Running indoor/outdoor cat5 outside

half_derpy

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May 27, 2012
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I live in a mother in law style home, and we are forced to use wifi from the main house and it's pretty terrible. We have a 50 megabit connection, but due to having to use wifi, and the main house being about 75 feet away, we get maybe half that, most of the time even less than 1/4 of it.

Anyways, I saw 100 feet of indoor/outdoor cat5 at Home Depot and was considering picking it up.

If I get it, can I just plug it into the modem in the main house, and then run it to our house and have the router here, inside? I'll be burying it just a little. Maybe an inch or so so that our rabbit and cats don't try to munch it up. It's NOT direct burial cable to my knowledge, but it is tauted as "indoor/outdoor" so would that be alright to do? I don't want to go digging up the yard too much either.

Would I have to have some sort of surge protection on either side? Or would just a cable from the modem in home a, to the router in home b across the yard be sufficient? We live in an area where it rains at least 200 days a year, so that has to be taken into consideration. I'm not terribly concerned with UV rays eating up my cable, and more so concerned with the sogginess of our yard and it being battered by constant rain, plus perhaps having it shock and destroy my equipment.

Thanks
 

half_derpy

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We don't have any major thunder/lightning storms. Maybe at most 5 times a year we will hear some thunder, but lightning is even more rare. I am mostly concerned with the water and rain destroying it and ruining not just the cable itself, but the equipment it is attached to.

What exactly is a surge suppresor? I have surge protectors to plug the modem/router in to, but I am assuming what you're talking about is a different item altogether?
 

half_derpy

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Alright good to know. What about the pvc pipe? My dad is a landscaper and I am sure he has plenty of extra pvc laying around that I could snag (perfect since I am going to visit him for thanksgiving tomorrow), but does it have to be a specific type? Or is just any general use pvc okay?
 
When running the pvc make sure that the ends are protected from the rain otherwise the pipe will fill with water and the cable will sit in water all the time. The same goes for the splicing of the pipe with the coupling pieces use enough pvc cement to make the tow pipes and the coupling tightly together or water will laso get in that way.
 

half_derpy

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Definitely was considering that too. I was thinking of making a drainspout type entrance and exit for the cable to run underground. Something that comes up from the ground and curves back over in a horseshoe type pattern so that the opening of the hose that leads underground is facing the ground so that no water can seep in. a candy cane type design if you will.
 

hometownfl

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Just to offer another solution, if you have a phone line running from the main house to the mother-in-law-house, you could use a pair of VDSL2 modems like this from Panoptic: http://www.panoptictechnology.com/smart-room-network-v2c2/

You can still use the phone line for voice in addition to data and it will give you 100Mbit speed. They're very reliable and it will be a plug-and-play solution and save you from having to dig.

If you do have to pull a cable though, definitely pick up some 1/2"-3/4" PVC conduit from Home Depot (it'll be grey, in the electrical isle). Check out all the different junction box's they have there as well. I'm sure you can find a creative way to make an entrance into the house from the conduit using one of those. We typically mount a junction box on the wall, then drill a hole through it and through the wall to make an entrance. Then use some silicon sealant to seal around the hole.

If you run the cable entirely through the PVC conduit, use standard indoor cable. It's cheaper, more flexible, and a lot easier to work with. You only need outdoor cable it the cable is going to be exposed to direct sunlight.
 

half_derpy

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If I am using a pvc pipe solution, it seems like it'd be pretty viable to just get a regular cat5 then right? It'd be protected from UV rays AND water if it was in the pvc pipe underground.
 

half_derpy

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I think that indoor/outdoor roll of cat5e was shielded from Home Depot. It did not have the crimped ends though, so I'd have to learn how to do that (or bug a friend to help haha)
 

hometownfl

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Shielded cable is not necessary, especially underground. Shielded cable is mainly for environmental protection, for example in hospitals where sensitive equipment could be affected by noise emitted from the cable. Ethernet cable is extremely noise resistant; unless you are running it within inches of large AC motors or fluorescent lighting do not waste your money on shielded cable.

Honestly, Cat6 isn't necessary either, Cat5e will work perfectly fine for this. You are never going to be able to pull a gigabit of data through it because of server limitations and such; you would have to have multiple connections to multiple servers on your local network to fully utilize a gigabit of speed. Unless Cat6 is only slightly more expensive, stick to regular Cat5e.

If you get a chance, read both of these for a better understanding:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category_5_cable
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category_6_cable