I think I’ve made clear here in previous writings about the arrangement of my work facilities. My office is a converted summer house that stands in the garden of our home – and, on a sunny day like this, with a view out of the window of the plants that are starting to do spring things, it isn’t a bad place to be.
I hook up to the Webternet via an 802.11b/g wireless connection. The router sits near the phone socket which is in the conservatory, roughly 25 feet from the Global Headquarters. As I’ve mentioned before, the signal sometimes degrades (we have evil cordless phones, microwave oven and wireless doorbell in the house – all of which could be causing interference) and occasionally drops completely, particularly during wet weather (the summer house is of timber construction and, in spite of a water-repellant coating, the boards do get wet). I’ve added an external antenna to the router so that it is in an elevated position (dangling attractively from a light fitting) which has helped but not solved the problem.
I’m getting a bit fed up with the signal dropping out or degrading – it only ever seems to happen at the most inconvenient moment (when I’m using Skype or printing a big document – such is life), so I’m considering a physical connection between the router and the Global Headquarters. I don’t think it would be too difficult to run a cable from there to here – I can take it through the cat flap housing to get into the conservatory, route it around the edges of the decking so that it isn’t a trip hazard and easily make a small hole in the wall of the HQ to get it into here without using the same duct as the power supply cable.
The question is this: what sort of cable should I use? I’m not an expert on this sort of thing. I’ve seen standard Cat5 cable and also cable rated for outdoor use. I’ve also seen fibre-optic cable. Will these cables resist being in an environment exposed to sun, wind and rain? Can these cables be easily routed (there may be a few 90° turns)? How easy is it to put the connectors on the end of these cables?
Anybody got any experience of this sort of thing? Or should I just look at further uprating my wireless network?