Jump to content
IGNORED

Help creating Ethernet and fiber Optic network for Innuos


Recommended Posts

Hello,

 

Finally getting into streaming.  My Innuos is literally sitting at the dealers waiting for me to get my network up and running.  Apologies for the long POST below.

 

The Hi-Fi equipment and situation:

 

My Innuos dealer suggest Cat6a from my comcast gateway (if "Gateway" is the right term for the modem/router) that is on the first floor, thru a brush plate in the music room wall, straight into the innuos on the  2nd.  Distance about 125-150 feet.  High quality USB form Innuos to Lyngdorf 2170 integrated with onboard DAC.  DONE.

 

However....

 

I'd like to hear other's thoughts concerning the choice of ethernet cable.  Folks at Bluejeans say Cat 5e or 6 would be perfectly fine, saying I don't need shielding because my CAT run is all by itself, not in a congested trunk with many other data lines running adjacently.  Many opinions on this, I suspect.  Not sure if it is useful information to anyone attempting to advise me here, but BJ told me their 6a has "free-floating" shielding.  In order to reduce my costs, does anyone know an alternate seller of cat that offers terminated runs the length I need?  Microconnectors.com has much lower pricing than BJ (per foot) but at a max length of only 100'.  Terminating my own to save money?  Not preferred.  I am handy, but never done ethernet.  My understanding is that connections are crucial.  Open to doing it if I learn it is feasible to do so.

 

With respect to enhancements such an uptone EtherRegen , SOTM 8-port switch, English Electric 8switch (by Chord), cat 7, cat 8 the last 1.5M, etc. please feel free to share any such options that improved SQ or streaming quality (fewer dropouts, etc).  But my plan is to see how the Zenith 3 sounds by itself for a bit before moving onto enhancements.

 

Optical fiber:

 

I was told I need LC to LC single mode cable.  It is so inexpensive that I thought I'd have my guy run it at the same time as he is running the CAT.  May never use it.  But am very interested in knowing if it has any SQ advantage over CAT, so I likely will use it later out of curiosity.   Can anyone tell me what is needed---based on their experience--to implement optical fiber with the gear I have?  Many months ago a person told me what I should need.  He mentioned all manner of switches, converters, higher quality power supplies for switches, etc.  His instructions were bit foggy on some details, so I won't detail them here.  Anyone in the know... Please do tell.  LOL.  I recall the costs for all the ancillaries was pretty darn reasonable. 

 

Any pitfalls to using Fiber Optic in my situation?

 

Finally, while I know there are folks who do not think optical ethernet will provide higher SQ than an appropriate CAT and there are folks may debate the correct or ideal CAT ( 5, 5e, 6a, 7, 8) to use...

 

Based on actual experience, has anyone found fiber optic to be inferior to cat in terms of SQ?  Are there any pitfalls to proceeding with Optic fiber over cat?  Cautionary tales, if you will.  Aside from it being a bit more complicated to configure with routers and audio gear that don't have built-in optical ports.

 

Thanks in advance for the help,

 

RC22

 

 

 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes the “gateway” is usually a combo of a modem and router...  

 

I run both cable types.  I do not use fancy cat6.  For Fiber I run Single Mode BiDi single fiber runs.  I use Ubiquity gear for all my networking that has SFP slots in it.  (Longer story).  Never just run one wire! I almost always pull two, just in case.  That is a longer run so two would make me feel better.

 

Fiber requires translation to and from ethernet.  You need Fiber Media Convertors FMC.  The Sonore Optical Modules work well.  They really do a good job of not introducing more noise into the system.  At least on the Innous end you need a good LPS.

 

IF you have both copper and fiber then you can play games later on. For MY SQ testing I have a Sonore Optical Module in the rack with my gear running off of an LPS and that has and edge in SQ on my systems.  I sent back an EtherRegen and should not have done that, my bad.

 

Or if you just want a temporary install ahead of the cable run.  Get a couple of Powerline ethernet box’s to just get the signal there.  They are about $30 each I think.  I would not run then as a long term solution.

 

Terminating Ethernet is really easy!  On runs like you are doing I do not terminate with the RJ45 connectors. I use wall jacks that you punch down.  Then run terminated jumpers from there.  There are dozens of videos on that on youtube.  

