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Building a new House want to install Fibre Network

wytco0

Established Member
As the title say I am building a new house and I want to put a flexible cable system into all rooms.

The aim is to have something that can manage high bandwidth and which wont be a bottlneck for say 15 years.

I dont want powerline or wireless (although I may well use both as well), I could use Cat 6 but I would rather go for much higher bandwidth and I think fibre would be good, probably multimode but if singlemode is affordable I might go for that.

I have wired a couple of houses with CAT 5 and 6 but never done fibre so I am looking for pointers and advice.

The fibre will be used for lots of things including video and computer network.

Anyone got any pointers as to what equipment I should be looking at or where I can find relevant information?

Looking for:
1) Fibre
2) Patch system
3) Structured cabling installation systems (trays ducts etc)

I have done a lot of searching but I cant find anything about this in a home.
 
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Kristian

Prominent Member
Fibre is usually the domain of businesses and way OT for the home use. Copper e.g. Cat5E can support 10/100/1000 up to 100m and 10G up to 45m, and Cat6a can do the same but 10G at 100m, iirc which should cover most distances within a house from one location. If it doesn't then you can have two cabinets/patch panels and have a high speed switch in both to overcome this potential limitation. Ca5E has been around for years (well over a decade - i remember installing it in the late '90s) and has coped with 10Mb - 1Gb Ethernet over the years without problems. What I'm trying to say is that I think Cat6a will be fine for the next 15 years especially when you consider the todays cost of 10G Ethernet kit and the low utilisation of current network apps. Who knows, they may even get 100GEth over Cat6a for a short distance within then next 10 years...

That said, when you install fibre you have the choice of the number of cores you run in each cable which can usually be 2, 4, 8, 16, 24, 32, 48, 64, 128 etc - basically anything you want. Remember you need two cores per connection. Then there's kit to put more than one signal down each pair WDM.

Installing fibre isn't an easy DIY job and usually needs a specialist company to do it as it needs a splicer to terminate the ends. Multimode Fibre (50/125um) has shorter distance limits (550m for 1Gb with SX modules and up to 2km with LH/LX modules and mode conditioning patch leads) than Single Mode Fibre (8/125um) will go a lot further (5km with LH/LX modules and more with different drivers). SMF is more expensive than MMF.

Then you've got a choice of connectors - ST, SC, FC/PC, MTRJ, LC etc. We use ST for MMF and LC for SMF (We used to use FC/PC for SMF). You can buy fibre patch leads which have different type of connectors on each end so you can connect to all the different type of kit out there.

Will you be buying switches with fibre connectors? If not then you'll be needing some copper to fibre converters too. You're into proper networking kit too and fixed port switches or modular switches with fibre ports SFP/GBICs aren't cheap. Kit wise then look at the bigger players e.g. Netgear, HP, 3Com, Cisco etc. Converter wise, we use IMC Networks kit.

All in all, it is a serious increase in cost when you move to fibre and if you don't need it then don't do it. Some places you just can't get away from the need e.g. distances, environments e.g. passing through problematic EMI areas where copper just won't work.

We use lots of fibre at our place, both MMF and SMF so I've got some knowledge about it, so just ask if you've any specific questions. I can also put you in touch with our cabling contractor if you want to discuss ideas/installations/prices etc.

Wiki would be a good place to start to research SMF and MMF and then Gigabit and 10Gig networking.

Without knowing anything else about what you are trying to achieve, and IHMO I'd look to installing decent conduit/tray work to allow an easy way to re-cable in the future and then use normal Cat5E/6a depending on your budget now.

HTH.

Kris.
 

mossym

Distinguished Member
you may want to run some cat6 anyway, it's handy for hdmi video distribution, not really up to speed on the optical stuff, but i haven't seen any hdmi distribution hardware for optical cables
 

wytco0

Established Member
Fibre is usually the domain of businesses and way OT for the home use..... .

Hi Kris, thanks for the info and detail and I fully undertsand what your saying.

