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Jason

Ethernet cable tester?

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Jason

Am building a new house with structured wiring. Was wondering if there's a line tester/toner that will confirm that the cables are working correctly at full gigabit speeds? Aside from connecting one computer at an end and jumping from one wall plate to another.

 

In the past I've encountered one end of a cable setup as T568A and the other T568B, etc.

 

Just trying to save time in verifying wiring and troubleshooting.

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schoondoggy
oj88

There are three categories of cable testers: Certification, Qualification, and Verification testers. Fluke has a very good explanation of the differences here: http://www.flukenetworks.com/Expertise/Learn-About/Cable-Testing

 

Suffice to say, Certification and Qualification testers are expensive. The more common and cheaper ones, Verification testers, will only tell you if the pinouts are correct or if there's an open/short circuit. The higher end models may also be able to tell you where (or how far) the break/short is.

 

When I had my home wired, I only had the latter kind. But what I lack in testing capabilities I made up for getting quality cables (Cat 6 Belden) and I/O ports (AMP). I also applied best practices as much as I could like keeping the LAN cables separate from the power wires as far as practically possible, etc. My final test consists of using a gigabit switch and a gigabit laptop combo. If they can link up to gigabit speeds with stability, that's a pass for me.

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ikon

oj88 is correct. I happen to have a Certification Tester and would not want to run cable without it. I have been told that some places that sell cable in bulk also rent testers, so that might be an option.

 

If you are at all interested in getting your own certifier (e.g. for future use) then I recommend looking at the Byte Brothers Real World Certifier 1000K: http://www.amazon.com/Byte-Brothers-RWC1000K-World-Certifier/dp/B000J157WQ. It is the cheapest certifier I know of. Here's a link to the main web site: http://www.triplett.com/shop/real-world-certifier-rwc1000k/ (they're owned by Triplett now).

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Jason

Thank you all for your insight and recommendations.

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schoondoggy

In the past Fluke dealers had a rental program.

It may be worth checking in your area.

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Jason

Thanks again - bought the Paladin RJ45 network cable tester you suggested. After reading the reviews it does all I need for home use 1) quickly identifying which Cat 5e cable per room is which in my wiring closet and 2) verifies that the wires are connected correctly 1-8.

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ikon

Cool. Just remember that the Paladin cannot test performance.

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Jason

Good reminder. My last test is typically hooking up to a Gigabit switch from a laptop and checking to see that it reports a gigabit link speed.

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ikon

Getting a gigabyte link light is a good thing, but it's still not a guarantee of performance. Without a certification tester, the best test is to conduct file copy tests with various sized files. Be sure to carry out copy tests in both directions, because a link can be working superbly in one direction but much less so in the other.

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