Does having multiple RJ45 jacks degrade the Internet signal a lot?

"Rings" in reality, aren't. They're double "stars", with a pair of channels, one each direction from a central hub to the points of the star. This is done for serviceability. The network can be managed from a central point. The original Token Ring was a true ring but it was quickly found that the network got unmanageable. In fact, Token Ring over CAT-5 isn't uncommon at all (if you can say Token Ring isn't "uncommon" anymore ;-).

Most POTS is wired in a star, today. It's easier in new construction, to put all the communications stuff together. Of course telephones don't care what the wire looks like. If it made it the five miles from the CO, you could have barbed wire in the house and it would work. ;-)

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I think I'm confused too so that's why it's hard to help me.

Mainly I was worried whether I should BREAK the line at the entrance to the house (and put the POE there) or if I should keep the cat5 line continuous to the middle of the house (another 25 feet snaked about).

I was worried whether the break adds appreciable degradation?

Reply to
Chuck Banshee

That's essentially what I'm attempting.

I'll wire from the WISP antenna to the house (~ about 75') and then from the house to the center of the house (~ another 25') where I'll put a Linksys WRT54G wireless router.

I was mostly wondering if it was a good idea to BREAK the line at the point where it entered the house (and put a jack there plus the POE power supply) ... or ... if I should strive to keep the line intact up to the router in the center of the house.

Reply to
Chuck Banshee

Well, not exactly:

Methods of using Ethernet in a ring topology

There's also RRPP (Rapid Ring Protection Protocol), RRST (Rapid Ring Spanning Tree), and others designed to facilitate ethernet rings. However, they are all intended for metro LAN's and large server farms, not for home use.

Incidentally, don't under estimate coax cable. I've run 10base2 (10Mbits/sec) for about 1500ft using RG6a/u coax and a pair of dedicated transceivers. Yes, it's 75 ohms, not 50 ohms. With

10base2, it's called CheaperNet.
Reply to
Jeff Liebermann

That was what I was wondering.

I 'could' put a socket at the wall where the wire enters the house. I'd put the 15 volt Ubiquiti POE there (to shorten the length to the WISP antenna 75 feet outside).

Then, the jumper would go from the POE to the center of the house where the router sits.

That gives me the option of connecting a router either at the point where the wire enters the house 'or' in the middle of the house (but not both at the same time).

I 'am' confused - but I was mostly wondering if it badly degraded the signal to add that jumper as opposed to stringing the outdoor cat5 cable all the way to the center of the house unbroken.

May I reflect on that?

I think you're saying I can put the router itself at the point where the wire enters the house.

Then, from the four LAN ports of the router, I can continue the 25 feet to the center of the house.

From another of the four router ports, I can tap off to another portion of the house.

My question is if I do that - I would want to have permanent jacks in the wall.

So, I'd go from the antenna to the wall of the house where I'd put a jack. Then, I'd go to the router INPUT port with a short jumper cable. Then I'd go from one of the four router OUTPUT LAN ports back to the wall at another jack next to the first jack. Plus, I could go from another of the router output LAN ports to a third jack in the wall, which connects to another portion of the house.

This makes sense to me, and fits my needs.

But are these three jacks next to each other at the wall of the house a signal degradation issue?

Reply to
Chuck Banshee

I was remiss in not stating the intention.

I have a typical home setup (kids, wife, etc.) on computers.

Very little data is between devices (except to the wireless printer).

Some rooms are just too hard to wire - so - I just need to wire the game room (for the WII) and the office (for the VOIP phone & desktop computer).

I think I like best the option

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Chuck Banshee

Thanks for that idea! I had not thought of the option of an active switch...

Does this makes sense?

- Start at the WISP antenna Bullet M2 radio (set up as a router) outside

- Wire goes from that radio/router (set to serve as DHCP) to just inside the house

- Just inside the house, that wire goes to the 15 volt Ubiquiti POE

- From the POE, the wire goes directly to the 'active switch' also just inside the house

- From that active switch, I presume I can have four (or more) ports

- So, one port goes to the 25 feet to the center of the house to a wall jack (placed where I drilled the hole in the picture)

- At that wall port, I can put the central WRT54G wireless router for the house

- I assume I can send another wire out of one of the four ports of the active switch at the wall of the house to the game room (where the WII sits).

