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 Post subject: Robust switch over flaky wire connection.
PostPosted: Fri Sep 26, 2008 10:38 pm 
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I have a wire in my wall with several connections in it. I also have a patch panel involved. I am not able to generate enough power for two D-Link DGS-2208 (low-power, Green) switches to detect and work with each other. (One in the basement and the second in a loft.) I can use the network fine and communicate with my pc to send and receive when *not* using the upstairs switch.

I am wondering whether there is a really robust, powerful gigabit switch/set of switches that I could replace my DGS-2208s with that would sense each other and work better through that wall?

I am considering SMC GS8 switches, and they received really high ratings at NewEgg.com.

Thank you!


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 Post subject: Re: Robust switch over flaky wire connection.
PostPosted: Sat Sep 27, 2008 5:20 am 
Hired Gun
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jmegas wrote:
I am not able to generate enough power for two D-Link DGS-2208 (low-power, Green) switches to detect and work with each other.


Please explain what you mean by not enough power. Are you saying that the switches aren't sending a strong enough signal over the cable? Sounds more like a cable issue then a switch issue to me.


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 Post subject: Cable issue versus Switch issue
PostPosted: Sat Sep 27, 2008 8:19 am 
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It *is* a cable issue, but the cables are wired correctly. The problem is that the two DGS-2208 switches do not detect each other over that cable. The cable is Cat5e and the switches, of course, are gigabit. The cable also carries telephone signals, but there are separate pairs for the Ethernet. The cable itself, which runs in the walls, may have been mistreated during installation.

I am able to connect to the Internet, print to a network printer, and go into the firmware in a router connected to the first switch with no problem. Therefore, I do not think it could be that the wires are wired incorrectly because they work.

D-Link says the "green, low-power" switches do not signal as powerfully as other switches and they shut down when they do not detect any activity. Perhaps that is the problem, but the green connect light does not come on when I put the patch cable into the switch. I have tried three different DGS-2208 and they all have the same problem.

I hope this clarifies the problem.


Last edited by jmegas on Tue Sep 30, 2008 7:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Cable issue versus Switch issue
PostPosted: Sat Sep 27, 2008 10:33 am 
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jmegas wrote:
I hope this clarifies the problem.


Not at all actually, but I still say it's a cable issue. Try a dedicated Cat5e cable for trouble shooting. I think your funky wiring setup is to blame, either that or you're not describing it correctly. You should not use the same cable for voice and data. You can use the same type of cable, but not the same exact cable. Also Cat5 is not rated for gigbit use, only Cat5e and higher.


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 Post subject: It *is* a cable issue, but how to solve?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 27, 2008 10:41 am 
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I agree it is a cable issue, but I need to be able to solve it. If I were to run a wire from the basement up to the switch, it would work fine. However, that would be pretty ugly. As this is a log cabin, I cannot just run new wire; I am stuck with what I have. The question is whether there is a good switch that *might* negotiate gigabit, but would have no trouble dropping down to 10/100 if gigabit failed. Obviously the DGS-2208 can not do this well. The two DGS-2208 switches work when connected directly together, and the network works on all seven jacks without the upstairs switch. I need some switch which will work upstairs so I can run multiple devices upstairs. I would prefer gigabit because I want to install NAS upstairs eventually.

Thank you!


Last edited by jmegas on Tue Sep 30, 2008 8:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: It *is* a cable issue, but how to solve?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 27, 2008 2:50 pm 
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jmegas wrote:
I agree it is a cable issue, but I need to be able to solve it. If I were to run a wire from the basement up to the switch, it would work fine. However, that would be pretty ugly. As this is a log cabin, I cannot just run new wire; I am stuck with what I have. The question is whether there is a good switch that *might* negotiate gigabit, but would have no trouble dropping down to 10/100 if gigabit failed. Obviously the DGS-2208 can no do this well. They work when connected together, but the network works without the upstairs switch. I need some switch which will work upstairs so I can run multiple devices upstairs.

Thank you!


I think you will have the same problem no matter what switch you use, because your problem is not your switch. I don't know your situation, but running a new cable is always an option.

If I was going to suggest a switch I would suggest this one.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6833122111

If you don't need 8 ports here is a 4 port
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6833122128


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 Post subject: Problem with Switch/Wiring
PostPosted: Sat Sep 27, 2008 3:01 pm 
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I think you may be correct. It may be a problem in the wiring that I can not solve. However, my notebook can connect and work fine over this connection, although I do not know what speed it is connecting at. It does have a gigabit chip in it, but I suspect it is connecting at 10/100.

