epsilonGreedy

Second POE router in barn to reduce total cable usage.

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I have just totted up the total number of POE cables I would need in my garage if all of my future home automation plans get implemented. It is an embarrassingly large number that I won't state for the moment.

 

Now here is the problem, the average cable run from the barn/garage to the likely network hub in the main house about 35 meters. Let's assume 10 POE cables which is a drum and bit of CAT-6... call it £130. The total cost is bearable but the physical size of these 10 extra cables running through the house out to the barn/garage is something I would like to avoid.

 

In this situation would a satellite POE hub located in the barn with just a single uplink cable into the house be more sensible?

 

I am asking this question now because I am about to close up an attic space but if I am going to run 10 lan cable through this space I should be some carpentry provision for that now while access is easy.

 

I don't think the devices in the barn could saturate the single 1 Gig uplink cable between house and barn. I am thinking of 4 CCTV cams (2 internal and 2 external, plus some sensors and remote switches. 

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@epsilonGreedy what PoE switches are you using?  From what you've said, I don't see you need more than 1Gb, so probably the best would be to run 2 x (ideally) CAT6a runs to the garage and set those up as 2 X 1Gb switch uplinks with a Unifi PoE switch on the garage side, for example, with as many ports as you need.  If you really anticipate more traffic (or want to futureproof then you can look at doing 2 x fibre runs with 10Gb SFP+ uplinks but the price goes up quite a bit in that scenario.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, andy said:

@epsilonGreedy what PoE switches are you using?  From what you've said, I don't see you need more than 1Gb, so probably the best would be to run 2 x (ideally) CAT6a runs to the garage and set those up as 2 X 1Gb switch uplinks with a Unifi PoE switch on the garage side, for example, with as many ports as you need.  If you really anticipate more traffic (or want to futureproof then you can look at doing 2 x fibre runs with 10Gb SFP+ uplinks but the price goes up quite a bit in that scenario.

 

 

Thanks it is good to read confirmation of my initial hunch. I was going to run a second unconnected cable for redundancy or in case a future employer demands my home office is physically isolated from the general purpose home network.

 

I agree,  I cannot foresee a few (4) security cams overloading a 1 Gig uplink to the house. Given that I hope to feed the video streams into a central NVR box in the main house running AI image interpretation, the whole system will be constrained by the NVR CPU crunching the AI algorithms.

 

I have not thought about which PoE switch I will be using. I follow a software guy called Scot Hansleman and in one of his videos he describes why he is upgrading to a Unify Dream Machine Pro, it can handle two broadband connections and fail over if one fails though I suppose EE do that now at the consumer level.

 

https://youtu.be/afRV3qYuSfg?t=440

 

This is an excellent video for anyone intending to build a decent comms rack into their new build.

 

https://youtu.be/afRV3qYuSfg?t=1224

 

Even home automation experts might like the surprise feature in this link

 

https://youtu.be/afRV3qYuSfg?t=1525

 

Edited by epsilonGreedy

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So I have a UDM Pro and Unifi PoE switches - cannot recommend the setup strongly enough.  I don't need PoE on UDM Pro and it's the NVR for my PoE cams.  As an ecosystem, there's nothing else close to it plus with Homebridge, you can bring the cams into Apple HomeKit too :)

 

If you are running cables between the two switches, you can just go with CAT6 and set up an aggregation group, so you get resiliency on the inter-switch link.

 

Plus, with everything (access points, cameras) all being PoE then all you need to do is put a UPS centrally to keep everything up and running should you lose power.

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On 07/10/2021 at 13:57, epsilonGreedy said:

 

 Given that I hope to feed the video streams into a central NVR box in the main house running AI image interpretation, the whole system will be constrained by the NVR CPU crunching the AI algorithms.

 

This is something i've had on my geek to-do list - take the camera feed from our gate camera and if it recognises a number plate (or even face?) then automatically open the gate (already automated) - saves us from having to give our guest our gate code or them having ring the door bell.

 

Have you started researching this? Would be interesting to start reading up on anything  you've found to date.

 

On 07/10/2021 at 13:57, epsilonGreedy said:

 

Even home automation experts might like the surprise feature in this link

 

https://youtu.be/afRV3qYuSfg?t=1525

 

 

I love that - a perfect example of a modern technology that actually adds value to the customer - not just AR for AR sake.

