Question Ethernet Cable Qualification equipment. Should I upgrade my 25yo equipment?

Dec 7, 2018
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I've been installing cat5e cable for years, mostly in my own home and on a few small jobs I picked up along the way.

Since 1993 I've had a Microtest MT350 cable tester which also grades the cable and will give a pass/fail for cat5. Mostly it made sure I had full connections on all 8 pins (sometimes you just get a bad crimp), and it also did NEXT (near/end cross talk testing) for noise.




Fast forward and I'm getting ready to do some cat6 cable installations and feel that I just want to qualify the cable to make sure the installation was done right. I'd also like to know that it's capable of running at full gb speeds.

I've done some poking around and found testers from 1,500.00 to 15,000.00

Specifically I'm seeing the fluke CableIQ tester going for 900-1000 on eBay. This is also supposed to "qualify the cable for 1000base T.




Does anyone have any good suggestions as to whether I should upgrade my old MT350 (which still works fine). Microtest made a newer version called the pentascanner but I can't seem to find much additional information on specs. These are going for around 250-400 dollars on eBay. This seems to be for CAT5 but I was thinking it scanned a higher mhz.



I don't want to spend a fortune as I really don't do that much wiring, but when I do, I want to know that I'm doing it right.

Many thanks.

Roveer
 

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
I am guessing that if you already have a Microtest scanner that you are comfortable terminating cable. Terminating Cat6a isn't significantly different than 5e. The untwisted amount is smaller. The internal twists in the cable are tighter. Unless you are being paid to install cable, I wouldn't buy a newer tester. If you REALLY want to "qualify" some job, then RENT the newer equipment. A couple day rental and you haven't spent a bunch of money on equipment that gets used once in a blue moon.
 

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