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Ethernet Lightning Surge Protection

Al_NN4ZZ
Al_NN4ZZ Loganville GAMember ✭✭✭
Ethernet Lightning Surge Protection From another post on Lightning protection, Mike / W8MM suggested using a fiber link to help reduce damage from a lightning surge (not a direct hit) on the ethernet port. . ******************************************************************** Mike - W8MM 2 days ago wrote this: Al, I, too, have long CAT5 runs all over the house. I have a conduit from the basement to my shack and it was easy for me to pull out the CAT5 and pull in the fiber. I can't remember what the edge devices are, but a quick Google search for "fiber media converter" will produce tons of hits. Happy shopping ;-) The main benefit of a fiber link is to disrupt currents trying to flow through the equipment induced by the lightning pulse. Any long conductor attached to the equipment is either a capacitance probe or a 1-turn transformer as far as lightning is concerned. Disrupting the impromptu current path is the goal. As long as the the fiber run is long enough that the induced pulse can't flash across the gap provided by the fiber, even a few feet will help a bunch. I should mention that the media converter power supply on the CAT5 end of the run is a potential lightning failure point because of the current path from the CAT5 "antenna", through the media converter, through its power supply, to the house wiring mesh, and ultimately ground. That is another reason that I pulled out the CAT5 to the shack and replaced the entire run with fiber. That way the non-conducting fiber cannot form a lightning antenna that induces currents anywhere! ********************************************************************* Mike, I did some research as you suggested and found a set of products for about $150. Click on the picture to enlarge. What do you think? Also interested in the FRS view on this setup, it is reasonable to add this to protect the radio or overkill? Regards, Al / NN4ZZ

Answers

  • Kirk, K6KAR
    Kirk, K6KAR Member
    edited May 2014
    About 3 years ago we suffered a direct lightning strike to our SteppIR 4EL yagi. Although inconvenient and somewhat expensive the damage to the antenna was minor compared to all the other damage. Without going into all the details, most damaged was caused by lightning generated conductive coupling to a couple of CAT 5 runs . As part of the repair process, I ran FO from the man part of our home out to the station computers. This has proved to not only be very effective but eliminated any further potential lightning damage. This isn't the only thing that was done. We've since made major improvements to (hopefully) offset further lightning damage. The cost for repair and or replacement came to over $22K. Fortunately, a great deal of this was covered by insurance. 73, Kirk, K6KAR
  • Al_NN4ZZ
    Al_NN4ZZ Loganville GAMember ✭✭✭
    edited March 2017
    Kirk, I remember talking about it with you. And that is one reason I'm looking at the fiber link. Last year I lost an ethernet board in one of my servers here from a "nearby" (not direct) strike Also lost a PolyCom speaker phone from a spike on the phone cable. I have a lot of lightning mitigation in place but the phone and Cat5 cabling are still a weak point. Everything else survived and all of the ground rods, thousands of feet of copper wire, wholehouse surge protection and lightning rods on the roof did their job. Unless the ethernet on the radio is on an easily replaceable daughter board, it seems like the fiber link is a worthwhile investment for any of us that live in thunderstorm prone areas. Regards, Al / NN4ZZ
  • Al_NN4ZZ
    Al_NN4ZZ Loganville GAMember ✭✭✭
    edited March 2017
    One more thing -- If you don't want to go to the trouble or expense of fiber you might want to consider a CAT5 surge protector. I have more info on both options but here is an example of one I'm getting for a few of my less critical devices. Regards, Al / NN4ZZ
  • Mike W8MM
    Mike W8MM Member ✭✭
    edited July 2019
    Al, Your shopping looks fine to me. With your selection, you get a built-in 4-port switch in the shack end of the circuit. We use some pretty generic Startech media converters here at the office to pass our network in to and out of a screen cage without compromising the -110 dB of shielding.
  • Sergey R5AU
    Sergey R5AU Sergey Member ✭✭
    edited June 2019
    Currently in my setup i am using isolation with Wi-Fi (802.1n)instead fiber optics as described on picture by Al, due to Wi-Fi GPON router was installed by provider. As extender in use http://netgear.com/home/products/wireless-range-extenders/WN2000RPT.aspx
  • W5XZ - dan
    W5XZ - dan Member ✭✭
    edited December 2016
    Priwet, Segey ! so, the WN2000RPT is in the hamshack, one cat5 ethernet cable to radio, another cat5 ethernet cable to hamshack pc ? and, it communicates with a separate wifi / router / dsl modem for internet access? some Netgear devices have history of generating RFI, i think. more ferrite, perhaps? DSW, Dan
  • Sergey R5AU
    Sergey R5AU Sergey Member ✭✭
    edited April 2015
    Well Den (sounds good: Priwet !), you are right: ZTE F660 GPON router deliver Ethernet cable for NAS+ Wi-Fi for family devices:-) + Wi-Fi for the Shack network, where - WN2000RPT as extender with DHCP server+iMAC, printer connected with Wi-Fi too. Before you note regarding RFI, i never hear it before, just 5 min ago check it with my F6700 - no doubts, without RFI for now. P.S. link speed ZTE->NetGear: 120mbit/s - quite enough for operations on distance abt 15 meters in my flat.
  • Bob Burnett
    Bob Burnett Member ✭✭
    edited August 2013
    Fiber protection for LAN to Flex. I wanted to isolate the Flex from any exposure to copper LAN throughout the house. Additionally, I wanted to isolate the entire LAN from the evils of the copper MaBell outside world. Additional wireless was not an option and I didn't want to disturb the existing LAN more than necessary. See pictures below (hopefully) for one 6 ft fiber link inserted between the Flex and a 8 port LAN Sw using TP Link converters (MC100CM) and multi-mode fibers. A second 6 ft fiber link was inserted between the DSL modem and the Router. I'll sacrifice cheap gadgets to protect the Flex. All is working just fine and no speed impact. The converters were only $33 ea and it takes just a few minutes to install. Bob AJ4VE
  • Al_NN4ZZ
    Al_NN4ZZ Loganville GAMember ✭✭✭
    edited March 2017
    Bob, Nice setup. I was looking at separate fiber links also but decided the 4 port CAT5 switch with a Fiber port would work better for me. I needed multiple ports in the shack for the radio computer and printer. It was a little less cost overall to use one fiber link for isolation and the short CAT5 patch cables from the switch. I should have it installed in a day or two (waiting on one more component). Do you mind if I copy your pictures and notes for future reference? Regards, Al
  • Bob Burnett
    Bob Burnett Member ✭✭
    edited August 2013
    Al, In my case I already had an extensive network in place (6 pc's + server) and just needed the isolation. If I were starting from scratch I would probably go the same route as you describe. No problem copying the pics, etc. Good luck with your fiber project. 73 Bob
  • Al_NN4ZZ
    Al_NN4ZZ Loganville GAMember ✭✭✭
    edited March 2017
    Thanks Bob, I created a word document with your notes and pictures. If you would like to see it, send me a note at [email protected] Regards, Al / NN4ZZ
  • W5XZ - dan
    W5XZ - dan Member ✭✭
    edited December 2016
    sergey: i think i will try it. no climbing in my hot attic! and only $66 at local stores.
  • Al_NN4ZZ
    Al_NN4ZZ Loganville GAMember ✭✭✭
    edited March 2017
    I received the parts today and hooked it up in 5 minutes. I connected the existing CAT5 cable that went to my PC to the fiber converter. Then connected a 6 foot fiber patch cable from the converter to the 4 port switch. And finally a short CAT5 patch cable goes from the switch to the PC. The 6700 arrives this week and there is a patch cable from the switch ready to plug into the 6700. So far it is working fine.....
  • Al_NN4ZZ
    Al_NN4ZZ Loganville GAMember ✭✭✭
    edited March 2017
    Update -- this has been in place for about 2 years and was plug, play and forget.   Cheap insurance for the ethernet controller in the 6700.

