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Cable Testing

Posted on 2011-09-12
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Last Modified: 2012-08-14
I need to test some wiring and I am looking for a recommendation.

I would like to test for wiring problems  and preferably certify for cat5/5e/6 as well.  I am not sure how often I will need to use this so i would like to find one as inexpensive as possible which is stil reliable.  

I would appreciate any suggestions.
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Question by:qvfps
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Frosty555 earned 500 total points
ID: 36523730
Not sure about certifying for cat5/5e/6 - for that you need to just verify that you are using an appropriately rated cable and that your wiring is correct.

To test that your wiring is correct, any network tester will do. I personally purchased this ultra-cheap one from eBay:

http://www.ebay.ca/itm/Cable-Tester-LAN-USB-Ethernet-Network-RJ-45-Cat5-RJ11-/110679140331?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item19c4fda7eb 

(or look at one of the other competing ads that are selling the same product).

Although this cable tester is very cheap and very simple, it works well for the rare time I need it. All it does is send a voltage down each line and light up one of 8 LEDs on both the main unit, and the remote terminator. You just push the button to verify that each LED lights up in turn on both ends.

The above unit will let you test for continuity, and the correct sequence of connections, but it does not test that you are using the correct color pairs for each pin, and it does not test for crosstalk. It is up to you to ensure that you are using the recommended color pairs for each pin, e.g.:

orangewhite, orange, greenwhite, blue, bluewhite, green, brownwhite brown

or

greenwhite, green, orangewhite, blue, bluewhite, orange, brownwhite, brown


For an ultra-cheap tone tester, I also bought this:

http://www.ebay.ca/itm/LAN-Data-Network-Cabling-Wiremapper-And-Tone-Tester-/200649941092?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2eb7ab2064#ht_500wt_1156

(specifically from the "crazypaintmom" seller)

It's a very basic tone tester and generator, and its big and bulky, but it works well for me and is also very cheap. I haven't tried using it to test the wires yet, only putting a tone down it and ringing it out on the other end.
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by:Callandor
Callandor earned 500 total points
ID: 36523745
Fluke is one of the best name in testers http://www.tecratools.com/pages/tecalert/lantester_chart.html, but you can test cat5/5e/6 with less expensive testers, such as found here: http://www.amazon.com/Paladin-Tools-70025-Network-Tester/dp/B000KMHL8M/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1298424435&sr=8-1

For certification, you really should go with Fluke, but this one is good for qualification (not certification): http://www.amazon.com/Fluke-CABLEIQ-QUALIFICATION-TESTER-CIQ-100/dp/B0007RTPBQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=hi&qid=1298425728&sr=1-1
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