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#373354 - 30/06/2021 14:25 Ethernet extender?
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 14316
Loc: Canada
I suddenly have need of extending an outdoor Cat5e link to about 200m from the switch. As ethernet is only rated for up to 100m per link (primarily a timing issue), doing this will require some kind of active repeater at mid-link.

There is no power within a hundred feet of the mid-link point, so this leads one to look for some kind of PoE solution. Sure enough, there do exist PoE repeaters, and even some that claim to be suitable for outdoors. But I am also open to non-outdoor rated gear, as building a simple enclosure isn't terribly difficult either.

The question: is there a way to extend this link and have ordinary non-PoE gear at the far end??

With a PoE repeater at mid-link, the problem I see is that it will also be passing the Power to the far end. And if the far end isn't a PoE device, won't this fry it?

Is there a way to strip the power from a PoE link? Kinda like a reverse PoE injector?

Thanks!

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#373356 - 30/06/2021 14:43 Re: Ethernet extender? [Re: mlord]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 14316
Loc: Canada
Answering my own question: I found a PoE splitter device, which could be used at the end of the run to separate the power from the ethernet signal:

https://www.tp-link.com/us/business-networking/accessory/tl-poe10r/

I wonder if it also acts as an ethernet repeater (for the mid-link?)?



Edited by mlord (30/06/2021 14:44)

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#373357 - 30/06/2021 17:57 Re: Ethernet extender? [Re: mlord]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31406
Loc: Seattle, WA
I thought that the newest POE specs were such that they wouldn't hurt non-POE devices if one was plugged in. That they negotiated whether POE was possible at the far end, before applying power. Am I remembering that wrong?
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#373358 - 30/06/2021 18:03 Re: Ethernet extender? [Re: tfabris]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31406
Loc: Seattle, WA
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_over_Ethernet#Powering_devices

Quote:
A PD indicates that it is standards-compliant by placing a 25 k resistor between the powered pairs. If the PSE detects a resistance that is too high or too low (including a short circuit), no power is applied. This protects devices that do not support PoE.


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Tony Fabris

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#373359 - 30/06/2021 18:52 Re: Ethernet extender? [Re: mlord]
larry818
old hand

Registered: 01/10/2002
Posts: 1019
Loc: Fullerton, Calif.
The last time I had to do this, I used a pair of VDSL modems. It worked well, at 100mps.

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#373360 - 30/06/2021 19:23 Re: Ethernet extender? [Re: tfabris]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 14316
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: tfabris
I thought that the newest POE specs were such that they wouldn't hurt non-POE devices if one was plugged in. That they negotiated whether POE was possible at the far end, before applying power. Am I remembering that wrong?


That's how it should work, yes. I'm just unsure how a PoE repeater might behave, but from more reading about PoE standards, the one I am considering should work without harming the remote end. Thanks.

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#373361 - 30/06/2021 19:50 Re: Ethernet extender? [Re: mlord]
K447
old hand

Registered: 29/05/2002
Posts: 772
Loc: near Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: mlord
… outdoor Cat5e link to about 200m from the switch. …
Reminder: There can be different voltage potentials in the grounds at points separated by a large distance.

Not saying this will cause you any trouble or even concern, just a reminder that ‘ground’ in one place may be a different voltage than ‘ground’ somewhere else.

CAT5/whatever is twisted pair without a specific ‘ground’ reference but some outdoor/burial dated cables may also have a ground wire or shield. If that shield is grounded at one end, you may or may not want to also ground it at the other.

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#373362 - 30/06/2021 20:01 Re: Ethernet extender? [Re: mlord]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 14316
Loc: Canada
No worries. All UTP cabling in this application!

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#373368 - 01/07/2021 15:51 Re: Ethernet extender? [Re: mlord]
sein
old hand

Registered: 07/01/2005
Posts: 891
Loc: Sector ZZ9pZa
Hi Mark, I would use a Veracity Outreach Lite which itself is powered by 802.3af PoE, but does not pass the power on to your device at the other end. The XT version is 100Base-TX, and the GXT version is Gigabit.

I don't think it comes in an outdoor version, but of course an IP rated box and a couple of glands will sort it out.


H
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#373369 - 01/07/2021 17:16 Re: Ethernet extender? [Re: mlord]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 14316
Loc: Canada
I've seen exactly that form factor with other colours and branding as well. The one I have ordered to try out here (Amazon, returnable) is this one:

https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B085RJ76W1/

That's a Cudy POE15, which is the "outdoor" version of their POE10 unit, which itself looks exactly like the Veracity ones you linked, except these are all GigE style.

