Network Cable Testers

Tazz 316

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Wondering what you guys use?

I have been using a klein tools tester and it has let me down sometimes it shows pins are open when they are not. Use another tester and the cable is fine. Reset cable does not matter port is clean on the tester.

Looking for a new one be great if it did POE.
 

Nick70068

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I have one of these and it works great for 95% of my troubleshooting. It isn't a "professional" tool, but I used it in troubleshooting large networks, and it is INEXPENSIVE!


Here is a youtube showing its use.
 

kklee

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Most of the inexpensive testers do the same thing, run basic tests. Continuity, correct pairing, and cable length are basic tests, but not necessarily a sign of a good cable. I have a really old Monoprice tester.

I ran into this just last week, where I have a pre made cable that worked for almost a year and appears to have gone bad. My Monoprice tester thinks it's a good cable, pairs are correct and have continuity. However, the switches connected to the cable don't agree with that. The link would constantly drop out and refused to run at 1Gb. It would occasionally run at 100Mb. I temporarily strung another cable between the switches and everything's working.

The device I'd rather have (which I can't afford) is a cable analyzer, which will send signals down the cable and determine if it's actually capable of carrying a clean signal. However, these are prohibitively expensive for the home hobbyist.

For what it's worth, I'm thinking about buying the one that Nick70068 linked since I could use that for testing POE cable runs since my Monoprice tester can't do POE.
 
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Looks like the same one as this -

 

Tazz 316

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Most of the inexpensive testers do the same thing, run basic tests. Continuity, correct pairing, and cable length are basic tests, but not necessarily a sign of a good cable. I have a really old Monoprice tester.

I ran into this just last week, where I have a pre made cable that worked for almost a year and appears to have gone bad. My Monoprice tester thinks it's a good cable, pairs are correct and have continuity. However, the switches connected to the cable don't agree with that. The link would constantly drop out and refused to run at 1Gb. It would occasionally run at 100Mb. I temporarily strung another cable between the switches and everything's working.

The device I'd rather have (which I can't afford) is a cable analyzer, which will send signals down the cable and determine if it's actually capable of carrying a clean signal. However, these are prohibitively expensive for the home hobbyist.

For what it's worth, I'm thinking about buying the one that Nick70068 linked since I could use that for testing POE cable runs since my Monoprice tester can't do POE.
Yeah i want a fluke that cost as much as a new car lol
 
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Wondering what you guys use?

I have been using a klein tools tester and it has let me down sometimes it shows pins are open when they are not. Use another tester and the cable is fine. Reset cable does not matter port is clean on the tester.

Looking for a new one be great if it did POE.
Look at your pins on your tester where your CAT plug goes into. If the pins are bent, broke, or not making contact with CAT plug pins it will show open. A good priced simple tester I found on Amazon, which comes with a tone tracer probe, and measures POE is :

Amazon.com: Network Cable Tester AT278 TDR Multi-functional LCD Wire Tracker for RJ45, RJ11, BNC, Metal Cable,PING/POE Cable Length Test with Port Flashing NF-8601S: Industrial & Scientific

The big name testers such as fluke run a lot of money, and are used more for businesses looking to certify network infrastructure.
 

Holbs

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Wish I could advise everyone to shell out $5000 for testing 1 cable at home, but...naw :) I'm spoiled at work because it's my day job. We have an older DSP series which did the job all the way upto the first generation of Cat6 but fell down the 'too old' hole. Now using a Fluke DTX-1800. Even that is at it's end of line. The newer Flukes cost bonkers $$$ just to certify Cat6 even if it tests 20-30% faster.
If I did not have access to these fancier testers, I would go for those simple pin out testers as mentioned above. As a home owner, DIY or such.... gotta be realistic with the $$$ to invest for just a couple network cables. Granted, I have 42 Cat6's running in my house though :)
 
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Wish I could advise everyone to shell out $5000 for testing 1 cable at home, but...naw :) I'm spoiled at work because it's my day job. We have an older DSP series which did the job all the way upto the first generation of Cat6 but fell down the 'too old' hole. Now using a Fluke DTX-1800. Even that is at it's end of line. The newer Flukes cost bonkers $$$ just to certify Cat6 even if it tests 20-30% faster.
If I did not have access to these fancier testers, I would go for those simple pin out testers as mentioned above. As a home owner, DIY or such.... gotta be realistic with the $$$ to invest for just a couple network cables. Granted, I have 42 Cat6's running in my house though :)
Holbs,
Like you Im spoiled at work also, being a comm technician for over 20 years in Las Vegas, NV. at work we use the Anritsu MT1000 tester, and smaller testers such as Fluke, AFL noyes testers, ect... But The simple testers are an quick easy way to test your cable.
 

Holbs

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Wondering what you guys use?

I have been using a klein tools tester and it has let me down sometimes it shows pins are open when they are not. Use another tester and the cable is fine. Reset cable does not matter port is clean on the tester.

Looking for a new one be great if it did POE.
I'll add to this since most folks may find this of use.
If I ran 500 Cat6 cables at some place of business and terminated them correctly/professionally, I would expect between 2 - 10 to fail due to NEXT (near end cross talk) by a slim margin and probably the same for one pair not punched down all the way.
For home owners, not many run 500 cables. Yes, I'm around 50 in my house only because ... I get all the material for free and well..why not? :)
Using a simple pin-out connector to ensure your terminations are color coded correctly AND (2nd most importance) the copper pairs still are punched down (as sometimes they wiggle back out when you remove the punch down tool).
So any simple cheap pin out tester to tell you those 2 info's, will work most excellently! The only problem with these cheaper testers are the brass pins. They wear out causing false indications of a pair being open. How to fix? Unsure. Before assuming the entire unit is junk, check/clean the brass pins on the head unit and remote.
 

brobin

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I have one of these and it works great for 95% of my troubleshooting. It isn't a "professional" tool, but I used it in troubleshooting large networks, and it is INEXPENSIVE!

