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Ethernet against the elements

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#1
Okay so my roomie gave me the go to where I can run a cable under the house and into my room so I can just wire my room up off my router or even much better wireless. Anywho the cable will be outside and has to be able to take on the elements of the evil outdoors so here I am asking for help on picking out a cable.

Now three people on the forum have been to my place of computer hell and anyone that knows Western Washington can get an idea of what the weather is. I'm guessing I'll need a 50ft cable to reach (unless a 25 would work, haven't measured) and I'm clueless on brands.

Tl;dr what's a good 50ft shielded ethernet cable.
 

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#2
You want some shielded/direct burial cable, which will be waterproof as-long-as you don't compromise the jacket of the cable during the pull.

I'd recommend buying a box, that way you can run the length you need, terminate the ends, and have extra if you ever need to do any other runs or create your own patch cables in the future.

You could just buy a cable too: https://www.amazon.com/Outdoor-Waterproof-Ethernet-Direct-Shielded/dp/B002L7M4ZY

The caveat is that a rare occasion the termination might be screwed, or the end is damaged during the run (say a spot where the cable fits, but the tip doesn't), or the cable is damaged during the pull to the point that section needs removed and retipped at that spot. There's also the odds that the run is fine and this is a good way for you to go.

You could also see what it'd cost to have an electrician do the run for you, some in my area are actually pretty affordable for stuff like this. Especially if the run is a pain in the ass, or may require some experience and forethought for a successful run that lasts long-term.

:toast:
 

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#3
Anything for outdoor use, however you may consider using what is called drop wire which can be burried, it is twisted pairs, some come in 5 pairs. If you do it right you would have drop wire from 1 exterior wall to another going to a jack on each end so you can plug in your rj45 lines. I've used drop wire for ethernet and it works just like cat 5/6, just heavier guage of conductor used.
 
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#4
You want some shielded/direct burial cable, which will be waterproof as-long-as you don't compromise the jacket of the cable during the pull.

I'd recommend buying a box, that way you can run the length you need, terminate the ends, and have extra if you ever need to do any other runs or create your own patch cables in the future.

You could just buy a cable too: https://www.amazon.com/Outdoor-Waterproof-Ethernet-Direct-Shielded/dp/B002L7M4ZY

The caveat is that a rare occasion the termination might be screwed, or the end is damaged during the run (say a spot where the cable fits, but the tip doesn't), or the cable is damaged during the pull to the point that section needs removed and retipped at that spot. There's also the odds that the run is fine and this is a good way for you to go.

You could also see what it'd cost to have an electrician do the run for you, some in my area are actually pretty affordable for stuff like this. Especially if the run is a pain in the ass, or may require some experience and forethought for a successful run that lasts long-term.

:toast:
When my store was being remodeled, the network guys gave me boxes of cat5e in boxes like that, and I got my own crimper and ends and taught myself to make my own cables. Only two out of like, 8 cables didn't work in the end. Fun stuffs.

I'm thinking of getting the pre-made cable since the cable is going in and out of the windows (I keep my window open even in winter because yay cold air) and it's just easier in the end. However I'll keep those links saved for when I can take on custom cables again. :toast:


Anything for outdoor use, however you may consider using what is called drop wire which can be burried, it is twisted pairs, some come in 5 pairs. If you do it right you would have drop wire from 1 exterior wall to another going to a jack on each end so you can plug in your rj45 lines. I've used drop wire for ethernet and it works just like cat 5/6, just heavier guage of conductor used.
So those are the more industrial wires? I can see how those would work. Issue would be pricing though.
 

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#5
So those are the more industrial wires? I can see how those would work. Issue would be pricing though.
You get what you pay for. You can risk going cheap and getting standard cabling but, if water gets in there or if interference is too high then you'll need to buy it anyways after you've done all the work that you'll have to redo again. This is one of those things where if you cheap out, you'll probably regret it. It's like buying a crappy power supply, sure, it might work but, it might cost you more in the long run if it decides to fry some hardware. Also, instead of guessing as to the length, I would actually measure it to make sure that 50 feet is enough.
 

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#6
Only two out of like, 8 cables didn't work in the end. Fun stuffs.
Highly recommend getting a tester. They can tell you in a matter of seconds if all 8 wires (+ground if applicable) are transmitting.

I've had one instance where all the wires were correctly in place but somehow one of the contacts actually created a short (went into the jacket, hit copper, left the jacket, entered another jacket, and hit copper). Tester showed it easily, looked closely at the ends, saw the wire pulled out of alignment, cut it off, replaced it, and all was good. Dunno how much damage a cable like that could do (especially if PoE) but it never came to that thanks to the tester.
 
