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Cheap Link Light Tester

Posted on 2005-03-18
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
I work for a desktop support group at a good sized company.  My responsibilities involving networks really end at the wall port, but I do have to test for link.  A lot of times for conference rooms or new hires who don't yet have a machine, I end up either have to bring a laptop or a hub with me just to check for link.  I am thinking about getting a really cheap hub that runs off 9v DC and hacking in some batteries, but I was wondering if there is a more elegant solution.  What I would really like is something about the size of a USB flash drive that I can just plug into a RJ45 port and check for link.  From what I remember link light is just a check of power on pins 3 and 6 so this has to be well within the realm of possibility.
I know I can get a real tester, but those cost $150+ and do way more then I am looking for.  I am also not looking for a cable tester.  Ideally something in the $30-40 range would be nice since I can get a hub for half that.
Anyone know of such a device?
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Question by:NRCody
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12 Comments
 
LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:SeeDavid
ID: 13580360
I found some really cheap old BNC/RJ45 Cable testers . They only test the 4 pairs, but work quite well. I  am willing to part with one for $20AUD plus Postage. In Australia. Not sure if you can get them elsewhere anymore.
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LVL 2

Author Comment

by:NRCody
ID: 13580482
Sorry, like I said in the post, I'm not interested in cable testers.  I assume you are talking about sometning like this:
http://shop.store.yahoo.com/bigbic/netmulnetcab.html
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LVL 8

Assisted Solution

by:Marakush
Marakush earned 300 total points
ID: 13580594
I think this might be what you are looking for.

http://www.lanshack.com/product1.asp?SID=10&Product_ID=2240

Marakush
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LVL 8

Expert Comment

by:Marakush
ID: 13580599
Ack ment to add desc.

Locates live hub ports by causing the associated port's light to blink. Locates dormant cables by supplying four unique traceable tone signals (inductive probe required).

Sorry,

Marakush
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LVL 2

Author Comment

by:NRCody
ID: 13582515
Marakush, this very well maybe what I'm looking for.  Their product page: http://www.psiber.com/techct1015.htm seems to hint at it.  I've sent their support dept an email asking if it does.  My guess how ever is they won't reply until Monday.  Thanks.
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LVL 79

Accepted Solution

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lrmoore earned 300 total points
ID: 13583890
This product may also work well for you
http://www.lanshack.com/product1.asp?SID=10&Product_ID=2239
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LVL 2

Author Comment

by:NRCody
ID: 13584494
lrmoore, that would be cool, but at $150 its a bit out of my price range.
I also found this: http://www.electools.com/item411103.ctlg at $83 seems closer to what I am looking for, but I have no clue if it really works.  It looks really cheaply made.  I can't even find who makes it.  But even $83 is almost twice what I am really looking to spend.
If the world really loved me, I could find something like this: http://www.electools.com/item411102.ctlg but for LANs.  At $6 I would buy two and mail one to who ever found it for me.  :-)

Not to derail my own thread, but what do other people use to deal with this issue?  The company I work for isn't willing to shell $150+ for a tester for me.  Is that them just being cheap?  
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LVL 79

Expert Comment

by:lrmoore
ID: 13585593
>Is that them just being cheap?
Absolutely. I've got over $8000 worth of test equipment including fluke meters, cat5 testers, fiber testers, etc. Not to mention fully licensed version Sniffer Pro at $20,000, plus fully licensed version of SolarWinds Engineers edition toolset.
$150 is pocket change if it saves you time.

The telephone jack testers work because a phone line has 48volt current in it- plenty to burn a light bulb. Ethenet connection carries zero voltage, so you have to have something powering a miniature network card just to glow a link light.

$83 is a bargain, too..
0
 
LVL 8

Expert Comment

by:Marakush
ID: 13590837
I have to agree with lrmoore, my company has no problems with HW/SW that helps me out, I just have to justify it.

As for $83.00 if you plan to stay in this line of work, you might consider just buying it for yourself and keep it in your own toolbag with your name/initals scratched into it. I have about 35k in tools, SW and testers I have bought over the years for myself.

Okay just a thought, I'll go back to sleep in my datacenter now.

Marakush
0
 
LVL 2

Author Comment

by:NRCody
ID: 13626591
Thats odd, one of my posts didn't save.  Anyway Marakush, Psiber emailed me back and the Cable Tracker 10 doesn't show a link light.
I also can't find anything about the cheapo $83 tester working with 1000TX.  
I guess I'll keep looking.
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LVL 79

Expert Comment

by:lrmoore
ID: 13626624
If you wnat 1000 Tx, it's going to cost even more..
http://www.nudata.com/testers/lanmaster26.htm

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LVL 2

Author Comment

by:NRCody
ID: 13819825
I guess it is time to close this question and am willing to say that what I was looking for at the cheapo price I was wanting doesn't really exist.  Thanks for the help anyways.
Nick
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