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Running fiber inside conduit with electrical?

I am looking into running some fiber inside my house. I recently did some renovations and put in new electrical and data wiring, these all run in conduits. I wil be swapping my existing network equipment some time in september. As a result of my own stupidity I forgot to put a conduit for data to my home office. My office is in a part of the building that is concrete so WiFi is pretty much a no go.

 

I have considered running a CAT6 or CAT6A to my office on the outside of my house, but this cable would need to run through several walls and floors. This is not an ideal solution. Since I have the fuses and electrical conduits for mye home office right next to a data conduit I also considered running some shielded CAT6A in the same conduit as the electrical. After doing some research I found that this would most likely cause trouble since I would be running copper with copper. Electrical wires are 240V/50 hz. This set me on the path of fiber optics. 

 

So what do I currently have in my shopping basket you may ask?

Unify Dream Machine Pro

Unify Switch 24-100W

Unify Switch 8-150W (two units)

Unify AP AC PRO (three units, one will be in my home office)

 

I plan to put the UDM Pro and the 24 port switch close to the dual fiber intakes on the ground floor.(only one is active, line is 800/800 Mbps). I plan to run fiber from the 24P switch up through a dedicated data conduit to the first floor and then connect to the first 8 port switch. Thinking I might as well run fiber and not CAT6 since this will be future proof. I will then run fiber through the electrical conduits to my office. This distance will be around 15 meteres (approx. 49 feet) from the 8 port to my office were I will put the second 8 port swich. Since I plan to patch everything with fiber I will order 6 of these transceivers. https://www.fs.com/products/65337.html.

  

Yes, I realize I’m only getting gigabit LAN and not 10gig but it really doesn’t matter for my use case as long as I get a solid connection. At least it will be future proof.

 

Now I have done a fair bit of CAT5/6/6A cabling, but I have zero experience in fiber. My copper wires run in plastic conduits (in-wall) that are Ø16mm (0,629 inches). For this to work I would need to pull the fiber in the same conduit as electrical, so I don’t have a great deal of space to work with as I install the fiber. Since I don’t have the equipment to terminate I will have to buy pre terminated fiber (patch cables).

 

As far as I can tell, I will need LC to LC connectors on the fibre patch cable. I have found what I think I need here. (https://www.fs.com/products/40191.html). I would greatly appreciate any input as to what cable I should buy. It would need to be reasonably heavy duty to survive being pulled through the conduit.

 

Any advice would be helpful and most welcome!

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The actual running and operating part is no problem, installing the fibre, however, is. The connectors are physically too large to fit through the conduits. However, not all is lost: the LC connectors can be dismantled (with care!) and inserted from one side. It's advisable to secure the actual fibre with a metal strip to protect it during its journey through your walls. Actually, strip a suitably large diameter of copper wire and use the plastic insulator as further protection besides the metal strip (a metalic rod is probably a better idea over a strip).

 

HTH!

"You don't need eyes to see, you need vision"

 

(Faithless, 'Reverence' from the 1996 Reverence album)

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Posted (edited)

Thanks for the feedback @Dutch_Master! I will try to find a schematic for the actual connector to figure out the size. I will gladly pull the electrical wires out first to make room for the connector, but if it still does not fit in in a Ø16mm conduit I will have to dismantle the one end. Not as simple as I hoped for, but it is at least possible.

 

Any advice on the actual cable? I see that FS offers both armoured and milspec.I have no idea of the ruggedness of fiber.

 

- T

 

Edit: Found a schematic, but as far as I can see it only details the hight of 10,7mm, not the width of the connector. I'm guessing approx 11mm.

 

 

schematic lc connector.png

Edited by Tetanus
Added a schematic
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Cat6a cable can do 10 gbps up to 100 meters.

There's optical transceivers (optical to ethernet) that can do 10 gbps perfectly fine, but for maximum lengths of up to around 30 meters... Here's an example: https://www.fs.com/de-en/products/66613.html

There's some models that are a bit cheaper on Amazon and I think Microtik also sells some of these.

I doubt your house is that big that you'd have more than 30 meters between your room and the server. 

 

As for actual fiber, I'll abstain. If I were to do it on my house, I'd have to think hard whether I'll keep it compatible with 40 gbps sqfp+ or go to 25/100 gbps QSFP28 (use 4 fibers to get 100gbps or have 4 separate 25 gbps ports)

You can already buy 100g switches for $500 on ebay ex search for celestica seastone dx010 32 port 100g qsfp28 switch  ( i think they're dumped at that price because they're made with an Intel Atom cpu that has hardware flaws and can fail unless there's a hardware patch applied (a wire soldered on the motherboard)... but other models are not that expensive at around 1.5k - 2k.

