Solved

Networking -- bandwidth testers

Posted on 2014-02-17
11
401 Views
Last Modified: 2014-03-06
What tools do you recommend for
"patch cable bandwidth testing" so
I can verify speed on a 400+ foot run,
even when CAT6 should really only
be run 300 foot ?
0
Comment
Question by:finance_teacher
  • 3
  • 3
  • 3
  • +2
11 Comments
 
LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:Dragon911
ID: 39866401
Fluke DSX-5000...

Why not use a repeater somewhere in the middle? You are correct that Cat 6 is rated for 328 feet.
0
 

Author Comment

by:finance_teacher
ID: 39866409
What repeater solution do you recommend that does NOT need power since this is in the ceiling ?
0
 
LVL 44

Assisted Solution

by:Darr247
Darr247 earned 187 total points
ID: 39866424
You can probably find a Fluke DTX-1800 with accessories (but no fiber modules) at a good price (e.g. ~$7000)... that model was replaced by the DSX cited by Dragon911.

Ideal's LANTek II model 33-992 (500MHz) should also do cat6a.

You should be able to find the Flukes or Ideals for rent or sale at http://www.testequipmentdepot.com

For a 'repeater' you could use a TP-LINK TL-POE200 Injector-Splitter Kit (set the splitter to 9V) to power a switch such as this TP-LINK TL-SG105 .
0
 
LVL 25

Assisted Solution

by:kode99
kode99 earned 188 total points
ID: 39866619
If this is already run,  just hook it up and run data through it and see what you get.

It may do fairly well if the wire run is clean and there is no big interference sources in proximity to the wire.  The 300 foot is a recommendation and not a hard limit as many IT people would have you believe.  Though length definitely can cause problems and nothing out of spec can be 'certified'.  

The reason I say hook it up and see is because at that distance some network gear will not work.  As an example I've got a nice Netgear switch that is smart enough to know the wire is too long and just won't power it up.  Other cases the switches may not provide enough power for the distance etc.  

So even if you put a tester on that says it can do X,  it might not work with the specific equipment you are using.  It can even be odd,  I have one case where we had two wires run together to about 360 feet,  they terminated at panels within  2 feet of each other,  one worked fine the 2nd would not.  Identical equipment at both ends.

So hook it up on the gear you have and see what actual result you get.  Then if it does not work or you cannot get the speed you need get a network extender for it.  These are PoE devices that go inline on the wire and regenerate the signal.  Mileage can vary with these at gigabit - meaning you may still not get top speed on a max length run of 600 feet with a extender in the middle.

We have used these Microsemi units with good results,
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833996073

These can also be used to boost a signal or trick a switch into working.  It's designed for the long runs and may be more tolerant than your switching equipment.  So patch it right into the switch and hook the long run up and it may do the job.  For best performance though put in the middle - just document it so the next guy knows its there.

If you want a tester that works pretty good and does not cost an arm and a leg get the Byte Brothers Real World Certifier - its not a Fluke but for $400 vs thousands it gets the job done.  Also very easy to use.

http://www.amazon.com/Byte-Brothers-RWC1000K-World-Certifier/dp/B000J157WQ

Netgear also have a small 8 port switch that can be POE powered which could also be used inline to regenerate the signal,
http://www.amazon.com/Netgear-GS108T-NAS-Prosafe-8-Port-Gigabit/dp/B003KP8VSK
0
 
LVL 45

Assisted Solution

by:Craig Beck
Craig Beck earned 125 total points
ID: 39867561
@Dragon911 and @Darr - the DSX-5000 and DTX-1800 won't test bandwidth unfortunately; they are cable analyzers only.  Something like the CIQ-100 is what you'd need to measure bandwidth however it would automatically fail at >100m.

Great advice from kode99... I think a PoE-powered switch would be the best way forward.
0
What Is Threat Intelligence?

Threat intelligence is often discussed, but rarely understood. Starting with a precise definition, along with clear business goals, is essential.

 
LVL 44

Assisted Solution

by:Darr247
Darr247 earned 187 total points
ID: 39867774
They certify [if] the cable is good for 10Gb (which is a speed) out to 100m.

If you're saying they won't measure data transfer rate, that's true... though not what was asked for, technically.

> I think a PoE-powered switch would be the best way forward.
The PoE injector/splitter kit + switch I noted at the bottom of http:#a39866424 is less than $49 total. :)
0
 
LVL 45

Assisted Solution

by:Craig Beck
Craig Beck earned 125 total points
ID: 39867887
They certify [if] the cable is good for 10Gb (which is a speed) out to 100m.
Yes, but they don't guarantee that, or provide an indication as to what bandwidth you can expect in reality.