I am an IT professional but not a network expert, what I want to do is to make sure that the network cabling does not become a limiting factor in the next 10-20 years and I am not convinced that cat 5 or 6 would allow that.

I want to be able to distribute a lot of stuff over my network including:

1) HD Video to multiple points in house
2) Lossless Audio to multiple points
3) Telephony to all rooms
4) Internet access to all rooms.
5) home automation to multiple poinst in most rooms.

I havent done any exact calcualtions yet but I am pretty sure that cat5 or 6 would struggle to cope with this.
 

mossym

Distinguished Member
Hi Kris, thanks for the info and detail and I fully undertsand what your saying.

I am an IT professional but not a network expert, what I want to do is to make sure that the network cabling does not become a limiting factor in the next 10-20 years and I am not convinced that cat 5 or 6 would allow that.

I want to be able to distribute a lot of stuff over my network including:

1) HD Video to multiple points in house
2) Lossless Audio to multiple points
3) Telephony to all rooms
4) Internet access to all rooms.
5) home automation to multiple poinst in most rooms.

I havent done any exact calcualtions yet but I am pretty sure that cat5 or 6 would struggle to cope with this.

the highest bandwidth stuff there is the hd video. do you want to send the raw hdmi stream(you'll need 2*cat 6 for this, with baluns, ), or is it streaming hd video files for decode somehwhere else? if the latter,then even cat5e running gigabit is enough
 

Kristian

Prominent Member
1) HD Video to multiple points in house
2) Lossless Audio to multiple points
3) Telephony to all rooms
4) Internet access to all rooms.
5) home automation to multiple poinst in most rooms.

So do you want all this to run over a data network or use separate cables for certain functions e.g. Home network streaming films and music plus home automation over a different cable?

I would think that you could do all 5 options using current gigabit networks now depending on how many concurrent streams of HD video you wanted and where to.

Mossym's post is about using Cat6 cables to run only hdmi i.e. it's not on a data network. Something else to take into account when running your cables
 

wytco0

Established Member
the highest bandwidth stuff there is the hd video. do you want to send the raw hdmi stream(you'll need 2*cat 6 for this, with baluns, ), or is it streaming hd video files for decode somehwhere else? if the latter,then even cat5e running gigabit is enough

I want to be able to sent uncomressed raw data and allow for the likelyhood that demands will increase over the next 10+ years.

As I am doing it at build I think its worth investing a bit of cash to get something that will allow a lot of headroom. It might cost a bit more but I am happy with that.
 
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wytco0

Established Member
So do you want all this to run over a data network or use separate cables for certain functions e.g. Home network streaming films and music plus home automation over a different cable?

I would think that you could do all 5 options using current gigabit networks now depending on how many concurrent streams of HD video you wanted and where to.

Mossym's post is about using Cat6 cables to run only hdmi i.e. it's not on a data network. Something else to take into account when running your cables

A bit of both I suspect audio will almost certainly stream over network but I may dedicate runs to HD and cameras etc. I know that GB ethernet could jut about cope with current demands but I am not convinced that it will cope with 10+ years growth.

Looks as though not many poeple have done this at home :):)
 

mossym

Distinguished Member
I want to be able to sent uncomressed raw data and allow for the likelyhood that demands will increase over the next 10+ years.

As I am doing it at build I think its worth investing a bit of cash to get something that will allow a lot of headroom. It might cost a bit more but I am happy with that.

i think you are missing the point...currently there doesn't seem to be any way of converting hdmi to optical. it does exist for cat6. if you just run optical, then you may not be able to convert the hdmi to optical.

hdmi is a multi connection technology, as is cat5e/6. optical is a single connection. I know of a hdmi enabled optical connection(it was developed by the company i work for) but it is not for home use. converting from hdmi to optical is likely to be pretty involved, no matter how far we go.

the networking over optical is pretty developed, what you have said you want to do with hdmi isn't.and may not be for optical any time soon, simply because there is no need. you may want to consider running some backup cables just in case, or else accept the limitiations of your plan
 

t72bogie

Prominent Member
technology is changing .....fast

I wouldnt want to bet on any of the current cables or connectors being leading edge in 10 years

personally, If I planned on staying somewhere over 10 years and wanted to future proof my cabling, Id just run big enough trunking everywhere so I could just pull through some other cables in future and replace the faceplates/patch panel when necessary

until then, gig ethernet and some HDMI will do :smashin:
 

wytco0

Established Member
i think you are missing the point...currently there doesn't seem to be any way of converting hdmi to optical. it does exist for cat6. if you just run optical, then you may not be able to convert the hdmi to optical.

