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Effectiveness of Short Run of Fiber Optic cable.


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I would replace the in-wall Cat5 with Cat6 (or 6a) cable and not do fiber optic cable given you are not doing this yourself. The reason is that fiber optic cable comes in different flavors (multi-mode, single mode, LC, SC) so you will be “stuck” with whatever you initially choose. If you were able to easily swap out cables then might be a different story.
 

As such, I would recommend Plan B.
 

I don’t know what adding two additional Buffalo switches add to improving SQ, they are just additional potential sources of noise plus two more power supplies to the mix and even more Ethernet connections and cables. Overly complicated IMHO. I know that some seem to think that the more devices you add the better but I try to minimize the number of devices as each has the potential to add noise either itself or it’s power supply.

Eric


Ubuntu Studio Linux box (i7-9700, 8 cores, 16GB RAM, Intel X520-DA1 NIC, Roon, HQP) > fiber optic > MikroTik CRS305-1G-4S+ > fiber optic > opticalRendu (HQP NAA) > Holo Cyan (DSD version) > Nord One UP NC500MB mono blocks > Klipsch La Scala — digital volume control with HQP via Roon client

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7 hours ago, ericuco said:


Per email from Small Green Computer “... the opticalRendu is the opticalModule + ultraRendu.”
 

You usually need some device to convert from Ethernet to Fiber.  That device can be a FMC (e.g. opticalModule, TP-Link MC220L) or a switch with both SFP and Ethernet ports (e.g. EtherREGEN, lots of Mikrotik switches).

 

Exactly, an opticalModule, or equivalent, is still usually necessary, that's where I was going.

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1 minute ago, ericuco said:

I would replace the in-wall Cat5 with Cat6 (or 6a) cable and not do fiber optic cable given you are not doing this yourself. The reason is that fiber optic cable comes in different flavors (multi-mode, single mode, LC, SC) so you will be “stuck” with whatever you initially choose. If you were able to easily swap out cables then might be a different story.

...may I offer a different opinion? If you are not pulling cable yourself, the largest cost will be labor. FO cable is cheap, IMO. The electrician will not care if he pulls one or two cables.

 

I ran both myself to save my own hassle. IMO the multimode fiber would be a good option for a short pull. If you really want to hedge, pull MM and SM optical, and make yourself crazy listening to three different cable feeds!

 

Honestly, if you're paying someone to pull cable, I would make a bet and pull the FO of your choice. I would/I did, FWIW.
 

From memory, 40' FO cable for my 35' run was about 30-40 bucks, all in.

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1 hour ago, ericuco said:

I would replace the in-wall Cat5 with Cat6 (or 6a) cable and not do fiber optic cable given you are not doing this yourself. The reason is that fiber optic cable comes in different flavors (multi-mode, single mode, LC, SC) so you will be “stuck” with whatever you initially choose. If you were able to easily swap out cables then might be a different story.
 

As such, I would recommend Plan B.
 

I don’t know what adding two additional Buffalo switches add to improving SQ, they are just additional potential sources of noise plus two more power supplies to the mix and even more Ethernet connections and cables. Overly complicated IMHO. I know that some seem to think that the more devices you add the better but I try to minimize the number of devices as each has the potential to add noise either itself or it’s power supply.

 

1 hour ago, MarkusBarkus said:

...may I offer a different opinion? If you are not pulling cable yourself, the largest cost will be labor. FO cable is cheap, IMO. The electrician will not care if he pulls one or two cables.

 

I ran both myself to save my own hassle. IMO the multimode fiber would be a good option for a short pull. If you really want to hedge, pull MM and SM optical, and make yourself crazy listening to three different cable feeds!

 

Honestly, if you're paying someone to pull cable, I would make a bet and pull the FO of your choice. I would/I did, FWIW.
 

From memory, 40' FO cable for my 35' run was about 30-40 bucks, all in.