If you're saying they won't measure data transfer rate, that's true... though not what was asked for, technically.
Hmmm, it depends how you read it...
What tools do you recommend for
"patch cable bandwidth testing"

The PoE injector/splitter kit + switch I noted at the bottom of http:#a39866424 is less than $49 total.
Agreed, that's a good option, but if the cable is already carrying PoE for the connected device it's not an option. :-)
0
 
LVL 25

Assisted Solution

by:kode99
kode99 earned 188 total points
ID: 39872652
I like the clean install of a extender over using a splitter.  With a splitter its an extra 2 network connections,  2 power connections  and a extra device.  Just more than I like in the middle of a long wire run.

The extender does pass through PoE if that matters.  There probably lower cost models out there.  The Microsemi unit I linked is just one that we use and is normally available.   There may be some lower priced models though this is not so much of a consumer item.  There definitely are many much higher priced.

We have a Microsemi on a 460 foot run from a switch that could not handle the length (the 'smart' switch I mentioned).  It's running the full span installed at one end with a 1 foot patch cable to the switch.  I doubt we get full gigabit installed this way but it is more than fast enough for the streaming data on it - which is 24/7 and throwing no errors at all.

The TPLink unit linked is not at all suitable.  Primarily because it does not support gigabit networking.  It is also a nonstandard PoE and will not work with any standard PoE equipment.  TPLink does have some really inexpensive splitters and injectors that do support gigabit and standard 802.3af PoE.  Sold individually and not as a kit.

http://www.tp-link.com/ca/products/details/?categoryid=234&model=TL-POE10R

To actually check your throughput you can get a free tool from way back,  AIDA32,  it has a network benchmark plugin that is a basic net benchmark.  You just need it running at both ends on computers.  You can also watch your performance with the resource monitor in Win7/8.  Copying a file also works but if your hard drive transfer is too slow it may not reflect the actual network speed.

Here's some history on the AIDA program with a couple download links at the bottom,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AIDA64

If the wire works at all the software test will do as much as a expensive tester.  It's really just a matter of do you need to regenerate the signal or not.
0
 
LVL 45

Expert Comment

by:Craig Beck
ID: 39873270
The extender does pass through PoE if that matters.
True, but over 400ft it's not an option.
0
 
LVL 44

Assisted Solution

by:Darr247
Darr247 earned 187 total points
ID: 39874142
I found that by going to http://amazon.com/dp/B001PS9E5I (the gigabit TL-POE15S injector).
The gigabit TL-POE10R splitter (http://amazon.com/dp/B003CFATQK ) is in that same listing.

My bad for not noticing the kit sandwiched between those 2 parts did not actually consist of those 2 parts.  :-|

Good catch, kode99.
0
 
LVL 25

Accepted Solution

by:
kode99 earned 188 total points
ID: 39875973
The Microsemi specs will do 200 m or 600 feet at 802.3af.  If you use 2 or more in a span likely the units draw too much power to still comply with 802.3af power allowances.  The voltage drop for even a small load Cat5/6 wire is going to be pretty high for this kind of distance.

I don't think the extender corrects the PoE voltage.  We did testing on a couple of PoE switches and they did not correct the voltage,  so on a switch that takes 48 vdc in,  if you give it 40 vdc the PoE out matches and will also be 40 vdc.

Camera's and phones which are probably the most common PoE devices used with extenders are fairly tolerant of low voltages.  All camera's I tested still operated on PoE down to 40 VDC.  I would be surprised if the extender did correct the voltage,  they are likely just made so they can power themselves for the 500 m max run for data only.
0

Featured Post

Enabling OSINT in Activity Based Intelligence

Activity based intelligence (ABI) requires access to all available sources of data. Recorded Future allows analysts to observe structured data on the open, deep, and dark web.

Join & Write a Comment

Don’t let your business fall victim to the coming apocalypse – use our Survival Guide for the Fax Apocalypse to identify the risks and signs of zombie fax activities at your business.
Viewers will learn how to connect to a wireless network using the network security key. They will also learn how to access the IP address and DNS server for connections that must be done manually. After setting up a router, find the network security…
After creating this article (http://www.experts-exchange.com/articles/23699/Setup-Mikrotik-routers-with-OSPF.html), I decided to make a video (no audio) to show you how to configure the routers and run some trace routes and pings between the 7 sites…

747 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question

Need Help in Real-Time?

Connect with top rated Experts

18 Experts available now in Live!

Get 1:1 Help Now