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Internet in the Observatory

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#26 JMW

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 01:02 AM

I manage networking at my university and have installed and fusion spliced about 80,000 feet of underground fiber over the years. Corning created bend insensitive fiber for the residential market. It can handle micro bending from a stapled attachment to stuff like wood molding. You can buy pre terminated custom fiber assemblies from places like Fiberdyne Labs where the connectors are laid out in a protected pulling harness to go through conduit. Choose Outdoor Dielectric, at least 6 strands so you have extra fibers if you ever have a failed connector. Request a pulling eye configuration and specify the fiber connector type to match your optical port, LC is most common on switch ports optics, but SC is still common with media convertors. I would build the conduit and place mule tape with footage markers to get an accurate conduit footage before ordering. Order the assembly with enough extra for a service loop at each end. The cost of the assembly is the mostly the labor of putting on the connectors not the fiber length.

http://www.fiberdyne...mm3mmbreak.html

The traditional design standard for fiber is a bend radius of 15 times the diameter of the cable while under installation pulling stresses and 10 times after installation. 600 pounds is the typical max pulling tension.

Communications conduit standards call for no more than 180 degrees of bend between pulling locations. This helps reduce the pulling tension required to place the cable in the conduit. I wouldn't use less than a 2 inch diameter conduit to accommodate the pre terminated fiber pulling eye. All turns should be sweep radiuses, not small radius elbows that some electricians use.

If you don't want to place a conduit you can use highly directional wireless device or pair to connect back to your house wireless access point. I recently purchased a Ubiquiti NanoStation loco M2 to pair with a WAP in my astronomy trailer. The Nanostation is mounted on a mast on the outside of my trailer and is powered by POE from a wireless access point inside my trailer providing my local network on a different wireless channel. This setup provide strong local wireless with the Nanostation giving me a strong direction signal to a distant wireless connection. Using pairs of the Nanostations you can go over 1000 feet line of site.

#27 Messierthanwhat

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 09:57 AM

For simplicity, I'd take a long look at wireless, especially after reading some of the experiences others have had with trenching for cable. Some neighbors and I share a commercial Internet account from our local cable provider. We distribute wirelessly to about ten houses spread over several square miles. The devices we're using are a mix of Engenius and TP-Link outdoor transmitter/receivers available from Amazon for $100 or less. My own CPE (customer premises equipment) is a TP-Link TL-WA5210G that sells for about $60. It has both AP and client bridge modes, so one could be set up as an AP near your Internet source, and another as the client at your observatory. Indeed, I just noticed that the top review for this product on Amazon is from someone using it to feed an observatory 600 feet from home. He found that the signal in AP mode was strong enough to pick up directly with computer wireless adapters, so there was no need for the client unit.

We get decent throughput with these (generally about 6-9Mbps down, 2-4 up) over distances averaging about 2/3 of a mile from transmitter to client. I would think that 200 feet would be a cakewalk.

#28 Midnight Dan

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 10:08 AM

My own CPE (customer premises equipment) is a TP-Link TL-WA5210G that sells for about $60. It has both AP and client bridge modes, so one could be set up as an AP near your Internet source, and another as the client at your observatory. Indeed, I just noticed that the top review for this product on Amazon is from someone using it to feed an observatory 600 feet from home. He found that the signal in AP mode was strong enough to pick up directly with computer wireless adapters, so there was no need for the client unit.


That's the one I use too (linked in my note above). I'm about 300' from the house and have a very strong signal - better than in some places inside the house! I walked away from my house with my laptop and got over 1000' feet away before I could no longer connect. That's with a single unit, and through trees and shrubs. With 2 units, one at each end, you could go a lot further.

-Dan

#29 RedLionNJ

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 05:29 PM

I'm the original poster, and appreciate all of the excellent suggestions. :) :)
Mark


Hi Mark,

Do you have mains (AC) power in your observatory? And if so, is the main breaker somewhere in your house/garage?

My solution for the same problem (and similar distance) you're faced with was to install a pair of those 'ethernet extenders' which can make use of mains wiring. I was suspicious at first as to whether or not it would work (my total run is probably nearer 300 feet), but it does and it works like a champ.

Grant

#30 MJB87

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 05:45 PM

Wireless adapters may work quite well in a situation such as this -- I have several driving IP cameras -- but there are two limitations. First, there may be noise when other devices share the same circuit. Second, as pointed out above the router and the devices need to be on the same circuit panel (not circuit). I would be surprised if your remote location did not have a subpanel. If so, wireless adapters will not work.

If you can lay fiber with media converters, that is by far the best solution but also the most expensive. Laying Ethernet cable is not much cheaper than fiber but raises the issue of lightning ground strikes as described above.

If you are looking to only link limited devices, and do not require 100% uptime 24/7, and are willing to accept the possibility of unwanted snooping, I would follow the advice of those above who suggest a wireless bridge. Relatively cheap (no trenching) and a great "circuit breaker" in case of a ground strike.

BTW, I have used ALL of these techniques so this reflects actual experience. My guess is that you will end up with a wireless bridge.

#31 Christopher Erickson

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 10:24 PM

When properly-installed, wireless can indeed work very well and be a lot less effort than a trench. I would consider a pair of Yagi antennas installed in a horizontal-polarization orientation. Horizontal polarization helps to isolate it from all of the vertically-polarized WiFi signals that will likely be in the same area.

Be aware that any antenna protruding from an observatory can be an entry point for lightning and lightning damage. There are lightning shunt devices available (like Polyphasers) that are designed to shunt lightning energy to ground and keep it outside of the observatory.

#32 Carl N

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Posted 08 July 2014 - 12:20 PM

I was faced with this and while I would love to do wired solution, that would be impossible given I would trench up a hill of granite. Ultimately I ended up buying a Verizon hot spot and leave it in the obs.

#33 niteman1946

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Posted 19 July 2014 - 06:55 PM

Hi Group
This is a quick followup to my efforts to get wifi to the OBS computer.
I used the NetGear Extender WN3000RP, and after setup mounted it on my back porch. This faced the OBS at about 100ft. away, through trees. And it produced a nice strong signal inside the observatory. :)
Setup was an experience and took several tries to get it right (their instructions need rewriting). But all appears well now.
Thanks again for all of your advice. I genuinely appreciate it.

Mark

#34 Ed Wiley

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 01:04 AM

Follow-up: I now control my scope using TeamViewer9 (free for personal use) from the house. Works great.

Ed

#35 niteman1946

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 07:39 AM

One more thing for people like myself who might not know. Once I got wifi to the OBS, I found that the old Vista computer I was using did not have wifi capability. :(
With just a little research, I found the NetGear N600 WiFi DB USB adapter. This one was very easy to install and worked well with the NetGear extender.

Mark






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