Would that work?

I think the IP address of the WII would then be different than the IP addresses of the devices on the other end of the WRT54G router ... so that's why I ask if this would work?

Reply to
Chuck Banshee

I now realize a 'star' topology is what I want (but I didn't know that until now).

I was initially thinking of using my Linksys WRT54G router as the center of the star!

That's why I was asking about additional jacks.

I was going to go from the four LAN ports of the WRT54G to the WII in the game room (via additional wall jacks).

I think now that was a bad idea (right?).

The 'better' idea, as you noted, is to use an 'active ethernet switch' as the center of the star. Right?

Drawing it on paper, does this make sense of what you suggested?

  1. WISP antenna ~75 feet from the house
  2. Ubiquiti Bullet M2 radio set up in router mode & DHCP server
  3. POE just inside the house (it's an indoor Ubiquiti 15 volt POE unit)
  4. Active 10/100 Ethernet switch just inside the house
5a. Out of the switch, one wire goes to the office (25 feet away) 5b. From there it goes to the Linksys WRT54G wireless router 5c. From there, the signal goes to the wireless devices scattered about 6a. Out of the switch, another wire goes to the game room (25 feet away) 6b. From a game room wall jack, a jumper goes to the WII 6c. This will be a different IP address - but that should be OK (right?)
Reply to
Chuck Banshee

I had to look up hub versus switches versus routers.

- Hub: What goes in one port goes out all the others

- Switch: What goes in one port is 'intelligently' sent to another

- Router: Connects two networks to share the Internet connection

My desired setup is similar to what you've described.

- The 19 dBi planar antenna is outside on a pole pointed at the WISP AP

- (The antenna is not on the roof because I break tiles every time I go on the roof!)

- Connected to the antenna is an outdoor Ubiquiti Bullet M2 radio

- That outdoor radio is currently configured as a router (not a bridge) and it is set up to serve DHCP addresses and perform NAT

- From there the outdoor cat5 cable connects to a Ubiquiti 15volt POE

- From the POE, is up to me.

All I need is two wired points inside the house:

- The office (which is in a central location & where I'll put the WRT54G broadband wireless router)

- The game room (which has a WII that I'd like to connect by wire)

I'd like the 'star' topology previously mentioned.

I'm confused if I need the "active 10/100 Ethernet switch" because I'm wondering if the Linksys WRT54G is 'already' an active 10/100 Ethernet switch.

Is it?

Reply to
Chuck Banshee

I don't currently have any coaxial cable.

The Ubiquiti Bullet M2 radio is actually screwed directly onto the back of the antenna at the top of the mast. (Later, I'll add a ten-foot pigtail coaxial cable to bring the radio to the bottom of the antenna for ease of maintenance.)

From the radio at the top of the antenna, it's all outdoor cat5 cable (twisted pair, UV protected, 24 AWG, solid conductor, $75 for 500 feet at Home Depot).

The only reason the antenna is about 75 feet from the house is that's the highest point. The roof is clay and I keep breaking the tiles when I go up there so I vowed to not put anything on the roof itself!

Reply to
Chuck Banshee

You're clever.

I had not mentioned it, but, you noticed I went to a lot of trouble to locate the drill hole next to a stud so that I could attach the cat5 box to the stud.

I actually drilled DOWN from the wall to the crawl space even though the picture shows the drill bit coming up (so I could show the drill bit).

I haven't drilled the entrance hole to the house yet - so that's EXCELLENT ADVICE!

I don't plan on putting anything "in the wall" - but - I might put the POE and/or the suggested ethernet switch in the crawl space (there is power cabling all over the crawl space but no actual outlets).

Reply to
Chuck Banshee

Thanks; that's what I needed to know!

I have plenty of cable (I bought 500 feet of Home Depot outdoor rated cat5 cable for $75) and the entire run is only about 100 feet to the newly drilled hole in the office at the center of the house.

That's good to know!

