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#1 niteman1946

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Posted 04 July 2014 - 05:27 PM

One of the softwares I'm considering for my OBS computer requires the internet to operate.
My OBS setup is located about 200ft. from the house, and does not have internet.
Are there any simple methods for me to make this happen?
Thanks,

Mark

#2 Tom and Beth

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Posted 04 July 2014 - 05:48 PM

Wireless router that can transmit 200 feet are available. You pay for convenience.

#3 tomcody

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Posted 04 July 2014 - 06:21 PM

dig a trench, install 2" minimum schedule 40 conduit
( 3" is even better), pull at least 3 runs of cat 5 or 6 cable, two working lines and a spare.
Rex
Hint, you can hire someone with a trencher, they can dig the trench in an hour and you lay the conduit, pull the cables and backfill. Or any part you feel like doing.

#4 Aquarist

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Posted 04 July 2014 - 06:59 PM

dig a trench, install 2" minimum schedule 40 conduit
( 3" is even better), pull at least 3 runs of cat 5 or 6 cable, two working lines and a spare.
Rex
Hint, you can hire someone with a trencher, they can dig the trench in an hour and you lay the conduit, pull the cables and backfill. Or any part you feel like doing.


Exactly. This is what I did (including someone else digging the trench). I have a computer in the observatory which has access to internet. And I have remote desk top which allows me to control the observatory computer from my home office.

#5 MJB87

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Posted 04 July 2014 - 07:04 PM

I dug a trench and laid fiber since the distance was about 500 ft. Fiber is awesome.

You might also consider a wireless bridge. Simple and effective, though not as reliable as fiber or Cat5/6. This assumes you have a reasonably clear line of sight. It is probably your cheapest option.

Perhaps you intend to buy a media encoder and connect it to your camera, if you have one in the observatory. If you connect the media encoder to your LAN you can put the images on the LAN and (if you choose) Internet.

Best regards,

MJB

#6 Alex McConahay

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Posted 04 July 2014 - 07:24 PM

I agree with all that has been said so far, except that once you have the trench dug, put in two or three conduits. Plastic is cheap. Digging is not. Who knows what you will need later?

Also--my home observatory is 150 feet away. My old wireless would not get to it, so I installed conduit and Cat 6. It worked great. I upgraded my home cable to Fios and they supplied a new wireless router. One night six months later, I realized that I was in fact communicating over the wireless instead of the Cat 6. So--either will work.

I think Cat 6 distance limitation is 300 feet (IS THAT CORRECT?). I figured on the 150 feet back to the observatory. However, I did not figure that I would be turning a right angle, not straight line, with the conduit. And then it went to attic to get through house, and down a bak wall. My 150 feet used 250 feet of cable to get to the wall behind my computer!!!. So, if the distance limit is 300 feet, be sure to figure out exactly how close you are to that before you get too far along.

Alex

#7 tomcody

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Posted 04 July 2014 - 08:18 PM

I dug a trench and laid fiber since the distance was about 500 ft. Fiber is awesome.

You might also consider a wireless bridge. Simple and effective, though not as reliable as fiber or Cat5/6. This assumes you have a reasonably clear line of sight. It is probably your cheapest option.

Perhaps you intend to buy a media encoder and connect it to your camera, if you have one in the observatory. If you connect the media encoder to your LAN you can put the images on the LAN and (if you choose) Internet.

Best regards,

MJB

First, i do not recommend any kind of wireless, it looks good but at some point it will probably fail due to a protocol incompatibility and you will be back to square one!
Cat 6 wire is the simplest and fool proof if you are close enough?
The only problem with cat 6 wire is the possibility of induced voltage spikes due to lightning strikes nearby, if you are in a high lightning area? three foot deep burial is recommended to help prevent that.
Fiber optic will isolate the computers from induced voltage spikes as the fiber is not metal and does not have any induced voltage on it, BUT fiber optic requires a larger conduit ( 4" minimum) due to limits in its bending radius and you will have an active wire to fiber converter at each end, also you may need to hire someone to terminate the fiber cable or use a stock length pre made cable.
With any of the above: you pay now or pay later!
PS As a retired electrical designer, I have designed both wire and fiber systems.
Rex

#8 Christopher Erickson

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Posted 05 July 2014 - 01:26 AM

If there is even a remote chance of lightning danger in your area, I would suggest multimode fiber and media converters on the ends.

