Cable testers


Active Member
I was wondering if folks knew of/had experience with cable testers that certify network speed the wire can run at? I'm looking at possibly getting one, and I only know of two so far: Test-Um Validator and Fluke's CableIQ Tester. I don't have experience with either.

No experience here, but last time I checked, certification quality test equipment was running in the 3k plus range. At that price I decided that if anyone really had to have certification, I'd go the rental route.
Yea, they are pretty expensive. The two I know about run 1k-1.5k. You can get them a bit cheaper if you look around. This isn't just for me (though it is kind of a cool toy) but for my business, so I will be able to write it off. Not that that means I'll spend 3K on a tester, but it could be very useful.

I sat in on the last bit of training for the Validator at CEDIA and was very impressed. I have been considering getting one and have been watching them on ebay for a while. I got sniped on a brand new one by $1 for $751 so they can be had a little cheaper than $1K.

Great, now I might have to compete with you too. :)
Do you really need a certification level tester? Unless your clients are asking for it or you're doing commercial data networks, a validation level tester will more thna suffice for testing residential wiring.

If you are just seeking to verify that your structured wiring is OK prior to drywall to avoid re-pulls, I wouldn't waste my money. I use an Ideal valadation tester and it checks cat-5 levels up to 10-1000 mbps as well as phone connections and rg-6 cable. It only costs around $175.00.
Validation/certification, I was using them in the same context. I already check continually, shorts, and miss wires, with a simple $40 tester. What I really am looking for is a tester that will fixture out the max speed a data cable is capable of running at. Mainly for gigabit speeds. Using Cat5e you have to be very meticulous during pulling and termination to get that speed. While I'd like to think I do everything perfect :) I'm sure there was been a couple run were I had too sharp a bend or more than the 1/2" untwist at the jack. The only testers I have seen that do that are fairly expensive and I was wondering if anyone knew of a less expensive variety.


I think the least expensive unit that does what you need is the TestUm Validator.

Back when I did a lot of cabling I owned a MicroTest PentaScanner that tested 10/100mb (back before gig Ethernet). If I remember it was around $3k at the time. They have some newer units that you might want to look at that are more capable than the TestUm Validator and even have options for testing fiber if you have the need, but will cost even more.

For larger cabling jobs and when I do commerical work I hire a local cabling company to install and test. They have both MicroTest and TestUm Validator units. I like them both, but for the money, the Validator is the clear winner.

The company I used to work for acquired TestUm shortly before I left. I passed on the opportunity to pick up some gear at great prices. I didn't think I'd use it much, but now wish I would have purchased it.