That means if I put the POE & ethernet switch on an indoor shelf in the garage where the outdoor cat5 enters the house, I can then connect two female ports of the ethernet switch to two male RJ45 connectors on a single run of 25 foot cat5 cable to the center of the house under the crawl space and up through the hole I already drilled, and then put TWO female jacks at the center of the house in that wall (both using the same cat5 cable).

I had not realized this was a possibility until you mentioned it just now. Thanks.

PS: Thanks for admonishing me on the 'wire' versus 'cable' (I'll use the term "cable" as there are no wires involved).

Again, very good information.

That means I probably want the POE earlier on in the star topology rather than later on if I plan on using a single cable to serve two connections.

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Chuck Banshee

Just a little? :)

Based on the advice, I think I'll go with the star topology.

I think I'll add the active ethernet switch (although I'm confused whether the Linksys WRT54G router is 'already' an ethernet switch).

I think I'll double the amount of wall jacks that I think I need.

And, if the POE isn't involved, I'll put two jacks on a single cable.

This is how I'm leaning - now that I've been given the Christmas gift of all this great advice:

  1. 19 dBi WISP antenna
  2. Ubiquiti Bullet M2 router (Radio mode, DHCP server, NAT turned on)
  3. No pigtail currently - but a 10-foot N pigtail would bring the radio down to ground level for ease of maintenance
  4. From the bullet, out comes RJ45 outdoor cat5 cabling
  5. That goes to a 15 volt Ubiquiti POE which must be located inside the house (it's not an outdoor POE)
  6. I'll drill a hole (upward at an angle) into the garage wall to enter the house.
  7. At that point, I can add an inexpensive 10/100 four-port active ethernet switch (any recommendations on which one?)
  8. From that central point of the star, I can send one cable with two connectors on it to the office in the center of the house so that there are two female ports in the wall where I've already drilled a hole.
8a. At the office, I'll connect one of those two ports to a Linksys WRT54G router to serve the wireless devices in the household.
  1. From the ethernet switch, I can send another cable to the game room where another two ports can be placed in the wall.
9a. From one of those game room ports, I can connect a cat5 cable to the WII

Total equipment:

- cat5 cable (outdoor rated, 24 AWG, solid conductor, 500 feet available)

- basic 10/100 active Ethernet switch (to act as the center of the star)

- one cable with two plugs going to the office

- two-port wall plate at the office (one port connected to WRT54G router)

- one cable with two plugs going to the game room

- two-port wall plate at the game room (one port connected to Wii game)

One question that remains is that with this setup, all the devices except the game room devices will be on the other side of the home WRT54G router.

But, the game room will be only on the other side of the radio/router at the antenna.

I think that means they'll both be on non-routable networks - but that the game room will be behind only one router (the one on the antenna) while the office equipment will be being two routers (the antenna radio plus the Linksys WRT54G).

Does my understanding of the recommended setup make sense given all the advice provided?

Reply to
Chuck Banshee

Agree with your comments about wireless. Wireless is great when it's impractical for a wired connection and it works. But it's no subsitute for a direct wired connection. My experience with both in several environments is consistent with yours.

To the points you've already covered, I'd add the issue of security. That's one more layer of stuff to deal with for wirless that you don't have to worry about with wired. If you have no security, then anyone within range can access your network. If you use encryption, not only does it usually impact performance, but it also adds another issue everytime you add or replace a device on the network. Add a Tivo or PC and now you have to remember and find the encryption key. Sounds easy, but I've seen folks who spent hours trying to find the key, get it entered correctly, etc.

With wired I can do a 1 gig Ethernet connection that is reliable and inherrently secure. High end wireless routers, ie 802.11N that are "gigabit" actually only support that rate on the wired connections. For wireless the theoretical data rate is 300Mbits. And you might get near that if the two points are in the same room. Across the house, it's doubtful.

So, if I had an easy wire run, no question I'd do it.

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I think others have already responded that every time you put a connection in a cable, you introduce one more place for problems to occur. Put that connection outside, where the cable enters the house and it's even more susceptable to problems.

Another secondary issue is each time you break the cable, make a splice or use another connector there is some signal loss. In this case, I think that's a minor point though.

