Outdoor PoE switch is a breakthrough invention that greatly simplifies network installation and management in outdoor environments by transmitting power and data to powered devices, such as IP cameras, wireless access points and digital signage, over standard UTP network cabling. It brings us countless benefits when deploying multiple network devices outdoors: 1) it secures a safe and reliable network connection in extreme weather conditions; 2) by deploying the outdoor PoE switch, the labor costs and installation time can be slashed by at least 50%; 3) it gives you great flexibility on where to install the network devices. But like any other PoE device, the outdoor PoE switch can only support a maximum distance of 100 meters, and beyond this range, it’ll experience severe attenuation and power loss.
The Limits of PoE in Long-distance Network Deployments
Although most PoE switches are equipped with the CCTV mode or VLAN function, with which the transmission distance can be extended to 250 meters, in sacrifice the network speed of each PoE port will be reduced to 10Mbps accordingly. It’s more suitable for installing devices that require low bandwidth like statistic cameras. Moreover, running long copper cables outdoors could be very dangerous. Provided that they use electricity to transmit information, copper cables pose a fire or shock hazard. Fiber optic cables, however, use light to transmit information, and considering they do not conduct electricity, they can’t pose a fire hazard at all and will never risk your life when being handled. Therefore, to ensure safe network connectivity in outdoor environments, you can take advantage of the fiber optic cabling when deploying the outdoor PoE switch, especially in long-range applications.
Advantages of Incorporating Fiber Optics in PoE System
The fiber optic network is a technology that transmits data in the form of light signals through fiber optic cables to support the ultra-long-range transmission of up to 60-80km. It supports high-speed data transmission of up to 10 Gbps and higher with low attenuation rates, which makes it ideal for applications in far-of-reach areas. The fiber optic cable has excellent immunity to crosstalk, EMI and network congestion. It features a smaller size and better tensile strength and can be easily buried under the ground, pulled through the conduits, etc. And since the fiber optic cables will not conduct electricity, they can be deployed in any combustible atmosphere like oil, mining, industrial automation, etc. The fiber optic network also supports symmetrical upload and download network speeds, which makes it ideal for mission-critical applications like IP surveillance systems.
How to Use the Outdoor PoE Switch to Set up a Fiber Optic Network
As previously mentioned, the fiber optic network brings many benefits to improve and retrofit the existing PoE network to fulfill the ever-increasing demands of a high-speed, low-latency network. But since most PoE and fiber network devices cannot be connected directly, to integrate fiber optic technology into the PoE system, certain media conversion needs to be accomplished. Consequently, to use the outdoor PoE switch to set up a fiber optic link for outdoor applications, you’ll need an outdoor PoE switch that is built with SFP interfaces, a network switch or a router, a fiber media converter, a pair of SFP modules as well as some fiber optic cables and Ethernet cables.
Outdoor PoE Switch with SFP
To use the fiber optic cables in the copper-based network system, you’ll need an outdoor PoE switch that is equipped with SFP interfaces where you can insert the SFP module to convert the optical signals back to the electrical signals. Fastcabling’s outdoor PoE switch with SFP is a powerful network device to utilize fiber optic cabling in long-distance network applications. It is housed in an IP67-rated metal enclosure, has a 1Gbps Ethernet port, a 1Gbps SFP slot, 4*10/100/1000Mbps PoE ports. The SFP slot can accept universal SFP transceivers to work with both single-mode and multi-mode fiber optic cables. And this outdoor PoE switch is built with an internal power bank and can work with various kinds of external power supplies like AC 100-240V (the voltage range at 802.3at mode is DC 48V), solar power, etc., to guarantee the continued operation of the outdoor PoE switch and connected devices at greater distances. It features a total power budget of 75W and supports a maximum power output of 32W per port to the edge device. It features 6kv surge protection and a wide operating temperature of -40°C~60 °C, which makes it ideal for outdoor use.
Benefits of Deploying the Outdoor PoE Switch with SFP
• All-in-one PoE solution for both power and data delivery
• High-speed data transmission of up to 1 Gbps for long-distance applications
• Immunity to EMI, network congestion, severe weather conditions, etc.
• A cost-effective solution that eliminates additional power cabling
• Rugged, vandal-proof enclosure ideal for outdoor applications
Fiber Media Converter
The fiber media converter is a straightforward network device to create a connection between dissimilar media types (i.e. fiber optic cables and copper cables). It can be used in various scenarios, such as security camera systems, building access controls and campus LANs. The fiber media converters often work in pairs for copper-to-fiber conversion. One media converter receives the electrical signals from the network switch or router, converts them into optical signals and transfers them down the fiber cable to the other media converter. And the second device will then convert the signals back to the electrical signals that the edge device can receive. Fastcabling has launched different types of media converters like the waterproof industrial hardened grade Fiber PoE media converter to help you set up a fast-speed network link at long distances.
The SFP module is a modular transceiver that plugs into the SFP port on the converter to facilitate the media conversion. The SFP modules are mainly classified based on their speed capabilities. The transmission speed of most SFP modules is 1 Gigabit, but the newer versions such as SPF+ have a higher speed of transmission, from 10 to 25 Gigabit, to support high-speed network communication with compatible media converters.
How to Connect
1. Plug one SFP module into the media converter, connect the converter to the router with an Ethernet cable and power it up with AC power.
2. Plug another SFP module into the SFP slot of the outdoor PoE switch and use the per-terminated fiber optic cable to connect the PoE switch and the media converter.
3. Power up the outdoor PoE switch with AC power or solar power and use the Ethernet cable to connect the switch itself and the powered devices.
Note: If you don’t have an outdoor PoE switch that is built with an SFP interface, you just only need to install another media converter to convert the optical signals back to the digital signals that the regular PoE switch can understand.