And 1" conduit is more than sufficient. Just don't accumulate more than 360 degrees worth of bends in the conduit between junction boxes or you will be unable to get wires/fibers through it.

#9 LoveChina61

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Posted 05 July 2014 - 05:07 AM

Not to discredit the advice whatsoever of those before me, but another option you can consider is is to use wireless direct from your home modem on out to the observatory. Don't use a router at all if you can avoid doing so.

I use an old modem in the house and then a high intensity receiving antenna is hooked up to the observatory computer. My observatory is only about 2/3 as far away as yours, however, but I get 3-4 bars out of 5 in wireless reception strength. If necessary, you can add a transmitting antenna onto your house modem to make the signal even stronger.

I had heard that wireless might not work well and I really hesitated to go that route so spent time looking carefully into cable burial. Later, due to forces outside of my control, I had to go with wireless. To my pleasant surprise it has worked great and was easy set up.

Many of the struggles observatory owners have with the internet often comes down to the routers acting up, needing to be rebooted, and/or difficulty in setting up and configuring the routers in the first place. If you can connect direct to your home modem via wireless and bypass the use of a router altogether, connecting to your observatory will be as easy as setting up a new wireless connection in Windows. And the resulting connection should remain very stable.

Some say they need to have a router in order to turn their equipments on/off via an ethernet power switch. But there are ways around that like using this USB Power Switch HERE or the switching box recommended by Foster's Systems HERE.

I have also been experimenting around with one of these USB Relays that are now available. These can technically handle up to 250v @ 10amps. However, to avoid a fire hazard I most likely will just use it to turn my 12v dew heater on/off. I will also run the two 5v wires off of the manual "doorbell" of my ROR's garage door opener so that the USB Relay can serve as a backup roof opener when my sometimes-finicky Foster System's roof opener acts up.

Mike

#10 Midnight Dan

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Posted 05 July 2014 - 08:20 AM

Digging a trench and installing a hard-wired cable is the best way to go. But, it's expensive and disruptive to your property.

I'm about 300 feet from the house and have a good strong signal with this amplified wifi antenna:
http://www.amazon.co...onal/dp/B004...

I installed it on a pole above my house roof, and aimed it at the observatory. It's inexpensive and works well.

Note that the link above is for an 802.11 G version. They also sell an 802.11 N version. I got the G version because it goes through trees and leaves better (which I have a lot of), and I didn't really need a ton of bandwidth.

-Dan

#11 Bob Griffiths

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Posted 05 July 2014 - 08:48 AM

Well My observatory as well as my shop is also about 200 foot from my house..I have never ever had any problem with a wireless connection to either of the
buildings ...Nor have I had a problem with the connection in my garage also a good distance from the house.. Just installed a plug in Netgear network extender in all 3 buildings.. good signal and cheap...

Between the 3 buildings I also have a good signal poolside so I can sit down and relax with a nice cold one waiting for it to get darn with my laptop/or table

Cable may be better but wireless is more then good enough for what I need OR WANT

Bob G

#12 GJJim

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Posted 05 July 2014 - 09:07 AM

I had buried CAT5 that worked for years, no problems. Then a single bolt of lightning, not even a direct hit, took out over $1000 worth of equipment attached to the LAN cables or routed near them. A television, printer, four switches and the controller for my evap cooler were all toast.

Wireless or fiber is the way to go.

#13 CharlesW

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Posted 05 July 2014 - 09:08 AM

I wouldn't hire anybody to dig the trench. If you own a truck (you are in Texas, right?) head down to an equipment rental place and rent your own Ditch Witch. They are simple to operate, self driving, and you will save a ton of money. Then I'd grab a couple of neighborhood kids to backfill the trench.

#14 tomcody

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Posted 05 July 2014 - 09:32 AM

A couple of points to my last post:
I said wireless may fail due to protocol incompatibilities not connection failures. There are certain cameras that use a protocol that is hard to run on wireless, if you don't have one of these cameras no problem.

As to conduit size, every outdoor rated fiber cable has a minimum bend radius stated on the box, this means you can not bend it further without risking damaging the transmission quality. The radius is usually 14-18",
1" plastic conduit has 7" radius elbows standard, ( yes special larger radius elbows are available but usually special order), so look at the fiber you want to use see what its minimum bend radius is and look at the conduit size needed to get that bend. Also larger conduit is cheap and better for pulling, especially if you use a pre made fiber cable with terminations on each end.