....


Um interesting, actually I wasnt saying anything about HDMI but I take the point about there not being an HDMI/Optical solution.

SOmething to bear in mind in my planning. Thanks.
 

wytco0

Established Member
technology is changing .....fast

I wouldnt want to bet on any of the current cables or connectors being leading edge in 10 years

personally, If I planned on staying somewhere over 10 years and wanted to future proof my cabling, Id just run big enough trunking everywhere so I could just pull through some other cables in future and replace the faceplates/patch panel when necessary

until then, gig ethernet and some HDMI will do :smashin:

Yes I sort of agree with this but I dont see there being anything to replace optical in my timeframe. I will try and make sure that whatever I put in can be replaced but I am hoping that it wont be nescessary for 15+ years. If I put in wire I am not convinced I have that much headroom. Hense my preference for fibre.

This thread has sort of list its way as It semes to be poeple convincing me I dont need fibre, I agree thats open to discussion but if we assume I do want fibre ....


Whats the best way of doing it.
 

Kristian

Prominent Member
Whats the best way of doing it.

Decide what connections you want and where. How many fibre connections in each place. You need to think how you are going to connect your kit to it, directly or with converters. This will determine what size fibre your need (2,4, or 8 core etc). If it'll be a data network run then you can get fibre ports on switches to cut down on the number of runs.

Do your devices/planned use require SMF or MMF. What kind of presentation do they need, LC/MTRJ/ST etc.

Then you need to ring a fibre installation company for a quote as termination is not a DIY option imho. I can give you the contact details for the company I use. You could pull the cable in yourself as long as you understand the methods and hazards of doing so and then let someone else terminate.

Maybe more googling on home fibre installations is needed...

Good luck with it and please let us know the outcome whatever you decide to use.

Kris.
 

cerb

Established Member
I can understand that installing optical fibre in your house seems attractive from the longevity point of view, but you need to be very clear on the shortcomings.

Assuming you are not going to instal pre-terminated cables ( cables with the fibre terminsations already fitted ), you will need to buy a termination kit - not cheap.

You will need to buy the terminations as well - the types have been mentioned in an earlier post, but I would suggest you use SC or LC.

The terminations really need to be mounted in a bulkhead panel, and the onward connections made by patch lead - this is because the terminations are relatively fragile, so you want any damage to be taken in a replaceable patch lead, not on the main fibre cable.

Next thing to consider is that equipment with fibre optics tend to need fans - most switches with SFP transceivers ( the most common type ) will have a fan so noise may be intrusive. Also any equipment capable of running copper<>fibre tends to be more expensive.

Although gigabit is quite forgiving on fibre, 50/125 OM2 multimode runs up to 550 metres, to be future proof you need to consider 10gig - which is 100m on 50/125 OM2 and 300 metres on 50/125 OM3. You don't need single mode fibre unless your house is more mansion than house.

Once you have installed the fibre, how will you test it - this normally is done using an OTDR ( optical time domain relectometer ), which is very costly. Just shining a light through does not guarantee success.

Whilst its impossible to predict where we wil be in 10 years plus, it would seem reasonable - especially when you look where we are in the liefcycle of gigabit - that a Cat6A installation would give you a life of at least ten years.

If you do need a company to supply you with fibre components, have a look at Mayflex - Cabling Infrastructure, Networking and Physical Security solutions and systems - they offer good pricing and will help you with technical questions.
 