 

Ericuco, 

 

I hear you, but I plan to audition the long runs for at least a week before having them installed.  My dealer for the Antipodes is also an installer and we have a very good relationship.  I do agree that the Buffalo switch option seems somewhat cumbersome.  I”m just wondering if those switches will add something more if I cannot get the long run of FO installed. 

 

Markus,

 

If the FO install can be done, I do plan on having CAT6 or CAT6a installed at the same time.  I plan on auditioning both SM and MM.  Here is what it would look like if I implement Plan A:

 

 

46F8E576-EA73-407A-8BD1-A0093BE6744F.jpeg

*ANTIPODES CX--- Ethernet--->

*CARY DMS-600 STREAMER/DAC---> XLR ICs--->

*CARY SLP-05 preamp (Ultimate Upgrade ed.)---> XLR ICs--->

*CLAYTON M-300 amps--->

*MARTIN LOGAN Spire speakers.

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First off, I am all for using as much fiber optics as possible but you are a radically moving target so it is almost impossible to provide practical advice so I will back out of this thread. Best of luck to you.

 

By the way, if you are looking for adding Buffalo switches:

 

 

 

Eric


Ubuntu Studio Linux box (i7-9700, 8 cores, 16GB RAM, Intel X520-DA1 NIC, Roon, HQP) > fiber optic > MikroTik CRS305-1G-4S+ > fiber optic > opticalRendu (HQP NAA) > Holo Cyan (DSD version) > Nord One UP NC500MB mono blocks > Klipsch La Scala — digital volume control with HQP via Roon client

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7 minutes ago, ericuco said:

First off, I am all for using as much fiber optics as possible but you are a radically moving target so it is almost impossible to provide practical advice so I will back out of this thread. Best of luck to you.

 

By the way, if you are looking for adding Buffalo switches:

 

 

 

 

Moving target? How so?

*ANTIPODES CX--- Ethernet--->

*CARY DMS-600 STREAMER/DAC---> XLR ICs--->

*CARY SLP-05 preamp (Ultimate Upgrade ed.)---> XLR ICs--->

*CLAYTON M-300 amps--->

*MARTIN LOGAN Spire speakers.

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3 hours ago, ericuco said:

The reason is that fiber optic cable comes in different flavors (multi-mode, single mode, LC, SC) so you will be “stuck” 

 

Going with OS2 Single Mode Fiber will solve any foreseeable future proofing since it supports 100GB/Second. It's very cost effective with cabling being pennies a foot (65 foot for under $20) and 10Gbe SFP+ BiDi LC adapters being $35-$50 and NIC's being $20.

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Picking up the posts above, if I were to try a short run of fiber, simply to provide electrical isolation between ethernet and the audio kit, which would be most appropriate to use, multi-mode, single mode, LC, SC?

Windows 10 PC, Roon, HQPlayer, SOtM sMS-200Ultra, tX-USBultra, Paul Hynes SR4 (x2), Mutec REF10, Mutec MC3+USB, Devialet 1000Pro, KEF Blade.  Plus Pro-Ject Signature 12 TT for playing my 'legacy' vinyl collection.

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10 hours ago, asindc said:

Here is what it would look like if I implement Plan A:

 

 

46F8E576-EA73-407A-8BD1-A0093BE6744F.jpeg

asindc, your proposed config above is essentially what I implemented at my place. I isolated other computing/Wifi stuff from the basement audio using the router to split things, and downstream, the OM for the "homerun" to audio gear (eRG).
 

Since I am able to do the cable/wire work myself, I think this week I will pull a new AC line from the AC panel to the "server room." 
 

That may be overkill (may be?!), but it will separate the router, wifi, OM, etc. from whatever else in on the existing circuit (no idea).

 

plissken is a honcho with this stuff, and his note on future-proofing with upgraded spec seems trick if it fits your plans.