#15 Achernar

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Posted 05 July 2014 - 11:53 AM

You can run Cat-5 or Cat-6 cables from the house to the observatory through a buried 3/4-inch PVC or larger conduit. Pull more than you need so you have an extra cable if needed. Then you can run one end to the router or cable modem, the other to your observatory PC or laptop. As long as the cable run is not greater than about 300 feet, you should have no problem with signal attenuation that results when electrical signals are transmitted for long distances through wires. Make sure the cables are rated for a wet environment as buried conduits will fill with water. If you have a Ethernet adapter in your laptop or desktop that you'll be using in the observatory, that would probably be the best option.

Taras

#16 Achernar

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Posted 05 July 2014 - 11:56 AM

It is possible to bend PVC conduit with heat to form those large radius bends required for fiber optic cable. I've done it many times while rebuilding a casino wrecked by Hurricane Katrina. There are PVC conduit benders, or for smaller conduits heat guns can be used. Once you get the bend you want, water can be used to quickly re-harden the conduit.

Taras

#17 Raginar

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Posted 05 July 2014 - 01:18 PM

Be aware that installing conduit will require you to bury it significantly deeper (higher $$$) than direct burial cable. The speed difference between CAT6 and WIFI is significant.

In my area, you have to dig a 12" deep trench for direct burial. It was 24" for conduit. I took me 8 hours to hand dig 75' to 12"... They make trenchers and they also make direct burial devices that will put it under the soil with minimal damage to your lawn. The problem with my area is the rocky subsoil that the contractor in my subdivision used... it's impossible to use either.

Either way, it's not hard to do it yourself. Even 200' could be hand dug in a weekend. And, as others have said, WIFI isn't as reliable.

#18 dawziecat

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Posted 05 July 2014 - 02:19 PM

It all depends where you live I guess but when I see people recommending these nifty little "ditching" machines, I just roll my eyes.

A full size excavator nearly met its demise trying to get a small hole started for my pier! That's not an exaggeration for effect! It's the literal truth! I thought the machine was going to "buy it" or the operator refuse to abuse it any more and just stop, leaving me with no pier. After about two feet of mainly rock . . . it broke through . . . and I got my pier.

My observatory is only about 35 feet from the house. I was able to pick-axe a shallow(very!) trench to bury PVC conduit. Just one conduit mind you. And I put both the 14-2 power and and cat-6 internet cable in it, physically touching, cheek-by-jowl. :foreheadslap: :foreheadslap:

Absolutely terrible! Not supposed to do that! I know. I know. It was that or nothing!

It works . . . works fine!

Mind, I have a nine year old wireless G router that works well too. I did loose my Team Viewer connection a time or two a night when I used it though. That was not a big deal. I was happy enough with the wireless. If you're doing plate solves over the 'net, it might not do though.

Only thing I 'd do differently is use a larger conduit than you think necessary. I used 3/4 inch. It was a hard pull getting the 14-2 and the cat-6 though that! I was afraid I was damaging the cat-6. But it seems to have survived. My cat-6 had connectors, so I had to have room for that too.

This is all how you're NOT supposed to do it! I don't "recommend" it be done this way. But, it seems to work. Again though, I'm only a small distance. And nothing about this was in the least an "enjoyable" experience!

Soil conditions, lightning risk, equipment availability. . . all are local matters. I did what I could. Not what the ideal would dictate. Also, I am in a rural area, marvelously unsophisticated about what codes might dictate as being "required."

No doubt some urban codes would demand a three foot deep trench with a foot of crushed rock. Had that been the case, I would have stuck with an extension cord and wireless.

I'm happy with what I did . . . and it works.

#19 Raginar

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Posted 05 July 2014 - 03:59 PM

Terry,

I agree completely :). I dug one trench too. No noticeable degradation in my network speeds.

#20 Christopher Erickson

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Posted 05 July 2014 - 09:38 PM

It all depends where you live I guess but when I see people recommending these nifty little "ditching" machines, I just roll my eyes.

A full size excavator nearly met its demise trying to get a small hole started for my pier! That's not an exaggeration for effect! It's the literal truth! I thought the machine was going to "buy it" or the operator refuse to abuse it any more and just stop, leaving me with no pier. After about two feet of mainly rock . . . it broke through . . . and I got my pier.

