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August Webinar

Environmental Resilience of Twisted Pair Ethernet Applications at Lengths Greater than 100 Meters

Speaker Bio: Michael Dodds, Test Engineer, Leviton

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Abstract: Cabling runs that are greater than 100 meters can simplify some installations, but neither network functionality nor communication quality are guaranteed when using standards-compliant components. In this paper, we will delve into the environmental resilience of link segments longer than 100 meters. At these lengths, we examined the transmission quality of systems transmitting 1000BASE-T Ethernet traffic while being subjected to elevated temperatures. Additionally, we examined the relationship between length-dependent parameters and transmission quality. This testing was a follow-up to Leviton’s IWCS 2020 paper, Twisted Pair Ethernet Applications at Lengths Greater than 100 m, and IWCS 2021 paper, Quality of Twisted Pair Ethernet Applications at Lengths Greater Than 100 Meters. In those papers, the feasibility and quality of extended length applications was examined. Whereas these previous papers evaluated twisted pair copper systems within an ideal laboratory environment, this paper will focus on the performance of various link segments within stressed environments.

Cables of various designs and categories were chosen to evaluate how effectively they can mitigate real world stressors within extended length link segments. These cables were used to construct link segments of various lengths beyond 100 meters. A portion of each of these link segments was conditioned in an environmental chamber. While conditioned, each link segment was tested to the 1000BASE-T passive application requirements from IEEE 802.3-2022. While the link segment was being subjected to elevated temperatures, gigabit data was transmitted bidirectionally using five different switch combinations.

Although gigabit links can be established with link segments beyond 100 meters, these connections are increasingly likely to lose packets as length increases—especially as ambient temperature also increases. Decreasing attenuation alone is not enough to create reliable extended length connections. As such, cables with larger conductors are not inherently better suited for gigabit applications beyond 100 meters. As with all forms of digital communication, a reliable extended length gigabit link requires a sufficient signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) to function properly, and attenuation is only one part of the equation. It is important to understand how manufacturers verify their extended distance solutions and how they account for the stressors and variability that occur in the real world.

About the Presenter: Michael Dodds received his M.S. in Electrical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering from Drexel University in 2017. He is currently a Test Engineer at Leviton’s Systems Verification Lab in New Holland, PA. His work focuses primarily on extended length copper and fiber systems.

This technical paper was originally presented at last year’s IWCS Forum. Plan to attend the 2024 IWCS Cable & Connectivity Industry Forum October 14–16 in Providence, Rhode Island, USA. Click here for details.

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