I did buy from the reviews at NewEgg.com. However, I chose a different switch.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6833129025

It got the highest rating of the unmanaged switches at NewEgg.com other than the DGS-2208 I already tried. However, even SMC does not know how well it will handle a poor cable connection.

I have to drive 800 miles roundtrip to check the switch, so it will be several weeks before I know whether it works or not. I can not tell whether the SMC uses a different chipset than the D-Link, but it does not have the power-saving, green features.

This has been extremely time-consuming!

I'd be interested in what you think about the SMC GS8?

Thank you!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 27, 2008 5:15 pm 
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I only use Dlink, netgear or Linksys for home solutions. Never really used SMC so I can't express and opinion about them.


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 Post subject: I guess I'm back on my own.
PostPosted: Sat Sep 27, 2008 5:59 pm 
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Thank you for all the help! The DGS-2208 definitely will *not* work. D-Link has offered to exchange it, so I'll keep that model in mind.

Thank you for all your input!


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 Post subject: Re: Cable issue versus Switch issue
PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2008 6:15 pm 
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jmegas wrote:
The cable is Cat5 and the switches, of course, are gigabit. The cable also carries telephone signals.



That's your problem right there.

The most common form of Gigabit Ethernet (1000BaseT) uses ALL FOUR PAIRS for simultaneous transmission.

Your best bet is to drop down to 100BaseTX speeds, as that standard is far more tolerant of shitty wiring and only uses two pairs of wires.


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 Post subject: Dropping down to 10/100 speed.
PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2008 7:02 pm 
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That's what I am tring to do, but I wanted to keep gigabit upsairs. Therefore, I wanted a switch that the upstairs DGS-2208 could detect, which *might* have the capability to run faster; yet one which would clearly drop back to 10/100 if it detects a bad connection. These two DGS-2208 switches keep trying gigabit connections, and then they *fail* completely when they are unable to connect at gigabit. As I understood auto-negotiation they are supposed to then try 10/100, but they do not. They just give up.

I want a switch which will drop to 10/100 because of the flaky wiring, even when it detects a gigabit device.

D-Link says a much more expensive switch, the DGS-1016D, should be better at doing this. It is a far more powerful switch, and is supposed to be more independent the way it runs 10/100 or gigabit.

I do not know whether this is overkill, but I do know that the two DGS-2208 switches fail over that wire. I do not want to go both 10/100 unless I absolutely have to.


Last edited by jmegas on Tue Sep 30, 2008 8:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2008 7:12 pm 
King of All Voodoo2 Cards
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Unless you move the telephone line(s) off the cable, Gigabit will never work over it.


Ethernet does not work like WiFi, it doesn't "fall back" if the signal becomes too weak over the cable. It simply doesn't work.


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 Post subject: I'm still confused?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2008 7:21 pm 
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If eithernet simply does not work, then why can I use my Lenovo notebook, which comes with a gigabit chip, to (a) surf the Internet, (b) access the firmware of the router, and (c) print to a network printer?

I do not understand my symptoms, and I would appreciate some help. I *am* able to use the network, but two gigabit switches fail. Why do they not drop back to 10/100 as they are supposed to do?

Thank you! :-)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2008 3:56 pm 
Million Club [PC]*
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Well, which switch are you connecting the notebook to: the primary (downstairs) switch, or the secondary (upstairs) switch that doesn't work right?

Aside from Flytrap and Hitman here, you've basically answered your own question: you have two unmanaged Gigabit switches that you're trying to connect with what is, literally, half of a Cat5 (not even Cat5e) cable. The switches cannot negotiate the connection; therefore, there is no connectivity between the two.
The notebook (if you're connecting it to the cable running upstairs) can likely do better link-speed detection and negotiation than the switches are managing to do.
Best option (which, due to construction of the building, you can't do) would be to run a new, proper, Cat5e or better cable. Gb needs all four pair to work properly.
Option #2: replace the secondary switch with a 10/100 unit. That should be able to properly negotiate the connection.
Option #3: replace both units with managed switches. This would allow you to hard-set that link to 10/100. This, however, would be both spendy, and kind of retarded (as you would be limited to a 100Mb connection between machines on different switches (floors.)
I like option #2. It's fairly inexpensive, and should take care of the problem. Slightly kludgy, but effective.


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 Post subject: Will stronger switch help?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2008 6:08 pm 
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I wrote a long careful post, but it was flagged as spam and deleted. <ouch>

All seven jacks in the cabin go through the DGS-2208 in the basement. All seven jacks work fine with the notebook, but none of them can detect the DGS-2208 upstairs. I have used three different DGS-2208s, so it is not a defective unit. (Although all the DGS-2208s may not be good over flaky cables.) The DGS-2208 is not detected on other ports in the cabin. The only way I can get the DGS-2208 connected to the other DGS-2208 is to connect them directly.