 

 

There is a lot to cover in this space

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, RC22 said:

 Folks at Bluejeans say Cat 5e or 6 would be perfectly fine, saying I don't need shielding because my CAT run is all by itself, not in a congested trunk with many other data lines running adjacently.  Many opinions on this, I suspect.

 

BJC has it right. You don't want a fully shielded cable. You just need CAT6 or 5E.

 

You only need shielded cable in niche situations. Home usually doesn't qualify. Just run at least 16" from parallel to power cabling and if they cross then do so at right angle. Higher voltage cabling requires higher separation distance. 

 

If running parallel in same conduit you use shielded cabling with the shield tied to switch side and switch ground lug tied to ground bar.

 

If running a bundle of CATX cabling then you run a floated shield (not tied to either end) for mitigating cable cross talk.

 

Innuos only has Copper RJE on their products and I'm assuming they know best and think you are going to get the best SQ out of how they have implemented.

 

If you attempt fiber what you are doing is increasing the complexity and adding in additional conversion steps, additional gear, additional power supplies, and driving up costs which I have to assume is an issue for you because you are balking at 150' run of cabling from BJC.

 

You can get 150 foot Tripp-lite CAT6 for $50. That's a bargain as Tripp-lite actually guarantees the cable to meet CAT6 spec.

 

Here is a link to it

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you Bobfa. May have a follow up question later.  Just searched "punch-down" and found a very good video by monoprice.  The person who made suggestions to me re: how to implement Fiber did mention ubiquiti gear.  So, your use of it reinforces that brand for me.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Plissken,

 

Really good stuff.  Headed out the door, but wanted to reply quickly with thanks.

 

I just wish to spend what someone in the know would.  For instance, thanks to  your guidance, I can get Cat 5e from BJ terminated (if that is what I settle on), for $87.  While 6a is $195.  $195 would be fine if that is the product that does the job best.  And, I am absolutely willing to pay more if I know why I'm paying more:  to support a local business, a person answers the phone is there are questions, etc.

 

Thanks for mentioning power lines.  I wondered about that.  I had 2 dedicated lines run to the music and lots of other lines all over the place.  Very good chance I will need to cross them at some point.  Will take a look in the attic later.

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

If you think this is going to run parallel to power for a significant length you will have to give consideration to the switch you use. It needs to have a grounded chassis if you are using shielded cabling.

 

Also look to see if your power cabling is in metal conduit. If so no need to worry as that provides something like -22dB attenuation. I have an older house and that's how it's done.

Link to post
Share on other sites

...all great info above from those honchos @RC22 but I would run the FO cable too, per @bobfa, because you never know what the future holds.
 

Unless you're into a drop ceiling or very easy space to run cables, labor for doing it once is always cheaper.

 

I agree with @plisskenon the simplicity of the ethernet solution being almost always better, but let me add my specifics: I ran 35' of Cat6a; shield-less, super-groovy cryo-ed ethernet; as well as MM and SM fiber. 


They all sounded good, but I have a lot of RF junk from Harris RF nearby. It's like a sci-fi movie sometimes--or Hogan's Heroes episode.
 

Optical eliminated that little grunge. I did not notice a difference between MM and SM fiber, but I have it on the Single Mode, FYI. 


So, those are my specifics. You may not have anything like that to consider, maybe not urban situation, etc. I added my details because I don't know yours, and it might be food for thought. And BTW: those guys know way more about this than I do, FYI. Good Luck!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Good stuff Markus.  Thanks.  

 

I’m in suburbia.  No industry or commercial near my house.  Other homes, though.  Clarification:  doesn’t the “a” in 6a mean shielded?  Will run fiber along with cat for future needs.  Curious what streamer you gave.  And curious what Harris RF is?


