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Connecting Gigabit Optical Cable - Pot to Router

Gina

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Gigaclear have provided optical fibre cable to our village of Upottery in East Devon with full Fibre To The Property at 1Gb/s both download and upload.  We are the first village west of Bristol to be provided with this ultra-fast fibre broadband. 

They provided connection to a pot (like a water D head) just outside my premises and I am arranging the fiber optical cable connection from there right into my house and to the router they have supplied.  This blog describes the process of digging a trench and laying the cable then running it into the house.



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Wow - who would have thought Upottery would be in the lead for gigabit fibre to the premise, but great result for you!    Out of interest what sort of price are they asking.

If you are digging the trench and providing the fibre cable between your house and the kerbside connection point, it's probably cheaper to get a pre-terminated cable of long patch lead - but let me know what they are specifying (OS1/2 simplex/duplex, length and type of connectors) I've got lots of bits knocking around the office which you would be most welcome too. 

Only a little bit envious!

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Gigaclear supply the optical cable, cable clips and a few bits and pieces plus the router all inclusive in the £100 connection fee.  Those who can't do it themselves or don't want to have to pay an extra £175 for a Gigaclear contractor to do it.  More if it's more than 10m cable run (I think).  The self installation kit includes optical cable in various lengths up to 50m with extra cost for longer.  50m was fine for me.

The full 1Gb/s costs about £76 a month but they do various rates from 50Mb/s at about £42pm through 100Mbps and 200Mbps.  For more info go to gigaclear.com.

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I was very lucky to have someone from the village offer to dig the trench for me :)  I have an old Fordson tractor and used that with its bucket to clear a whole load of rubbish and undergrowth from the run of the trench.  My bungalow is quite a distance from the road (and pot) but the garage (separate building) is nearer and rather than take the trench behind the garage right up to the bungalow I decided that I could go to the garage, up into its roof and from the garage roof across to the bungalow attached to a stainless steel straining cable.  Then across the roof space and down into the living room.  The trench then became around 15m.

Reading the Gigaclear installation guide, they suggest the trench is just 6" deep and to run the optical cable in some plastic water pipe or similar. This is what I thought of doing anyway and I have some MDPE plastic water pipe that would be suitable.

Edited by Gina
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Before digging started I had to get the blue MDPE water pipe out from under a pile of timber in the shed which was quite an effort.  It was longer than needed by some 5m so I measured up how much I wanted, added a couple of feet for good measure and cut off the excess. 

Next job was to feed the optical cable through the water pipe as feeding it through after the pipe was in the ground would probably be impossible.  I couldn't get the cable more than two thirds of the length of the pipe - I could tell how far it got be shaking the pipe and listening for the rattle.  Since fibre optic cable and the connection are unaffected by water, I decided to try running water through the pipe which was already running down a slope and I had a water tap and hose nearby.  It worked :)  I then had two or three feet of cable out the end of the pipe :)

Next I gathered up the rest of the cable and fed the end through the top of the garage inside and pulled it through until the pipe touched the garage then pushed the pipe into the garage.  Finally, for then, I took the pipe with cable inside and laid it beside the trench.

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I didn't manage to capture the start of the job due to mislaying my camera SD card and torrential rain so we start with some of the trench dug and part already filled in.

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Trench finished and just a bit of filling in required plus water pipe fastened to garage door frame.  Also needs the optical cable plugging in to the connecting box in the pot and also the other end of the cable run to the house and fed through the roof space and down into the living room (my job).

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You have probably already thought of this, but its a good idea to run some high vis tape above the pipe to act as a warning if some bright spark decides to dig in the wrong place.  Just seen photos, looks like you've got that sorted

Edited by JonC
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Trench job finished - pipe containing optical cable buried at least 6" deep (more in places) and attached to garage door frame then run across the roof towards the other side.   Mud cleaned out of pot and connecting box and optical cable connected to the trunk line.

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Edited by Gina

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Getting close! The world of the ultra-fast broadband awaits!  (Best used for Astro images.)

Edited by AKB
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Nice job Gina and thanks for posting the pricing (if only this was available for my office on the IOW).    Hope they have you up and running in short order!

 

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Coming indoors I thought about where I wanted the router and where the optical cable would go into it then drilled a hole through the wall into the airing cupboard behind.  No problem there - just two layers of plasterboard on a partition wall.  Marked out the hole positions and screwed the router back part onto the wall.

59e108582fb10_RouterBack01.thumb.JPG.57a74afba436d6c947028718f01575a6.JPG

 

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Here are a couple of photos of the pipe that will take the optical cable, in the airing cupboard - white one.

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We had to get a cable along a 50m buried pipe, the cable was to connect a CB to a rather large aerial up the top of the garden. The solution was some fine string and a bottle of compressed air. Tie the string to a bit of foam that just about fits inside the pipe and blow it through. String is then used to pull the thicker wire through.

Inside cable routing was generally done using badly trained ferrets, it generally worked but takes ages if the bloody thing decided to have a snooze. 

