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Top 5 Ways to Extend the Reach of PoE (2)

3.Long-Range PoE Switch

The long-range PoE switch allows you to easily go beyond the standard PoE limit (100m) and extend PoE signals up to 500 meters to power remote devices like IP cameras, wireless access points, etc. It’s specially designed for long-distance applications in hard-to-reach areas. By using the long-range PoE switch, you can power the edge devices remotely from a centralized point without deploying multiple PoE extension equipment for long cable runs, which significantly reduces failure points. 

In addition, it addresses the problem of bandwidth drop in long-distance deployments. The bandwidth of most PoE switches will drop to 10Mbps and even lower when it exceeds the 100-meter limit. But the long-range PoE switch can still remain at 100Mbps when it hits 500 meters. It provides wider coverage, higher bandwidth and more network ports to help you install multiple IP cameras in parking lots, garages, cross-building applications, etc.

How to Install the Long-Range PoE Switch?

The long-range PoE switch works the same way as the PoE switch. The only difference is that you need to install a PoE extender on the edge device. Since the long-range PoE switch has a unique chipset that can extend the PoE signals 500 meters away, while ordinary IP cameras, wireless access points and other devices do not support this mechanism, a PoE extender needs to be installed to help the edge device send the data back to the long-range PoE switch. And you need to install one PoE extender for each link. In addition, you also need to prepare a 500-meter-long Ethernet cable. If you don’t own one, use the couplers to connect multiple runs of cables together. 

a. Power up the long-range PoE switch, and connect one side of the Ethernet cable to one of the PoE ports on the switch.
b. Connect the other side of the cable to the input port of the PoE extender.
c. Then take a shorter cable to connect the PoE extender and the edge device.

A Word of Advice: Install a Surge Protector for Outdoor Applications

Lighting strikes are one of the common reasons that cause network failure. When you’re wiring long runs of copper cables outside, your chances of getting struck will be much higher since lighting can easily induce on power lines, coaxial cables and Ethernet cables, which are the perfect channels for grounding. So it’s imperative that you install surge protectors for your application to protect your devices from power surges. The surge protector can keep the voltage within a safe limit and discharge the excessive currents and surges to the ground. But you need to ensure the device is properly grounded.

4.Fiber Optic Network

When building a high-speed network that requires long distances and higher bandwidth, there is no question: fiber optic cables are the best solution. Fiber optic connection has a world-renowned reputation for long-distance and high-speed data transmission. Normally, the transmission speed of fiber optics could reach 1-10Gbps or more, and the distance can be extended over 20km. Fiber is also known for its durability with a prolonged service life of up to 30-50 years, which makes it a worthwhile investment in the long sun. But one of the major drawbacks when deploying fiber is that it doesn’t carry electricity, so you need to power the PDs with the local power source, which can be a problem if there’s no existing electrical infrastructure in the installation site. 

What Components Do You Need?

To create a fiber network, the most basic components you’ll need are a fiber media converter, SFP modules and per-terminated fiber optic cables.  

Fiber Media Converter

The fiber media converter is a simple networking device that connects two dissimilar media types such as Ethernet and fiber. It’s used in various scenarios, such as surveillance systems, campuses and enterprise networks. The fiber media converters typically work in pairs. The first media converter receives the Ethernet signals from the PoE switch, converts them into optical signals and transfers them down the fiber optic cable to the second media converter. And the second device will then convert the signals back to the Ethernet signals that the edge PoE device can receive. The fiber media converters can be mainly divided into managed and unmanaged, standalone and chassis-based, etc.

SFP Module

The SFP module is a modular transceiver that plugs into the SFP port on the converter to facilitate media conversion. The SFP modules are mainly classified based on their speed capabilities. Fastcabling has launched several types of SFP modules that deliver high-speed transmission from 1 Gbps to 10 Gbps to support long-distance applications up to 10-20km. These SFP modules are designed for use with LC-type single-mode fiber optic cables. 

Pre-terminated Fiber Optic Cable

The per-terminated fiber cable arrives on-site with the connector attached and ready to install. It’s normally made at a certain length, and it’s undeniably of higher quality than its counterpart. The pre-terminated cable helps eliminate rework, transmission testing, etc. And it comes in a plug-and-play design, which can be easily connected and disconnected, cutting off the deployment time by at least 70%. It is manufactured and assembled in a well-controlled environment to ensure the best possible network performance, and signal loss can be highly restrained with thorough inspections. The pre-terminated cable can be used in mission-critical applications that demand the highest level of accuracy, like video surveillance systems.