Thanks

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#373370 - 01/07/2021 19:25 Re: Ethernet extender? [Re: mlord]
JBjorgen
carpal tunnel

Registered: 19/01/2002
Posts: 3560
Loc: Columbus, OH
Why not fiber?
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B003CFATL0/
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00551B88C/
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B003CFATYM/

~$180 seems like a reasonable deal considering what you would already be spending for a copper solution.
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#373371 - 01/07/2021 21:31 Re: Ethernet extender? [Re: mlord]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 14316
Loc: Canada
I'm doing this for a friend who lives out in the boonies. He already has the Cat5e installed, but it is a single run over 200m long, with no place in the middle with power for a switch.

Had he gotten me before putting in the cable, we could well have installed Fibre instead, but that's still somewhat pricey for his limited budget.

Surprisingly, he can connect a laptop to the far end of the ethernet (>200m) and it does work already! But from speaking with him it is a bit hit and miss at times, and other gear may not be as forgiving as the laptop.

So I'm going to arrive there in a few weeks with a couple of in-line repeaters, some PoE injection capability, and other assorted goodies. I'm hopeful that a single repeater at the 100m mark will beef it up enough without having to daisy chain a second one.

There will be a TP-Link EAP225-Outdoor AP plugged into the end of the run. It is also a PoE device, but I don't know that there'll be enough juice left after >200m of cable with a repeater. So hoping to use a (supplied with AP) local/passive PoE injector for that.

The only question is whether I need to isolate it from the PoE coming in over the >200m run or not. Will test that here when the Amazon Guy drops by this Saturday. smile

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#373372 - 03/07/2021 04:02 Re: Ethernet extender? [Re: mlord]
JBjorgen
carpal tunnel

Registered: 19/01/2002
Posts: 3560
Loc: Columbus, OH
Yeah. I get it. Especially if he's gone to the trouble to bury it in conduit already.

Personally, I think I'd still use the existing cable as a pull string to pull a piece of fiber through smile By the time you spend ~$70 each on two repeaters plus the cost of something to inject power, you're at roughly same price and you still have a bit of a kludge.

Also, make sure you get the grounding right, or you'll have some toasty equipment if you get nearby lightning strikes.

Good luck. Let us know if it works.
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#373373 - 03/07/2021 14:11 Re: Ethernet extender? [Re: mlord]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 14316
Loc: Canada
Conduit? What's that? smile

Most likely will get away with just one repeater. Because the cabling is buried most of the way, it is rather well shielded, so the signal quality holds out better over the long distance than it might otherwise.

I'll post updates in a few weeks.

Cheers

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#373374 - 03/07/2021 16:53 Re: Ethernet extender? [Re: mlord]
andy
carpal tunnel

Registered: 10/06/1999
Posts: 5870
Loc: Wivenhoe, Essex, UK
Probably too late, but here is a Mikrotik product that does the same job and optional also extends PoE out to the extended range (with a waterproof case available).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=diHY_w0Dl0I


Edited by andy (03/07/2021 16:55)
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#373375 - 03/07/2021 18:14 Re: Ethernet extender? [Re: mlord]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 14316
Loc: Canada
That looks like another nice option. Ends up about the same cost for me here in Canada after shipping for the two pieces.

I now have two of the Cudy units here on hand, and they appear quite rugged. One I paid the full CAD$70 for, but the other was from the "returns" department for CAD$53.

Hefty metal enclosures -- no worries about them cracking with the temperature extremes here. I think I'll still wrap it in PVC tape for extra security though.

Cheers

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#373376 - 03/07/2021 18:25 Re: Ethernet extender? [Re: mlord]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 14316
Loc: Canada
Another surprise bonus: I had ordered a TP-Link TL-SG1005P POE switch for this project. Unmanaged, and max 15W/port.

But.. what actually arrived here was the latest version, still called a TL-SG1005P, but it now supports POE+ (802.3at) at 30W/port. So there should be plenty of juice to power the AP at the end of the >200m run now.

And.. Amazon Warehouse (aka. "the returns department") had the fully managed version of the same switch, TL-SG105PE for CAD$58. So that item is arriving here tomorrow. It will give the ability to automatically and/or remotely cycle power to the APs should one of them "act up" in the field.

The APs and the managed switch are both supported by the TP-Link Omada Controller stuff for somewhat simpler deployment and management of everything. My "client" doesn't have a 24/7 PC to run the (free) software though, so he's splurging an extra CAD$100 for the OC200 dedicated controller that runs the same software.

The controller and APs all claim to support smart hand-offs between APs for clients that understand the process, so it should all end up fairly seamless to anyone wandering about on the 3.5 acre site.

More information: this is actually a small business, with 13 holiday cottages on the property, about 200m from Stanhope Beach in PEI. The site is long and somewhat narrow, thus the >200m ethernet run. smile

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#373377 - 03/07/2021 22:44 Re: Ethernet extender? [Re: mlord]
K447
old hand

Registered: 29/05/2002
Posts: 772
Loc: near Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: mlord
… still called a TL-SG1005P, but it now supports POE+ (802.3at) at 30W/port.
So there should be plenty of juice to power the AP at the end of the >200m run now.