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#7
I've seen people cheap out and try to use normal CAT5e/6 cabling outside. It will work at first. However, the elements eventually break down the insulation on a standard cable, it starts to get hard and brittle, and start to crack, and then bad things start to happen.

Get direct burial/outdoor cable for sure.
 
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#8
You get what you pay for.
but, if water gets in there or if interference is too high
I agree with the get what you pay for part, but if "under" the house (unless prone to flooding), I don't see how water will be an issue. Same with interference. There are typically more sources of interference inside the home than out (microwave ovens, adjacent power and data cables, TVs and other electronic devices). That said, you do want to make sure you don't run this under-house cable parallel to other cables running under the house too.

The bigger problem with exterior cables are UV damage from the sun (but again, probably not a problem being under the house) and rodentia and insect damage.

Another option, besides external grade Ethernet cable is running the cable inside flexible conduit. Besides minimizing damage from critters, using conduit makes it much easier to replace the cable should you need to in the future as you can much more easily just pull it through without having to craw under the house again. Just make sure both ends of the conduit appear inside the "dry" home and there are no breaks in between.

I have a friend who lives in Mississippi where very high humidity is a problem. To avoid condensation from collecting in the conduit during wide swings in temperature, he has the conduit terminating in a box, and a simple 5VDC box fan mounted to the box, constantly blowing air through the conduit. It takes very little CFM to keep the conduit dry inside. The fan is powered by a small USB power adapter. Something to think about.

If you forgo conduit and go with exterior grade Ethernet cable, "invest" in top quality. The insulation will like better resist hungry critters, and be less resistant to kinks and bends.

@Kursah - do you have personal experience with those specific crimpers? I ask because years back, I wasted a bunch of money by failing to "invest" in quality crimpers from the start. My first pair were budget crimpers like those. After 3 or 4 cables, I could only get a good crimp 1/2 the time. I started going through a bunch of RJ-11 and RJ-45 connectors. So I stepped up and spent about $25 on what I thought was a better crimper. But after a few cables, it too started failing to give a proper crimp. So I gave up and finally invested in a Jensen crimper. I have probably made over a 100 cables (200+ crimps) since and have never got a bad crimp. So while those $45 crimpers ended up costing me nearly $100 (due to the 2 crappy crimpers and spent connectors I threw away), they have been well worth it in terms of no more wasted connectors and cable, as well as reduced blood pressure and a halt in hair line recession!

That said, a cable tester is highly recommended for anyone who builds their own cables. A proper crimp is useless if you accidentally swapped Blue with White Blue on one end. Fortunately, you don't have to spend a fortune on a decent tester. You do still need nimble fingers and good lighting.
 

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#9
I agree with the get what you pay for part, but if "under" the house (unless prone to flooding), I don't see how water will be an issue. Same with interference. There are typically more sources of interference inside the home than out (microwave ovens, adjacent power and data cables, TVs and other electronic devices). That said, you do want to make sure you don't run this under-house cable parallel to other cables running under the house too.
I agree but, not all of it is going to be under the house, as stated by the OP:
Anywho the cable will be outside and has to be able to take on the elements of the evil outdoors so here I am asking for help on picking out a cable.
 
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#10
If any is exposed to the sun and weather, then all precautions should be taken. It needs to also be secured so it does not flap around in the wind.
 
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#11
Hoooooly okay this got more relies than I thought.

So since it's going under the house I was thinking of getting those little things you screw in to hold it up.



Since it's UNDER the house I'm sure no one would mind and there would be much less issue with water. The only two parts of the cable above ground are the ones going in and out the windows so that's where the direct sunlight would play effect.
 

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#12
Since it's UNDER the house I'm sure no one would mind and there would be much less issue with water. The only two parts of the cable above ground are the ones going in and out the windows so that's where the direct sunlight would play effect.
...and that part outside is most likely the part that will fail. The cable under the house will do you no good if the small section outside degrades.
 
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#13
It would be much better to come up through the floor boards. You could much more easily seal and insulate those holes from the weather and insects.
 
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#14
It would be much better to come up through the floor boards. You could much more easily seal and insulate those holes from the weather and insects.
It's a rental. Putting holes in might not be an option, unless the owner wanted the house to be updated.
 

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#15
Any reason why you wouldn't consider putting an access point in the basement? I know that you mentioned in the past that the WiFi doesn't really reach your part of the house, so why not have an AP really close to your room? My laptop will speedtest 220MBit down when I'm about 15-20ft away from the AP with a single wall between the laptop and the AP. It literally minimizes any need for modifying the house or running cables outside, using a PoE-powered AP would also mean just one wire too.
 

