Internet in the shop

dlsmith

Active member
Lifetime Member

Equipment
BX2230, LA211
Nov 15, 2018
647
143
43
Goshen, IN
So often when I'm working on some project in the shop, I need to look something up, order a part, bolts, nuts or whatever. Looking it up on a cell phone sucks and I hate doing that. If I don't make a note and take it with me to the house, I'll likely forget it.
I decided to run a buried ethernet cable from the shop and put a computer on the desk, so I bought a 200' long CAT6 direct burial cable and was going to slit a trench and drop it in.
A couple of weeks ago I was doing some work around the main breaker box in the basement, and I noticed a piece of RG6 cable that came through the wall hanging up out of the way, and remembered that I had run it 30 years ago along with a telephone cable to the shop so I could watch SAT TV in the shop. Hmmmm. I wondered if it was still good, or had deteriorated and shorted out like the phone cable had.
I checked it with a multi-meter and it showed around 300K ohms between the shield and center conductor, so that was a good sign. I went to the shop and stripped the cable end there and twisted them together. Then it showed just 3 ohms for the 150 foot run. So far,so good.
A search on Amazon found some ethernet to coax transceivers made by DirectV for just the purpose I needed, running a ethernet over coax. At only $26.00, if they worked, great, if not I'll return them. I ordered them and when they were installed on each end of the coax and a patch cord run to the a network switch, they showed they were linked. (y)
For a computer, I decided a minimal setup was all I needed, so I ordered one of the new Raspberry Pi 400 units. It's basically a Raspberry PI 4b with 4 GB of memory. It has a USB C port for power, two USB 3.0 ports, one USB 2.0 port, two micro HDMI ports, an RJ-45 ethernet port, a micro SD card slot and 40 pin GPIO header, all built into a small keyboard enclosure. For $100, it should do the job. I also ordered a keyboard protector so it doesn't get dust or dirt into the keyboard. I also ordered a 21" ASUS monitor for a display as the only unused monitors I had setting around were a big 27" or smaller, older ones with no HDMI inputs.
The Pi 400 came the other day, so I set it up and got it all configured the way I wanted it, and today I took it all down and set it all up, get everything connected. I turned it on, and it works just fine. It's not nearly as fast loading web pages as my office machine, but it's quite usable and will even stream YouTube videos with no problems.
So for a couple hundred bucks I have usable internet in the shop now. I can even add a WiFi access point if I want, I'll have to see about that. I have a severe distrust of WiFi, no matter how secure they are supposed to be.
I just need to do some rearranging, and cleaning up on the desk and I'll be real happy with the setup.

If anyone is interested, here are links the the coax to ethernet transceivers and the Pi 400.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01AYMGPIO/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o06_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1

https://www.canakit.com/raspberry-pi-400-desktop-computer-kit.html

IMG_20210219_165439915_HDR.jpg IMG_20210219_165446686.jpg
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: 8 users

JimmyJazz

Active member

Equipment
Steiner 425
Aug 8, 2020
203
84
28
Pittsburgh, Pa
I just bought a wifi extender. If you have wifi in your house this gadget perhaps would have accomplished the same thing much easier. Bought it for a similar reason. Recommended by the guy from the phone company. $30. I had never heard of one until about a month ago. There are many available on Amazon. There are probably valid reasons for distrusting wifi but I am too stupid to care. My cell phone at the same remote location somehow according to the installer now operates "securely" thru the wifi. Not sure I believe it but the reception is fantastic. Worth considering. Congratulations on your technological feat.
 

85Hokie

Well-known member
Lifetime Member

Equipment
BX-25D w/ Filled Rears,2" Spacers,PTB. Under Armor, 90'-90'-92'-B7100HST's
Jul 13, 2013
7,859
313
83
Bedford - VA
Excellent work!

I felt the same need a few years ago - 1st shed I used as a "work shed" - ran CAT5 and COAX in that heavy conduit that they use to run fiber on the side of the highways.....

The "kubota" shed comes off the first shed with a mini smart switch - has another set of the cat5 and a "older" windows 7 computer in there - as mentioned, looking up quick questions like "how much oil does the B7100 take" and having a constant source of information is priceless. Another plus is to have "good" music via youtube or Iheart radio when working on the Kubota or other items. In today's world - that connect is almost priceless.