I may have misspoke regarding the cable in the wall. I think it is Cat5e, and I *know* it is terminated properly with Hubbell-Premise jacks and a Hubbell-Premise patch panel. An electrical engineer terminated everyhing and put it together, so I know that part was done properly. The network jacks also contain four pairs of wires, not two. (The phone line does *not* share wiring with the network.) A poor quality electrician put the wiring in the wall, and that may have been handled badly. He made numerous other mistakes throughout the cabin.

I am able to (a) surf the Internet, (b) print over the network, and (c) enter the firmware on the router from the network anywhere in the house. That suggests to me that the cable is wired properly.

I am hoping a more powerful switch in the basement might be able better to auto-negotiate with the upstairs DGS-2208 even if it has to drop back to 10/100 speed.

Why don't these switches have better speed negotiation chips in them? One would hope they could handshake with other switches for a reliable connection.

I would like gigabit upstairs so I can add NAS later, even if it is only that switch that is gigabit. (However, it has to be able to auto-negotiate some sort of connection with the switch in the basement.)

(I forgot many of the points I made in my longer post, which was deleted.)


Last edited by jmegas on Tue Sep 30, 2008 8:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: All four pairs of wires are properly connected.
PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2008 6:14 pm 
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I checked with the electrical engineer who did the job,and he has four pairs of wires going to each network jack. The phone wires are not sharred. He says it is wired for gigabit, but he could not guarantee the wiring in the wall. In fact, he thought it highly unlikely the electican installed the cable in the wall correctly. It is Cat5e cable, and it has four twisted pairs, but it is uncertain *what* is going on inside those walls.

The EE does not have a fancy network certification tester so he can test the cable. The best one I can find appears to be the Fluke CableIQ, and those cost $900.00. (I wish I had one right now!)

I hope this adds clarification to my post.


Last edited by jmegas on Tue Sep 30, 2008 8:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Additional clarification to my post.
PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2008 6:22 pm 
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I do not understand why the inexpensive Intel gigabit chip in my Lenovo notebook can easily (a) detect the network connection, (b) work on the network, and (c) negotiate speed, when the DGS-2208 switch, which is designed to interface with other network devices, cannot even detect another switch though the flaky connection. (Both are operating on the *same* flaky wire.) Are the chips in the notebook that much better than the chip in the switch? If so, how do I purchase a switch with a chip in it that is *at least* as good as the chip in my notebook? It seems reasonable that a switch ought to be able to auto-negotiate as well as a notebook. (Or, at least it seems reasonable to me.)


Last edited by jmegas on Tue Sep 30, 2008 8:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Everything I added was Cat6
PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2008 6:38 pm 
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In rewriting my post, I forgot to add that everything I have added is Cat6, including the Hubbell-Premise jacks and the Hubbell-Premise patch panel.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2008 7:08 pm 
Hired Gun
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So you want to know why the switch doesn't do what it's not intended to do? It's like driving a sports car on a dirt road with pot holes and asking why you can't drive over 20mph with out loosing control of the car, yet an old pickup that can't do over 50mph on the freeway can handle the road better then the expensive sports car.

The problem isn't the switch it's the cable. 3 people have told you the same thing, and you even acknowledged it yourself. If you want gigabit you have to change the cable, if you can't do that your stuck with 10/100. Cup and Fly both did a good job of explaining why this isn't possible, but you don't seem to want to accept it.

BTW it's proper forum edict to edit your post instead of making 3 replies back to back. Not a big deal, just a tip.


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 Post subject: I don't expect gigabit.
PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2008 7:23 pm 
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I do *not* expect gigabit. All I want the switches to do is to auto-negotiate properly. I probably do not get gigabit from my Lenovo notebook, but I do connect with the switch in the basement (over the flaky wire), and I have complete network function. The DGS-2208 does not even *detect* the switch in the basement.

Additionally, some of the responses were based upon the idea that: (a) I had Cat5 not Cat5e wiring and (b) that I had only two pairs instead of four pairs of wiring. My phone lines do not share with the network. I do have four twisted pairs of wiring.

Lastly, I appreciate your comment on etiquette. I spent more than 30 minutes on my first attempt at a long post, but it was deleted as spam. I am getting tired, and I forgot all the aspects I had put into that post. I kept adding to avoid wasting forum members' time by exchanges I should have included in the initial post. (They were intended as clarification.) I also became a bit "gunshy." I had never had a post automatically deleted before, and I was afraid it might happen again. I didn't want to write a long, thoughtful, post only to have it deleted as I went to submit it. Thank you for your patience and understanding.


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