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I need to connect two buildings where building A has an internet connection and building B has a cat6 network with a bunch of people working inside. The buildings are about 1000 ft. apart.

There are some general ideas about doing this on this question but none of the specifics I'm looking for.

We are going to open up a trench and lay PVC conduit. Research tells us that running fiber is the only way to do it; cat5e/6 simply won't work well at that distance. I know that you can get a transceiver to convert cat6 to fiber.

In building B, where the business is located and people are beavering away, we have several gigabit switches one of which is a Dell PowerConnect 2724 which has 2 fiber ports.

In building A, where the internet connection is located, there is no transceiver or fiber equipment whatsoever, only the DSL modem from the phone company.

Here's what I'm wondering:

  1. How many "strands" do I need in the fiber optic cable? It appears that there are a lot of options with vendors. 4 strands, 6, 12? What's the difference and which should be used? Hoping to use 2 or 4 strand since that's so much cheaper.

  2. Is there a standard best practice connector to use nowadays? There are many different types though most devices talk about either LC or SC connectors. Is one better or more commonly accepted?

  3. The Dell PowerConnect 2724 switch in building B has two SFP ports which I believe accepts fiber. Given that, can I simply forego the transciever (fiber to cat6) device in building B and plug one end of the fiber run directly into the Dell switch?

  4. If I can connect one end of the fiber run directly to the Dell switch, does it matter what kind of SFP module I need to use or will any work? There appears to be wild differences in pricing.

  5. Does anyone have any recommendations on transceivers? Even if I can connect one end of the fiber run directly to the Dell switch, the other end of the cable in building A will still need a transceiver to convert back to cat5e/6. This one looks fairly inexpensive and has good reviews but doesn't do gigabit. Since our DSL internet doesn't do anything approaching gigabit speeds, I would think that would be fine. Looks like that deals in SC connectors so then would that dictate the type of connectors and SFP modules I select (previous questions)?

Thanks for any help you can offer.

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    One bit of advice: Trenching the conduit is probably going to be the biggest expense here. It makes sense to bury oversized conduit, so you can run future cables through it without having to dig it all up again. Make sure to run a couple pull ropes too! – devicenull Aug 5 '14 at 1:24
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Question 1: Strands. Use two or more. Some SFPs are simplex (bidirectional on one fiber), but duplex (one fiber for send, one for receive) are recommended. For a 1km run, you will need to use single-mode fiber (not multimode which is for short runs)

Question 2: Connector type. Use the same connector as your equipment. Most equipment SFPs are LC, but SC and LC both work just fine. If you ever need a different style, you can always get a patch panel.

Question 3: You can use SFPs with matching standards on both ends. (1000BASE-LX for example). I do recommend matching equipment on either end though.

Question 4: Due to the 1km distance, I would recommend single-mode duplex 1000base-LX. For example: 1000BASE-LX 1310nm 10km SFP Transceiver Module

Question 5: Get whatever media converter you like, but you must have matching standards on both ends (100Base-FX media converter, and SFP on other end). Don't worry too much about connectors because you can easily get a patch cord to convert one style to another.

I hope that helps. -Dane

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    note that the distance the OP is working with is 1000 ft which is about 0.3 km. Many SFP GBics support 550 meter (1804 ft.) links over multimode fiber which is less expensive than single mode fiber. – Twisty Impersonator Aug 5 '14 at 3:02
  • After reading your thoughts, I think I'm going to abandon the idea of plugging directly into the SFP on the Dell switch. It would be simpler to just buy the same transceiver on both ends, and probably cheaper too since the SFP modules cost a bit. That way I know I've got the right conversion going on on both sides and the equipment can be continue to be used if we ever get rid of the Dell switch. – sfhtimssf1970 Aug 5 '14 at 10:35

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