Another issue I'd be concerned about is lightning protection. Since the antenna is outside, I'd make sure the mast is directly grounded and I'd also put some kind of surge protection on the wires entering the house. Exactly what kind is available off-the-shelf for this application I don't know.

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Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't see the need for another switch. From the description, you add a switch where the WISP enters the house, then run two ethernet connections from there to the office where the wirless router will be going. But that router will have 4 ports, so why the seperate switch?

I'd do a run straight from the antenna to a suitable location for the wireless router which sounds like the office. Then I'd do any wired runs that are practical from the router. Typical router supports 4 wired connections. Do you need more than that? If you want 3 or 4 in the game room, then I'd put a switch there.

I'd power the WISP where the router is, or split it off near where it enters the house if that is more practical.

Only other issues I'd be concerned with is that the wire used for the low voltage power is of sufficient gauge for the length. Perhaps somewhere in the instructions it says it's good for distance X, etc. Or if you're just using the total length of wire came that with it, then you know it's OK.

The other issue is lightning protection. That outdoor antenna should be directly grounded. And there should be lightning protection on the wires that enter the building. Curious, presumably the WISP setup came with instructions. What do they say about this?

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Justin Time wrote the following:

My wireless experience. When I installed another computer in the basement, after already having a computer in each of our 3 bedrooms running off a wired router in the master bedroom (2 daughters with their own computer in their bedrooms), I elected to replace the wired router with a wireless router because the basement was 3 floors down and on the opposite side of the house from the master bedroom. This would have required running the cat cable up though the MB wall into the upper attic, then across the attic rafters to the other side of the upper attic, then down one floor into the lower attic, then down though that attic wall 2 floors into the basement. I didn't want to go though all that destruction. After the wireless router was hooked up, I had a lot of problems with the wireless signal in the basement, basically because the signal had to go though walls and floors some 60 feet away. I tried moving the wireless receiver all around the basement, including hanging it from the ceiling in various places, trying to find the best place to get a good signal. But wherever I put it, I would get a wavering signal, good one time then bad another, sometimes within minutes of moving it. Kinda like my cell phone signal in the basement which wavers from 1 bar to 4. I finally moved the receiver across the room to the opposite side of the basement without leaving my computer chair. Of course, the modem, being in several pieces now, didn't get any signal at all. :-) I then reluctantly went through the trouble of threading a cat5 cable through the house. The wireless router is still used because even though we lost 2 wired computers when the girls moved out, we have a wireless laptop in the kitchen for those times when you need the internet to look something up, or connecting to one of the social networking services (not me) without having to run up or down stairs. Besides, it can be used throughout the main floor, or hooked up to the LED HDTV.

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willshak wrote the following:

Sorry, I meant 'receiver'.

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All ethernet devices are "active". The last time there was a "passive" hub was with ARCNET. It's just an "ethernet switch".

The added ethernet switch is there simply to allow for more ethernet ports than the 4 provided by your WRT54G router.

This will require a bit of planning. If this was new work, the idea would be to have a jack on every wall. That's often overkill for rooms that are unlikely to need more than one. The balance is to have a jack on each wall that straddles a door. That's because it's rather awkward and messy to run cables across a doorway. Therefore, try to locate your wall jacks so that any cords do not cross walk ways, doors, and traffic lanes.

I suggest you spend the money and use separate cables to each wall jack. Eventually, you're going to install an NAS (network attached storage) server, for storing such things as videos, photos, music, apps, and junk. Gigabit ethernet is the way to get decent speed out of NAS servers. It's also useful if you use a DVR that allows saving shows on a PC. Anyway, gigabit requires all 8 wires.

Unfortunately, you bought your CAT5 at Home Despot and therefore overpaid. Depending on your topology, my guess is about 50ft per cable run. At that rate, your 500ft roll will not be enough cable. If you're short on cash, split the cable between two jacks, but my recommendation is to spend the money on more cable.

