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In a CSMA/CD environment, how many repeaters may be used between end systems?

In a CSMA/CD environment, how many repeaters may be used between end systems?

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This is a great question, and it has often plagued many long distance carriers. However, since a repeater can and often does re-amplify a signal, the re-amplification process will increase its potential range. Therefore, as an example, a 10BASE-T repeater placed where the signal starts to degrade (just before 100 m) can effectively extend the range of the signal another 100 m -- in theory. It's a little less, but having two repeaters within the same 100 m range can extend its coverage by at least an additional 100 m. As long as the signal is strong enough for the repeater to re-amplify, you could potentially extend the signal infinitely. Often, the repeater signal is not the problem but the budget. Significant engineering exercise is conducted to ensure signal stability with the fewest repeaters to reduce cost over long distances.

This was first published in May 2007

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