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Best Network Tool/Toner Generator

Posted on 2011-09-22
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Last Modified: 2012-06-21
 I am looking for the best tool for a network administrator mainly when the focus is placed on network maintenance, cable organizing, cable discovery, etc. I had bought a LAN tracker from a company called Sperry and it had worked great at first but now it is just eating batteries. I was thinking about going with the Fluke Micro Scanner 2. All I would have to do it purchase the tone generator to go with it and I think I would be fine. I am mainly looking for some input from experienced network administrators for the best tool. My budget would be not much more than $500.

Sperry LAN Tracker:
http://ibuyofficesupply.com/Products/LAN-TRACKER-WIRE-TRACER__623-ET64220.aspx?ref=froogle&source=froogle&utm_medium=shopping_engine&utm_source=froogle
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Question by:Matthew_B
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4 Comments
 
LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:vertsyeux
ID: 36583044
I use a Tempo 200FP/50 detector and 77HP/6A tone generator and find them awesome.. I have a Fluke Linkrunner as well which is awesome for detecting cable lengths and faults etc, but for tracing, the Tempo is the one for the job...

http://www.amazon.com/Greenlee-801K-Premium-Tone-Probe/dp/B001UL1H78/ref=sr_1_16?ie=UTF8&qid=1316720192&sr=8-16
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LVL 26

Accepted Solution

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pony10us earned 2000 total points
ID: 36583287
I use Ideal's LinkMaster PRO XL. It does cable length, tone, hub flash and has 8 remotes for cable identification. It works with RJ11, RJ45 and Coax. The only part that it doesn't have that would be nice is a full featured butset. You can listen but not dial.

It appears to have been discontinued:  http://www.idealindustries.com/prodDetail.do?prodId=33-886&div=2&l1=testers&l2=testers_twisted_pair&l3=33-886

It was replaced:  http://www.idealindustries.com/prodDetail.do?prodId=vdv_pro&div=2&l1=testers&l2=testers_coax&l3=vdv_pro

I have not worked with it's replacement as I am happy with the one I have.

I have had it for many years and just recently had to replace the 9V battery for the first time.
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Author Comment

by:Matthew_B
ID: 36583417
I see some toners that are described as analog and some as digital. When it come to toners, what is the difference? Is there an advantage to using one over the other? Also, if I have a disconnected CAT-5 cable that is going back to a switch or server, can the tone generated by a meter ever cause an error or any other trouble? I have a situation where I am taking over from another system administrator that was VERY unorganized. Before I can start disconnecting or changing anything I have to try and find where everything is going and coming from.
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LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:jostafew
ID: 36587873
I know this is over budget, but never hurts to have a little more info; I've got a Fluke CableIQ cable analyzer that will qualify the channel up to 1Gbps (verify that the cabling and connections perform within spec to deliver the bandwitdh to support 1Gbps) . Besides basic info like wiremap etc. it will report cable length and if the cable segment fails it will tell you what the problem is and approx. where.  More in line with your question it will discover what's on the other end of a live cable, blink it's connection to help identify a live cable on a switch and can be paired with an Intellitone tone generator to identify cabling. I paid around $1000 for it, but you could probably shave a little more off that then add a few bucks for the Intellitone probe.

My appologies if this is completely irrelevent but I thought I'd provide the feedback that I've been happy with my device. This device would not cut it for a serious data-comm installation company, but for an IT shop to troubleshoot existing cable runs and to verify new cabling here and there I think it's a worthwhile investment.
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