ethernet repeater FREE cabling and networking Helpdesk
 Question by Ed Marvel posted 01 Aug 2000
 ethernet repeater
I've got a situation at a client company where there are workstations/servers on either end of a long run of cat5 cable (several hundred feet). We are having problems with reliable communication between nodes and suspect a cable length issue as the culprit. What options do we have to overcome this, short of installing fiber? Can we splice the cable and install some sort of "repeater"? Is there a difference between a hub and a repeater? Can you recommend any vendors that I should look at for this equipment? Thanks for any help you can offer.

 Answer by Roman Kitaev posted 04 Aug 2000
Hi, Ed!

I think that you are using 10Base-T or 100Base-T Ethernet.

In this case, the maximum link length between two devices (PCs with network cards) without using a hub is 100 m (328 ft).

If you use a hub (it's, in principle, a multiport repeater), then the maximum distance between PCs will reach 200 m (656 ft) (100 m from 1st PC to hub and 100 m from 2nd PC to hub).

In your case, if you do not have a hub and your length exceeds 100 m, install it.

In addition, it is recommended to check that your problem is not cabling-related. Check that your cabling is Cat5 and installed in proper way.

Splicing Cat5 cable is absolutely not allowed.

Regarding vendors, I have good experience with low-cost D-link and 3Com hubs and switches. They work fine for me.

Best regards
Roman Kitaev, RCDD

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