… TL-SG105PE … the ability to automatically and/or remotely cycle power to the APs should one of them "act up" in the field.



More information: … The site is long and somewhat narrow, thus the >200m ethernet run. smile
You might want to calculate the ohms law voltage loss along 200+ meters of thin gauge CATx cable.

Cable wire gauge determines the round trip wire resistance. Watts of load converts to current. Current determines the voltage loss through the cable loop resistance. 200 meters one way is 400 meters of circuit loop distance.

If only 100Mbps speed is required, it may be possible to ‘double up’ on the POE conductors and halve the loop resistance.

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#373378 - 04/07/2021 00:59 Re: Ethernet extender? [Re: mlord]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 14316
Loc: Canada
I actually expect it to work, based on multiple reports of similar POE setups working over multi segments of 100m each.

We are aiming for GigE speeds end-to-end, which is certainly achievable. The only real question is the PoE, but I think it too will be fine. If not, there is a passive PoE injector included with the AP, and there is 120VAC power available at that point (the far end).

My understanding is that PoE already "doubles up" the conductors for power purposes!

Cheers

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#373379 - 04/07/2021 01:17 Re: Ethernet extender? [Re: mlord]
K447
old hand

Registered: 29/05/2002
Posts: 772
Loc: near Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: mlord
I actually expect it to work, based on multiple reports of similar POE setups working over multi segments of 100m each.

We are aiming for GigE speeds end-to-end, which is certainly achievable. The only real question is the PoE, but I think it too will be fine. If not, there is a passive PoE injector included with the AP, and there is 120VAC power available at that point (the far end).

My understanding is that PoE already "doubles up" the conductors for power purposes!

Cheers
Quote:
POE treats each pair as a single conductor, and can use either the two data pairs or the two spare pairs to carry electrical current.


Apparently my recollection and working knowledge about PoE was both fuzzy and out of date. Last time I messed with it was years ago, when things were half proprietary and incompatible gear was not uncommon.

Of course, a standardized standard for PoE equipment would be incomplete unless there were two standards smirk

Quote:
… a new standard was introduced by the IEEE to increase the available power: 802.3at, or POE Plus.

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#373380 - 04/07/2021 15:35 Re: Ethernet extender? [Re: mlord]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 14316
Loc: Canada
The Managed PoE switch arrived here today.

One early discovery: If I plug the AP into its local/passive PoE injector, and then connect that to a PoE port on the switch, the switch isn't happy. It just sits powering the port on/off.

So the passive PoE injector doesn't conform to the 25Kohm resistor spec. Most likely it doesn't use a transformer to isolate the AP connection from the LAN input, so the switch (LAN input) still sees the 25Kohm resistor of the AP and attempts to apply PoE to it.

So we will need a PoE splitter at the far-end if there's not enough PoE over the >200m link to run the AP. By adding a PoE splitter, we should then be able to use the local/passive injector at the far-end.

Rather than ordering a splitter in advance, and having to return it later, I think I'll hold off. We can always emulate one by inserting a non-PoE switch at the far end. There are a number of those (100mbit only) on hand already.

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#373381 - 04/07/2021 16:13 Re: Ethernet extender? [Re: mlord]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 14316
Loc: Canada
Okay, tried that: non-PoE switch at far-end does indeed then enable use of the passive PoE injector for the AP. So we have a decent fall-back now.

Removed that extra switch again, in favour of a direct PoE from the smart switch, and have now added both in-line repeaters with about 400' of cat5e after the second one. All still working nicely here.

So then.. various permutations of long cable runs, including about 400' of cable from the PoE switch to the first repeater, a short chunk from there to the second, and then a long-ish run to the AP via my in-wall wiring and several patch cables etc..

All still good.

Next up: I'll patch some of the in-wall segments together into a longer loop, and put that between the two repeaters, to better simulate the final situation.

EDIT: Done. All still working with a single repeater, as well as with two repeaters.



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#373382 - 04/07/2021 16:56 Re: Ethernet extender? [Re: mlord]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 14316
Loc: Canada
I also tried the same long group of wire segments without any repeaters.. the AP gets power, but struggles very poorly trying to communicate. The switch doesn't light up the link signal.

So for fun, I went into the switch GUI and enabled "extend mode" for that port, which is supposed to increase max PoE segment length to 250m but only at 10mbit/sec. That worked.

For fun I also tried the full length of segments with no repeaters, both with and without PoE, and neither worked. My rough guess is that all of the segments add up to somewhere around 200m, with quite a few RJ45 connections along the way -- perhaps a dozen of those.

Conclusion: this all bodes very well for when we set it up for real on-site later this month. A single repeater should do the job.