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I've done the stainless steel straining cable (2mm 7x7 construction) between the garage and house.  The wire was attached to the eye-bolts with bowlines (sailing type knots) and held firmly with heat shrink sleeving - several different sizes.  Holes for eye-bolts were drilled in the bungalow roof frame and in the woodwork between garage wall and roof, and the eye-bolts inserted with nuts and washers on the other side.  The optical cable will be attached to the straining cable with spiral wrap.  The green rope lower down is my clothes line :D

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The next job is to sort out where the cable is going through the gable end into the loft.  Over the other side there are a couple of mains cables that go across to the garage (power and lighting) and they enter (or exit) under a tile.  I could do that I guess but I'm a bit reluctant.  I would rather drill a proper hole through the woodwork, I think.  I could protect the optical cable with spiral wrap if it goes between the tiles.  I'll be having a look in the loft tomorrow (not doing any more today).  I've sorted out a work light and extension cable so shouldn't be too much of a problem tomorrow when I'm fresher :D

Here's a photo of the power cables (and a smaller cable I used for a CCTV camera) where they come out behind a tile.

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Still to do :-

  1. Sort out how the optical cable is entering the roof space.
  2. Feed cable into loft.
  3. Attach spiral wrap to straining wire and optical cable.  Anyone know where I can hire a sky hook??? :D
  4. Run cable across loft and thread through water pipe.
  5. Attach water pipe top end to roof member with cable clip.
  6. Nail cable to roof members using clips supplied by Gigaclear.

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Had a look in the loft and also outside.  The tiles lift up easily and there's only a plastic insulation membrane behind.  I think that route would be easier than drilling at least a 12mm hole through the woodwork to clear the connector on the end of the cable.  I've pushed a long drill bit up behind a tile and through the membrane and now I'm going back up into the loft to open up the hole and insert a piece of 15mm water pipe through which I can feed the cable.  Once I have the cable into the loft I can remove the piece of pipe.  I'm thinking of protecting the cable with plastic spiral wrap but I'm not sure it's necessary - I'll see when I'm "at the coal face" again.

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Been up in the loft again but couldn't see the drill bit I had poked through so I made a guess roughly where it should be and made a hole in the membrane, then inserted a piece of pipe as far as I could, lifting a tile.  Left the work light on and pointing at the hole in the hope of seeing it from the outside.  Then went outside and I could see the lifted tile and light easily - it was one tile higher than the drill bit.  That'll do :)  Time for a cuppa :D

Edited by Gina

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Phew!!  Up and down oodles of times into the loft but I've made some progress :)  Also up and down the ladder outside.  Got the pipe up into the loft but I couldn't get the cable connector to go up through the pipe.  But I did manage to get the pipe complete with cable inside up into the loft.  Then, once back in the loft I pulled some cable inside and pulled the cable out of the pipe.  Scrambled out from the corner and pulled more cable into the loft and right along to the hatch.  I'm getting plenty of exercise on this project :D

Next job was to get the connector and cable through the pipe into the living room.  It wouldn't go at first but I looked carefully at the pipe and noticed that it was slightly oval and by turning the connector I was able to get it into the pipe.  But it wouldn't go down very far so back down and unclip the pipe from its clips to give a smoother run!  Back up and try again and after a while I managed to get the connector as far as the router back and waggled out.  The cable connector plus a foot or so of cable is now protruding out of the pipe.

Time for a rest and a cuppa :D

Edited by Gina

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Forgot to mention that I only have one step ladder so have had to carry it outdoors to the other end of the house and later back in again.  Folding and unfolding each time. 

Still to do :-

  1. Push pipe in airing cupboard back into its clips.
  2. Attach water pipe top end to roof member with cable clip.
  3. Attach spiral wrap to straining wire and optical cable.
  4. Nail cable to roof members using clips supplied by Gigaclear.
  5. Clip connector into router back and arrange cable around clips.
  6. Add router unit to back plate and set up.

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Popped outside and wrapped optical cable temporarily round clothes line to get it off the ground and out of reach of the goat.  I may detach the eye-bolt from the the gable end to wrap the spiral wrap round the straining wire and optical cable because as it is I can't reach the middle part and I'm not using the step ladder on the soft ground.  I can work from the garage end - there is plenty of spare cable at the other end.  I can do that tomorrow, weather permitting.

Pushed pipe in airing cupboard back into its clips.   Then in the living room, clipped connector into router back and added top part (yellow) to retain connector firmly then arranged cable around the router back.

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Edited by Gina

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Put router back cover on and slid router itself up into position.  Connected power and switched on.  Router is now ready :)

59e4ed6840773_Router01.thumb.JPG.449ee609486bff0144e566c4bf0a97c3.JPG

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The system is now ready to log in and activate the service.  The cable will not need to be disconnected from the router and it's just a matter of fastening the cable to the straining wire and securing to the woodwork each end, with a downwards loop to shed water, then pulling the slack up into the loft.  Finally, the water pipe going down into the airing cupboard can be secured to the roof with a pipe clip and the cable secured to the roof rafters and generally tidied up.

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Right - HERE WE GO - I'm disconnecting this computer from BT and connecting to Gigaclear.  Hopefully, back withe ultrafast fibre broadband :)

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Gigaclear service activated - I am now sending this post via Gigaclear 1Gb/s ultrafast broadband service :)

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