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Networking & Wireless forum

General discussion

Network for the Desert

by Farmboy / May 3, 2005 3:43 AM PDT

I'm in the Army and will deploy to Iraq this fall. I'm in charge of installing and maintaing our LAN. I know that we will have units that are physically far away. I want to use coax to connect the switch that all the users are hooked up to. Yes I know fiber is faster. But: 1) Coax is cheap. 2)Easy to repair 3) I can buy it locally in Iraq rather than hving fiber flown in.
Now my issue: Physically how do I connect my distant switches? I will have a central rack that has everything. I can get switches for the users to connect to using CAT 5. Each switch will have 1 coax/BNC port to take the line to my main rack.
But what do I do at my main rack? I will have about 3-5 sites that need a coax line. I don't want to have 2 switches for each site dedicated for each line. Do they make switches with multiplpe coax ports?
I haven't really used thinnet before some my concept of the network architecture might be off. Any adivce would be great.

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A few questions:
by Michael Geist / May 3, 2005 7:00 PM PDT
In reply to: Network for the Desert

1) What kind of distance are you talking about? Ethernet will reach 100 meters (theoretically) without a repeater.
2) How many clients are you looking to support?
3) Internet Sharing?

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More Info
by Farmboy / May 4, 2005 6:05 AM PDT
In reply to: A few questions:

Distance: anywhere from 20 meters to 300 meters. Very probably crossing roads and/or being strung between building roofs.
Clients: 5-10 clients
Internet sharing: I'm not sure I understand this one. I will basically have the switch that is the input for my LAN. I will have be the hub and my different sections will be the spokes. They go out through me to get to the e-mail server etc. I know coax limits your bandwidth but that is not a problem for the ammount of data we are passing. The only high babdwidth service I might have is 1 VoIP phone as a client on each one of my spokes.

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some thoughts...
by Dick White / May 4, 2005 6:55 AM PDT
In reply to: More Info

That's gonna be a tough environment, but worse problems have been overcome...

A few nuggets FWIW -

Thinnet coax has an effective cable length limit of around 185 meters, so that 200 meter outpost is beyond reach of a single run - gonna need a repeater. Thick coax is good up to around 500 meters - so a single run will make your farthest outpost but we may have just put you into a different class of equipment than you were considering. One problem with any coax net is continuity of the circuits - one segment or item has an issue and you can lose the whole network or at least the whole segment. You may also have issues with the terminations of each run (getting the BNC connectors on properly, grounded properly, connected to the switches and NICS properly, etc.) or munged impedances because of cable impairments (crinkled or stretched cables or other "damage"). I also wonder about the availability of switches and other devices that could be connected to the obsolete coax cable.

UTP (standard CAT5) ethernet has an effective limit of slightly under 100 meters but it is a whole lot easier to work with. You'd have to put in some sort of repeater halfway out to the farthest outpost, but you'd have to do that anyway with the thinnet. UTP is fault tolerant (an error in one segment won't topple the whole net), raw cable should easy to get (though you mentioned comparative ease of acquistion of coax was an issue), and installing the plugs on the ends of the raw cable is very easy, only requires a crimper tool (and if you got a couple of 100-count bags of the connectors shipped in or took them with you you'd have everything you need for your installations). Also, the physical layout and maintenance of your network would probably be a lot easier with the UTP.


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by ac415 / May 5, 2005 2:30 PM PDT
In reply to: some thoughts...


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Adding Laptop to my wirless home network
by bobjoan / September 26, 2007 4:27 AM PDT
In reply to: wireless

I have a DP834PN wireless router modem what are the step to add the a new laptop to my network?


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