How exciting is a new cable tester?

A couple of years ago I bought a fluke network cable tester for very little, thinking it would be the dogs nuts! it has tons of features i’m never going to use, and spares for it are excessively expensive. My network cabling guy got really excited that i’d got a bargain until he saw it and then proclaimed it was a pile of crap! 

I kind of believed him as it didn’t appear to be that great for on-site use testing of cables. 

As a result of the above comments i’ve not really taken much interest in the unit, so when i bought a new one a couple of weeks ago I thought i’d sell the fluke on ebay, they get great money, close the grand mark! not bad for something I paid £200 for! 

I got the unit out and thought i’d check it out and make sure it worked. I dug out the manual and started reading about its features and discovered its not a tool intended for installers more an network technician.

  • NetProve diagnostics – isolate device and application connectivity issues in seconds
  • Inline Gigabit vision – quickly troubleshoot network problems with powerful inline vision into 10/100/Gig traffic between switches, PCs, IP phones and other devices
  • NetSecure monitoring and authentication – identify spyware, malware, and viruses with port monitoring; troubleshoot authentication issues with 802.1x log
  • VoIP troubleshooting – connect inline for visibility into VoIP calls to quickly diagnose IP phone boot-up and call control problems and to measure key call quality metrics
  • PoE Measurements – verify readiness of PoE systems and troubleshoot PoE device problems
  • Spot available network resources – See MAC and IP addresses, subnet and services offered by active servers, routers and printers
  • IntelliTone digital signaling – quickly and safely locate cables on active network.

As you can see its got tons of features,  so I decided to have a proper play with it. plugged a patch cord in from the wall and then another from the tester to a laptop. Within minutes I knew the port speed, whether there was POE being advertised, and what port on which switch I was connected to, it doesn’t sound very exciting I know, but its just allowed me to complete a job where a cabling contractor hadn’t numbered a patch panel up, I was dreading running backward and forward between patch panel, and wall ports.

Long story short I’ve decided to keep the Fluke, its a useful tool and I think i’d be mad to get shot of it.

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