Cable Testing / Finding
I was wondering what you folks use for cable testing and location.
We've had basic continuity testers on the past, but they've all been lost or broken now. We were wondering if we should replace like for like or grab something more advanced.
We run the odd cable here ourselves, and diagnose faults every few weeks. I can see an advanced tester that returns cable length and breaks would be handy, but the jump in price is quite large.
We've also got a fluke tone generator to locate cables in cabinets but we're not sure if it's had it's day.
Can you suggest what tools you use - and why it's good or bad? Thanks in advance.
You get the £3 basic testers,
You get the £70 ones that do ver little more.
You get the£x00's of pounds ones that give you full tests, and cable lengths etc..
We just use a £3 one.
We bought a Testum device a while ago for 90 quid from Ebay, worth 400 quid. Does everything except make the tea, has saved us a lot of heartache and time. Only thing it needed was the RJ45 connector replacing (easy job) due to wear. Worth keeping an eye out on ebay!
For the most part a cheap >£10 one off ebay will suffice if all you want to know is are all 8 cables connected properly at both ends. Add a cheap tone generator and probe ~£30 and you'll be able to diagnose most common issues. It may take you a little longer to fault find with this setup, but unless you are doing this everyday, then I don't see the need for any more advanced or expensive tools.
Testum NT-750 kit here and the length check is quite handy as if there is a break it will tell you roughly where it is.
If you have 2 of them you can throughput testing as well.
For cat5/Cat6 I use a Peak UTP05 Peak Electronic Design Limited - Atlas IT - Network Cable Analyser - Model UTP05 £78 but lets you test either end remotely, small £3 ones do the job for patch cables but if your testing across multiple rooms the Peak gives you a little more flexibility with the numbered ends. A tone generator is always worth having in your kit if you have a bundle of cables to track.
Thanks for the feedback. A bit half and half.
I think we're going to go for a more advanced testing unit. Too many times have we replunged both ends two or three times to find it still isn't right. A length tester will at least save our legs a bit. The ability to identify what's connected at the far end (device or switch) and whether PoE exists would come in handy also.
We've jumped in with both feet and we're going to order the following...
NC-500 NETCAT PRO 2 - GREENLEE TEXTRON - NETWORK TROUBLESHOOTER | CPC
CTX200P - BYTE BROTHERS - NETWORK CABLE TESTER WITH PROBE | CPC
The idea is these items give us effectively two testing units - one advanced, one simple - and the tone generator & probe we need. We cover numerous sites, so it's quite possible one unit would be out when we need one back at the office.
I'll try and feedback our experiences once we've had a play.
We had a Netcat - good bit of kit - if you're getting a lot of cabling done (we were in a new build) the additional socket tester kit is worth the spend - so you can test which socket is which with 6 extra end pieces - really speeds up the job
IntelliTone Pro Toner and Network Probe - Cable Network Testing | Fluke Networks
we have one of those and has been a great bit of kit for locating and testing cable runs.
Thanks @SpuffMonkey that's good to hear. We have gone for the extra testing ends too. If we are running cables we generally try to pull more than we need, so the extra ends will save some time.
@mikeyd101 Would have loved a fluke, but we couldn't justify the cost.
+1 here for cheap tester and tone generator, that's all I need