Brief Introduction to Network Cable Tester

When a fiber optic connection is broken, we all know that fiber optic tester like visual fault locators or OTDR can help to find out where problems may occur and solve the problem. Then, what if a problem occurs in Ethernet networks? It’s time to use a network cable tester. This article is going to give a brief introduction to network cable tester and how to use as well as some abnormal connections that may appear in the testing process.

Basics of Network Cable Tester

A network cable tester is a device that can identify whether the wires are paired correctly and whether there is a break in the insulation which allows cross-talk between two wires. It even can tell if the cable has the proper level of resistance. Here is a picture of network cable tester shown below. It consists of a main tester (also called master tester) and remote tester. There are night lights on the front panel of them. Besides, most testers have either two or three connectors: RJ-45 for Ethernet, RJ-11 for telephone cable, and BNC for coaxial cable. When testing a Cat5e cable, the two testers are connected by the Cat5e cable. And if the cable works, the lights on both testers will become green sequently from 1 to G. However, if using the tester to test cable with RJ11 connectors, the shining sequence of lights will be different.

network cable tester

Network cable tester can test two common types of cable: coaxial and twisted pair. A basic network cable tester may only test simple connectivity issues but not identify other problems that cause fiber failure. Generally, if a network doesn’t work normally, the problem frequently lies in the user errors or other sides. It rarely is a faulty cable.

Network Cable Tester User Guide

Network cable tester can tell if the Ethernet cable is able to carry a signal when connected to it. Then, how to use a network cable tester to check a cable correctly? Since there are various types of network cable testers in a number of different forms, here is just a simple guide on how to use it.

Notes: never connect a cable tester to a live circuit. Before starting with testing, keep in mind to remove the cable from computer or router.

Step one. Connect the testers. Connect the main tester and remote tester with the cable you want to test. Make sure your cable is plugged in fully and correctly.

Step two. Start the test. When you are ready, turn on the button to send a signal up the cable, which lights up the LEDs on both testers. If something has gone wrong, the red lights will on. Then you need to check your test process or cable carefully.

Step three. Read the test report. The different lights shine and the sequence of lights on shows different problems. Here are some common results you may encounter during the testing process.

network cable tester problems

Besides, here are some abnormal connections that can help you to use a network cable tester effectively.

  • If a cable is short circuit, for example No.3, then the two No.3 lights on both testers will not be on.
  • If several cables are not connected, several lights will be off respectively. If less than two cables are connected, none of the lights is on.
  • If two ends of a cable are disordered, the lights on testers will shine in different orders.
  • If three cables are short circuited, none of the corresponding lights is on.

The network cable tester is designed to calculate how well your high-speed network cables are performing. Poor performance in these cables can result in damage to work, poor Internet access, and general disruption to the network. There are a number of problems which can be sorted out by using the network cable tester, and it will certainly help you to save time trying to find software or hardware solutions.

How To Purchase Twisted Pair Cable

Twisted Pair Cable is composed of 4 sets mutually intertwined wire wrapped in a layer of insulation coat and composition. The reason to be entangled with each other, because when a current in the wire (in fact, the data stream) when the fields are generated by, and the positive and negative signal line around the two resulting positive and negative magnetic fields will cancel each other out, to reduce signal interference.

Category 5e or Category 6

In accordance with the electrical properties of the different twisted pair can be divided into cat 3, cat 5, cat 5e, cat 6 and Cat 7 Twisted Pair Cables. Different categories of twisted pair cable the price is large difference, and the application is also very different.

In addition to traditional voice systems still use cat 3 twisted pair cable, the network cabling are now largely used cat 5e or cat 6 unshielded twisted pair. Cat 5 unshielded twisted pair, although still can support 1000Base-T, but because of the price is almost the same with cat 5e unshielded twisted pair, therefore, has been gradually fading cabling market.

Although the cat 6 unshielded twisted pair the price is higher, but due to cat 5e cabling system has a very good compatibility, and can be very good support 1000Base-T, it is slowly becoming the darling of cabling. Cat 7 shielded twisted pair is a brand new cabling system, while the perfor-mance is excellent, but because the price is expensive. Construction products less complex alternative, so rarely used in the cabling project.

