Guide To Network Cable Testers2019-02-25T16:28:55+01:00

Guide To Network Cable Testers

Discover more about network cable testers and network cable testing equipment

What is a network cable tester?

A network cable tester is a piece of equipment used to test and check network cables for their signal strength and connectivity, helping to identify any problems that may affect the performance of the network.

There are a few considerations to make when looking for a network cable tester these include: the type of cable requiring testing, the type of connector the cable uses and the level of information you require. Basic network cable testers will simply test cable pin-outs while more advanced testers can test both copper and fibre cables and provide full performance data for individual cables.

What network testing tools are required to test a patch cable?

The network testing tools needed to test a patch cable vary depending on the type of patch cable being tested. For testing both copper or fibre patch cables a network cable tester is required, how advanced this tester is will depend on the level of information needed from the test.

Network testing equipment, simple or advanced, consists of two units – A transmitter and a receiver. The two parts are connected by the cable to be tested and the test performed. Simple copper cable testers are usually only able to check the connectivity of cable and ensure the pin-outs correspond, whilst advanced models such as the WireXpert 4500 not only test copper but can also test fibre cables to. Furthermore, it provides detailed information that can be used to certify that particular cable’s performance. Other network testing tools that can be include Visual Fault Locators and OTDRs used for testing fibre optic networks.

Is the WireXpert 4500 cable certifier an alternative to the DSX-5000 Fluke network cable tester?

Fluke network cable testers are a leading solution for testing and certifying various types of network cables, with the Fluke DSX-5000 being one of their popular models. However, there are many alternatives to this including the WireXpert 4500 cable certifier. The WireXpert 4500 is the first cable certifier with the capability to certify the highest performance cabling systems in enterprise networks and data centres, with certification testing up to Class FA and CAT8 copper cabling.

On top of this it is also capable of testing MPO/MTP, SM, MM, MMEF fibre optic cabling and M12 and X-Coded M12 industrial Ethernet cables. All of this made possible by interchangeable adapters that enable you to configure the WireXpert 4500 for the cables you are testing. The WireXpert 4500 is the first cable certifier to provide cable certification up to 2,500MHz, that supports the new TIA CAT8 and ISO Class I and II draft standard, the Fluke DSX-5000 only supports up to 1,000MHz or Class FA. The WireXpert 4500’s accuracy is independently verified by ETL and exceeds many of ISO / TIA level requirements. It is the only certifier supporting all data centre, premise cabling and industrial Ethernet requirements, and provides advanced reporting and documentation. Other advantages it has over the DSX-5000 Fluke network cable tester include: touchscreens on both Local and Remote units with full graphical test results, smaller, lighter hand-held units, single component adapters, lower cost replacement PL test cords, and wider range of adapters.

WireXpert Network Cable Testers
What is an OTDR?

OTDR stands for Optical Time Domain Reflectometer and is used when testing the integrity of fibre optic cables. They are advanced fibre optic cable testers and used to gather a lot of data on individual fibre cables.

OTDRs can be used to measure cable length, find faults and verify loses where the fibre contains splices. They are often used when creating documentation to provide a reference guide on individual fibres. Previous tests can be compared and analysed to ensure the cable is still performing as intended or used to determine where problems might be occurring. An OTDR works differently to a standard fibre cable tester. In a standard source and power meter the loss of the fibre cable is measured directly, where as an OTDR works indirectly. With an OTDR the source and meter duplicate the transmitter and receiver transmission links to measure a more accurate system loss of the fibre cable. They also measure the backscatter light, produced by connectors and splices, to indirectly measure loss resulting in a more accurate fibre cable test.

OTDR testing with FiberXpert OTDR 5000 fibre cable tester

OTDR testing is simplified when using the FiberXpert OTDR 5000, an advanced OTDR fibre cable tester. Specifically designed with fibre network installers and operators of enterprise networks in mind. The FiberXpert OTDR 5000 measures, documents and troubleshoots fibre optic networks. It provides very high resolution with one of the shortest dead zones available for testing Multi Mode and Single Mode fibres, enabling it to measure very short fibre links. Its automatic analysis features, including macro bend detection, simplify measuring tasks. It’s large 5” colour LCD touchscreen and user-friendly graphically interface makes conducting a trace simple, with results saved ready for generation into PDF reports or transferred to a USB stick for use in reports generated by the central eXport evaluation software. The display of graphical information regarding the OTDR trace enables length-dependent analysis for all events for reflection and attenuation, with all events listed in a table of results.

What is a Visual Fault Locator? How does it help perform a network test?

A Visual Fault Locator or VFL is used to detect breaks or micro-bends in Single Mode or Multi Mode fibre optic cables. Such bends or breaks can seriously affect the network’s performance.  EDP Europe supply the OWL Precision Coupled Visual Fault Locator (PCVFL), a lightweight tester that can identify faults in Single Mode or Multi Mode fibre cables. It delivers a high-intensity visible red laser beam precision coupled into an optical fibre. Breaks or micro-bends within the fibre cable can be identified by a red glow on the fibre jacket. The cable can then either be replaced or repaired by using a fusion fibre splicer.

Other Data Centre Guides from EDP Europe

Guide To Copper Structured Cabling

Guide To Fibre Optic Solutions

Guide To Fibre Optic Splicers

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