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#16
Hoooooly okay this got more relies than I thought.

So since it's going under the house I was thinking of getting those little things you screw in to hold it up.



Since it's UNDER the house I'm sure no one would mind and there would be much less issue with water. The only two parts of the cable above ground are the ones going in and out the windows so that's where the direct sunlight would play effect.
That looks like a ground clamp. You don't want that. If you're looking for something similar, then you're looking for lil plastic ones you nail in place like this:


Can usually buy 100 of those for a few bucks at hardware stores.
 
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#17
Any reason why you wouldn't consider putting an access point in the basement? I know that you mentioned in the past that the WiFi doesn't really reach your part of the house, so why not have an AP really close to your room? My laptop will speedtest 220MBit down when I'm about 15-20ft away from the AP with a single wall between the laptop and the AP. It literally minimizes any need for modifying the house or running cables outside, using a PoE-powered AP would also mean just one wire too.
No place between the two points to put it. I'd have to maybe stick it in the laundry room if there was an outlet in there.
 

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#18
No place between the two points to put it. I'd have to maybe stick it in the laundry room if there was an outlet in there.
You could consider using a UniFi AP that includes a PoE injector, that way all you have to do is run the Ethernet wherever you'd like the AP to be mounted/installed, data and power from one cable. The PoE injector could stay next to the router and feed off the same surge strip/power source. There are other AP's and PoE injector options, I just prefer UniFi, especially the AC Pro for solid value and performance.

+1 to what Ford shared, those work great and are super cheap to get a bunch of, great way to help keep your cables out of harm's way.
 

Aquinus

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#19
No place between the two points to put it. I'd have to maybe stick it in the laundry room if there was an outlet in there.
You only need power by the router or where ever you decide to inject the power over PoE (Power over Ethernet.) When you get to the AP, you only need one wire, the Ethernet cable, because it will supply both power and data. That's why I suggested it because it makes it feasible to put things in places without power but, with an Ethernet cable.
 

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#20
Could you clarify how you intend to pull the cable (unless you go with the PoE AP idea Aquinus mentioned, which frankly is the most sensible option)? I assume by "under the house" you mean through the basement? And will it originate in the basement or will you start on the first floor, go down to the basement and then out again? And you speak about open windows. I thought you lived in a cold climate? If yes, keeping windows open year round is nothing but a waste of energy.

But again, the PoE AP idea is probably the way to go in this case, unless you hire someone to make a proper job out of it (IE install outlets in the apartments). AFAIK PoE has gotten pretty affordable.
 
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#21
If any is exposed to the sun and weather, then all precautions should be taken. It needs to also be secured so it does not flap around in the wind.
Was just going to say something about that but you beat me to it although I'd like to add if it's going outside and you have alot of adverse weather or it's in a sunny exposed place then running it through conduit would be better than just using cable tacks to hang it off the wall
 

newtekie1

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#22
That looks like a ground clamp. You don't want that. If you're looking for something similar, then you're looking for lil plastic ones you nail in place like this:


Can usually buy 100 of those for a few bucks at hardware stores.

It kind of looks like a grounding clamp, but it isn't. It is really just a more robust version of what you posted. The screw type is generally used for attaching cables on the outside of the building.
 
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#23
Could you clarify how you intend to pull the cable (unless you go with the PoE AP idea Aquinus mentioned, which frankly is the most sensible option)? I assume by "under the house" you mean through the basement? And will it originate in the basement or will you start on the first floor, go down to the basement and then out again? And you speak about open windows. I thought you lived in a cold climate? If yes, keeping windows open year round is nothing but a waste of energy.

But again, the PoE AP idea is probably the way to go in this case, unless you hire someone to make a proper job out of it (IE install outlets in the apartments). AFAIK PoE has gotten pretty affordable.
Trailer home.


You only need power by the router or where ever you decide to inject the power over PoE (Power over Ethernet.) When you get to the AP, you only need one wire, the Ethernet cable, because it will supply both power and data. That's why I suggested it because it makes it feasible to put things in places without power but, with an Ethernet cable.
I remember hearing about PoE before. I'll look into it. My concern is if doing that still won't get the 60mbps+ that wired will give.
 

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#24
You can use a bit of UV resistant pipe insulation to protect any section that may be exposed to the sun- should be able to get 1/2" EPDM foam insulation for a few $ at a local hardware store.
 
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#25
You can use a bit of UV resistant pipe insulation to protect any section that may be exposed to the sun- should be able to get 1/2" EPDM foam insulation for a few $ at a local hardware store.
So like a wrap-around?
 
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