Chris Muriel

Distinguished Member
Not having an OTDR is exactly what would put me off (I am a professional electronics engineer but I don't have optical testgear , just loads of RF stuff ).
 

Deleted member 446379

technology is changing .....fast

I wouldnt want to bet on any of the current cables or connectors being leading edge in 10 years

personally, If I planned on staying somewhere over 10 years and wanted to future proof my cabling, Id just run big enough trunking everywhere so I could just pull through some other cables in future and replace the faceplates/patch panel when necessary

until then, gig ethernet and some HDMI will do :smashin:

The most sensible post of the lot.:smashin:
 
P

pcunite

Guest
I will tell you how to do this.

Not sure why everyone is making it out to be so hard. Instead of overwhelming you with a bunch of worthless tech terms and jargon they need to answer your questions. In order to help you however, there are some things you need to be aware of.

* A custom built Quad core computer with a Sata II hard drive can only move 70mb/s of data.
* A 1GB switch only accepts a max of 125/mbs of data per port.
* If you want a PC to move more than 70mb/s of data you need SSD or a Fusion ioDrive drive.

With the above facts in place we can determine what we need. If we are willing to upgrade to SSD drives or the $3,000 ioDrive we could saturate a direct link to a 1GB switch. Only at this point does it make sense to go to 10GB to the desktop. But that does not still mean fiber is the best solution. It just means that we want 10GB support.

Now that we have established that we want 10GB we need to decide if we want a Cat6a installation or a 50/125 OM3 installation. Again it comes down to cost. The cost for fiber network cards in the PC, and a fiber switch is so astronomical in terms of cost I will not take the time to explain how to implement it!

But wait I was going to tell you how... first let me say that if there is only one network switch and all PC's have a direct connection to the switch over Cat6a at less than 300ft then fiber is simply not needed! I estimate that it will be over 10 years before a desktop can saturate a 10GB link (1,025 mb/s or a blue-ray movie copied in 25 seconds!!!!). Thus Cat6a today is beyond adequate for what your wanting and is half-way affordable.

Okay... so what good is fiber? Fiber is required for building to building underground runs, even for short distances. It is just safer to use. It is required, even inside, when running over 300ft. It is also an extremely good idea if there are more than one switch involved.

Because of the above I can't explain fiber to the desktop because 8 or 16 port fiber switches are not affordable, and because fiber network cards are not affordable. I can explain fiber between two switches, however.

Why does fiber between switches make sense? Imagine three workstations connected to a 1GB switch in building one. The switch is connected to another switch in building two. It only takes three workstations coping blue-ray movies to computers in building two to saturate the 1GB link between the two switches. Thus we need 10GB between the two switches and maybe even faster if money is no object. Only fiber can reliability move 10GB or more of data if there is distance beyond 100ft. Yeah, Cat6a can do it on paper, but in the real world you won't get it. With our new fiber 10GB link, now even more computers can copy files at the same time (even though each PC is only copying 60mb/s data... as fast as their hard drives will allow) it would take 20 PC's to saturate the 10GB link. Fiber to the rescue.

Step One:
Buy 50/125 OM3 LC-LC fiber cable. It should have an aqua colored jacket. The LC-LC designation means that it already comes with connectors on both ends. You will need to buy the length you need and carefully coil up any excess. Since you’re a tech yourself you might learn how to do the termination yourself if you want things really clean.

Step Two:
Buy a switch that comes with SFP connectors on the front. Buy SFP transceivers from the same company and make sure the SFP transceivers is made to except LC fiber connectors (you don't want SC or other types etc...). Which switch to buy is up to you.

Step Three:
Connect the two switches together using the SFP transceivers at either end of the cable.

Fiber is easy... :)

To summarize:
You can wire your home with fiber and have cabling for 100GB support, but you will have nothing to hook it to for 10 years. Just put Cat6a in and make it easy to pull it out with new wire if you really want the flexibility.
 
