Recommendations for fiber network connection between house and detached garage?

JimS

Active Member
Have about a 220' run between house and detached garage. Currently CAT6 with surge protectors on each end. Connection has been marginal and I think the problem is the surge protectors. Although they are rated for ethernet I think them combined with the length of the run is just a bit too much. So I am looking at other options. Thinking I should just go to fiber with some fiber to ethernet converters on each end. Don't need anything exotic - 100 M speed will be more than enough. Have 3/4 PVC conduit with long sweeps except for an LB at the house end which may be a bend radius issue - I could strap the fiber to to something with a curve to keep the cable from sagging and bending tighter. I am guessing the largest bend I could get would be about 3" radius. Any specific recommendations for hardware?
 

electron

Administrator
Staff member
Before you pull that CAT6, have you checked if you have packet drops or latency issues? Mostly curious, as the length shouldn't be a problem. Maybe the surge protectors did their job and were damaged, or the switch port went bad.
 

JimS

Active Member
My testing was pretty crude. Original install was with the protectors first and then about 5 feet of cable to the access point at the garage end. About 30 ft from protector to network equipment at the house end. It didn't work at all. I shortened the 30 ft line by putting a hub about 3 ft from the protector and then the run to the other network equipment - that worked for about a year. Seemed to work ok but didn't do any serious testing. Recently have had more issues so did a ping from house PC to router in garage and it works about half the time and fails on timeout the other half. Don't have a cable tester - maybe I should buy one. I thought about taking out the surge protectors - not permanently but just as a test. If you can tell me how to do the testing and/or recommend testing to be done that would be great. I do know that this has very low SAF the way it is. :)
 

electron

Administrator
Staff member
I would definitely try removing the surge protectors running a continious ping (ping -t on Windows). Feel free to share a screenshot as the exact error/context does matter (you can blur out the IP addresses).

Since it sounds like you've been having problems since the beginning, I would at least get this $10 tester to check for major wiring/crimping issues, it's a useful tool to have around.
 

JimS

Active Member
If I am getting a tester I would like to get one that has a bit more functionality. I think others have suggested ones that are about $60 - $80 and will look them up. Think they can test for breaks and other issues besides basic connectivity.
 

electron

Administrator
Staff member
That would definitely be the better option (this $53 unit looks interesting), just wanted to make troubleshooting this look attractive ;)
 

JimS

Active Member
ping from one end to a router on the other end fails between about 1 in 5 and 1 in 20 tries. I am doing some more tries with and without the surge limiters. Some sort of tester should let me know if any of the pairs are not working properly. I know there are issues. What's iperf going to tell me besides I have bandwidth issues (which I know already)?
 

RAL

Senior Member
One of the most common causes of data loss is bad terminations on the RJ45 connectors. You can't tell if they are good or bad just by looking at them. It's not a bad idea to re-terminate everything using a good quality crimp tool.

On the wire pairs, you should keep them twisted as far as possible up to the termination point. You don't want to remove any more twists than necessary. This applies at the surge protectors, too.

Most of the consumer class cable testers do little more than verify for proper wiring and don't do at-speed testing. They may tell you that the cables are good even though they have poor quality connections that cause packet loss.
 

JimS

Active Member
I understand on the connector termination issues. What's a good way to test those? would resistance be sufficient or a suggested tester? I put male ends on the cables because they go to the surge protection devices that have a female. But the female connectors are MUCH easier to terminate. I suppose I could reterminate with a female and use a short patch cable.
 

pete_c

Guru
I purchased an "el cheapo" Amazon tester a few years ago and it continues to work fine. It came with terminators to check end to end connectivity, et al.

Looks like this one on Amazon except that it comes with a toner. I purchased a toner separately. Works with male ends. I packed short catxX thin cables with the little case to test wall to patch panel connections.

NOYAFA Advanced Network Cable Tester With PoE& NCV & Lamp For CAT5e/CAT6/CAT6a, Multifunction Wire Tracker Cable Tester For Tracker Underground Telephone Line Finder Home Repair

$52.99
 

RAL

Senior Member
I purchased an "el cheapo" Amazon tester a few years ago and it continues to work fine. It came with terminators to check end to end connectivity, et al.

Looks like this one on Amazon except that it comes with a toner. I purchased a toner separately. Works with male ends. I packed short catxX thin cables with the little case to test wall to patch panel connections.

NOYAFA Advanced Network Cable Tester With PoE& NCV & Lamp For CAT5e/CAT6/CAT6a, Multifunction Wire Tracker Cable Tester For Tracker Underground Telephone Line Finder Home Repair

$52.99
From reading the description, I don't think that tester does a certification/performance test that will verify that the cable works at network speeds.

This meter Triplett meter is one that claims to do certification tests, but it costs substantially more. It's one of the least expensive ones from a reputable manufacturer that I've seen.

 

RAL

Senior Member
I understand on the connector termination issues. What's a good way to test those? would resistance be sufficient or a suggested tester? I put male ends on the cables because they go to the surge protection devices that have a female. But the female connectors are MUCH easier to terminate. I suppose I could reterminate with a female and use a short patch cable.
Testing the cable resistance with a multimeter won't find the bad connections, unless they are really, really bad. You need a tester that can do a certification test that verifies the operation at real network speeds. Those can be expensive, so for most DIYers, it's just cheaper to re-terminate things and hope it solves the problem. But it helps a lot to have a good crimp tool to make sure the RJ45s have a solid connection.
 

JimS

Active Member
RAL, Thanks but I can't justify the Triplett tester for my very limited use. I didn't see a termination unit which would be needed for end to end testing - I see two jacks but for a run between buildings no way you could use both without pulling the cable. I am guessing it just isn't pictured or I am missing something. Anyway, I ordered the Noyafa tester which will be here tomorrow. BTW, it looks identical to the link someone else posted with just the model number on the label being different.
 
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