OR I can go and hide in the shed and pretend I am working on something ........ all the while looking up or listening to something........ ok - secret is out!:p
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

GreensvilleJay

Well-known member

Equipment
BX23-S
Apr 2, 2019
1,897
274
83
Greensville,Ontario,Canada
I ran CAT5 into garage as it's a LOT faster than any wireless box. Use a $1500 laptop that was 'free-2-me' ( dead battery. Kinda overkill as it's mainly to play music when I'm in there. Fixed the 'dead battery' awhile ago. I blow th ekrap off the keyboard once in a blue moon. If it does die, I have 5-6 other laptops to use.
I also split the CAT5 so I can run my energy control system and security ,all hardwired ....too easy to hack wireless.
 

NHSleddog

Well-known member
Lifetime Member

Equipment
B2650
Dec 19, 2019
1,517
773
113
Southern, NH
A PC in the shop is one of the most important tools to have these days.

I run a 55"4K for the monitor in the shop. It is fantastic for manuals and fiche's and the guy standing over your shoulder. I highly recommend it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users

johnjk

Active member
Lifetime Member

Equipment
B3200 w/loader, Woods RC5 brush hog, 4' box blade, tooth bar, B1700 MMM,
Apr 13, 2017
676
85
28
West Mansfield, OH
My last house I ran CAT5 everywhere. This one, it’s all wifi
 

bird dogger

Active member
Lifetime Member

Equipment
Kubota B2650 and lots of other equipment
Feb 24, 2019
671
238
43
North Dakota
My neighbor and I abruptly lost our normal ISP towards the end of last year. We're both a few miles out in the country and have lots of trees around. I was able to move my pole and antenna and pick up the only other provider in the area. My neighbor was not so lucky and relied on his phone for a while until we found this option. Using my new internet service, we set up a point to point bridge system using these:

Ubiquiti NanoBeam ac Gen2 High-Performance airMAX ac Bridge (NBE-5AC-Gen2-US)

For about $100 each, or less (two required) we were successful shooting my internet service across the road to his house and it's been working great. They are line of sight for up to about 7 miles but ours are only a few hundred yards apart. This would also be a nice solution to get internet service to your buildings where plowing in cable is prohibitive or the distances too long. There has also been no degrading of my service by the addition. And it was a lot easier than boring under the county road in the middle of the night to avoid detection and beg forgiveness! :ROFLMAO:
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

NHSleddog

Well-known member
Lifetime Member

Equipment
B2650
Dec 19, 2019
1,517
773
113
Southern, NH
When we first moved into our neighborhood, there was no internet available. I had a frame relay line, and a frac T brought in with a loop to the data center.

We used yagi antennas to get my 3 neighbors internet. It was a blast and worked well for several years.
 

RCW

Well-known member
Lifetime Member

Equipment
BX2360, FEL, MMM, BX2750D snowblower. 1953 Minneapolis Moline ZAU
Apr 28, 2013
4,955
405
83
Chenango County, NY
I just bought a wifi extender. If you have wifi in your house this gadget perhaps would have accomplished the same thing much easier.
Not a separate building, but I used a wifi extender to get service out to my garage. I just have a television out there, but a computer could hook to it.

I think there are ways to "jump" from one extender to another to reach an out-building?

We're pretty rural, so I don't have security on the wifi. That way we're not trying to remember passwords if kids come home.

I guess if I every see 3 cars parked out front, I'll change that after I put my gun away.... 🤔
 

Henro

Well-known member

Equipment
B2910, BX2200, KX41-2V mini Ex.
May 24, 2019
1,067
212
63
North of Pittsburgh PA
Not a separate building, but I used a wifi extender to get service out to my garage. I just have a television out there, but a computer could hook to it.

I think there are ways to "jump" from one extender to another to reach an out-building?

We're pretty rural, so I don't have security on the wifi. That way we're not trying to remember passwords if kids come home.

I guess if I every see 3 cars parked out front, I'll change that after I put my gun away.... 🤔
I have about 400 feet between my house and the house next door that I have been renovating forever it feels like. I use a wifi access point at the house, and a NegGear wireless router (forget the model number or type, it has been a while.) at the house next door. There are some trees between the locations, but not too bad.

I get about 20 Mbps speeds for the most part, varies a little but not much. Fast enough for what I need. Actually pretty amazed it works so well at that distance.
 

JimmyJazz

Active member

Equipment
Steiner 425
Aug 8, 2020
203
84
28
Pittsburgh, Pa
I have about 400 feet between my house and the house next door that I have been renovating forever it feels like. I use a wifi access point at the house, and a NegGear wireless router (forget the model number or type, it has been a while.) at the house next door. There are some trees between the locations, but not too bad.

