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Office / Manufacturing plant network

Last response: in Networking
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May 25, 2010 1:52:09 PM

Hello,

I currently have a network that is giving horrible preformance to the point of the network crashing on a regular basis.

I have been searching all over for a solution to the following setup.

I have two sets of offices, located approximatly 120 feet apart. In between them is a manufacturing plant, with welding and plasma cutting so there is alot of interference.

Each office has 4 computers, and 2 printers. The first office also has a server I just added into the mix. I intend to add a few computers in the plant for quality control purposes.

I am running a grounded 1 1/4 conduit all the way across the shop right now. Halfway in between, I am adding a Netgear ProSafe 24 Port Gigabit Switch model JGS524. They claim the range is 150 feet. My intention is to move my 8 port linksys router out there as well as my DSL modem, and put them into a steel cabinet we will be making. I will, from a junction box, run a wire from each machine to this switch, that will be plugged into the router so the internet can be shared through the entire office area.

I am using CAT6 cable.

The problem I have had with my old set up is the range on the router, direct from the manufacturers mouth, was between 40-60 feet. Their solution was to "add switches in between to boost the signal" While that did work, I am recieving inconsistant operation to the point where we cannot even function alot of times.

I find it hard to believe that no manufactuer can give me a straight answer on a proper setup for this, considering that school districts and large office buildings have networks and not one person even gave me a clue as to what the best equipment would be for the job. I called Netgear, Linksys, and Belkin.

My post here today is to hope that I have a blessing on what I intend to do instead of that mess. Any other pointers?
May 25, 2010 7:08:54 PM

You need to run fiber between the switches to cut out the interference from the plant.
This will also pretty much mandate going to a higher end manged switch from HP or Cisco or ???. Fiber will let you go the distance in 1 hop, will stay clean from EMF and give better performance. If you're not sure how, talk to a local networking company to get you setup.
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May 25, 2010 8:38:19 PM

That is an interesting answer. I was unaware of this as a possibility, being the rank amateur that I am, lol. My networking experience comes from keeping this boat floating and back in high school I used to be on the networking and computer tech support group after school.

Thank you for your insight, I will look into it. Of course, if it is extremly expensive, I may just have to add another hamster to the wheel and let it play out until the boss decides to dish some cash out.
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May 25, 2010 9:55:41 PM

Switching to fiber is pretty costly. The cost for a a simple 3ft patch cable is around 30-40$ depending on what mode you want to run in and the quality of the fiber. The siwtches from Cisco are some of the best out there right now, but unfortuantely are rahter expensive as well. I've seen some go for as CHEAP as around 1,000-1,200 all the way up to as EXPENSIVE as well over 5,000. If you have the money to go fiber, do it. It will certianly eliminate EMF. Then you will need a switch that can "convert" the fiber signal so that it can be used on regular cat6 and then trasnmitted to the PCs OR, you can buy a fiber swicth and then buy PCI add in modules that allow the PCs to connect to fiber. But again, the modlues alone run for about 200-400$ EACH.

Just to give you an estimated cost on putting in fiber.
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May 26, 2010 12:03:06 PM

Ohh boy. Sounds like I'll be rebooting the network until the end of time then. Hopefully this grand I am dropping into running conduit and new cat 6 and new switch will at least improve preformance.

I already got yelled at for spending as much as I did, lol. Such is life. Trying to explain the necessity of switching to fiber, my boss will likely try assume I am talking about twine.

Supposidly within the next few years we are going to be building a new facility, and the offices will all be together instead of spread like they are now. If and when that happens, I guess it won't be an issue anymore. Until then, maybe I'll install tin cans with strings for intra-office communication. Maybe if I use 8 strings per tin can, I can send information through the network!

Thank you for the information, I appreciate it.
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May 26, 2010 1:08:37 PM

you may also want to look at MoCa routers which use coax cable that is typically used for cableTV. it should work better than ethernet and be less total cost than fiber. no guarantees, mind you... just an idea i would try myself if i were you.
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