Advice on running network cable outside to a garage (about 25m away)

Stevie G

Active Member
Hi all

We have a massive garage down the end of the garden that I want to get a connection to, as we have a mini gym in there and I also want to hook a few Ring cameras up to it. I've looked at a 4/5G mobile router but the options are currently limited to 4G and only a few options that aren't really what I'm looking for. I'm thinking of running an ethernet line from the house out to the garage and was after any advice, suggestions, things to avoid etc.

The run will be around 25m from the outside to the garage, and I'll probably put a cheap switch at the house end to get it to the router without having to have a longer run, and at the other end I'll put an access point in the garage.

I'm thinking it'll probably be easier to get some conduit trunking for the whole outside length and run a single Cat5E or CAT6 cable through that? If the trunking it suitable for outdoors, would I be able to use normal CAT cable? Or should I still look at external use cable?

I'll run it along the edge of the bed near to the fence so probably won't need to bury it very far down if at all (I may clip it to the bottom of the fence - our neighbour did similar with his electricity run to his shed).

Are there any things I should be wary of, avoid, etc?

And can anyone recommend any decent quality but not too expensive long length flexible trunking?

I think that's all for now!

Thanks!
 

oneman

Well-known Member
There is armoured ethernet available but it's not cheap. Of you can avoid burying it then that would be better. External grade ethernet doesn't actually need trunking to protect it as such but trucking will help against accidental damage like spades and animal bites. Cheap plastic conduit should be fine.

Edit: just had a look and armoured cat 6 is around £2 a meter so not so bad and won't need additional protection.
 
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D

Deleted member 24354

Guest
Armoured Cat6 can generally be bought around under £2/m (I install a lot of it) and would be my option. It is almost the same cost to run cable + conduit as it is to run armoured. I did a lot of garden bars / garden gyms this summer as clients wanted SkyQ / Sonos / Alexa etc in their garden structures. I use Wiska boxes with compression glands to bring the cable in to the building at either end. Measure the length you need from building to building then I tend to add 2m at each end to terminate into faceplates inside the 2 buildings. This leaves a nice neat termination at each end that you can then patch into a router / switch at one end and a switch / AP at the other end.
 

Stevie G

Active Member
Thanks guys, that's really helpful. I'll have a look at what I can find and get ordering.

I've measured up a bit more and think I need a single run of around 40m. I could get it a bit shorter if I put a switch in the out-house it'll go through if neccessary. What is the maximum length I should be looking at before it has problems?

And does this look a decent option?

Thanks
 
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oneman

Well-known Member
40m between devices should be fine, max for correctly terminated ethernet is 100m. You lose a bit for each connection but shouldn't be any problem.
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
When it comes to installing cable runs, AVF mantra is to "always install two (or more.)" It is highly unlikely that UTP will fail in service, but if it does and you have an alternate in situ, you can get back up and running pretty quickly. Without, you are off the air until you rip and replace. It's surprising how often you find a use for "just one more" later on.

Cable is cheap compared to the hassle of installing it - the additional materials cost is not that much compared to the time and effort of establishing the cable route and terminating it.
 
D

Deleted member 24354

Guest
That cable is fine, its generally what I use. 100m is theoretically the longest length but there are ways to go longer, upto 150m. Dont go shorter, you will regret it. Buy the length you need for the job plus some extra for termination. Terminate and test your cable, in-situ BEFORE you backfill the cable. If there is a problem you can at least rip it out easily and replace it.
 
D

Deleted member 24354

Guest
You can cut the steel wiring with a hacksaw. If you use some insulation tape to mark a ring where you wish to cut the outer sheath and the steel wire away these are the steps.

1. Mark a ring around the outer sheathing using coloured insulation tape.
2. Using a sharp (stanley) knife cut the outer sheath away, exposing the steel wiring.
3. Using a hacksaw and following the cut away sheathing, cut about 1/4 - 1/2 way through each of the individual steel wires, working your way around the entire circumference of wires
4. Bend the steel wires back and forwards and they should snap off in a nice clean circle, leaving the inner sheath of the Cat 5/6 exposed. Then just treat this inner core like normal cat 5/6.

Or you can do similar with a sharp pipe cutter.
 

Stevie G

Active Member
Thanks, I'll give that a go. It's certainly tough stuff, no chance anything will bite through that! My task for the weekend....!
 
D

Deleted member 24354

Guest
I would suggest you try the hacksaw method on a short length at the end of the cable, so you are confident in what you are doing. It doesn't take a lot to saw through the individual steel wire strands, so take it slow and don't go crazy sawing. Once you have cut partially through the steel strands they snap off quite cleanly. This part of the cable is then fed into a compression gland, so that what is going into the compression gland is the full thickness of cable, including the outer sheath and steel wire; what comes out of the other side of the compression gland will just be the internal CatX element of the cable. I hope that this makes sense.
 

Stevie G

Active Member
Hi guys
I'm finally getting round to having another go at this and have a question on POE.
I have power in my garage, but in the past we've turned it off when not in use. It would be fine to keep the power on (so my Ring cameras at the end of the garden can still work), but I'm wondering if I'm better to get an AP/Router in there that I can power over ethernet, and have the power injector in the house (ie always on). The run from the switch (or POE Injector) will end up being somewhere between 45m and 50m of CAT6 to the router/AP; can POE support power for that distance or is it too long and will affect connection speeds/reliability?
Not the end of the world if I can't use POE but I thought it worth looking into.
Thanks!
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
I've never stopped too think about whether there's any distance limitations on POE. Ethenet over UTP is certified for up to 100m depending on the type of cable used, so I've presumed that POE would work just as far. I've never plugged in a POE end point and had it "not work" and I've deployed a few hundred. Equally, I've never had any issues with data integrity or "speed" with POE equipment. (Ethernet works at fixed speeds, it either works full speed or it doesn't work at all - it doesn't "slow down" due to adverse signalling conditions.)

Availability of POE powered "routers" might limit you product choice a bit (most SOHO routers don't run on POE) but there's certainly plenty of Access Points (AP's) that run on POE.

You don't want an extra "router" in your garage in any case, you want an AP or (if you also want some additional ethernet ports) or an AP/switch combo (or a "crippled" router that does the same thing) or separate AP & switch.

If you cannot find suitable POE capable end points, then you can use a (kind of) POE "splitter" at the remote end. It's kind of like the compliment of a POE injector in that is takes the power off the UTP line and delivers the data onto an (unpowered) RJ45 socket and presents power onto a separate (usually) plug. I've never used one and it's a bit ugly, but I guess it'd do if there's no other option. Wiki's article on POE has a picture of such a thing.
 

Stevie G

Active Member
Great, thanks. I have a Ubiquiti UAP-AC-PRO in the bedroom running off POE so I might just use that then. That currently runs as an AP on my home LAN with a seperate SSD and eventually I'd like to get a mesh system for the home (although I think I'd rather keep the garage on an AP with a seperate SSID.
 

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