 

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Thank you for your input @mariushm!

I would prefer CAT6 but that’s not an option in this case. If I was to run the cable outside I would probably be looking at close to 50 meters including cable routing. If I was able to go straight it would be around 7-8 meters. 
 

As far as 10Gbps goes it’s more than good enough for me. I do a lot of video conferencing so I need a good connection, but nothing near even saturating a Gbps line. Figure I might as well YOLO it since the difference in price is negligible anyway. 
 

I have plans for security cameras as well so the Unifi line suits my needs, but I appreciate you giving some alternatives. 
 

-T

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1 hour ago, Tetanus said:

Thank you for your input @mariushm!

I would prefer CAT6 but that’s not an option in this case. If I was to run the cable outside I would probably be looking at close to 50 meters including cable routing. If I was able to go straight it would be around 7-8 meters. 
 

As far as 10Gbps goes it’s more than good enough for me. I do a lot of video conferencing so I need a good connection, but nothing near even saturating a Gbps line. Figure I might as well YOLO it since the difference in price is negligible anyway. 
 

I have plans for security cameras as well so the Unifi line suits my needs, but I appreciate you giving some alternatives. 
 

-T

I don't understand why it's not an option.

Like I said,  Cat6A cable can do 10 gbps up to 100 meters, so your 50 meters on the outside is not a big deal. 

Cat6 cable is rated for 10gbps up to 55 meters, so in theory it should be fine, but I'm of the opinion that if you have such length, you may just as well go for Cat6a because it's not that much more expensive. Cat6 is also good for 2.5gbps or 5gbps up to 100 meters, with the suitable network cards or switch that supports those ethernet standards (they're showing up these days).

 

The ethernet to sfp+ transceiver I linked to has a limitation of 30 meters, not the cable. You have an option to get a transceiver for higher cable lengths OR you could just stick to a 1gbps port (or a 1gbps ethernet sfp+ transceiver)  until you get a switch with 10g ethernet ports.

 

Ah I read the post again and I think you're concerned about your ethernet cable being too close to the power cables?

Unless you're concerned about electrical regulations you could use ethernet cable, and if you really want to you can use SFTP cable which has an extra shielding foil around the pairs and you can ground one end of the cable.. so the shielding will protect the cable from interference from the power cables.

See for example : https://www.amazon.com/SolidLink-1000ft-Listed-Conductor-Ethernet/dp/B0742R9642/

You'll want to use proper Cat6a/Cat7 jacks and attach the shielding sleeve to the jack , see for example : https://www.digikey.com/short/5vzzhqn7

example product : https://www.digikey.com/en/products/detail/stewart-connector/SS-39200-085/10209852

SS-39200-085

 

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1 hour ago, mariushm said:

I don't understand why it's not an option.

Like I said,  Cat6A cable can do 10 gbps up to 100 meters, so your 50 meters on the outside is not a big deal.

Outside cable will age, can be damaged, not scale past 10Gbit, can be subject to electrical interference, can get zapped by lightening and could end up being harder than running fibre.

 

There is just no reason to even consider it unless getting the fibre through the conduit is impossible.

Router: i5-7200U appliance running pfSense WiFi: Honor Router 3 (~850Mbit peak throughput)
ISPs: Zen VDSL (66Mbit) + Plusnet VDSL (66Mbit) + Three 5G (~600Mbit)

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Well, after speaking with an electrician I learned that it’s actually not allowed in Norway  to run any cables in the same conduit as electricity unless the cables can handle the same voltage. He could pull the cables but would not reinstall if they had network cables (copper) in the same conduit. He had no problem with fibre since it’s non conductive. I am not allowed to touch any permanent installations myself, my insurance company would practically void any claim so I guess fibre it is. 
 

I’ll order a cable just to see if it will fit in the conduit, if not I guess I will have to dismantle the connector on one side to pull it through. 
 

Any advice on what sort of specifications I should be looking for? Is armoured good enough or should I go for an even more heavy duty cable?

 

-T

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6 hours ago, mariushm said:

don't understand why it's not an option.

Like I said,  Cat6A cable can do 10 gbps up to 100 meters, so your 50 meters on the outside is not a big deal. 

The Youtuber the 8BitGuy had his our door Ethernet cable zapped twice by lightning and he even had them grounded. Lost equipment both times. He ended up going Fiber. In my opinion I would choose not to run Ethernet outside, as its conductive. Glass not so much. 

I just want to sit back and watch the world burn. 

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Posted (edited)

Thanks for the input guys! Really appreciate it!

 

I am a little bit hesitant about dismantling the connectors, but I’ll guess the only way to figure it out is to try. 

 

-T

Edited by Tetanus
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