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Old July 18th, 2018, 10:50 AM   #1
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Plastic is offline
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Single Ethernet switch - Dirty & High Ambient Temperature

We are planning a new installation.

Large industrial building. PLC will be in one end climate controlled room.
Some distributed Ethernet/IP I/O far end of building about 400 feet away.

We are contemplating Ethernet over fiber.....
..but a few team members would endorse a simple copper Ethernet switch in the middle.

The reason to not do fiber, as fiber termination is only done by a smaller number of trained persons. Copper Ethernet is readily service and deployed by a large number of persons.

To entertain a single switch in the middle, we would need a small enclosure to house the switch, and provide climate control in the enclosure.

The plant ambient temperature in the summer can be 120 degrees F. It is also a dirty, sooty environment.

What suggestions might you propose that has been successful?

Thank You

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Old July 18th, 2018, 11:08 AM   #2
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If you do end up using the copper switch, you can get extended temperature ranges. For example, Moxa makes -40C to +75C variants. I'm sure other industrial vendors will do similar.
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Old July 18th, 2018, 11:33 AM   #3

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+1 on the extended temperature range switches

The Cisco IE2000 and IE4000 are -40C to 70C ambient, if memory serves.
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Old July 18th, 2018, 12:11 PM   #4
Ken Roach
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I use N-Tron switches when I know the temperatures will be high. Even their little 100-series are rated for -40 to 80 C (176 F). They are tough enough to be rated for traffic control and railway control applications.

The 104-MDR would work in this application (the "MDR" is a metal DIN rail mount base; super stout). They also have a 105M12 with IP67 connectors if you don't want to put it into its own enclosure.

Last edited by Ken Roach; July 18th, 2018 at 12:16 PM.
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Old July 18th, 2018, 12:25 PM   #5
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I'd suggest climate controlled panels for the equipment in the hot, dirty area.

I think that the fear of using fiber optics is irrational, but the fiber signals would have to be converted to electrical signals anyway, so I also don't see how you'd gain anything from using fiber. Soot can cause problems with uncoated electronics. I've been bitten by that in the past.
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Old July 18th, 2018, 12:54 PM   #6
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I'd look at IP65 rated switches, to avoid the hassle of a random small panel. Something like this should be pretty resilient to dust, while also being rated to temps up to 70C.

That said, fiber can be a good solution as well. If you put the right fiber in, it future proofs you for so many different situations.

Either way, I'd definitely recommend managed switches over unmanaged. You want to be sure you can find out what is wrong if/when something breaks.
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Old July 18th, 2018, 02:02 PM   #7

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+1 for N-tron.
My two cents.
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