LAN renovation

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  • Updated 9 months ago
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Hi all,

With the perspective of buying the new 6400, and the possibility of putting the radio on LAN, I start thinking about renovating my LAN from the radio room, currently I've:

ISP modem with Gigabyte ports and N wifi, in the house
35m (115ft) CAT5 cable from ISP modem to the radio room
Old Asus router 10/100 ports and G wifi, serving as a switch
The PC's all have Gigabyte ports

Reading some conversations here about LAN and looking at NN4ZZ Ethernet Lightning Protection setup, I start thinking if I should eliminate the CAT5 run, and replace it with fiber, and also the Asus router, since I want to add also some LAN devices from Ranko (4O3A), and since the switch's of 16, 24, 48 Gigabyte ports and with also SFC fiber ports are cheap on epay.

I was thinking about this setup:

Switch - Netgear GS724T v3 or 724TS (has 2 fiber ports)

LAN to Fiber converter - or

Cable -

On the Gigabyte ISP modem, 5 inches of CAT6 cable from the GIgabyte port connected to the LAN converter..
Fiber from the LAN converter to the Netgear switch.
CAT6 runs from the Netgear switch to the PC's, Ranko devices and also to the Flex.
In the case of the Netgear GS724TS, I could use the second fiber port to put fiber to the Flex by using another LAN to fiber converter and 5 inches of CAT6 next to the Flex, so that would make almost a fiber connection from the ISP router to the Flex.

My Ethernet speed is:

Wifi N - 44MB download, 11MB upload
With CAT5e cable - 130MB download, 30MB upload
Pings in the order of 3 to 10ms.

Would this be a good setup? Or should I just put all with CAT6?


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Nuno Lopes

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Posted 9 months ago

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Asher - K0AU

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Your approach sounds reasonable.  Fiber to the radio room from the rest of house is a good idea.  (assume you've already dealt with grounding and isolation for AC power).  Fiber to the Flex is probably overkill, but consider using STP patch cables for all the connections from the Netgear switch to radio and accessories.
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Stan - VA7NF

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Suggest that if you use STP cables in the shack ONLY have the shield connected at the switch side and ALL remote ends have either plastic (non shielded) connectors or insert a double female with a very short UTP cable.  I had special STP cables made up with metal on one end and plastic on the other - No RF ground loops
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Tim Ellam

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Stan. Where did you get the cables made?

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Nuno Lopes

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Hi Asher,

Thanks for the replay.

Yes the grounding is already in place, single point ground with ground rod outside of the radio room, with braid to a bus bar (copper pipe, at KY6LA style) inside the radio room on the wall below the operating desk, and braid from all the equipment to the bus bar.
Also type 31 ferrite on all the cables, in & out of PC, etc...
Home made cables are made of CAT5 cable, like for microphone, as per K9YC paper about grounding & audio.
Good suggestion on the STP CAT6 cable from the switch.
Single PSU to Rigrunner to feed all the DC equipment.

Just need to start buying the above equipment, and choose the fiber converter.
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Asher - K0AU

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Stan raises a good point I have not had trouble with.  The literature suggests that STP cabling is a better choice for LANs running in strong EMI fields.

Single point grounds and ferrites are good practices. My experience with fiber to the radio switch, STP patch cables, single point grounds and ferrites has been very good, but it's hard to say if it's good engineering or dumb luck.

More to the point: for nearly four years of LAN remote with Flex I've had very good experiences with RemoteRig to carry audio and keying, and Moxa RS-232/Ethernet servers to carry serial ports.  The Flex remote audio feature has not worked for me because there's no CW sidetone.  Flex WinKeyer support has been flaky on a good day, so I haven't relied on that.  RemoteRig support of serial and USB ports was also not good.  Maestro was not exciting because it means abandoning my 2560x1440 displays for something much smaller. 

Multi-client support in 2.x may fix some of my issues, but Flex hasn't released enough info for us to know!