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Old 08-19-2009, 02:34 PM   #1
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Default RJ45 Cat5 / 6 cable tester

Hi guys,

Just wondering if any of you out there can throw a recommendation through for any network cable testers you've used / liked? Ideally I'm looking for something that's fairly feature filled (capabilities like seeing how far along a cable a short has occured would be rather useful for example) but doesn't cost the earth (I'm hoping around the £60-£70 mark as a maximum really.)

Best I've come up with so far seems to be this, but the shipping costs are rather ridiculous and it seems like it's unbranded - so a bit cautious on that front.

Anyone got any recommendations, or am I asking for too much at that price level?

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Old 08-21-2009, 09:34 PM   #2
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Default Re: RJ45 Cat5 / 6 cable tester

I assume that you are employed in the IT field in some capacity. Or do you just want to test cables that you have made. Most places I have worked will provide equipment like what you are looking for. You will more than likely see opens as opposed to shorts. If for example I have a cat5 drop that is suspect. I take a notebook and a known good patch cable. If the link light comes on on the network card on the notebook or a pc, it means the signal made to the router,switch, hub or what ever and came back again.

When I make a cable i jjust unplug a pc and plug in the cable, then plug into a douter, if the lights come on at both ends succsess

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Old 08-22-2009, 04:28 AM   #3
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Default Re: RJ45 Cat5 / 6 cable tester

Hi tractorboy,

Unfortunately just plugging the cable in to test it isn't really the most robust solution - and if there is a fault with it, it doesn't tell me where it is. Most routers are still 10/100 these days, and chances are they'll still pass data across the cable perfectly fine using just a couple of pairs - so 6 of the things could theoretically be open or shorted and it'd still work ok!

It's not something I plan to use professionally, but I have been known to run large lengths of cat5e / cat6 all over the place when necessary at home - and as such a decent cable tester would really come in useful every so often, and features such as telling me where open circuits have occured would be a real bonus (so I know where in the cable the fault is. Solid core isn't always the most flexible / reliable of stuff!) If it was something I was using professionally as a day to day job, I'd have no issues spending a few hundred - easily worth it for some of the big name brand ones. But really for what I'm doing with it, that sort of money isn't viable!
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Old 09-29-2009, 03:30 PM   #4
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Default Re: RJ45 Cat5 / 6 cable tester

I use to work at a school as a tech assistant and ran about 100 cat-5 cables myself. The tools that I used were a weird branded cable tester (similar to what you've picked out) and a cable sniffer. I never had a problem with a short? It always ended up being a jack got broken or the wires were slightly pulled from the rj-45 head.
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Old 10-02-2009, 12:58 PM   #5
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Default Re: RJ45 Cat5 / 6 cable tester

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Old 10-02-2009, 03:09 PM   #6
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Default Re: RJ45 Cat5 / 6 cable tester

the company called fluke make cable testers are really rather good.

but for something as fully features as what you're looking for I think that your price range might be ambitious if you want to get a good brand as well.

you might find something cheap cheerful and unbranded. but really, if you've got a cable tester it's likely going to be lobbed in a bag, so you'd probably do well to spend a bit of money and get a decent one with a warranty rather than getting something a bit cheaper that breaks in a week and the supplier has decided to change his trading name on ebay and opened up a new shop (kind of thing).
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Old 10-05-2009, 03:08 AM   #7
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Default Re: RJ45 Cat5 / 6 cable tester

I've got a cable tester I bought from Jaycar Electronics (QLD) for about $45. Doesn't show you the advanced features you were looking for but works just fine for home use, not sure what country you're in though so might not be suitable :P

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