 

I like the fiber here and I think it helps/sounds great. Although I was never able to hear/identify a specific noise profile, I live about two blocks from Harris RF. Those guys are always in vans filled with gear, and walking around testing these amazing military hand-held sat radios. The antennas on their buildings are amazing. 
 

Shielding and optical seem a good idea around here!

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1 hour ago, MarkusBarkus said:

asindc, your proposed config above is essentially what I implemented at my place. I isolated other computing/Wifi stuff from the basement audio using the router to split things, and downstream, the OM for the "homerun" to audio gear (eRG).
 

Since I am able to do the cable/wire work myself, I think this week I will pull a new AC line from the AC panel to the "server room." 
 

That may be overkill (may be?!), but it will separate the router, wifi, OM, etc. from whatever else in on the existing circuit (no idea).

 

plissken is a honcho with this stuff, and his note on future-proofing with upgraded spec seems trick if it fits your plans.

 

I like the fiber here and I think it helps/sounds great. Although I was never able to hear/identify a specific noise profile, I live about two blocks from Harris RF. Those guys are always in vans filled with gear, and walking around testing these amazing military hand-held sat radios. The antennas on their buildings are amazing. 
 

Shielding and optical seem a good idea around here!

 

Thanks.  I got some of my ideas from reading yours and others posts on isolating the music streaming chain from the other ethernet and WiFi devices.  For some time, I also had RFI problems until I implemented proper power grid management.  Running the (relatively) long run of FO is my first choice because the current run of CAT5e goes along the ceiling of the music room, passing several in-ceiling lights, an HDMI cable and power line for ceiling-mounted projector, and down a wall, passing wall-installed lamps with dimmer switches (I know, I know).  My system is rather quiet now, but since FO itself is inexpensive I am going to experiment with it.

*ANTIPODES CX--- Ethernet--->

*CARY DMS-600 STREAMER/DAC---> XLR ICs--->

*CARY SLP-05 preamp (Ultimate Upgrade ed.)---> XLR ICs--->

*CLAYTON M-300 amps--->

*MARTIN LOGAN Spire speakers.

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3 hours ago, Confused said:

Picking up the posts above, if I were to try a short run of fiber, simply to provide electrical isolation between ethernet and the audio kit, which would be most appropriate to use, multi-mode, single mode, LC, SC?

 

For home use it really doesn't matter on MM vs SM cable. SM applications are going to be your most cost effective approach and still give you 10GBe performance.

 

SM gives you 980 feet of run.

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1 hour ago, plissken said:

 

For home use it really doesn't matter on MM vs SM cable. SM applications are going to be your most cost effective approach and still give you 10GBe performance.

 

SM gives you 980 feet of run.

Hey plissken, I have no kung-fu in the fiber world. My practical data-set is n=1: my network.

 

I found reading around on the FOA  site to be interesting. It could be a very deep hole for sure, so if you have better lay-resources, it might help others.

 

In the meanwhile, below are some links to FOA pages, if folks have interest. 
 

Before that copy/paste below, can you comment on something I read on FOA and elsewhere, but cannot immediately find regarding the stability of the optical connectors: significant degradation of the plastic type in as few as 10 cycles (unplug/plug).    
 

Professionally, you probably run cable, connect, test and leave it alone. I'll bet audio folks are moving this stuff around all the time.

 

Should we be aware of this or no worries about connection integrity/precision?

 

Fiber info below. Sorry for formatting. Until recently, last time I posted to a group, I was using Veronica to Telnet to Usegroups over 96 baud modem. And was glad to have it.

 

Optical Fiber, Overview:

 

https://www.thefoa.org/tech/ref/basic/fiber.html

 

FO Data Links (overview)

 

https://www.thefoa.org/tech/ref/appln/datalink.html

 

Transceivers:

 

https://www.thefoa.org/tech/ref/appln/transceiver.html

 

FMCs:

 

https://www.thefoa.org/tech/ref/appln/mediaconv.html

 

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54 minutes ago, MarkusBarkus said:

I found reading around on the FOA  site to be interesting. It could be a very deep hole for sure, so if you have better lay-resources, it might help others.