How to Build a Fiber Optic Network?

  • Point-to-Point Fiber Link

Point-to-point is a basic network topology that connects two physical locations on a private, high-speed fiber connection. The devices are directly connected via only one cable to realize a fast-speed network connection between two endpoints, and since only two nodes are using the data link, more bandwidth is reserved for point-to-point communication. One of the biggest advantages of using this topology is that it’s simple to implement and easier to maintain. And this type of fiber link is the simplest and most common transmission method used in IP camera systems, which makes it easier to troubleshoot faulty cameras without taking the entire system offline. 

The devices required for the installation are a PoE switch, media converters, multiple BiDi SFP modules, fiber optic cables, Ethernet cables, and PDs like IP cameras. 

a. Insert one BiDi SFP module into the SFP port of one media converter and another SFP module into one of the SFP ports of the PoE switch.
b. Connect the two SFP modules with a fiber optic cable. 
c. Plug an Ethernet cable into the RJ45 port of the media converter and connect the other end of the cable to the IP camera. 
d. Power the IP camera with a nearby AC or DC power source. 

  • Daisy-Chain Topology

Media converters that have more than one output port can be daisy-chained to set up a hop-to-hop fiber link along parking lots, rail lines, pipelines or highways. Also, you can create a redundant fiber link by linking the last media converters back to the core switch. The media converters can be connected in a circular format where data is transmitted in sequence, which greatly reduces packet collision and minimizes data loss over long distances. 

To set up a redundant fiber link over long distances, you’ll need a PoE switch, multiple media converters (with at least two SFP ports), BiDi SFP modules, fiber optic cables, etc. 

a.Insert the BiDi SFP modules into the SFP ports of the PoE switch, and plug two SFP modules into the SFP ports of each media converter. 
b. Use the fiber cable to connect the PoE switch and the first media converter. 
c. And then connect the first media converter to the second media converter, the second one to the third one, etc. Repeat this step until all the media converters are daisy-chained.
d. Connect the last media converter to the fiber switch. 

5.Wireless Network Bridge

If you need to extend the distance over 500 meters but deploying fiber optics doesn’t seem to be a plausible choice, here’s a more budget-friendly method to help you extend your network over 1km. The wireless network bridge joins different segments of networks together over a wireless channel by enabling two access points to connect over long distances using their radios. By deploying the wireless network bridge, you can cover a larger physical area with higher throughput to build a point-to-point (P2P) or point-to-multipoint (P2MP) connection between cross-building offices, neighboring districts, and nearby towns, etc. 

How to Set Up the Wireless Network Bridge?

Before the installation, you need to make sure the devices are installed in a wide-open area. If your line of sight is partially or completely obscured, move the network bridges high up on the rooftop or mount them on a tower or a pole. 

What Do You Need?

Once you’ve got all the preparation done, the connection is pretty straightforward. To set up the wireless network bridge, you will need a router, a wireless network bridge kit, a PoE injector, two power adapters and some Ethernet cables. In this case, we’ll take the 450Mbps Outdoor Wireless CPE as an example. The wireless bridge is equipped with a Gigabit PoE port and a Fast Ethernet wired interface, so you can set up at least 2 IP cameras at once. It comes with the next-generation WiFi standard of 802.11ac and runs flawlessly at 450Mbps at an extended range of 1km. Now, follow the instructions below to complete the setup. 

How to Install?

First, use an Ethernet cable to connect one of the LAN ports on the router to the Gigabit PoE/LAN port of the wireless network bridge. Plug the power adapter into the wall outlet and plug it into the network bridge to activate the device. When the device is online, the digital channel (1-8) will display at the rear. Power another network bridge and make sure the two wireless bridges are aligned on the same level and face-to-face. 

Then, set up the master AP and slave AP. Switch ‘master’ to ‘slave’ on the slave AP and synchronize the channel on both devices to make sure the ‘master’ and ‘slave’ APs stay on the same channel. And you can alter the configuration by pressing the reset button. Then check the signal indicators on the wireless bridge to ensure the devices are successfully matched.

Take another Ethernet cable to connect the LAN port of the ‘slave’ AP to the LAN port of the PoE injector. Power the injector with the DC12V power adapter, and connect it with the IP camera with a third Ethernet cable. If you want to install another IP camera, you can connect it directly to the ‘slave’ AP and power it with an external power supply.  

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