Running external ethernet cables.

  PC Mechanic 15:21 16 Feb 2008

Hi Guys, How safe is it to run ethernet cables on the outside of a building? I want to get an ethernet network to the upper floor of the house. The easiest way is to run a cable from the ground floor through the wall up the outside of the house and into the loft space. I've found some stuff on Google, but most of the sites say that's dangerous to do so because of lightening strikes frying your kit. But I've also found some sites that actually sell weatherproof and waterproof CAT 6 cable, so I'm a bit confused. Any help would be very much appreciated. Thanks.

  Kemistri 15:45 16 Feb 2008

Although you won't need to employ an electrician for this particular job (legally speaking), it would be worth at least talking to an experienced electrician about how he would fit it. You would need to ensure that the exit points are well sealed and the cable itself would probably need to go into a sheath of some kind unless you can be assured that the outdoor Cat6 that you saw will be up to the task in all respects. See how it compares to outdoor electrical cable, which is pretty thick and tough these days. What with health and safety laws and HIPs, bodges are out of the question!

  dms05 17:05 16 Feb 2008

By the time you've bought your exterior cable, and risked life and limb up a ladder, you may like to consider HomePlug as an alternative - it's the Network over mains cable system. I use it. It's simple to install (just one plug attached to your Router and another at your remote location). It works exactly like LAN cable. Look click here . Then search for Homeplug on eBay. You can buy a pair for under £50.

  Kemistri 17:24 16 Feb 2008

"You can buy a pair for under £50."

£40 from Ebuyer, et al. click here No need to go near eBay. But the Homeplug system is slow, with up to 85Mbits per sec theoretical and a much greater variance according to the nature of the wiring -- it's exactly up to Gigabit standards and that can be a deal breaker for those of us who want or need fast LAN transfers. I have used them in another person's network in a non-critical application, though, and they are reasonably satisfactory and reliable, if slow.

  silverous 18:49 16 Feb 2008

I was thinking about doing the exact same thing. You can get exterior grade ethernet cable and I would plan to drill out through the wall in the same way a Sky / BT Engineer might, as said ebove, ensuring to seal around the cable.

I tried the homeplug method but it wasn't great for me, I've got lots of sockets in my lounge and wasn't sure whether that caused issues as I found differing results around the house. The speed wasn't much better than wireless (which wasn't very good, hence the need for laying a cable).

I plan to do it when the weather is good and I've bought a ladder.

  PC Mechanic 21:15 16 Feb 2008

Thanks for your replies. I did take a look at the Homeplug scenario, but there was a problem running them in my household. My downstairs and upstairs mains run on seperate circuits. As far as I can find out the mains need to be on the same circuit for these plugs to work. I think I'll give the external cable a go. I'll also invest in some kind of power surge appliance to try and lower the risk of frying my kit.

  westwit 00:10 04 Jun 2008

PC Mechanic - I have a similar problem to yours, with an old house and separate wiring circuits. Did your long external ethernet cable do the trick, or have you found any problems with it?

  silverous 08:23 04 Jun 2008

Good timing, having posted back in Feb I am finally getting round to doing this. I've ordered 50m of external cable, a crimping and testing kit and most importantly, a ladder!

  ambra4 12:24 04 Jun 2008

Check that the wire connection of the RJ45 plug is the same at both end of the cable

Just one cable wrong will cause problems

Blue/ Blue White, Orange / Orange White and the Green / Green White is connected to

the correct pins on the RJ45 plug at both ends of the cable

click here

click here

  Pineman100 14:46 04 Jun 2008

I read a report, recently, from a reliable source* about running powerline data connections on separate mains circuits.

The report said clearly that, so long as the two circuits are in the same building and terminate/interconnect in the same consumer unit (ie: fuse box), powerline data transmission would work.

* Not sure but I think it might have been in PCA.

  silverous 17:23 04 Jun 2008

Thanks ambra4, that was going to be my next question!

Anyone know what size drill bit I should get to drill through walls for this stuff?

The ethernet cable seems quite slim. Very impressed with getting the crimping tool, the RJ45 plugs and sleeves and a testing kit for under a tenner.

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