provided email addresses. They generally are not portable (hence, your concern) and that's not a good thing as technology and...offers/opportunities...come along. Gmail, Outlook dot com, iCloud, etc, are a lot more flexible over time as they don't care what network is being used to access them from a contractual standpoint.

    Pre-terminated fiber and transceivers are offered on Amazon and other places. It's been awhile since I actually looked at the cost. Again, if anyone is contemplating that, it's important to get the correct format of fiber and consistent connector types for a "system" end to end.
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  14. #14
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    Cat 5 and 6 tools aren't really that expensive, and easy to use. I've never had a bad connection with Klein tools, or their ends. I keep boxes of bulk cable, and a toolbox with the tools in it. If you get double shielded Cat5 cable, the ends are different, but that's the only thing you need to watch out for. I'm sure there are plenty of youtube how-to videos, and it's Really easy.
    Last edited by Tom M King; 07-18-2022 at 4:17 PM.

  15. #15
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    True, Tom. Folks still need to learn how to terminate with the minimum disruption of the twisting...that may require practice...but it's doable by "normal humans" if they do things carefully. That said, as the standards progress, it does get harder and harder for "mere mortals" to do terminations and remain within the standard simply because things get stricter and stricter in those specifications. Getting gigabit working reliably is "relatively" easy under this premise. Folks eventually embracing 5, 10 and 40 gige...they need to have their, um....you know what...together if they plan on doing their own cable termination.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

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