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Five Best Ways to Extend Ethernet



Extend Ethernet For Real World Applications
When TCP/IP networking moves out of the home and office environment and into the real world, the 100 meter range limitation of copper Ethernet cable becomes a problem. This video will describe the five best ways to extend Ethernet range. 

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Transcript for Connectivity College: Five Best Ways to Extend Ethernet Video

Hi, I'm Paul Frisbie. I'm here to talk to you about the five best ways to extend Ethernet. 
 
Hypothetical situation.Let's say that, in the course of going about your business you kind of inadvertently happen to purchase an Eiffel Tower. Happened to me once. Happened to a casino in Las Vegas back in 1999. And in 1925, a con artist sold the big one in Paris to a scrap metal dealer. Nobody ever plans or expects to end up with an Eiffel Tower but what would happen if you did? In the modern world, one of your first questions would be how do you extend Ethernet to the top of an iron lattice tower that's 324 meters tall?  Let's talk about that...
 
Just getting to the top platform observation deck is already 276 meters. That's equal to the Statue of Liberty balancing the Washington Monument on her torch. The Statue of Liberty balancing two Statue of Liberties on her torch would work too but you probably don't want to try any of this at home. 
 
Ethernet Extension with Fiber Optics - Multi-Mode and Single Mode.  
 
The Eiffel Tower uses fiber optics. We'll count fiber as two ways to extend Ethernet because Multi-Mode Fiber and Single-Mode Fiber aren't quite the same animal. 
 
Multi-Mode is cheaper. It will typically give you data rates of up to 10 Mbps at ranges of  up to 2 kilometers. Shorter distances would give you more bandwidth. If you went from sea level to the top of the Eiffel Tower you could potentially get 10 GBps using multi-mode fiber. That's pretty good but single-mode fiber is even better. Single-mode fiber can give you that same 10 GB at ranges of up to 80 km, which would be 247 Eiffel Towers laid out end to end. Being cheaper, multi-mode fiber is often used as the backbone infrastructure for office buildings and factory networks. Single mode is often used for long-range applications. Telephone companies and cable companies use a lot of it. However, a lot of network engineers are specifying single mode for local networks these days. It's pricier but the reasoning is that the labor costs represent a large part of the installation expense in any case and the great bandwidth and range provided by single-mode fiber will ensure that the installation won't become obsolete at any time in the foreseeable future.  
 
Things to do at the Eiffel Tower. Idea Number 1. 
Get arrested for doing something really fun. 
 
Amanda Tucker and Mike MacCarthy pulled this off in 1984. Smuggle a parachute to the third deck under some bulky clothes. Act innocent. Pretend to take pictures, or something.When it's too late for anyone to stop you, jump.
 
The Ethernet Extender. 
 
Ethernet extenders are interesting devices. They'll let you extend Ethernet up to 1900 meters using any copper pair. If you have a building like the Eiffel Tower, chances are it's been wired up six ways to Sunday in the course of its history. The Eiffel Tower has been broadcasting radio since 1898, television since 1925, and they've run telephone lines up there too. With an Ethernet extender you could easily extend your network all of the way to the top of the tower using any of those existing copper pairs. 
 
Things to do at the Eiffel Tower. Idea Number 2. 
Sell it to somebody. 
 
Victor Lustig pulled this off in 1925. Twice. Pose as a corrupt Paris city official. Contact some scrap metal dealers. Tell them the existing tower is old and worn out and will be sold for scrap. Say you'll accept a ridiculously low bid in exchange for a bribe. Collect the bribe. Collect the bid money. Sold. Piece of cake. 
 
Ethernet Extension Using Radio. 
 
Copper or fiber installations aren't always feasible, especially when your network needs to be extended across barriers like rivers or major highways. And that's where radio comes in handy. And there are a lot of options. 
 
Radio can be used as a simple wire replacement. Let's say you needed to monitor controls and devices in a remote location and you had a mix of analog and digital I/O, some Modbus, some RS-232/422 or 485. You could do the job quite easily with a couple of outdoor-rated radio modems and wireless I/O devices via the license-free 900MHz and 2.4GHz bands. 
 
Then there's industrial Wi-Fi. Industrial Wi-Fi does some useful tricks. You can equip mobile devices with wi-fi and they'll connect to your network whenever they come within range. That could include equipment mounted in anything from delivery vehicles to forklifts. Wi-fi can connect local networks or single devices at some very impressive ranges. This Ethernet bridge has a line of site range of around 15 kilometers with a throughput of up to 150 Mbps depending upon local conditions. 
 
Wi-fi can extend your network to include serial equipment. You just connect your serial device to a wireless serial server.
 
 Alternatively, serial devices can be connected to wireless access points. They let a serial device create its own wi-fi hotspot and technicians can talk directly to the device with their cell phones and tablets. Radio can take your network places that cable can't go or even to the other side of the planet. And that brings us to Cellular data networking. 
 
Ethernet Extension via Cellular Networking. 
 
Cellular data networking has become an increasingly important part of industrial networking. With cellular routers, you can extend your network to include any location that receives a cell phone signal and nowadays there aren't many places that don't. Cellular routers can be very versatile depending on what it is that you need to do. They can network enable serial devices, Modbus, or remote I/O and of course anything that uses Ethernet. 
 
Cellular routers don't need a lot of power so if you're extending your network beyond the edge of the power grid there's no reason you couldn't power your router with a solar panel. 
 
Things to do at the Eiffel Tower. Idea Number 3. 
Call B&B tech support after dinner. 
 
People do this all the time. B&B tech support answers the phone from 7am to 7pm Monday through Friday. That's 2:00pm to 2:00am in Paris. So what's the hurry? 
 
Thanks for watching.