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How can I trace a Cat5e cable from the workstation to the switch closet?

Posted on 2010-11-18
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Hey everyone,

I have a Cat5e line going into a room that's terminated on a faceplate.  This line goes into the wall then into the switch closet.  Is there some kind of tracer tool that will let me trace the origin of this cable?  
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Question by:RyanRae
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Lee W, MVP earned 2000 total points
ID: 34167377
The poor man's way of doing this is to blink the link light.  Have one person on the computer end unplugging and plugging the cable to force the link light to go on and off.  

Otherwise a tool like a fox and hound (tone generator) should do the trick.  For example:
http://www.amazon.com/Fox-Hound-Digital-Tone-Generator/dp/B0030W6NII
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Expert Comment

by:DonConsolio
ID: 34167418
There are tools like (http://www.lsdinc.com/content/product_details/71), but for identifying
a single connection you might try to connect and disconnect the cable several times and
have a second person watch the switch it is connected to and find the port by watching
the connection led going on and off
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Expert Comment

by:Gladys Kerns
ID: 34167432
I have a fluke networks sound and sniffer like that too... works in a pinch.

Here's another idea that might help......

assuming two things:  1.)  the port is currently working.... 2.)  You have a managed or "smart" switch.

Find out what IP address the computer on that port is currently using (ipconfig)... then if you are lucky enough to have a managed switch - log into the web interface of that switch and find out what port on the switch is currently using that IP address.  Trace the cable coming out of the switch and you'll have it.
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Expert Comment

by:rhenry-ez
ID: 34167456
As the other posters have pointed out you are looking for a "Network Toner and Probe", I use this one:
http://www.flukenetworks.com/fnet/en-us/products/IntelliTone+Toner+and+Probe/Overview.htm

However also as the others have said, if this is a one time thing then just pull the cable and look for what light goes out, however if you anticipate doing this often then i would recommend the tool
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Author Closing Comment

by:RyanRae
ID: 34168981
Thanks guys (^_^)
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