Holdit. We may have a problem. It appears that you are using "double NAT", where you have two devices doing NAT (the UBNT M2 and the WRT54G). If you're going to do anything that involves incoming connections (VoIP, remote desktop, games), you'll probably find it easier to have a single easily configurable NAT device. I suggest you turn OFF the DHCP server and NAT in the UBNT M2 radio, and leave the NAT to the WRT54G. This way, the UBNT M2 delivers a single routable IP address from the ISP to the WRT54G which then provides non-routable IP addresses to all the home devices. Note that there's really nothing fatally wrong with double NAT. It's just easier to deal with single NAT.

Maybe. At 10ft, I suggest LMR400 cable and Type N connector. At

2.4GHz, 10ft of LMR400 has a loss of about 0.6dB or about 10%. Good enough. If you go to the next size smaller cable, LMR195, the loss is 1.85dB or about 35% loss. That's still acceptable depending on how strong a signal you're getting from your WISP.

However, the UBNT Bullet M2 radios were not designed to mount or operate in that manner. They were made to screw into the back of the antenna panel. There's also a risk of getting water into the coax cable, which will dramatically increase losses. You'll need to waterproof the RF connectors. I use 1" wide PTFE plumbing tape (1/2" will work and is easier to find) around the connector and partly up the coax cable. Then, wrap the PTFE tape with common electrical tape to keep it in place. Spray with clear Krylon for UV protection.

Careful with the grade of cable. Outdoor can be anything from UV proof CAT5 to gel filled, armored, thick jacket, and shielded cable. A non-penetrating (extra thick) outer jacket is probably all you'll need.

Note that most UBNT PoE is not 802.3af compliant and is therefore non-standard. This is not really a problem, just a warning to be careful what you plug into the device. Ubiquiti claims that they went this route to save costs.

Think about using some kind of tubular feed through. Don't forget the drip loop on the outside. Nail the cable to the wall with something like this:

Black is probably better than white for UV resistance.

You don't need an ethernet switch here unless you want wired internet access in the garage. The easiest way is to just attach an RJ45 plug to the end of some more CAT5. Plug it into the PoE adapter and continue to run the cable into the house.

However, if you want ethernet in the garage, there's an IP layout problem. The cable run between the UBNT M2 and the WRT54G WAN port will have a single IP address from the ISP on it (if you turn off NAT in the UBNT M2). If you install an extra ethernet switch in this line, there's only one IP address for 2 devices to fight over, which won't work. The right way(tm) to run ethernet in the garage is to bring a 2nd cable back from a LAN port on the WRT54G back to the garage for users. I wouldn't bother.

I don't really have any favorite ethernet switches. I like Netgear switches because of the metal case, which is easier to mount and tends to survive better than plastic cases. Netgear also tends to use 12V power supplies, which I find more reliable than 5V power supplies. 12V is also better for battery backup (12v gel cell and charger). However, even the 12V supplies have problems:

If you must... I would still suggest running 2 cables.

Incidentally, I've found a LAN cable continuity tester especially useful for catching my wiring errors.

Close. One CAT5 cable from the PoE adapter in the garage to the WAN (internet) port of the WRT54G. The rest of the house wiring originates from the LAN ports on the WRT54G. The 2nd CAT5 cable, going back to the garage, goes to one of the WRT54G LAN ports, and might be used run a 2nd wireless access point.

I'm assuming this ethernet switch is in the same general area as the WRT54G. Essentially, it's a port expander. My guess is about 8 ports minimum. 16 ports doesn't cost that much more.

See my comments on the cable run between the PoE adapter in the garage and the WRT54G WAN (internet) port. It should not have any additional devices connected to this run. ALL (and I do mean ALL) user devices connect either to the 4 LAN ports on the WRT54G, or the ports on the nearby 8/16 port ethernet switch. That puts them all on the same side of the router.

Well, I can make a drawing and post it if necessary, but I think the previous paragraph is clear enough. It would easier if you did the necessary documentation (because I'm lazy).

Mostly yes. However, it's difficult to offer advice when you severely limit your descriptions. I like numbers. Model numbers, distances, sizes, lengths, distances, heights, and all the other stuff it takes to make real calculations. The quality of the answers you receive will largely depend on the quality of the numbers that you supply.

Reply to
Jeff Liebermann

With that distance, and setup, one piece to the center of the house would be my recommendation.

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