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Ethernet Extender - Patton Ethernet Extender Extends Ethernet Beyond its Normal Distance
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April 11, 2011

Patton Ethernet Extender Extends Ethernet Beyond its Normal Distance

By Ashok Bindra
TMCnet Contributor


Extending a private local-area network (LAN) to other distant locations is not trivial. While WiFi (News - Alert) requires a clear line-of-sight, special antennas, and is subject to weather, normal Ethernet cable has distance limitations. Though fiber optic connection sounds good for over a kilometer with high speed and no electrical shock or surge issues, it is technically specialized and expensive for both the end equipment interfaces and the cable. In addition, any damage to the cable requires special skills to repair or total replacement.

Hence, to expand Ethernet connections beyond the 328-foot (100-meter) Ethernet distance limitation of a twisted pair, an Ethernet Extender offers a solution that can establish long-range, high-speed data communication links between geographically separated LANs or LAN devices. It employs a variety of transmission technologies and physical media (copper wire, fiber-optic cable, or coaxial cable).

Because Ethernet Extenders can use fiber-optic or copper twisted-pair cables to transparently send packets at full-line rate to a peered LAN up to five miles away, they alleviate the need for specialized fiber optic interfaces and equipment, as well as eliminate the need for installing expensive switches and CAT5 cable.

In reality, Ethernet Extenders can create effective bridged-Ethernet connections across streets or over a college or enterprise campus and between Ethernet LANs up to five miles apart.In short, it is a cost-effective alternative to more complicated and pricey wiring installations such as CAT5 cable. And it offers a plug-and-play solution that can be installed quickly to take advantage of existing copper twisted-pair network infrastructure. Depending on the required data rate, some Ethernet extender models can increase the distance of an Ethernet link extension beyond five miles.

Ons such supplier is Patton Electronics. The company’s VDSL based Ethernet extender CopperLink or EtherWAN can handle distances up to 8 km (5 miles) at 128 kbit per second (kbps). CopperLink 2160, for instance, extends Ethernet up to 4.5 miles (7.3 kilometers) and achieves data rates of up to 45 Mbps. According to the manufacturer, CopperLink 2160 takes Ethernet farther and faster—with greater reliability—than previously considered achievable.

Recently, the maker added a ruggedized version, model CopperLink 2172R, capable of handling data rates of up to 50 Mbps.

Ashok Bindra is a veteran writer and editor with more than 25 years of editorial experience covering RF/wireless technologies, semiconductors and power electronics. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Patrick Barnard

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