Assuming you had to use all manner of switches, converters and such, it is helpful to know FO still removed some grunge.  The idea that all those connections could (not “definitely will”) allow noise in was suggested by a friend of a friend who owns a successful computer shop and hi-end audio shop.  His input just arrived to me a few minutes ago.  He did say FO could be superior, but didn’t love the need for so many conversions.  In audio, I’ve only heard of one streamer that is FO compatible (certain lumin model, I think?), so everyone else using FO is converting with many connections.  Correct?  His bottom line advise was for cat 6a, saying shielded might possibly provide SQ improvement snd cost is low.  Haven’t decided on shielded versus unshielded yet.  As long as shielding doesn’t actually cause problems that may give an inferior end result, I may choose to spend little bit more for it,  just in case.  

Link to post
Share on other sites

@RC22, The streamer is Aurender ACS10. The Cat6a has a floating shield--not connected at either end. The thought was I might benefit from "blocking" RF in the ceiling space, without getting into issues with metallic connectors, or full-shielding (@plisskenwill spank me if I'm off-base), but then I used the FO anyway.

 

Looks like this:

ISP Router => eReGen => Nighthawk 7K WiFi => Cat6a

=> 1) TV, Home CPU & stuff.

=> 2) Sonore OM => SM FO => PFBuffalo Switch => Ethernet =>
Aurender =>etc. for audio leg.

 

@plissken will laugh (cry?), but I am bringing FO to the house in a few weeks, and I will only put audio on that leg. Should be pretty good VPN 😉.

 

FWIW: I tested the optical concept with 10Gtek FMCs and SFPs. It sounded great. Two buddies still use a set-up like this. But because anything worth doing may be worth over-doing, I pimped the optical as described. 
 

I will say, I think the Sonore OM with @barrowspower supply and @Nenon PFBuffalo is very trick, but I am out of control over here. Good Luck...

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, MarkusBarkus said:

@plissken will laugh (cry?), but I am bringing FO to the house in a few weeks, and I will only put audio on that leg. Should be pretty good VPN 😉.

 

Where I primarily don't see the benefit of fiber optic is where you are going to book end it with fiber<>copper media converters on either end and the associated power supplies. You are re-arranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

 

The cost for going fiber, especially 10GB, are incredibly low, and I wish more purpose built DAC's/Streamers had it as an option.  The cost and effort for OS2 or OM3/OM4 cabling is now neck and neck with copper.

 

But DIY solutions are ahead of the curve as you are able to slot in and out what you want at these various network layers.

 

What I would love to see is a streamer that had two options: SFP+ port and a SO-DIMM 240pin buffer slot that you could put in a 1/2/4GB memory module and it would simply recognize it and use at as buffer with as much wire speed as you could provide.

 

First outfit get that to market will sell the schiit out of it.

Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, plissken said:

If you think this is going to run parallel to power for a significant length you will have to give consideration to the switch you use.

I am green about this so let’s clarify “switch”.  In my initial post I described what my Innuos dealer advised:   Cat 6a from comcast gateway right into the back of the Zenith (albeit 125’ +/- away), Zenith connected to Lyngdforf via USB.  

Q1: There is no switch in that scenario, correct?  Q2:  is the term “switch” used rather broadly for any or most items added to the network to improve sound quality? Like a Uptone EtherRegen, for example. 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, RC22 said:

I am green about this so let’s clarify “switch”.  In my initial post I described what my Innuos dealer advised:   Cat 6a from comcast gateway right into the back of the Zenith (albeit 125’ +/- away), Zenith connected to Lyngdforf via USB.  

Q1: There is no switch in that scenario, correct?  Q2:  is the term “switch” used rather broadly for any or most items added to the network to improve sound quality? Like a Uptone EtherRegen, for example. 

 

 

It would be what ever router/gateway/switch you plug into. What is the make and model # of your Comcast gateway? Often these are not shielded devices.

 

If you are running parallel to power then you may need to put something like the Cisco 2960 in between the Comcast gateway and your end point and ground the 2960.  I wouldn't go spending any money on an 'audiophile switch'.

 

Switches don't do anything for sound quality. Switches primary job is to provide what is called a collision domain for devices plugged into them. Used to be called L2 bridges.

 

Off topic but quickly: Used to be you would have a hub, all devices would be half duplex (think truckers and CB radio, only one can squawk at a time). What one device transmitted everything else would hear whether intended as the final destination or not. If two devices talked at the same time they would both perform a back off routine and then transmit again.  This was called a collision domain. 