 

I try to keep stuff simple where I can:

 

For the Home, purchase pre-terminated OM4/5 LC Multi-Mode cabling and LC Short Range (SR) SFP+ modules from FS.com. Solar Flare adapters are $20 left and right and have two SFP+ most of their PCI-E adapters.

 

For home use there isn't much of a deeper dive than being aware that you need to purchase SFP that have the eeprom coded for the vendor switch you have.

 

54 minutes ago, MarkusBarkus said:

 

 

Professionally, you probably run cable, connect, test and leave it alone. I'll bet audio folks are moving this stuff around all the time.

 

If you put a spool of fiber in my hands with a termination kit I wouldn't be able to if you had a gun to my head. I leave that for our cabling partner. I do the route/switch configs, design, install, validation and hopefully no troubleshoot.

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Thanks, that's my bad😔

Other question, are the 3.0 PCIe Solarflare back compatible with PCIe 2.0? Or better to take older ones (SNF5122) for 2.0 bus?

Are the Dell transceivers marked as Finisar (FTLX8571D3BCL) made by Finisar?

Thanks again!

 

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42 minutes ago, skipspence said:

Thanks, that's my bad😔

Other question, are the 3.0 PCIe Solarflare back compatible with PCIe 2.0? Or better to take older ones (SNF5122) for 2.0 bus?

Are the Dell transceivers marked as Finisar (FTLX8571D3BCL) made by Finisar?

Thanks again!

 

 

PCIe 3 should work in older 2.0 but at the 2.0 speeds. I would assume that finisar badged trancievers are finisar.

 

I would make it easy on myself and hit fs.com and just search for the SFP you need and then drill down by manufacturer compatibility.

 

I wonder what a finisar and fs.com module would look like if you cracked them open.

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1 hour ago, plissken said:

 

PCIe 3 should work in older 2.0 but at the 2.0 speeds. I would assume that finisar badged trancievers are finisar.

 

I would make it easy on myself and hit fs.com and just search for the SFP you need and then drill down by manufacturer compatibility.

 

I wonder what a finisar and fs.com module would look like if you cracked them open.

Well, but I'm expecting to get 2 above-mentioned dell modules open box with specifications tested by solarflare compatible shipped free for the price of 1 fs.com + they want a near full module price for shipment to where I'm🤔

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5 hours ago, skipspence said:

Well, but I'm expecting to get 2 above-mentioned dell modules open box with specifications tested by solarflare compatible shipped free for the price of 1 fs.com + they want a near full module price for shipment to where I'm🤔

 

As long as you know they are validated. That's why I like FS as they make it clear.

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I have always used an unmanaged switch for my audio and AV gear.  Simple, and I have never had any issues with this approach.

 

I wonder if there might be any advantages to using a managed switch and prioritising one port for audio?  Or is this a case of adding complexity for no gain? 

 

In practical terms I have been using an unmanaged switch with zero issues, which makes me wonder about the pro's and con's in this regard?

Windows 10 PC, Roon, HQPlayer, SOtM sMS-200Ultra, tX-USBultra, Paul Hynes SR4 (x2), Mutec REF10, Mutec MC3+USB, Devialet 1000Pro, KEF Blade.  Plus Pro-Ject Signature 12 TT for playing my 'legacy' vinyl collection.

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1 hour ago, Confused said:

I have always used an unmanaged switch for my audio and AV gear.  Simple, and I have never had any issues with this approach.

 

I wonder if there might be any advantages to using a managed switch and prioritising one port for audio?  Or is this a case of adding complexity for no gain? 

 

In practical terms I have been using an unmanaged switch with zero issues, which makes me wonder about the pro's and con's in this regard?

 

Prioritization only works where you have wire contention. Most don't understand that their network utilization is in the single digit %.