    Lightning protection and RF mitigation in one.

    http://www.nn4zz.com/FLEX6700.htm#Ethernet_Lightning_Protection

    If you don't need the extras ports in the shack you can just buy a pair of the converters for the connection to the radio. 

    Regards, Al / NN4ZZ  
    al (at) nn4zz (dot) com
  • Steve K9ZW
    Steve K9ZW Member ✭✭✭
    edited May 2017

    I've added a lower cost version of Al NN4ZZ's system, which appears to be working quite well.

    Middle son Winston KC9FVR helped test things.  Worked out to $91.00, with a complete set held as spares in reserve.  (Only $41.50 is in use)

    Write up at:  https://k9zw.wordpress.com/2017/05/25/adding-ethernet-lightning-protection-to-the-k9zw-shack/ 

    73

    Steve K9ZW

  • dlwarnberg
    dlwarnberg Member ✭✭
    edited May 2019
    If your already on Verizon FIOS (fiber to the house) other then a direct home hit your protected on the network side .. you just have to protect all the other places it can get you... power is the main everyone thinks of.. however most damage comes from ground... FYI
  • Steve K9ZW
    Steve K9ZW Member ✭✭✭
    edited May 2017

    Careful David, as you can unexpectedly introduce paths to FIOS system anywhere after the ONT Box (I think "Optical Network Termination" - where the Fiber ends and your system starts):


    • If the Box is outside it can be an energizing point of origin.

    • ANYTHING powered that also plugs by cabled Ethernet into your home network can energize that wiring in certain circumstances.  (Think computer power supplies and all sorts of that sort of stuff).

    • And if your in-the-house wiring is the typical install you have induction coupling and overly close proximity risks with other wiring that could be energized.

    • To reduce RFI you might end up either using ferrites or decoupling like this technique.

    • Expect there may be others I've not thought of in this quick further comment.


    Appreciate the reminder about FIOS as we cannot get it where I live.

    73

    Steve K9ZW

  • dlwarnberg
    dlwarnberg Member ✭✭
    edited May 2017
    Steve....   ONT = Optical Network Terminal

    The only thing that goes into the box from "down line" is a fiber, no copper, so the box would have to be "energized" i.e. a direct strike to the side of your home.  It's not like Cable coming into your home.  A cable box down the street or a neighbors house even could take a strike and you could still be effected by that copper cable just like an electric power pole down the road.

    To your point (and mine), ANYTHING powered from the wall (electric) is a point of concern, even these fiber converters, they use a power source (both ends) so to my point is IF you take a direct hit, whats going to stop the strike from traveling down the electrical outlet to the power supply into the fiber converter on the end you are trying to protect, down the Ethernet cable (twisted pair) into the device you are trying to protect?

    I guess what I'm saying is, this device will only stop 1 path and one possibility and there are many many others to be concerned with.

    Sorry about the FIOS thing, I wish everyone could get it, either that or Google FIBER would get off their tookis and get their infrastructure in place.
  • Steve K9ZW
    Steve K9ZW Member ✭✭✭
    edited May 2017

    Thank you for the reminder.  I have that side somewhat protected, but forgot to explain it, and edited my write up to include that protection need.

    73

    Steve K9ZW

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