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Nigella Bryant

Remote cabling question.

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If the Wi-Fi signal from the house to the observatory is not going to be strong enough, how about using PowerLine adapters to carry the data communications using the mains cable as a carrier?  This means you'll just have the one cable between the observatory and the house.  I've been using Powerline for a good few years now and it has been very reliable.

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14 minutes ago, r3i said:

If the Wi-Fi signal from the house to the observatory is not going to be strong enough, how about using PowerLine adapters to carry the data communications using the mains cable as a carrier?  This means you'll just have the one cable between the observatory and the house.  I've been using Powerline for a good few years now and it has been very reliable.

Thanks, that's something else to think about. Laying less cables is certainly attractive. 

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Personally, I wouldn't touch powerline devices with long poles, especially if you will be 'crossing' mains circuits, over longer distances, where they can be troublesome.

But then, I also wouldn't use WiFi, as you could then be troubled with distance signal degradation, drop-outs etc.... 

If you're putting ducted mains cables, adding the ethernet cable, apart from cost, to me, is a no brainer, especially for future proofing the installation.

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32 minutes ago, Dr_Ju_ju said:

Personally, I wouldn't touch powerline devices with long poles, especially if you will be 'crossing' mains circuits, over longer distances, where they can be troublesome.

But then, I also wouldn't use WiFi, as you could then be troubled with distance signal degradation, drop-outs etc.... 

If you're putting ducted mains cables, adding the ethernet cable, apart from cost, to me, is a no brainer, especially for future proofing the installation.

I totally agree.

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There is a new kid on the block, inexpensive point to point WiFi transmitters.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/KuWFi-Wireless-wireless-transmission-application/dp/B07F384KKQ/ref=sr_1_1?crid=JTYZ3HIP2PXF&keywords=kuwfi+300mbps&qid=1575039808&sprefix=Kuwfi%2Caps%2C152&sr=8-1

I use these to wirelessly transmit a 1080p video camera stream over 200 metres at 'live' cricket matches to then upload streaming video for broadcast. Rated at 300Mbps and 1 Km range ( a bit optimistic!) they can easily handle most point to point computer data transmission likely to be necessary in our hobby. You need only limited knowledge to set up a local wireless network between any two computers/devices. 

I don't actually need these at home for astro purposes as the distance is shorter from my office to yard. Here, I can simply create a local WAN between two Intel NUCs with Iris Plus Graphics. I run all astro software (scope, camera and focuser) on the NUC at the scope and control that from indoors using the second NUC using Windows 10 Pro Remote Desktop with RemoteFX compression disabled (via Group Profiles). The latter step removes the artificial limit imposed by Microsoft that prevents a single user choking a commercial network. Here, I have no problem with this wirelessly supporting 4k UHD camera. I have also formed a bridge to the Internet between my indoor router and external observatory using BT discs that are surprisingly good over up to 20 metres.

Whilst unnecessary in my astro situation, I have little doubt that combining this twin computer/Remote Desktop technique with the KuWfi units would work over seriously long distances, providing there is a clear line of sight between them. 240 power is required, but in the cricket scenario, I create this in a wholly portable remote unit by connecting a 12v 18Ah mobility scooter battery to a 12v DC/AC 240v Inverter that in turn will power the Power over Internet (POE) point to point transmitter and camera.

Having said that, nothing beats cat6a cable! I also agree, Powerlines are troublesome, but the new BT discs are remarkable. 

Edited by noah4x4

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I use a similar Wavelink device, while @ Star Camps, to get better connectivity with the locally provided services, and while it works, there are still intermittent issues with drop-outs etc.

So once again in a permanent situation, no thanks...

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I'd avoid point to point wireless unless you reach for slightly more mature/well-known brands. Ubiquiti do good things, like https://linitx.com/product/ubiquiti-airmax-nanobeam-ac-network-bridge-19dbi-gen2-nbe-5ac-gen2/15056  - these are inexpensive but reliable.

However, PtP wireless is always going to be worse than Ethernet for reliability.

Avoid TeamViewer and friends in all circumstances - they've had major security breaches. If you're running locally, you can use VNC to remotely control a PC - TigerVNC (free, open source) works very well, or Remote Desktop if you're using Windows. For file transfers, standard Windows file sharing (Samba on Linux) also works well. If you need remote access, then I'd always recommend using a VPN on a router to let you remotely connect, same way many corporate VPNs work. It's secure, can be done with off-the-shelf routers (though not your PC World fare - again, Ubiquiti have good options for that).