 

Now imagine two hubs connected together, or 3 or 4. You get the point. So what was developed was a full duplex uplink 'bridge' port where the two full duplex ports were connected they formed an individual, 2 port only, collision domain, being full duplex they knew when each other were talking and wouldn't step on each others toes.

 

Fast forward and now you have 'Switches' which is the full duplex bridge now utilized for all ports. So all collision domains are now exactly 2 end points at any given time.

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

3 hours ago, plissken said:

 

It would be what ever router/gateway/switch you plug into. What is the make and model # of your Comcast gateway? Often these are not shielded devices.

 

Ooof!!  I came so close to asking if my comcast gateway was indeed a switch.  

 

Make/Model:  Arris. TG1682G.

 

Unless you say this unit is just peachy, I am willing to replace it one of two ways:

—buying my own

—Asking Comcast to provide an upgraded unit. Costs nothing to ask.

 

Irrespective to setting up the network for the Innuos, I have long-wished for greater WiFi range than I get now.  **Only reason I’ve not bought my own so far is the concern of having to be my own tech support instead of calling comcast**.

 

And even if issues are with them, not my devices...maybe they will blame my gear.  Perhaps it shouldn’t concern me.  The issues with the service have been very few and the customer support has been surprisingly good.  I get that those comfortable with IT don’t hesitate to “roll-their-own” instead of paying their ISP a  monthly fee for gear.  

 

If I get a new gateway from them and they offer a shielded one, sounds like I should opt for it.

 

Otherwise, if I ‘hazard’ to get my own gear, I noted that @MarkusBarkus uses a Nighthawk.  Another guy suggested that Netgear model to me earlier this year.  I wonder if Netgear has good product support.  Get a shielded model, right?  Or Just don’t run my cat near power lines if that is feasible.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

@RC1200CL,

 

Thank you for all the links to equipment. 

 

The person who suggested some gear to me earlier this suggested a certain Cisco switch if I stayed with an all-in-one gateway like I have from comcast now.

 

Cisco SG-112-24.  $158.   Aside from it being 24 ports, unless there is an advantage to this unit over the $60 one you linked....I like your suggestion.

 

Any one else so inclined....please feel free to comment...

 

BTW, that persons equipment suggestions were for running fiber only.  He was not advising on CATX.

 

 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

This topic is rich for a networking newbie like me.  

 

Please don’t anyone suspect I wish to ask questions exhaustively as If I aspire to become an IT expert (like some of you clearly are).  I only mean to get about setting up my network ASAP.

 

So, l will review all the advice I have received here and determine if I can avoid power lines in my walls and attic since that has a bearing on the switch I use.  But it seems like the 2960 is a no brainer.

 

Looking back at some of my replies this morning, I can see I need to connect some dots more cleanly and ask better clarifying questions that will allow me to start ordering materials.  

 

Any additional questions/clarifications will be to that end. 

 

Thank You All.

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I pulled the manual for the Arris, but with no pictures of the back, and only artist rendering, I can't tell if the ports are shielded. So I would assume not.

 

You would simply run a cable from the Arris to a switch and from there make runs to your equipment.

 

You mentioned wireless so maybe it's a good time to reset the conversation and put it all on the table as to what you are looking for.

 

This would take us into PoE Switches with SFP or SFP+, Wireless AP's with PoE, Wireless controller for providing 802.11k/v/r for client roaming etc.. I'm suggesting a more holistic thread conversation at this point.

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, RC22 said:

Irrespective to setting up the network for the Innuos, I have long-wished for greater WiFi range than I get now.  **Only reason I’ve not bought my own so far is the concern of having to be my own tech support instead of calling comcast**.


https://arris.secure.force.com/consumers/ConsumerProductDetail?p=a0ha000000TnNmSAAV&c=Touchstone#panel2

 

Normally your ISP gives you a better box for free. One trick is to ask for a higher speed down. And then change speed back again. If they in any case request money from you for an upgraded modem, you may think if you’re better of investing that money in a separate WiFi access point. Your modem doesn’t support today’s generation WiFi. It’s actually 2 generations behind. You probably want something that supports WiFi 6. 

Your ISP may also supply (WiFi) mesh systems. 
 

