How do I test a twisted pair run for signal quality
Posted on 2004-08-14
I am renting a house in Phuket, Thailand for a year or two. The telephone system here is about what it was like in the USA 5 years ago. For example, I am sending this message via a regular old dial-up modem connection that's getting 30 to 38 kilobits per second.
There's a local outfit that will sell me Internet bandwidth (256 kilobits per sec with peaks up to about 800 kbits --- that's all the way to a router in the US). I hope to use this for both data and VoIP. They will get the Telecom Org of Thailand (TOT) to run copper to a pole outside the house (which is in a small compound).
We have found some unused twisted pair that can be jumped all the way from the pole to an unused RJ45 (currently RJ11 of course) faceplate in the room where I need it. I would say this cable is 5 years old, it is certainly not cat 5 (in fact it is the old-fashioned 4-wire stuff --- red, green, and (unused yellow and black). The guy who installed it obviously knew what he was doing --- the TP is nicely dressed, tied, and labelled, and the 66 block is nice and tidy. The cable distance from pole to faceplate is about 45 yards, with two jump points.
Before I spend too much on this, I want to test signal quality the existing twisted pair from the pole to the faceplate. I believe I need some kind of signal generator at one end, and a Dbmeter on the other, but I'm not sure. Here are my specific questions:
1. What equipment do I really need for this? Any suggestions as to supplier and price (I can have it bought in the USA and Fedexed here)?
2. Any tricks or suggestions for using it?
3. Most important: how much dB loss is too much?