My observatory is only about 35 feet from the house. I was able to pick-axe a shallow(very!) trench to bury PVC conduit. Just one conduit mind you. And I put both the 14-2 power and and cat-6 internet cable in it, physically touching, cheek-by-jowl. :foreheadslap: :foreheadslap:

Absolutely terrible! Not supposed to do that! I know. I know. It was that or nothing!

It works . . . works fine!

Mind, I have a nine year old wireless G router that works well too. I did loose my Team Viewer connection a time or two a night when I used it though. That was not a big deal. I was happy enough with the wireless. If you're doing plate solves over the 'net, it might not do though.

Only thing I 'd do differently is use a larger conduit than you think necessary. I used 3/4 inch. It was a hard pull getting the 14-2 and the cat-6 though that! I was afraid I was damaging the cat-6. But it seems to have survived. My cat-6 had connectors, so I had to have room for that too.

This is all how you're NOT supposed to do it! I don't "recommend" it be done this way. But, it seems to work. Again though, I'm only a small distance. And nothing about this was in the least an "enjoyable" experience!

Soil conditions, lightning risk, equipment availability. . . all are local matters. I did what I could. Not what the ideal would dictate. Also, I am in a rural area, marvelously unsophisticated about what codes might dictate as being "required."

No doubt some urban codes would demand a three foot deep trench with a foot of crushed rock. Had that been the case, I would have stuck with an extension cord and wireless.

I'm happy with what I did . . . and it works.



Yes, putting signal cabling in the same conduit as electrical power is a serious code violation. Not to mention a lot of inductive noise.

#21 Raginar

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Posted 05 July 2014 - 09:49 PM

Yea, I guess I didn't read the conduit part. I used direct burial ;).

#22 Ed Wiley

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Posted 06 July 2014 - 12:50 PM

I am wireless in the observatory as in the house. So far it has worked fine using G11 with Gemini2/gemini.net, ASCOM, and SkyX via a wireless router. I have not yet explored control from the house, that is the next step.

Ed

#23 niteman1946

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Posted 06 July 2014 - 03:10 PM

Hi Guys,

I'm the orginal poster, and appreciate all of the excellent suggestions. :) :)
Given my druthers, I'll probably start with the Net Gear extender. I'll see if that simple approach works before moving onto trenching.

Mark

#24 sdakotaastro

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Posted 06 July 2014 - 03:37 PM

dig a trench, install 2" minimum schedule 40 conduit


...

BUT fiber optic requires a larger conduit ( 4" minimum) due to limits in its bending radius


?

The radius is usually 14-18",
1" plastic conduit has 7" radius elbows standard


Not my place to correct but Fiber is all I do all day long.. I'm a fiber crimping fool too... lol..

not sure what fiber you are running but most multimode fiber is not glass anymore.. the bending radius depends on how many pairs are running in the jacket. Single pair premise fiber has a bend radii of millimeters.. could you imagine interconnecting SAN's or servers where we had to bend a fiber cable multiple feet?? You can pretty much bend a premise wire fiber cable in half and it still works (7-15mm is the standard)

I run interconnecting multicore fiber as well between buildings.. 2" conduit is the norm with 1-2ft 90degree bends.. Running 2" is more of a just because we can factor. I've done short 1" conduit runs before no big deal with 6" bends. The larger the conduit, the easier the pull is all.. I'm more worried about tensile/pull strength then bend radii now a days..

Some singlemode fiber is still glass. Amateur astronomers have no business messing with singlemode glass fiber anyways.. multimode is perfectly fine..
corning clearcurve om3 and om4 fiber (fibre too!) webpage & whitepapers.

#25 tomcody

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Posted 06 July 2014 - 06:33 PM

Jerry,
Thanks for the info, the last out door fiber run I designed was about ten years ago and that was,the standard then, as I said one should check the fiber they are interested in running for bend radius and size as needed, also if they use a pre terminated length, the size needed is greater and as you said for a 200 ft run, pulling is much easier with a larger conduit, Conduit is cheap to up-size so why not? I don't understand people who want to install undersize conduit , wiring or grounding? all they are doing is causing themselve real or potential future problems. "Materials are fairly cheap, use them "is my motto.
Rex






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