We can discuss WiFi after your call to your ISP.

It’s normally very easy to set up. 
 

As said, that suggested 2960 is most likely yours for $32 each. I think this is the cheapest way to get proper fiber. That switch is also popular among audiophiles. (Search this site). The links I gave you, I have purchased myself. 
 

You can in any case pull a standard RJ45 pre-terminated cable (temporary?) to your new Innous.

 

If you decide fiber all the way, and in addition would like to add an audiophile FMC or switch like the opticalModule or the EtherRegen you may consider 3 x 2960. But I guess that’s to confusing now. 
 

ISP modem >(short)RJ45 >2960>fiber>2960>(short) RJ45>2960>fiber>OM or ER>Innous. 
 

If you want to use OM, (opticalModule), you need and extra 2960 as indicated above. If ER (EtherRegen), you don’t. Search this site about other people experience with those devices upfront Innous.

There exist of cause other switch with combined fiber and RJ45. 

 

On 12/28/2020 at 11:55 PM, RC22 said:

Any pitfalls to using Fiber Optic in my situation?

Are you able to pull a pre-terminated fiber cable in your house ?

If not you get an extra (possibility high?) termination cost. 

 

On 12/28/2020 at 11:55 PM, RC22 said:

Based on actual experience, has anyone found fiber optic to be inferior to cat in terms of SQ?

It eliminates possible ground loops. Ground loops is known to affect SQ. So your answer can be answered both yes and no 😀.
Also we like no shielded cables to avoid ground loops. But in professional network, things may be a bit different. Plisken knows all about it.
 

If I could choose between fiber and Cat, there is no doubt I go fiber. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

30 Meter Singlemode Duplex Fiber Optic Cable (9/125) - LC to LC - Yellow

 
Hopefully my attempt to link a fiber optic cable on Amzn  is successful.  
Will be fishing this cable and Cat 6 from Bluejean--already ordered.
 
This cable was recommended as a good/satisfactory one.  Anyone agree?  Disagree?  Offer alternatives?
 
May never use the fiber, but it will be there if I want to go down that path.  
 
BTW, after taking a hard look at the length I need by actually measuring and getting in my attics, turns out I need way less than I thought when I was just spit-balling it in my head.  Probably only need 85'.
 
Thank you.
Link to post
Share on other sites

MarkusBarkus,

 

Thanks for the vendor, FS.com.  The product in your link seems IDENTICAL to the one on Amazon made by Ultraspec cables.  Literally looks like the same calbes in every detail based on pics.  Spec-wise, same main specs:  LcLc, OS2, 9/125..  

The spec sheet shown at the FS site has many data points, whereas I will need to contact Ultraspec to inquire about fuller specs.  Frankly, I suspect there are industry standards (like in motor oils, for example) but I could be wrong.   For example, are all LC to LC 2mm like the one offered by FS.com?

 

I just noticed the cable that R1200CL linked to in his Tuesday post is LC UPC to LC UPC and is 3mm.  I have no idea what UPC means nor do I know the significance or desirability or a 2mm v. 3mm cable.   Rabbit hole, anyone?

 

The guy who recommended optical cable to me months ago and plissken (per your last post) both like the lc to Lc single mode duplex so I’m good with that.  I also mentioned it in my original post and no one has steered me away from it, so that is a good sign that it’s a good choice. 

 

Curiously to know what R1200CL’s recommendation brings to the party, however.   Just too inquisitive for me own good, yeah?

 

Price and terms of both are again...almost identical.  Ultraspec $3 higher at $25 delivered, but one gets free returns for that, I suppose.  Both offer 30 day returns, a year warranty,  support by phone, email, chat and seem very eager to answer any questions.  Both arrive in 2 days.  

 

My Innuos will be shipped Tuesday and take at least 2 days to get here, so I can place an order Monday after speaking to either or both companies.

 

As an aside,  a person recommended “armored” fiber optic for ease of fishing in walls, but I see very little of it online.  I’m pretty much going to blow that off.

 

Anyone have thoughts on armored?  Good?, Bad? Ugly?  The “ugly” is just a hat-tip to Mr. Eastwood.

 

Happy New Year, Everybody!!

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×
×
  • Create New...