Thanks for this post. I just got one delivered from Amazon today - Amazon.com: Noyafa Network Cable Tester, NF-8209 4 in 1 PoE Wire Tracker with NVC and Lamp Cable Length Measurement for CAT5e/CAT6/CAT6a: Computers & Accessories - and I'm pretty impressed with all that it can do. For $51 it's like a Swiss Army Knife and is good enough for residential use.
 
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Thanks for this post. I just got one delivered from Amazon today - Amazon.com: Noyafa Network Cable Tester, NF-8209 4 in 1 PoE Wire Tracker with NVC and Lamp Cable Length Measurement for CAT5e/CAT6/CAT6a: Computers & Accessories - and I'm pretty impressed with all that it can do. For $51 it's like a Swiss Army Knife and is good enough for residential use.
This is a nice tester/tracer for home use. I purchased this back in early July 2021, but paid 40.97 back then from the Noyafa Store on Amazon. So, looks like prices are on the rise as popularity goes up.
 

Teken

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RANT:

Almost every failure I’ve seen has been a combination of using cheap material and products. To using cheap tools or good tools incorrectly.

Anyone who is a professional is expected to use professional tools whether it’s provided by the company or theirs.

If you’re using cheap $.08 RJ45 connectors because AliExpress had 500 of them going for $19.99. Do you really expect to see the same performance and reliability?!?

Then you get the reverse where some one buys all the professional accessories but failed to understand that RJ45 connector is still not to spec to support true 23 AWG CAT X!

Everyday people come on and bitch, whine, complain this name brand product is junk! When the reality is the person was too stupid to read the specifications and understand they need to be using 1.22 mm staggered connector! Not a 1.XX mm or something much smaller.

Then to add insult to injury you literally have guys supposedly doing LV jobs for 5-15-35 years. Yet the guy coming from behind who is on a take over sees 10 kinds of stupid that span to everything I just called out and more below.

No service loop, no drip line, no dielectric grease, no markings from sharpie / wire tape, no different colour wire to ID, no flag tape, no final placement ID, improper routing, no spacing support, no building schematic, etc.

Add to that they’ll plug in 3-4 boosters to achieve some crazy distance. It all starts with the person and the decisions they make coupled with using any tool correctly no matter cheap vs expensive. When I see the average consumer (DIY) do it better than a pro I just shake my head.

When I see a DIY do it ten times worse compared to the next DIY when they literally asked questions here and others forums and move forward to deploy a fire hazard shit network.

Half of me just laughs while the other half is just counting down the time before we see DIY Joe comeback about X vs Y and how things don’t work or broke months later?!?

Ignorance is when you’re unaware of something. When you’re informed or you obtained that knowledge you’re no longer ignorant. If you move forward to do such a thing that just makes you plain Stupid!

END RANT

The famous phrase it’s not the tool it’s the person rings true. All of these $55.XX ~ $30K tools only work if wielded by a person who cares to know and learn to use them correctly and effectively.

Besides any tool it’s personal experience that guides a person to success vs failure. It’s always about the details a person applies that makes a person / job from OK to spec.

Rock On . . .
 

Holbs

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RANT:

Almost every failure I’ve seen has been a combination of using cheap material and products. To using cheap tools or good tools incorrectly.

Anyone who is a professional is expected to use professional tools whether it’s provided by the company or theirs.

If you’re using cheap $.08 RJ45 connectors because AliExpress had 500 of them going for $19.99. Do you really expect to see the same performance and reliability?!?

Then you get the reverse where some one buys all the professional accessories but failed to understand that RJ45 connector is still not to spec to support true 23 AWG CAT X!

Everyday people come on and bitch, whine, complain this name brand product is junk! When the reality is the person was too stupid to read the specifications and understand they need to be using 1.22 mm staggered connector! Not a 1.XX mm or something much smaller.

Then to add insult to injury you literally have guys supposedly doing LV jobs for 5-15-35 years. Yet the guy coming from behind who is on a take over sees 10 kinds of stupid that span to everything I just called out and more below.

No service loop, no drip line, no dielectric grease, no markings from sharpie / wire tape, no different colour wire to ID, no flag tape, no final placement ID, improper routing, no spacing support, no building schematic, etc.

Add to that they’ll plug in 3-4 boosters to achieve some crazy distance. It all starts with the person and the decisions they make coupled with using any tool correctly no matter cheap vs expensive. When I see the average consumer (DIY) do it better than a pro I just shake my head.

When I see a DIY do it ten times worse compared to the next DIY when they literally asked questions here and others forums and move forward to deploy a fire hazard shit network.

Half of me just laughs while the other half is just counting down the time before we see DIY Joe comeback about X vs Y and how things don’t work or broke months later?!?

Ignorance is when you’re unaware of something. When you’re informed or you obtained that knowledge you’re no longer ignorant. If you move forward to do such a thing that just makes you plain Stupid!

END RANT

The famous phrase it’s not the tool it’s the person rings true. All of these $55.XX ~ $30K tools only work if wielded by a person who cares to know and learn to use them correctly and effectively.

Besides any tool it’s personal experience that guides a person to success vs failure. It’s always about the details a person applies that makes a person / job from OK to spec.

Rock On . . .
Yes! Oh wait...I've been doing LV work for 20 years... ohoh :)
 
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