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Equipment for network install

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Last Modified: 2013-11-09
I was talking to someone who had an competing bid on a network cabling installation, and he said I needed to buy some manner of $1200 peice of network testing equipment.  He sounded like he was trying to discourage me so I'd drop my bid, because I'm young, and don't have a very manly telephone voice, so I wanted a second opinion.

All I'm doing is a Cat5e computer network cabling over a 50x100 ft office.  What gear would you recommend?  Take into account that while with the profits from various aspects of this job, I COULD afford a $1200 voodoo interference meter, I'd much prefer getting a cheaper barebones voodoo interference meter, because I don't really do THAT much cabling installation.
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I did a job for a small doctors office.  It was 3 drops from one office to the next one accross the hall.  I had no testing equipment.  I just made sure they worked.  If the job is small you can get away with not having a testing kit.  If it's a big job or alot of wire you will need one to make your life easier.

the guy is probably talking about those fluke cable testers...

check it:

If I hired someone to do my cabling I would expect them to have some type of equipment to test, but not necessarily the most expensive model...
You oculd probably get something useful for a few hundred bucks....
you basically just want to ensure the connectivity is there and you get the speed you think you should...

some models jsut have way too many features, and would take you more time to figure how to use it than it would to run all the cables.
If you are doing a cabling job you should have a cable tester that can print off the quality of the line it testing to prove and certify that the network cable that you are putting in meet the full quality of Cat 5e.

If you are only going to test to make sure that computers can talk over the network, the network interface cards can adjust to poor quality or interference on the line and drop the speed of the connection to suit. So you may be installing Cat5e capable cabling but due to interference only give the quality of Cat5 or even worse cat3.

Remember a basic cable tester on proves that a signal can be sent down the line not the quality of the line in question.

David Houston


David, what is a lower end device I could look for that does what I need?  Or what keyword would I look for in the specs of something that would show that it will test the signal quality effectively?  I'm thinking of getting something off ebay, and I don't want to get the wrong thing.
Fluke is by far the most recognised product on the market and there are a number available on ebay at present, but your best bet would be to look at:


This pdf is : Guide to Choosing the Right Cable Test Tool to Meet Your Testing Needs

Just compare the prices against your needs, but I woudl say any Fluke Certified Analyser and you will be happy.

David Houston

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thank you kindly! :-)
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