What is a Cable Tester?
A cable tester is a detachable two piece component that is used to test the functioning of different types of cables like Computer Cables (RJ-45), Telephone Cables (RJ-11), USB Cables, etc. They generally have some kind of visual indicators to display the test results.
What can a Cable Tester test for?
On a basic level, Cable Tester can test if the cable is working or not. Specifically, they can test for different types of faults in cables like continuity, dislocation, open circuit, short circuit, cable pairing faults, or indications like shielding indication, straight cable/ cross over cable indication, etc.
How does a Cable Tester work?
A cable tester generally consists of two parts – The main unit that contains the display/ connectors and a remote detachable unit that contains the connectors. A cable tester works using batteries and in most cases, the required batteries need to be purchased additionally.
A cable tester can test long cables as the remote unit can be detached from the main unit and carried across to the other end of the cable.
If one needs to test a computer cable (RJ-45, Cat 5E/6), for example, they need to plug in one end of the cable to the main unit and plug in another end of the cable to the remote detachable unit.
When both ends are connected, the testing button needs to be pressed. Depending on the type of the tester, LED lights may glow in sequence on both the indicators. Lights 1 to 8 glow one after the other sequentially, if the connection is fine.
With some types of cable testers, there is an LED display which presents the test results using diagrams and on-screen indicators. Some of them even come with an audio alert on the type of fault. They can speak/ beep indicating if the cable is fine or not!
The cable testing process is similar for other cables as well, except that RJ-11 cables need to be plugged in the RJ-11 interfaces and USB cables need to be plugged in the USB interfaces. So, when you are buying a cable tester, you can see how many physical connectors are present in each piece in order to determine how many types of cables can be tested using them.
For USB Cables, four lights glow sequentially if everything is fine and for RJ-11 cables two lights glow at both ends. But this depends on the type of tester involved and the type of indication provided by the cable tester.
How can one identify cable faults using cable testers?
In an RJ-45 cable for example, if the second light doesn't glow at one end and all other lights glow sequentially, it means that there is an open circuit in Pin 2.
There might be a separate light for shielded cable indication and it glows to indicate if the inserted cable is of shielded type or not.
There may be a separate non-parallel light that glows if the conductors are crossed.
If there is a short circuit, the exact pins that are affected can be indicated by the glow of their respective LED light indicators.
These are some of the common fault indications and depending on the cable tester and make, many more type of faults can be indicated. One can find exhaustive information on the type of faults and their indications by going through the installation manual.
Some cable testers come with an automatic sleep mode / deactivation mode for saving the battery power. The battery life is generally quite long for cable testers and they can normally last for more than 50 hours of testing. Some of them even give an indication when the battery is low and needs to be replaced.
Most of the cable testers come with a carry case in order to be able to carry them around easily.
You could visit our store to buy the Cable Testers Online.