Klein cable tester suggestion

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I have a ~200' buried Cat 6 run that has suddenly become very sporadic with connectivity. I need to purchase a cable tester that can check for wire damage. I've replaced the ends but the problem remains. I'm wondering if the cable has a cut/nick or something. Is there a tester available for this? Thanks!
 

Timokreon

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I use the Klein VDV526-200. This model won't tell you where the damage is, those cost quite a bit more, but it will tell you if there is a fault in the line.
 

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I use the Klein VDV526-200. This model won't tell you where the damage is, those cost quite a bit more, but it will tell you if there is a fault in the line.
Thanks for the reply. If I want to consider one that can locate where the damage is, do you have a suggestion?
 

Timokreon

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I personally have never used one like that.
Have any electrician friends, or know anyone at a electrical company? Might be able to borrow one from them.
I would think a Fluke would do it, but I'm guessing that is going to be at least $500, if not more.

Perhaps someone else around here has one.
 

tangent

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I have a ~200' buried Cat 6 run that has suddenly become very sporadic with connectivity. I need to purchase a cable tester that can check for wire damage. I've replaced the ends but the problem remains. I'm wondering if the cable has a cut/nick or something. Is there a tester available for this? Thanks!
It's not as good as an expensive tester, but if you download all the software and utilities for your NIC there's typically a cable tester function somewhere in the utility that does a crude TDR. You can get the approximate distance to a break in the cable. Almost every computer I've had since 2006 can do this.

The nature of the fault you describe could be challenging it doesn't quite sound like any of the pairs are totally broken. If you haven't I'd also suggest you swap the equipment on each end of the cable and maybe do something like a continuous ping between two computers to measure packet loss. I've had switches where a single port goes bad or starts to act up before the whole switch kicks the bucket.


For example:
1656565393607.png
 
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Mike A.

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Also can get some inexpensive POE switches with that same basic TLD function built in. My Netgear does the same and was relatively accurate as far as distance a few times when I had faults. But it also can give some completely screwy results e.g., showing open for a cam/run that I've never had any issue with. Also shows various types of errors in transmission. I'm sure the Klein, Fluke, etc., dedicated testers would be better but a bunch of money.
 

tangent

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Also can get some inexpensive POE switches with that same basic TLD function built in. My Netgear does the same and was relatively accurate as far as distance a few times when I had faults. But it also can give some completely screwy results e.g., showing open for a cam/run that I've never had any issue with. Also shows various types of errors in transmission. I'm sure the Klein, Fluke, etc., dedicated testers would be better but a bunch of money.
Interpreting what these tools show can take practice. For example a cable with one end disconnected would read read open on all pairs but might give you different lengths for different pairs which could give the location of a fault.

The fanciest tools will pump out eye diagrams, snr, etc.
 

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My two bob worth but I would go with a cheap continuity tester and then if you have a break anywhere pull a new cable through the conduit. Any join in an underground cable is just asking for trouble.
 

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What type of cable? Shielded, Unshielded, gel-filled? Conduit or direct bury?

How long ago was it installed? What's on each end of the cable?
 

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My two bob worth but I would go with a cheap continuity tester and then if you have a break anywhere pull a new cable through the conduit. Any join in an underground cable is just asking for trouble.
Unless I missed it, I don't see where the OP mentioned "conduit", but did mention "buried".
I think it's direct buried, so he wants to find where the fault is physically, dig it up and repair just at that point, as it could be anywhere in 200 feet.
 
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If it were my problem I'd just dig a new trench, install 3/4 or one inch conduit and pull two new gel filled direct burial rated cables along with a pull string (just in case) and never have to worry about it again. Probably run about the same as a tester with enough capability to find the fault without having the risk of a repair in an underground cable that will probably fail again in the future. Although a nice tester with real TDR capability is a really nice toy to have.
 

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When looking at the Klein testers linked above I glanced at the Klein crimper and noticed a BIG error. This is similar to the one I posted back in Aug. 2018.
However this time there error is on the color code on the pass-thru side.

