[rescue] Cable testers

Jonathan Patschke jp at celestrion.net
Wed Apr 20 17:12:55 CDT 2016

On Wed, 20 Apr 2016, Phil Stracchino wrote:

> Anyone have a preference for good but not overly expensive Ethernet
> cable testers?  I don't want to spend $500 on a high-end Fluke, but I
> don't want to spend $10 on some generic piece of crap that only tests
> continuity either.

$500 is far from high-end in cable-testing.  Testing that a terminated
cable can still reach Category 6 standards involves TDR and some pretty
hairy frequency-response analysis.  Generally, if you bought good cable
and didn't abuse it, you'll be fine.

The other tools suggested in this thread are smart continuity testers.
When I've needed more than that, I've bought a very nice dinner for a
professional cable-guy in exchange for borrowing his T-BERD or Linkrunner.
If your needs are beyond continuity and a multimeter, anything in the
middle is probably going to waste your time.

> I've never really needed one until now, but I'm finding cat6 to be a
> complete &@&#$@^#@%$R@#% to strip and terminate.

Are you doing Cat6 or Cat6A?  I haven't found Cat6 to be too bad if you
have sharp tools and take adequate time.  Bear in mind that equipment
needing Cat6 cable will be much more apt to notice skew, so ALL your
termination hardware needs to meet spec (keystones and plugs, too).

If you're doing Cat6A, outsource it to someone who does it full-time.
It's _very_ picky.

If you're terminating more than a few station cables (as opposed to riser
cables), buy them from Monoprice.  Life's too short for that nonsense.

Jonathan Patschke
Austin, TX

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