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mauriziokg

Standard Member
Hi wytco0, I just read this relatively old thread of yours and given the fact that I am in the exact same situation I would like to know for which technology you have opted in the end (fiber or cat6/7). Feel free to send me a personal message on the topic. Thanks and ciao, Maurice
 

wytco0

Established Member
Hi mauriziokg,

good timing, I haven't done it yet but I am actively planning it now, I am planing to use Fibre despite what everyone says, Its going to be more expensive that Cat5/6 but I am not to concerned about the cost.

I am planning to use MM/OM3 fibre.

What are you planning to do?
 

mauriziokg

Standard Member
I am thinking of using the Abitana system (with their OmniMedia-4 cable) but perhaps at the same time I want to install MM/OM3 fiber as well, to be used in the future (when equipment costs have dropped). Not sure about the height of the extra cost however.
 

mjn

Distinguished Member
* If you want a PC to move more than 70mb/s of data you need SSD or a Fusion ioDrive drive.

Or a proper PC

I'm running about 180 MB/s :D from my server, with no SSD's in sight.
 

the_beast

Established Member
Or a proper PC

I'm running about 180 MB/s :D from my server, with no SSD's in sight.

This. I can pull 600MB/s locally from my arrays, and with quad NICs trunked I can reliably go over 350MB/s over the network too. No SSDs here either - and the drives are a few years old too.

But fiber is still a ridiculous idea for the home. It just isn't needed. Even a 100mb network can stream a couple of BluRay films, even in 3D. Fiber makes sense between switches if they are a long way from each other and there are many clients on the network, but not for a full house install. By the time you pay for the infrastructure (high port count switches, multiple NICs and the fiber & terminations etc) you could have put in CAT6 & a single 48-port switch, used it for 10 years then knocked down and rebuild the entire house with whatever exotic products are available then...
 

j0t4b3

Established Member
Hello Gents-

I believe that the question on this thread wasn't asked properly. Most of us think is not a good idea to run fibers at a home install, but all of us would have done it if the cost was right.

I bet all here would have a Ferrari F430 at their garages if they were cheap, right? :D

Anyhow, I think that we need to be objective on this one and step up to an unlimited budget.

I would definitely recommend asking fro professional help: I'm a network engineer with lots of expertise on data centers, and we still leave fibers to companies that can guarantee their reliability on paper. Don't DIY with fibers.

Pick a standard and stick to it. Most manufacturers that actually have a fiber interface use SFP (LC connectors) with MultiMode.

Systimax is, so far the best brand I've used. It's more expensive than others, but they provide an installation certification. Nice to have in about 10 years when your house dust starts collecting on all the unused ports.

I have some Systimax vendors in UK and Spain. I can also recommend other globals.

I've read up above some told you that you will need converters at the end of the fibers. It is true, you'll need those everywhere. And they are crappy, unmanageable, and messy. They need an external power supply, and those fail miserably.

My recommendation will be simple: if you really want to change the F430 for some fibers, run a CAT6 along the side of each fiber port in the house. Cabling companies will give CAT6 almost for free with your fiber install. But do have a pro checking your house first.
 

the_beast

Established Member
I believe that the question on this thread wasn't asked properly. Most of us think is not a good idea to run fibers at a home install, but all of us would have done it if the cost was right.

I like the idea of a 430 in the driveway, but I don't agree that most sensible people would run fiber in their home if cost wasn't an issue.

The problem is that NO consumer kit supports fiber interfaces. Even high end motherboards don't do fiber onboard. Which means interface adapters on EVERY cable run, or a very costly NIC where you can fit one and an adapter everywhere else. You aren't going to get a fiber adapter for your PS3 or media extender any time soon, and even if they start to go that way in the next decade whatever standard you pick now may be obsolete and useless by then.

If you have high bandwidth needs then install a fiber backbone in places if you really need to - a subnet between your main file server(s) and workstation(s), or from the server to the switch. When/if I need more bandwidth from my server this is what I will do - replace the server - switch interface with fiber or infiniband (will likely go with whichever is cheaper at the time). But to install around the house is, quite frankly, a stupid waste of time and money.
 

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