I haven't found any real value to the managed versus unmanaged switch for a long term installation there. The switch I have is not under the Omada wing of TP-Link, so the System Controller stuff doesn't see it.

The managed switch does have the "detect when AP is dead and power-cycle it feature", which on the surface sounds quite useful. But then it warns that this feature can be catastrophic during an AP firmware update.. simply an accident waiting to happen, that.

So I think we'll end up deploying the un-managed model there. I may hang onto the other one for myself, or just return it for a refund.

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#373391 - 20/07/2021 14:01 Re: Ethernet extender? [Re: mlord]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 14316
Loc: Canada
It all went well. The PoE extender got installed near the midpoint of the 220m run from the main router out to the far end of the property, and the Access Point (AP) out there is perfectly happy, serving five of the 12 cottages, and covering most of the property.

We moved the second ethernet run just a bit further, about 120m from the router, and the second AP is happily providing very fast speeds across the middle of the property, and covering most of it.

There were a couple of slow zones though, due to the placement of cottages (walls) and trees, so those got boosted with a third AP at the entrance end of the field. For various reasons it was decided not to run ethernet to the third AP, so instead it is simply meshing with the second (midway) AP, with an 866mbit/sec airlink from it!

Every room in every cottage has at least 30mbit/sec results on SpeedTest, and most of them are between 50mbit and 800mbit/sec. The internet source is 1gbit (both ways) Fibre at the office/entrance.

Everything working and happy. Rain in the forecast for later in the week, so we'll reassess and make antenna tweaks should the need arise. Uploading some photos here for general amusement!


Attachments
01_looking_east.jpg

Description: View down to the far end from my cottage.

02_extender.jpg

Description: Ethernet Extender along the left edge of the field/fence.

03_east_end1.jpg

Description: A lot more cottages at the far end, mostly served from the 220m run to the yellow cottage.

04_east_end2.jpg

Description: The AP is on the right-hand corner of that yellow cottage.

05_looking_west.jpg

Description: Looking back down towards the entrance area. Second AP is on the blue cottage, third mesh AP is on the distant lime green one.

06_looking_west2.jpg

Description: Another view of the middle cottages.. AP #2 at near left corner of the Blue one.



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#373392 - 20/07/2021 14:05 Re: Ethernet extender? [Re: mlord]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 14316
Loc: Canada
More Pix.


Attachments
07_middle_AP.jpg

Description: The middle AP #2, showing view down to the fully wireless/mesh AP #3 at left edge of the (my) lime green cottage.

08_beach.jpg

Description: Enough tech for now.. beach time!



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#373395 - 21/07/2021 01:13 Re: Ethernet extender? [Re: mlord]
jmwking
old hand

Registered: 27/02/2003
Posts: 742
Loc: Washington, DC metro
Thanks for the report!

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#373397 - 21/07/2021 12:03 Re: Ethernet extender? [Re: mlord]
K447
old hand

Registered: 29/05/2002
Posts: 772
Loc: near Toronto, Ontario, Canada
How far did the longest Ethernet cable run end up going?

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#373398 - 21/07/2021 23:00 Re: Ethernet extender? [Re: mlord]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 14316
Loc: Canada
I didn't measure the longest one exactly, but from the cable markings plus a guesstimate for the final patch cable, it is about 210m. Extender is at the 94m mark (according to the PoE switch), so perhaps 116m after that.

The other run is actually 143m long, and we only noticed this morning that it is connecting at 100mbit instead of 1000mbit. Otherwise working fine and error free. Will be inserting an extender onto that one when it arrives on Saturday, to give it the full gbit connection.

Even with the 100mbit "limitation", here in my cottage we connect via the wireless repeater, up field about 200' to the 100mbit node, and from there back to the PoE switch, a second switch, the router/firewall, and then the fibre-ethernet bridge. speedtest.net is showing pings at 7ms, jitter 3ms. Very Good, in other words. Downlink is 60-75mbit/sec, uplink is closer to 100mbit.

Cheers


Edited by mlord (21/07/2021 23:12)

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#373402 - 23/07/2021 17:18 Re: Ethernet extender? [Re: mlord]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 14316
Loc: Canada
It rained. A LOT. smile

And.. the long 220m run stopped working. Completely.

Today we pulled the cable segments out of the bushes for inspection. Racoons had chewed the cabling in two places, exposing conductors, and probably surprising the heck out of the racoons (24/48V on the tongue?).

Cut away the damaged bits, added inline couplers, and taped it all up again. A-OK for now. My buddy is thinking about how to protect it better (burying is not an option for various excuses).

Cheers


Edited by mlord (23/07/2021 20:13)

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#373403 - 23/07/2021 17:24 Re: Ethernet extender? [Re: mlord]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31406
Loc: Seattle, WA
They supposedly make cable sheaths infused with stuff that mammals don't like to chew. Dunno if they work or not.
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