Testing in-wall CAT5 runs

IVB

Senior Member
What network cable testers do you folks use to test your in-wall CAT5 runs?

I want to hardwire my 3400, but if i build the CAT5 ahead of time and test, then it won't be the exact correct length as I don't know it. If I run the wire, then terminate once it's out of the gang box, then I need one of those $150 network tester thingeys to test it. However, I don't know anything about those tools, and prices seem to range from $50-$500 for them.

I'll also use this to run probably 6-7 RJ45 wall plugs in various rooms, so I don't mind spending a little $$, but I'm hoping that it won't cost more than $125-ish as once it's done, i don't need it. eBay/used is fine.
 

pkoslow

Active Member
IVB,

Take a look at some of the products from Test-Um.

http://www.test-um.com

Disclaimer: Until two weeks ago, I worked for the company that recently acquired Test-Um...

The NT700 is more than you want to spend, but is a really good value for all the capabilities it has:
http://www.test-um.com/product_detail.asp?itemno=NT700

The TP300 is also a good unit for a great price, but doesn't have the cable length, distance to fault or jack ID, but will also test coax without an adapter:
http://www.test-um.com/product_detail.asp?itemno=TP300

They have a ton of stuff, check out the web site and see if you find something you like.

Cheers,
Paul
 

wuench

Senior Member
You should definitely test after the run is finished and terminated. It is in termination that most of the problems will occur, especially if you are inexperienced.

The biggest thing is the wiremap, that all the wires are connected and in the right place, and length not over approx. 300 feet (although you can go over a little).

One of the easiest ways to test without spending any money is just to use a PC or laptop on each end. If you can transmit and aren't seeing any physical errors at either end, you are good to go. Of course a lan tester will give you a little more information, like real length and maybe a few extra tests to give you peace of mind if you ever try to use that run at gigabit speeds.

If you do use a PC, make sure you run at the highest speed you intend to use and push a big file through. i.e. you may not see errors at 100MB but then will at 1GB.
 

BraveSirRobbin

Moderator
THIS is what I used when I terminated all the Cat5e wiring to RJ-45 ends in my friends house. Found two wiring mistakes (but there were a lot of connections as you can see HERE).

I also hooked up a Linksys firewall and made sure it registered (saw) the 100 mb link after I verified all the connections were OK.
 

IVB

Senior Member
BraveSirRobbin said:
THIS is what I used when I terminated all the Cat5e wiring to RJ-45 ends in my friends house. Found two wiring mistakes (but there were a lot of connections as you can see HERE).

I also hooked up a Linksys firewall and made sure it registered (saw) the 100 mb link after I verified all the connections were OK.
Thanks for all the options. I'll do the research to see how much to spend to do it right. I'll also scan eBay to see what there is there.

One question - It's hard to tell from the pic - does that compusa linked item have the ability to put one piece at the walljack, the other piece at the homerun location?
 

IVB

Senior Member
Never mind, just found a decent TP600 on eBay that came with a remote for $115. Hopefully that'll do the trick.

Thanks for the help.
 

IVB

Senior Member
No worries on the delay - I jumped on that test-um sooner than I expected as it was the only one who's seller guaranteed that it came with the remote, new-in-box, for the price. No tax, low shipping made it too easy to pass up.

BTW, for anyone lurking, the reason i'm hardwiring the 3400 is to move network reliability from 90-ish % to 100%. That, plus i'm too cheap to buy another wifi card for the 2nd 3400 I got given that I already got a ton of CAT5e cable, and we've only taken the 3400 out of the wallmount once in 3 months. At that rate, we can use the 2nd 3400 for it.
 

IVB

Senior Member
So I just tried out that test-um TP600. That thing rocks, it's exactly what I needed and then some. Very trivial to take the remote, put it on one end, go to the other end with the base unit, and confirm wiring. Thing even tells me the cable-length as part of the test!

There's also other features, but they use words that I don't understand yet.

All for $121 shipped.
 
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