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Hardware Thread, Recommend a Cat5 Tone Generator in Technical; ...
  1. #1

    fiza's Avatar
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    Recommend a Cat5 Tone Generator

    I have a couple of ports that I need to trace. There are 3 surrounding cabinets all with patch panels that have the same numbers (dont ask!!). I went to all 3 cabs but cant seem to find where they terminate as the numbers font seem to correspond. I need to trace these and I thought a tone generator would help. Also would come in handy in the longer term.

    I need one that is good but doesnt break the bank £50-£100 is the limit.

    Any recommendations would be welcome (from experience of use please not google)

    Thanks

  2. #2
    dgsmith's Avatar
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    We use a £15 one bought on ebay and whilst it's simplistic, it does the job (that is, sends a tone down the line). We didn't need anything fancy and this has saved our bacon countless times. Can't say it's been tested across any long length (over 30m) but the longer length would just mean a fainter tone and it's still usually possible at longer lengths to work out the tone signal.

    More expensive ones may offer cat5 line testers as well as maybe many other advanced stuff but when we asked ourself do we need that (as we already have 2 very decent dedicated line testers) then the answer was simply we just wanted something that would send a tone to be picked up at the other end which is exactly what we got.
    Last edited by dgsmith; 20th November 2013 at 04:15 PM.

  3. #3
    Chris_'s Avatar
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    We use a Fluke Intellitone 100 and probe kit. It works great and has been invaluable when tracing network cables, phone cabling, speaker cabling...

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    m25man's Avatar
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    +1 for Intellitone, its built into most Fluke Testers as standard now but the standalone units are great tools.
    The digital mode is excellent for pinpointing cables that are in big bunches.
    The Fluke is by far best for dedicated Ethernet networks, as you can safely connect it to an unknown far end, without fear of damaging the switch or device that maybe plugged in at the other end!
    Unlike some cheaper devices!
    Plug in your £20 Tone generator and take out a £4000 Core switch you will be popular!

    If you don't know what is at the other end of the port/panel/lead you could be playing Russian roulette with the network.
    A couple of misplaced croc clips could lead to all sorts of trouble!

    Cheap tone gen's are fine for Telco work and dead circuits.

    But at £175 + VAT its double your budget.

  5. #5
    dgsmith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by m25man View Post
    Plug in your £20 Tone generator and take out a £4000 Core switch you will be popular!

    If you don't know what is at the other end of the port/panel/lead you could be playing Russian roulette with the network.
    A couple of misplaced croc clips could lead to all sorts of trouble!

    Cheap tone gen's are fine for Telco work and dead circuits.

    But at £175 + VAT its double your budget.
    Can't say we've had that problem at all on any switch a line has been attached to (besides the fact we'd be lucky to have a switch anywhere near costing £4k)! Plus the cheap ones do have proper connector blocks.

    Given the budget here is max £100 then there is a limit how good/safe/functional etc that can get. If you could stretch what you have to spend then Intellitone kit isn't a bad choice at all and you'd probably be glad you spent the extra.

    I'm quite happy with the cheap one which has been used in many scenerios without a hiccup, but each to their own

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    +2 for intellitone. Don't know why we didn't buy one sooner - it's not just a tone generator as does cable verification which you don't get with some of the cheaper ones.
    You absolutely need to have something like this in your toolkit.

  7. #7
    Chris_'s Avatar
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    The Intellitone 100 kit is just over £100. If you want more features like cable testing/certification then there is the Intellitone 200 which is more expensive, I assume @m25man was quoting the price of the 200?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris_ View Post
    The Intellitone 100 kit is just over £100. If you want more features like cable testing/certification then there is the Intellitone 200 which is more expensive, I assume @m25man was quoting the price of the 200?
    http://docs-europe.electrocomponents...6b8074b757.pdf

    Yes, the 100 is primarily meant for POTs testing the 200 adds specific features for Ethernet like wire mapping.

    IMHO paying the extra for the wiremap feature is worth it if you don't want to carry two tools.

    I have said this before though, Fluke are great however they are clever enough to make sure that none of their tools do everything you want, you always feel the need you have to buy the unit above or below your choice to get a complete set.

    They are the test kit equivalent of a crack dealer... I now seem to own one of everything from a Fluke DVM to a One Touch AT

    Buy the Intellitione 100 you will wish you bought the 200
    Buy the 200 you'll wish you bought the Cable IQ kit then you'll want a link runner........then..... then... No wonder I'm skint.

  9. Thanks to m25man from:

    Chris_ (21st November 2013)

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