Edited by AliMcLeod

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I have a similar requirement. I went for a hub and spoke approach. 10GB switch which the internet router connected to and then CAT 6 to various switches around the house, using 1GB switches with a single 10GB port for the "uplink". 

 

For the majority of home use cases 1GB is more than enough, especially given the average UK household's internet speed is 71.8Mbps (or 0.008975 GB/s), but the 10GB backbone avoids congestion within the home network itself and becomes more future-proof. 

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Maybe I am old fashioned, but for the life of me I can't see the advantage of such a high bandwidth uplink other than running a largish business. I planned out my house 6 years ago and used Cat 5E internally. The internal Enet links all run at 1Gb. I've a PoE switch in a shed and all of my cameras are wired back to it using exterior grade Cat 6. They FTP their snippets back to an internal file server. I don't really backup or use 3rd party services off-site (just on-site). My remote access is via a VPN service from one of my RPi4 servers..

 

For the life of me I can't see the advantage of putting my balls on a plate, and offering them gratis to some 3rd party with whom I have no effective contractual remedies.

Edited by TerryE
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39 minutes ago, TerryE said:

Maybe I am old fashioned, but for the life of me I can't see the advantage of such a high bandwidth uplink other than running a largish business. I planned out my house 6 years ago and used Cat 5E internally. The internal Enet links all run at 1Gb. I've a PoE switch in a shed and all of my cameras are wired back to it using exterior grade Cat 6. They FTP their snippets back to an internal file server. I don't really backup or use 3rd party services off-site (just on-site). My remote access is via a VPN service from one of my RPi4 servers..

 

For the life of me I can't see the advantage of putting my balls on a plate, and offering them gratis to some 3rd party with whom I have no effective contractual remedies.

 

The price point between CAT 5 and 6 is negligible, maybe an extra £30 for a 300m reel. All my cables have been chased into the walls at the same time as getting the house rewired and I don't intend on doing that again for another 30+ years so for me at least, it made sense. 

 

My biggest concern is network congestion - there's a finite number of devices that can be connected to a home WiFi at the same time before you start experiencing a degradation in their connection, so where possible I hardwire everything using ethernet (RJ45 to the back of TVs and gaming consoles etc, Smart Bulbs connected to a wired bridge rather than wifi etc), which is where a 10GB backbone comes into its own.

 

It's perhaps overkill right now, but it allowed me to geek out whilst I put it all together so I'll take that :)

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2 hours ago, jayc89 said:

My biggest concern is network congestion - there's a finite number of devices that can be connected to a home WiFi at the same time before you start experiencing a degradation in their connection, so where possible I hardwire everything using ethernet (RJ45 to the back of TVs and gaming consoles etc, Smart Bulbs connected to a wired bridge rather than wifi etc), which is where a 10GB backbone comes into its own.

 

 

I thought that a switch + subnets could be used to limit traffic propagation across a network though I take you point that WiFi could get overloaded. Scot Hansleman describes how he segments his home network using subnets in that first video I linked to.

 

I was thinking of going 100% wired PoE for home automation but now realize that each PoE socket on a high end switch is pricey so now I am considering bluetooth and the non wifi Zigbee networks for some data.

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You can improve wifi performance by ditching your single wifi enabled router and replacing it with multiple wifi access points that are hardwired back to the switch. Add more access points, or more powerful ones, as you need. It's how schools/hotels/etc that need to support hundreds or thousands of clients do it. 

 

You use subnets or vlans to segregate traffic e.g. to stop dodgy chinese smart bulbs from connecting to your pc. But all that network traffic is still passing through the single switch. You can physically segregate devices though e.g. connect all your cameras to a *different* switch entirely. 

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2 hours ago, James Newport said:

You use subnets or vlans to segregate traffic e.g. to stop dodgy chinese smart bulbs from connecting to your pc. But all that network traffic is still passing through the single switch.  

 

 

Ok this phrase is interesting. I thought the switch network speed referred to the speed from a switch RJ45 socket down the wire to the remote device and I assumed that once the network traffic was flowing through internal circuitry of the switch the speed and total capacity were far far higher. What I think you are saying is that even if a high end 1 gig switch is configured with multiple subnets that constrain where traffic flows, the switch is still limited to a cumulative 1 gig of internal traffic across all subnets.