I get about 20 Mbps speeds for the most part, varies a little but not much. Fast enough for what I need. Actually pretty amazed it works so well at that distance.
Sounds like you know what you are doing. I just had the internet/wifi connection hooked up at my remote "Hillbilly Hideout" so I can use it to work remotely. I must say it works great. About $80 per month and no contract so I can cancel whenever I want. My wifi extender will come in handy when I turn off the oil fired boiler main heat source and move to the semi-finished space (that I too have been renovating forever) above the adjacent shop that has a wood stove. Kinda funny the lengths I go to to save a buck. Been like this my entire life.
 

mikester

Active member

Equipment
M59 TLB
Oct 21, 2017
811
124
43
Canada
www.divergentstuff.ca
Do yourself a favour and buy a couple of ethernet surge arrestors and use them on either end of your underground cable. I had a local lightning ground strike and everything connected on both ends of my buried cable got zapped. You can't predict where lightning goes.
 

nbryan

Active member

Equipment
B2650HST ROPS, LA534A, BH77, BB1560, B2782B, WC68 6" Woodchipper, Woods M5 Mower
Jan 3, 2019
418
155
43
Hadashville, Manitoba, Canada
I use took older Cisco/Linksys routers I found for free or dirt cheap at garage sales and flashed them with DD-WRT open-source firmware. They are then set up as wifi repeaters. All that's needed then is 110v plug and some protection from the weather.
My neighbor has been renting a wifi internet connection from us using a very old Linksys WRT54G with DD-WRT and set up as a repeater. I's up on a 20 foot pole within reach of a 50 ft extension cord from a freezer shed, inside an inverted 20L plastic garbage bin for weather protection.
This has worked for nearly 10 years.
I now have 3 dd-wrt wifi repeaters fanned out around the yard from the main router. There's always a good signal within about 300 ft of the yard.
 

random

Active member

Equipment
L3301, bucket, backhoe, grader, plow, harrow, cultivator
Nov 2, 2020
279
127
43
NC
I can get wifi out to about 300' from the house. Haven't tried going past the treeline yet. It probably helps that there is nobody close enough to interfere - if you see a wifi connection at my house, it's mine. (unless it's the FBI van hotspot).

I'm not too worried about the cows next door stealing my bandwidth...
 

aaluck

Active member

Equipment
L4400HST, Bush Hog 276, RDTH60, Speeco PHD, etc
Oct 9, 2019
297
103
43
Snowdoun, AL
just bought a wifi extender. If you have wifi in your house this gadget perhaps would have accomplished the same thing much easier
How far does the wifi extender work and which model did you get. I need about 170 feet to get to my workshop.
 

random

Active member

Equipment
L3301, bucket, backhoe, grader, plow, harrow, cultivator
Nov 2, 2020
279
127
43
NC
How far does the wifi extender work and which model did you get. I need about 170 feet to get to my workshop.
There are a few variables.

Most wifi extenders work by identifying your network, then creating a relay point with a new network for the more distant devices. You first "program" it near your wifi router so it knows what to connect to. Then you take it to the remote point where you want it. You'll want to put it at a point where the router's signal is starting to deteriorate, but not so far that it has connection problems. Now when you start it, it connects to your wifi router and then creates a NEW network (mine just adds _EXT to the network name) that your more remote devices can use.

There are two main types of wifi: 2.4GHz and 5GHz (these refer to the frequencies used). 5GHz has a higher data capacity, 2.4GHz will carry farther. Although under most circumstances that won't make a difference, sometimes you'll hit a case where one or the other is better (for example, I make sure my Hopper is connected to 5GHz for streaming - seems to work better for me)

Distance is one concern, obstructions is another. The more stuff in the way, the faster the signal attenuates. I have a remodeled garage with a bedroom in it that's maybe about 70 feet from the router, and it needs an extender, because the signal has to get through several walls including an exterior wall, and a ceiling. All that stuff in the way degrades the signal to where it's barely existent. But in the field around my house, I can get a signal practically anywhere because the router is next to a window on the top floor of the house, so there are no obstructions to block it.

You should be able to use a phone or tablet to see how much signal you can get how far out - go as far toward the shop as you can get and still maintain internet connection, that should tell you where you would need to put the extender. Then see how far it remains to the shop and how clear the path is.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users

GreensvilleJay

Well-known member

Equipment
BX23-S
Apr 2, 2019
1,897
274
83
Greensville,Ontario,Canada
If you want real good reliable and FAST data pull copper ! CAT 5 -6-7-8 whatever, hands down copper will ALWAYS be faster,especially if you add an 'extender'. And...no one can hack into it......well easily.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users