What Is Your Preferred Model Of Cat5e/6 Cable Tester?

To be used for troubleshooting the cable and connectors.


I am currently testing a T3 Innovations Net Chaser

A lot less expensive than a Fluke which suits my needs as I don't have a lot of need for cable testing but when I do I want know whether the cable can deliver as per spec not just that the pairs are wired correctly & that there are no faults on the cable. The Net Chaser determines if it is cable of delivering 1Gbps (100mbps for Cat 5) or not.

At this stage I have one major outstanding query with it:

A cat 5 cable has tested okay as Cat 5, Cat 5e, Cat 6 & Cat 7!!

I am trying to find out if this is correct or not. I was hoping it would say sorry the cable is a Cat 5 so it cannot be certified as Cat 6.

How long is the Cat 5 cable that can be certified, (not identified), as Cat 7?

I installed and tested tens of thousands of cables in days past, ranging from Cat 5 to Cat 5e to Cat 6 to Cat 6A. I can tell you that a well-installed Cat 5e will easily pass a Cat 6 test under many circumstances, unless it's marginal in some way (long, in a big bundle, near interference sources, etc.). It really wasn't uncommon at all. And that was using an actual cable certifier.

The T3 Net Chaser isn't a cable certifier, though; It's a speed certifier. It doesn't do an actual Cat 5, Cat 5e, Cat 6, etc. test, by the look of it. Instead, it runs bit error rate tests (essentially pushes packets and looks for errors), wiremap and continuity, length, and some signal to noise tests. These tests are nowhere near as thorough as a true certification test, which includes a dozen different electrical tests, though they are in some ways more "real world", since they push real packets.

Also, technically, Cat 7 still isn't recognized as a standard (they seem to be skipping it and moving on to 8, similar to the jump from 3 to 5), so I'm not sure how or why they'd include those tests in this unit.

Both the Fluke Networks DSX and the older DTX testers will identify the type of cable you're testing based on any one, or more of a number of Category-specific details. Additionally, you tell the Fluke, on a manufacturer's part number level detail, what cable you're using prior to testing, even if it's just a generic standards based spec, and it will tell you how closely your installed cable compares to the published specs. The length would be immaterial. This is precisely why Fluke own 95% of more of the testing market. That being said, in any case, you have to know what you're testing (Cat 5, 6, 6A, 7, PVC, Riser, Plenum) and what test you want to perform (permanent link or channel) prior to performing any test with any tester. You can't simply rely on the tools to do your job, you need to know how to use them.

Both the Fluke Networks DSX and the older DTX testers will identify the type of cable you're testing based on any one, or more of a number of Category-specific details.

...you have to know what you're testing (Cat 5, 6, 6A, 7, PVC, Riser, Plenum) and what test you want to perform (permanent link or channel) prior to performing any test with any tester

i'm confused, will the Fluke DSX tell you straight-up that the cable being tested is Cat 5 or 7, without you telling it, like Graham had hoped?

For a quick wire map I use an old Testifier TP350, for more in depth testing and certification I have a JDSU 40G certifier.

We use the Fluke Networks DSX. Although it's expensive, we certify all of our cables before installing any devices. This helps eliminates the cabling and terminations as problems when troubleshooting and allows us to focus on hardware or software issues. We also use the Fluke Networks OneTouch AT as an addtional troubleshooting tool. When the OneTouch AT is used with the WireView units, it can also determine wire length and correct termination of the cable, but it doesn't actually test or certify the cable condition.