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It will depend on the switch. It's just a computer with CPU and RAM and therefore has a limit on how much it can handle. The unifi switches are Linux boxes, so /I believe/ that everything happens inside via software, rather than some physical switch that gets set to direct traffic.

 

I am pessimistically assuming that the 1 gig is just the theoretical max!

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17 hours ago, AliMcLeod said:

This is something i've had on my geek to-do list - take the camera feed from our gate camera and if it recognises a number plate (or even face?) then automatically open the gate (already automated) - saves us from having to give our guest our gate code or them having ring the door bell.

 

Have you started researching this? Would be interesting to start reading up on anything  you've found to date.

 

 

I am only 2 weeks into my journey of trying to comprehend home automation and where the technology is going.

 

NPR seems more difficult than general AI image analysis. I understand NPR works best with a dedicated camera configured to focus on a small area. Regular security lights or IR lighting onboard a camera can overwhelm a camera at night because of the intensity of the reflected light from the number plate. Some advise use of filters in front of the lens to simplify the image.

 

Some highend NPR cameras can do the image analysis internally. At the other end of the scale others report success sending image frames to a cloud server for AI inspection.

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26 minutes ago, epsilonGreedy said:

What I think you are saying is that even if a high end 1 gig switch is configured with multiple subnets that constrain where traffic flows, the switch is still limited to a cumulative 1 gig of internal traffic across all subnets.

A quick check of the spec sheets for the unifi switches says that they "offers the forwarding capacity to simultaneously process traffic on all ports at line rate without any packet loss." 

 

So if you go unifi then your assumption is correct. But something worth checking though is what happens when you get VLANs involved - it's possible that extra layer of config will hit performance. 

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46 minutes ago, epsilonGreedy said:

What I think you are saying is that even if a high end 1 gig switch is configured with multiple subnets that constrain where traffic flows, the switch is still limited to a cumulative 1 gig of internal traffic across all subnets

Absolutely not (unless there's some really cheap stuff out there!).

 

With Unifi, depending on model, you're looking at a switch capacity of 104Gb and non-blockiung throughput of 52Gb.  Basically any port can shove 1Gb to any other port without issue, in parallel.

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43 minutes ago, epsilonGreedy said:

 

I am only 2 weeks into my journey of trying to comprehend home automation and where the technology is going.

 

NPR seems more difficult than general AI image analysis. I understand NPR works best with a dedicated camera configured to focus on a small area. Regular security lights or IR lighting onboard a camera can overwhelm a camera at night because of the intensity of the reflected light from the number plate. Some advise use of filters in front of the lens to simplify the image.

 

Some highend NPR cameras can do the image analysis internally. At the other end of the scale others report success sending image frames to a cloud server for AI inspection.

 

Thanks, I found this youtube article (I think you posted it on a different thread) and it's a great starting point for others interested in this too:

 

 

I've read up on BlueIris before (not gotten around to buy as need to buy a new server to host it) but hadn't come across Deepstack AI before, which looks very interesting.

 

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2 minutes ago, AliMcLeod said:

 

Thanks, I found this youtube article (I think you posted it on a different thread) and it's a great starting point for others interested in this too:

 

 

I've read up on BlueIris before (not gotten around to buy as need to buy a new server to host it) but hadn't come across Deepstack AI before, which looks very interesting.

 

Blue iris is great! 

 

Does the video mention if the deepstack stuff runs on the blue iris box, or is it cloud based?

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I've got a UDM pro, a small 8 port (4POE) switch doing the 4x Unifi APs in the house and then two single CAT6 (more fool me) links to the  sheds with cheap TPlink switches (I had lying around) hanging off. These switches each have another Unifi AP each plus 2-3 cameras. All Cameras flowing back to a hikvision NVR near the UDM pro (also a single network link- cameras in the house are fed direct from the POE NVR where possible).

 

The links are vulnerable as they're singles, but they're absolutely never overloaded. I do keep all Wifi home automation, cameras and Shelly stuff on a separate VLAN and the UDM pro is barely breaking a sweat. I'm really not using it to it's max as a NVR or IP phone solution...

 

VPN direct to the UDMP gives my remote kit the impression of being on the home network for viewing.

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26 minutes ago, James Newport said:

Blue iris is great! 

 

Does the video mention if the deepstack stuff runs on the blue iris box, or is it cloud based?

 

 

In another video he presents it as a completely local solution.

