Originally Posted by mithrandir
I presume any mains power is already running through separate conduit.
How long is the cable run? USB has much shorter limits than GigE.
If you are running solid core Cat6 for your GigE, have you considered running your USB over that too? The USB to Gig converters aren't cheap but you would eliminate crosstalk and power drop in the USB.
Also pulling one cable through a duct is easier than two, especially if you have to replace one at some stage.
If you were worried about lightning, you could use fibre between the switches.
I haven't had much success so far with USB-GigE converters. I've tried 2 brands and each seems to be unable to deal with anything more complex than an external HD or a thumb-drive device. Might run a web-cam but try to get it to talk to a CCD camarea - like a QHY5 guide cam or a QHY8 imaging cam and it bottoms out.
Because this is not my area of expertise at all, I am fumbling in the dark a bit more than usual and - as usual - it costs 3 times what its worth before you stumble over the right combination. So any suggestions as to devices that would work would be gratefully received.
I have a broadband signal beamed to the observatory where it is is picked up by a dish and then into an access point and then into a wired 4-port switch. The individual computers in the obs are connected via Cat5 cable at the moment but maybe now is the time to go up a level there as well.