 

We routinely over subscribe 24:1 on uplinks.

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5 hours ago, Confused said:

I have always used an unmanaged switch for my audio and AV gear.  Simple, and I have never had any issues with this approach.

 

I have managed switches but don't need to prioritize.

 

5 hours ago, Confused said:

 

I wonder if there might be any advantages to using a managed switch and prioritising one port for audio?  Or is this a case of adding complexity for no gain? 

 

Consider this: a good switch will maintain full bandwidth between port pairs. In a good switch you get full bandwidth between the audio server and audio client.

 

What you can do is use a VLAN, so that broadcasts from your web connected fridge doesn't hit the audio device, or transition to IPV6 to reduce broadcast chatter on the network. or just use a different subnet

 

 

5 hours ago, Confused said:

 

In practical terms I have been using an unmanaged switch with zero issues, which makes me wonder about the pro's and con's in this regard?

 

Probably none in practical terms. but for large chattery networks there are ways to mitigate.

Custom room treatments for headphone users.

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21 hours ago, plissken said:

 

Prioritization only works where you have wire contention. Most don't understand that their network utilization is in the single digit %.

 

We routinely over subscribe 24:1 on uplinks.

I think I need to give you the prize for the most network terms that I did not understand in a very short answer!  🙂  That said, I get the idea, not a lot to worry about here.  

 

For the record, I know just about enough to set up my my own audio / AV system, but not a lot more, my areas of expertise are elsewhere.

 

@jabbr - my kitchen set up is pretty much analogue, except maybe for the oven timer.  In fact, there is very little on my network, a wifi router, PC, PVR, Bluray player, and the hifi kit.  It occurs to me that the when the audio kit is in use, the other kit typically is not, except the PC of course.  So again, very little to worry about here.  As an aside, and yet more evidence that I know sod all about network related stuff, is that I in my system I can Ethernet stream HQPlayer without issue, with both IPV6 enabled or disabled, both work.  I have never been sure which is best or if it matters.

 

Thanks for the replies and insight guys.

 

As another aside, when looking for a basic switch with a SFP port, I cannot find anything that looks more suitable than the MikroTik RB260GS as recommended earlier by @ericuco.  Most of the other options seem to have PoE or other stuff I just don't not need or want.  I am quite temped to give one a try.  Or maybe there is a better option? 

 

Of course, I could stay in full audiophile mode and spend more money on a Sonore optical module, but I quite like the simplicity of the MikroTik, it looks like it will do all I need without adding to the box count.

Windows 10 PC, Roon, HQPlayer, SOtM sMS-200Ultra, tX-USBultra, Paul Hynes SR4 (x2), Mutec REF10, Mutec MC3+USB, Devialet 1000Pro, KEF Blade.  Plus Pro-Ject Signature 12 TT for playing my 'legacy' vinyl collection.

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3 hours ago, Confused said:

As another aside, when looking for a basic switch with a SFP port, I cannot find anything that looks more suitable than the MikroTik RB260GS as recommended earlier by @ericuco.  Most of the other options seem to have PoE or other stuff I just don't not need or want.  I am quite temped to give one a try.  Or maybe there is a better option? 

 

Cisco 2360 48 port copper 1GBe / 4 SFP+ 10GBe for $60 on ebay shipped.

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7 hours ago, plissken said:

 

Cisco 2360 48 port copper 1GBe / 4 SFP+ 10GBe for $60 on ebay shipped.

That is certainly an interesting idea.  Unfortunately I am in the UK, so not only a bit more to pay for shipping, but the larger issue of presumably only being suitable for 120V.

Windows 10 PC, Roon, HQPlayer, SOtM sMS-200Ultra, tX-USBultra, Paul Hynes SR4 (x2), Mutec REF10, Mutec MC3+USB, Devialet 1000Pro, KEF Blade.  Plus Pro-Ject Signature 12 TT for playing my 'legacy' vinyl collection.

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