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On 11/10/2021 at 21:53, jayc89 said:

The price point between CAT 5 and 6 is negligible, maybe an extra £30 for a 300m reel....

 

My biggest concern is network congestion.

 

True now, but not when I configured mine. My point is that 1Gb for a single link is ample, so don't get into sweat over 5E Vs 6 for internal wiring. If you are wiring everything as a star into a switch, then the issue is switch capacity which is nothing to do with the fabric bandwidth.

 

My main point of that you don't need to be too worried about uplink bandwidth: if you are pumping that much data into the cloud then that's a serious concern in its own right. It is your data. Don't give it away lightly.

Edited by TerryE

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20 hours ago, TerryE said:

True now, but not when I configured mine. My point is that 1Gb for a single link is ample, so don't get into sweat over 5E Vs 6 for internal wiring.

 

 

I understand that different categories of LAN cable can deliver higher PoE watts. Do you think the max PoE watts is significant for ordinary home automation? Personally I am not happy with the idea of delivering many amps via a POE switch, a night time external security camera with a PIR triggered light is the most power hungry device I can think of.

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Modern PIR + IR nightlight cameras are pretty low power these days.  I've got a bunch of Reolink PoE cameras and IIRC the power draw is less than a quarter what the exterior CAT6 is rated for, and well with the specs of my PoE switch.   In fact one of my cameras uses an existing 5m run of pre-laid CAT5E -- it's buried under the block paving drive and it was just easier to use it rather than lift and re-lay the paving (if it worked that is).  I've had no problems with it. 

Edited by TerryE

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On 14/10/2021 at 11:40, epsilonGreedy said:

 

I understand that different categories of LAN cable can deliver higher PoE watts. Do you think the max PoE watts is significant for ordinary home automation? Personally I am not happy with the idea of delivering many amps via a POE switch, a night time external security camera with a PIR triggered light is the most power hungry device I can think of.

For reference, at present I have 3 x Unifi G4 Bullet cameras connected via CAT6a back to my Unifi PoE switch and the power draws at present are (cos Unifi makes all this so easy to view):

  1. 3.05w
  2. 3.26w
  3. 3.15w

I also have 3 x AP via PoE and they take a bit more power:

  1. IW-HD 4.7w
  2. IW-HD 4.55w
  3. AC-PRO 4.39w

Total draw at present on thw switch is 29.27w but this will climb as I put 1 or 2 cameras out eventually and also 2 or 3 more AP.

 

Don't go with CAT5e, do CAT6 at minimum (CAT6a is a bit more of a pain to terminate too).

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On 16/10/2021 at 07:50, andy said:

For reference, at present I have 3 x Unifi G4 Bullet cameras connected via CAT6a back to my Unifi PoE switch and the power draws at present are (cos Unifi makes all this so easy to view):

  1. 3.05w
  2. 3.26w
  3. 3.15w

I also have 3 x AP via PoE and they take a bit more power:

  1. IW-HD 4.7w
  2. IW-HD 4.55w
  3. AC-PRO 4.39w

Total draw at present on thw switch is 29.27w but this will climb as I put 1 or 2 cameras out eventually and also 2 or 3 more AP.

 

 

Fascinating numbers, thank you.

 

By my calculations a Watt-Year now costs £1.75  (24 x 365 x £0.2) and so I can foresee a fully spec'ed home automation system with multiple cameras, wifi APs, NVR+AI, hubs adding £100 to the annual electricity bill. The biggest consumers of home automation power will be AI software scanning multiple security camera feeds, wifi APs and multiple cameras. In contrast presence sensors, thermometers and radiator valve actuators will consume little on an annual basis.

 

I am only 3 weeks into my attempts to comprehend HA technology but I am already thinking an ideal setup would have many active 24x7 PIR detectors but with security cameras powered off by default. Such a system would eliminate 99% of the consumption of two of HA big consumers of power namely cameras and AI software. This type of system would require some high-end home automation routines but might be technically possible. This morning I have been looking into API driven on-off switching of a PoE socket on the Unifi switch. In theory a routine triggered by a PIR sensor could cold-boot all PoE security cameras into action via the PoE socket api. The viability of this design depends on the boot time of a security camera and how long it would take the BlueIRIS software to recognize each newly active camera feed at the NVR box. 

Edited by epsilonGreedy

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