I have no doubt Klein has corrected this, as they have actors or marketing employees display the tools, take pictures, shoot videos, etc. early on before the tool is mass produced. But just be on the lookout!


KLEIN_RJ45_ERROR-063022.jpg

UPDATE: The actual market tool is correct, as shown in my post #26.
 
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What type of cable? Shielded, Unshielded, gel-filled? Conduit or direct bury?

How long ago was it installed? What's on each end of the cable?
This cable is directly buried. The only conduit is about 11' as it passes under the concrete driveway in a 2" PVC pipe. Cable is trueCABLE Cat6 Direct Burial, Waterproof, Outdoor Rated CMX, Black, 23AWG Solid Bare Copper, 550MHz, PoE++ (4PPoE), ETL Listed, Unshielded
 

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For the benefit of others who may run into a similar problem. Everything starts with knowing, understanding, and following the local codes in your area.

Trench: The line must be trenched to whatever depth called out by NEC / CEC. Whether that be 12-18” vs 24-32”. If code indicates some kind of aggregate is to be used - do it. This serves to protect the cable from frost, roots, rodents, and helps in long term drainage.

If the same is called out to be placed on top - do it.

Flag tape should be inserted if required but should be done anyways so you or others can find the wire!

Conduit: This should be used where rodents / tree roots are pervasive. Bigger is always better which allows easier pulls and extra cable. A pull string should always be left for future pulls. It goes without saying gluing all the pipes correctly is paramount as this slows down the process of water penetration / build up.

Safety: Generally speaking low voltage and high voltage cabling can not share the same trench / conduit. Unless the material & medium is rated as such and follows all the relevant codes.

Grounding: Anything that comes in / out of the house as it relates to power. Must be connected / bonded to the single point Earth ground of the buildings electrical service. Any isolated system must be properly grounded if deployed as such. Meaning a ground rod must be installed and the correct (AWG) gauge wire used for the distance and fault current expected to be seen / carried.

The appropriate stainless steel hardware, star washer, ring connector, and rust inhibitor such as dielectric grease, must be used.

Shielding: Anytime you break 25 feet in electrical wire as it relates to Ethernet cable and where the environment is subjected or prone to RFI, EMI, EMF, Lightning. Shielded cable should be used and properly grounded to the network infrastructure that is bonded at every point from rack, switch, patch panel, to ground bar.

Cable: The cable should be outdoor rated for the environment and intended purpose. Whether that be exposed (UV) rated, direct burial , shielded, gel filled. It should be laid flat with no kinks or sharp bends.

Testing: Basic to advanced tests should be completed before the cable is buried. This spans from a simple correct wiring, continuity, voltage drop, and resistance. A load test as simple as connecting the camera to the system is practical. But testing for latency using ping and throughput must be validated also.

A managed switch is extremely helpful to help validate the power consumption, data I/O, and packet errors.

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Having stated all the above before you rip out any cable out. Validate the entire network infrastructure is sound. Could be a bad camera, switch, port, router, injector, splitter.

Remove one thing to test & validate. Move down the line of process of elimination. If all electronics have passed at least you know the hard work was worth the effort to pull 200’ of buried cable!

Test - Validate - Don’t guess . . .
 

tangent

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depending where the cable is going (if you have power on both ends) you may be able to use HomePlug AV2 or point-to-point long range wifi instead of replacing the cable.
 

tangent

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To preform a ping test:
  1. Assign unique static IPs in the same subnet to 2 computer (ie: 192.168.101.3 and 192.168.101.4 255.255.255.0)
  2. Open a command prompt and ping the other computer continuously
    • eg. ping -t 192.168.101.4
    • let it run at least 5-10 minutes possibly much longer, stop it with ctrl-c and review the statistics displayed
    • you can also increase the packet size with the -L switch eg. -l 8960
    • you can use the -c switch to conduct a specific number of pings instead of continuous. eg. -c 10000
  3. See what the stats show you
 

105437

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I picked up an inexpensive cable tester from Home Depot. It shows all pairs are good. Persistent pings show success with ~5% retries. I think I'm just going to install another cable and use conduit the entire way this time.
 
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