Cat 6 unshielded twisted pair can be very good support Gigabit Ethernet, and to achieve 100m transmission distance. Therefore, the cat 6 cabling system has been widely used sub-server room cabling, and to retain the ability to upgrade to Gigabit Ethernet horizontal cabling. According to international cabling standards ISO11801, cabling system life expectancy of at least 10 years. As a long-term capital investment, cabling should take full account of the potential demand and network cabling system development, therefore, the availability of funds under the conditions recommended to choose cat 6 building cabling system products.

How to buy twisted pair cable

1. See packing and printing quality. Carefully check the cable box, the packaging is intact, fake in this regard province to province, so the packaging can determine the quality of the user’s first impression. Authentic twisted pair cable of packaging cartons, from the material quality of a material to the printed word should be quite good, stiff cardboard sharp edges. And many manufacturers are still labeled on the product packaging security signs.

2. See skin color and logo. Twisted pair cable insulation shall be printed on the place of origin, such as vendors, performance standards, product categories ( such as CAT5e C6t, etc.), long lines like the word mark.

3. Look twisting density. In order to reduce signal interference, each twisted pair cable are twisted in a counterclockwise direction to each other (also known as twisted around) is made different in the same cable pair is twisted with a different twisting degree. In addition to two pairs of insulated twisting copper conductors according to the requirements, the cable between wire pairs must be twisted counterclockwise. If twisting density does not meet technical requirements, will not match due to cable resistance, leading to more serious near-end crosstalk, thus shortening the transmission distance, reduce the transmission rate. If you find all pairs in the cable twisted around the same density, or wire twisted around the density does not meet the technical requirements, or twisted around the direction of the pair does not meet the requirements, can be determined to be counterfeit.

4. See cable colors. Peel twisted pair after the outer layer of the rubber, you can see the inside by the different colors of the four pairs eight thin, followed by orange, green, blue, brown, each pair of cables with a color cable and a mixing cable components. It should be noted that these colors definitely not subsequently infected with a dye to go, but the use of the corresponding plastic. No color, clear or dyed color cables, is certainly not true cable.

5. Look retardant case. In order to avoid high temperatures or fire resulting burning and damage the cable, twisted pair in addition to the outermost sheath layer should have good tensile properties, but also has flame retardancy.

Genuine cable sheath beneath the barbecue in the fireworks, and gradually melted deformed, but the skin won’t burn itself. If not flame retardant cable is certainly not genuine.

1. In most case can also be twisted by a finger touching the skin to do the initial judement. Fake cable to save costs, the use of inferior cable, feel sticky, there is a certain sense of stagnation, poor quality. True cable feel is really comfortable and the smooth skin.

2. Use hand to knead a pinch cable body, feel is should be full. Cables shall also be free to bend, to facilitate cabling. Taking intoo account the Network Cable in the cabling often need to bend, many regular vendors in the production of cable left gave the skin a certain stretch to ensure that the network cable is not damaged when bent. Therefore, hands pull the regular network cable, and found the skin has extensibility. Good quality cable designed to take into account ease of cabling, try to make it pliable, no matter how easy bending, but not easy to be broken. In order to make the twisted pair in moving not break cable, except for the outer protective layer of skin, internal copper also has a certain toughness. Copper neither too soft nor too hard, too soft or too hard enough to show that the purity of the copper, it will seriously affect the electrical performance of the network cable.

If the application needs to consider the network in the future, in theory, should install the most advanced cabling products, because the cable is often difficult to re-install the update replacement, basically, a cabling system to be applied at least 10 years as a standard to support 4-5 generations of network equipment performance updates, if the future of network equipment better cable is needed to improve data speeds.

Then, with Cat 6 Cables instead of cat 5e cable is inevitable, but these cables re-established engineering is very expensive, so even though cat 6 products price relatively in cat 5e products are a bit expensive, but in order to reduce the network upgrade in the future, cat 6 products are still worth considering.