Flex 6300 and Ethernet Connection?

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I have a Flex 6300 and my modem and router is in the back bedroom from where my garage is. My shack is in the garage about 65 feet from where the modem is or maybe a little more. I have no ethernet port in the garage for the flex. Should I look into a wifi extender with ethernet connection or run 100 feet of CAT 5 cable to the garage?
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David McDonald

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Posted 2 years ago

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David Vernier

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Wifi extenders probably won't help you much in this circumstance, you'll be happier running a cable...
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Bill English

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I agree it would be better to run a cable. You could add a small inexpensive switch to run PC's and whatever else you needed a connection for.
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George Molnar, KF2T, Elmer

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"It Depends" is probably the best answer. While the 6000 doesn't need the internet to operate, I'm guessing it would be nice to have for SmartLink, the shack PC's software, etc.

An extender with a built-in switch will work great IF the signal between the house and garage is robust enough. 65 feet for wi-fi is tricky. If there isn't much interference around, and the two devices can "see" each other without obstruction, then you may be in business. If your extender can be equipped with an external antenna, that might help, too.

David Vernier's comment is probably accurate for most situations. But, of course the cable run may be difficult to install, weatherproof, and maintain. Scope out the wi-fi signal in the garage with a laptop, tablet, or Maestro. You might be lucky!
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David McDonald

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George does the 6300 have to be connected with an ethernet port or can it be connected wireless by wifi? I have full strength wifi in my garage just no ethernet connection.

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If you don't mind spending a few bucks (not too many), run fiber to the station instead of Cat5/6. You have splendid electrical isolation, and no chance of RF into the ethernet run into the shack. Add an 8- or 16-port copper switch with an SFP port for the fiber connection in the shack, and you will have all the connectivity you need. Put a copper to fiber interface at your router (or buy two of what you put in the shack and have a new switch for the house, too :-)
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Greg - N8GD

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The use of fiber optic cable sounds good to me.  I lost all of my network/usb/COM connected Ham equipment to the tune of $14,000 (4 radios in all) to a local lightning strike that induced a surge into my CAT5 cabling that went into my shack PC and out the USB and COM ports to the 4 transceivers.  Thank goodness for GREAT homeowner's insurance, I got all but my $500 deductible back on replacement cost.  Do yourself a favor and avoid what I went through and get fiber!  (You might want to protect your USB devices with available surge devices for them as well.)
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Al / NN4ZZ

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Hi Greg,
Agree on the USB port protection, especially if you use the USB ports on the radio.  If you damage the USB port on the radio it has to go back in for repairs.   I installed an industrial grade USB hub with 4KV isolation.  It also has a power supply so there is no power connection from the radio to the peripherals. 

Here are the details on my web page for the hub I used:


Al / NN4ZZ  
al (at) nn4zz (dot) com
6700 & SSDR-W  V 2.3.7
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I went so far as to use 12v - 5 v converters for USB (and other 5 volt) devices, and I run my PC on my 12v supply, as I do my Ethernet switch. 12V power supply is on a UPS for isolation (hope that's enough, but it also charges a couple of AGM batteries). Now I need to dig into the monitor power supplies to have them run on 12 v, or replace the monitors with ones with external PSUs.

And I live in an area that has relatively low lightning risk :-)
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David McDonald

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Ok what fiber cable do I need and what ends to connect to Ethernet plugs?
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You need an Ethernet switch with either fiber sockets of the appropriate type or an SFP socket into which you plug your required SFP for the connector and cable you will be using. You don't connect fiber to Ethernet plugs. There are also fiber to copper ethernet adapters available on Amazon or eBay - just search. These allow you to connect an RJ45 or Cat5/6 on one side and fiber with an appropriate connector on the other. They also may allow you to use a single fiber instead of needing duplex fiber as with LC SFPs on an Ethernet switch.

You need to match the ends on the fiber with whatever fiber-copper adapter you have, or the SFP you are using in your switches. I tend to use LC connectors and SFPs because they are easy to use and almost impossible to screw up :-) The cable with both end connectors installed comes in duplex, with duplex connectors for use with the normal duplex SFPs. Typically you would use multimode fiber and SFPs because you are doing short runs. Does not matter if you use 50 or 62.5 micron fiber. If you are putting it in harsh environments, use a better quality sheath (and of course pay more :-) And don't mix multimode and single mode fiber.
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Michael Walker, Employee

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You have some good ideas here.

A 100ft of CAT5 works as well.  At my remote station, I run about 280ft of the cheapest stuff I had lying around and I haven't had an issue.

I have run my 6300 with AC PowerLine extenders as well to extend the WiFi.  The ones from TP-Link seem to work better than others.   I have been using a few of them on some IP Phones as well and haven't noticed any dropouts while using them.

While it is possible they can produce some HF noise, I have not heard them at all.   

I agree that WiFi extenders are a waste of time (I've test a few for work) and actually make the problem worse.  But, they sell lots as it looks like you have full 'bars' of Wifi service but you bad latency.  

Order a set of PowerLine devices from Amazon and if they don't work out, you can return them.     It is faster than running fiber or CAT5 and it might just solve your problem with minimal effort.

Mike va3mw
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I did the short fiber run and had more noise on the radio with fiber-converter power supply than what it was worth. And to top it off it is 5 volts.

So with fiber media converter you still have ligthening protection to do on the radio side on the 120 volt 5 volt supply to the media converter.

Run cat 5 and put inside  1/2 pvc conduit is cheap for the install if you can bury it.

 If you can get cat5 fairly  close to the garage outside somewhere put in Access Point and hardwired to router in the home to the outside with short run of cat5. You will have much stronger and better wi-fi signal with AP closer to the garage or aimed at the garage.

Stick the AP on the side of the house or on a Firm pole etc etc.

Or If you think wi-fi is strong enough the way it is get AP in the garage and aim it back to the house towards your router in the house and connect the AP  to a switch or direct to the flex.

Lot of ways with radio being LAN capable.

My 2cts.