I'm not a religious person, but Powerline is the tool of the Devil and should be avoided at all costs. It turns your otherwise-perfectly-polite 50Hz mains AC wiring into a fantastic broad-band noise generator which will [removed word] off (rightly) every amateur radio operator, radio astronomer, and radio engineer in a 10 mile radius. And it still won't work very well at all. Powerline is plagued by reliability issues, hugely dependent on how your house is wired (and the construction of that wiring - cable inductance, topology, etc), and will generally achieve very poor speeds even in pretty good conditions.

Cables are always preferable and if you're getting someone to put in mains and duct, just buy the fibre/Ethernet and lay it in at the same time (along with a draw rope!). The cost is trivial compared to the headaches!

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41 minutes ago, discardedastro said:

Cables are always preferable and if you're getting someone to put in mains and duct, just buy the fibre/Ethernet and lay it in at the same time (along with a draw rope!). The cost is trivial compared to the headaches!

Thanks, good news, I think. I've beaten my way through the Bush into the garden shed and it's wired up and working. It seems from the fuse trip box it has it's own fuse (don't know the technical terms). It has it's own on/off switch in the bungalow. Anyway I can run a spur from that which will only be 4m away. All I need to do now is to lay 2 cat6 cable's in a trench to the bungalow into the loft and down into the second reception room. Thing's aren't looking to complicated now. 

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Going back to earlier posts. A few general comments. Not nexessarily appicable to the OP.

I would avoid running the mains cable in the same duct as control/network cables.
There is the tempation to run an 'ordinary' mains cable.
If it is not armoured, then accidents while digging can allow a mains to network connection.
The absence of a screen/shield on the mains lead means it is easier to get noise and interference coupled to the network cables.
By having the cables laid riht next to each other, or touching, there is potential for cross coupling.

Powerline adapters can be OK.
However, they work by putting high frequency (radio) signals onto the mains.
If you have a long cable run, the core/core capacitance attenuates the signal.
I use powerline adapters in the house <10M). Garage at a push (>10M). But they can't handle the longer cable run (25M) to the observatory.

HTH, David.

 

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On 30/11/2019 at 23:14, Nigella Bryant said:

Thanks, good news, I think. I've beaten my way through the Bush into the garden shed and it's wired up and working. It seems from the fuse trip box it has it's own fuse (don't know the technical terms). It has it's own on/off switch in the bungalow. Anyway I can run a spur from that which will only be 4m away. All I need to do now is to lay 2 cat6 cable's in a trench to the bungalow into the loft and down into the second reception room. Thing's aren't looking to complicated now. 

Hi Nigella,

following this thread too now...

Good news on the mains supply to the shed, bit concerned at there being fuses. The modern replacements are miniature circuit breakers (MCB's) and they are about the same size as a fuse, but are switches. (They are a lot more than just a switch, as they will trip on high current too) If you are still genuinely using fuses, then it would be a goood idea to plan in some money to upgrade them to a modern consumer unit and MCB's. Here the internet is your friend if you don't know a good electrician who works for a fair price.

Best way to run cables, etc. is to bury (or you could run them high - if you intend to enter the bungalow and go through the loft you could do it directly. Save all the digging and concerns about future works...) best to do it through some sort of conduit. Galvanised steel is good, but so is the idea to use water pipe. Polypropylene is really tough and easier to work with. And as mentioned, it is also a very good idea to separate power from signals. Very short runs of a couple of metres does not matter, but the longer the run and more power conducted (Amperes), the bigger the potential problem becomes.

HTH.

Gordon.

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3 hours ago, Bukko said:

Hi Nigella,

following this thread too now...

Good news on the mains supply to the shed, bit concerned at there being fuses. The modern replacements are miniature circuit breakers (MCB's) and they are about the same size as a fuse, but are switches. (They are a lot more than just a switch, as they will trip on high current too) If you are still genuinely using fuses, then it would be a goood idea to plan in some money to upgrade them to a modern consumer unit and MCB's. 

Hiya, no it's the circuit breaker kind MCB's didn't know the technical jargon, lol. Shed has an MCB. Thanks Gordon. 

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