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Cat 5 Distance Limitation

By Airforce1 ·
I know that the spec says cat 5 is good to 100m. However, I have been told by a network guy that you can actually get it to work at 200m if you are going from switch-to-switch or hub-to-hub, etc. Has anyone done this successfully?

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Cat 5 Distance Limitation

by Ann777 In reply to Cat 5 Distance Limitation

Yes, I've used hubs-to-hubs before at several workplaces (one where a training room only had 1 rj45 jack... not very well planned for technology training).

There's a 5-4-3 segment rule... but ultimately, it works just fine. The hub acts as a repeater... switches would do the same.

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Cat 5 Distance Limitation

by Airforce1 In reply to Cat 5 Distance Limitation

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by William J Sosville In reply to Cat 5 Distance Limitation

The limitation of 100M breaks down to 90M of cable and the remaining length in patch cables. The problem that you will face if you decide to ignore the length limitation is attenuation. Attenuation is the degradation of signal as it propogates along a cable. Basically the signal will weaken if not regenerated. Attenuation causes Packet loss and Packet loss means retransmission of lost packets and retransmission of lost packets results in congestion and congestion kills a network.

The 5-4-3 rule does not apply to CAT5 cable!!! It is or rather was used to segment bus type networks (10base2) the 5 represents a max of 5 network segments, the 4 represents a max of 4 repeating devices and the 3 represents a max of 3 segments that can be populated by nodes (computers).

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Cat 5 Distance Limitation

by William J Sosville In reply to Cat 5 Distance Limitation

Yes, It will work. but you will have trouble on that segment. I have personally been ordered to run a drop in excess of 400m! Darn near half a box of cable! The boss man was too cheap to pony up the dough for fiber. It worked fine until the folks on the other end tried to print. Also email was a dog across the link. Fiber and Fiber transcievers arent that expensive and the diff in performance is worth it to your users.

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Cat 5 Distance Limitation

by Airforce1 In reply to Cat 5 Distance Limitation

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Cat 5 Distance Limitation

by McKayTech In reply to Cat 5 Distance Limitation

THe Cat5 specs are for guaranteed performance at 100BaseT and can be pushed quite a bit farther if you're willing to accept an increased risk of poor performance.

My best guess is that you might be able to get away with 200m if you're only running at 10MHz in a full-duplex switched environment where you don't have to deal with late collisions. Attenuation and noise sensitivity will still be a potential problem but collisions should (theoretically) be less of a problem in a fully-switched environment.

paul

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Cat 5 Distance Limitation

by Airforce1 In reply to Cat 5 Distance Limitation

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Cat 5 Distance Limitation

by Kevin Anderson In reply to Cat 5 Distance Limitation

Yes, and no.

Under most situations, this would work, Going to a hub, switch or a desktop doesn't matter too much.

As a signal travels along a longer cable, the strength it has is lost. With a weaker signal, it is affected more severely by Florescent lights (the balasts), by being bent, crushed, submerged, ran next to electric cable, etc.

100M is the length you can get if everything worked against the cable and you were running it at 100 Meg. At 10 Meg, these specs are far less stringent. Particularly if you connect to a switch, running 10 instead of 100 will be almost unnoticable unless the person is a power user, or you are running to a hub/switch, and sharing the line with 10 other people.

I would suggest that if there is cable there, then go with it, and you'll be fine (90% likely). If there isn't cable, then consiter Fiber. Everyone thinks that it costs more, but it really doesn't, and it will certainly put up with environmental 'concerns' better than copper (water, magnetic or electrical interference, etc).

Will it work? Mostly yes.

Is it a cost effective, long term solution in an expanding company? Probably not.

Will this be a continual source of headaches for the admin? Most likely.

Alternately, buy a cheap ($50 or less) hub, and put it in the middle of the cable run.

Kev

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Cat 5 Distance Limitation

by Airforce1 In reply to Cat 5 Distance Limitation

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Cat 5 Distance Limitation

by dlafrombois In reply to Cat 5 Distance Limitation

This standard is only a guide line. No CAT-5 police wil show up at your door and write you a ticket. However, you may be writing your own pink slip when your boss finds out the standards were pushed beyond an acceptable limit and data was losed. I would not put myself into this mess. Run fiber or CAT-2 or some other method for broadband connectivity.

I am sure that this has been done. This question is How reliable was it and how much data loss or retransmission occured due to packet loss? These should be the questions of the group. The second question you need to answer are you willing to live with the data loss or excess traffic on the network resulting from retransmissions?


Good Luck

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