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Question about pulling ethernet cable up tower

Posted: Fri Sep 25, 2009 10:24 pm
by lcrhea25
We have been having connection speed issues with radios on out tallest tower. We are about 280 feet up on this tower and whenever we put new cable and equipment up it the eth will link up at 100M Full no problem. After awhile it starts dropping packets and I have to drop it down to 10M Full right now it is starting to drop packets and even though it is set to 10M Full it is only linking at 10M Half. I am wonding if stress is getting put on the cable when it is getting pulled up. We have noticed a few times that somehow water is getting in the cable and running all the way to the bottom. Has anybody experienced anything like this or does somebody know the best way to pull up the ethernet cable with out putting too much stress on it.

Re: Question about pulling ethernet cable up tower

Posted: Sat Sep 26, 2009 1:33 am
by andreacoppini
If you're getting water flowing INSIDE the outer jacket, then you're not using proper outdoor cable. you should use real outdoor CAT5/CAT6 which is UV-protected and gel-filled (optional but much better), and make sure it's well and truly sealed at both ends.

tie down the cable regularly, to make sure the weight of the cable itself does not damage it... even though I've used an old CAT5 as a makeshift rope and was still able to use it at 100Mbits afterwards....

If you're running on a tower which is susceptible to static buildup or you have a lot of RF energy being put out (eg nearby cell towers, TV or FM towers, radars), make sure you use FTP or STP and GROUND the shield at ONE end.

Re: Question about pulling ethernet cable up tower

Posted: Sat Sep 26, 2009 6:16 am
by roc-noc.com
Andrea gave you good advice.

Use outdoor rated cable. Never use indoor cable outdoors. It will fill with water and water filled Cat5 probably loses some of its electrical properties that allow 100Mbps at 100 meters.

We use the gel filled stuff with black polyethylene jacket for customer CPE. We use shielded outdoor cable on all towers.

Tom

Re: Question about pulling ethernet cable up tower

Posted: Sat Sep 26, 2009 8:03 pm
by andreacoppini
We use the gel filled stuff with black polyethylene jacket for customer CPE.
We used to do that, but with increased competition and shrinking margins, we switched to UV-protected (but not gel filled) cable which has worked equally well but is much easier and quicker to terminate in the field.

Re: Question about pulling ethernet cable up tower

Posted: Mon Sep 28, 2009 5:34 pm
by lcrhea25
Ok thanks for all the advice. We are on an FM tower at this location. I'll make sure we get that type of cable. So I guess then ya'll haven't had any serious issues from the cable itself being pulled up onto the tower.

Re: Question about pulling ethernet cable up tower

Posted: Mon Sep 28, 2009 5:53 pm
by andreacoppini
not any mechanical issues if some care is taken. CAT5/CAT6 cable is very robust and forgiving, especially if it will be used for 100Mbits or less.

but now that you're mentioning FM towers, you really need to use shielded cable and ground it properly.

Re: Question about pulling ethernet cable up tower

Posted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 5:15 pm
by lcrhea25
Ok. Thanks for all the help.