New Low Voltage Installation Tool

By: Brian Rhodes, Published on May 07, 2013

Cable testers are typically the most expensive tools an installer uses. Many offerings cost tens of thousands of dollars, yet a surveillance technician may use just a few features. Byte Brothers' Low Voltage Pro, an entrant for the best new security product at ISC West 2013 [link no longer available], claims to offer just the tests needed by the installer at such a low price point the device can go in every installer's toolbag. We look at the pros and cons inside.

Product Features

The Low Voltage Pro is available in three versions [link no longer available], with the most basic tool, Level 1, upgradeable to the most advanced Level 3 version through a firmware update. While the range of features varies according to the model, all three versions offer basic tests, including:

  • Cable Pass/Fail
  • Skew
  • Latency/Delay
  • Line Resistance

Here's a breakdown of the model/options:

[link no longer available]

Check the manufacturer's video below for a general overview of what the tool offers:

For installers looking for more powerful features [link no longer available] like PoE/Phone line voltages, analog CCTV camera (1 volt Peak-to-Peak) voltage, network speed, cable length and return loss quality, then an upgrade to the Level 3 is required, which can be done via software on the manufacturer's website.

Pricing

The cost of the units increase with the addition the increase features. The basic 'Level 1' model is available through national distribution or online for ~$150, while the full-featured 'Level 3' unit costs ~$300.

Advantages

The low price of the unit is its greatest advantage. Compared to full-featured testers and certifiers priced for thousands, the Byte Brothers unit is a fraction of the cost. Unlike Fluke's CIQ-100 model [link no longer available] that offers similar features for ~$1500, the Low Voltage Pro is 80 - 90% less.

Disadvantages

Despite a heavy market emphasis on the lowest price 'Leve 1' unit, the Low Voltage Pro does not provide the ability to print test reports with the two basic versions. While casual readings taken on the fly can be useful, the ability to assemble and print reports is key and drastically diminishes the value of the cheaper options, and most will need to purchase the full fledged Level 3 unit to find it useful.

Surveillance Specific

Bytebrothers does not offer the measurement precision or methodology sophistication of high-end network certifiers. For example, Fluke certifiers are built with hardware filtering that screens out low-level noise that the Bytebrothers unit lacks. However, the high-precision of those units are not typically advantageous to the video market. The Low Voltage Pro offers 'good enough' features mixed with a low price point to be a benefit for surveillance installers who have not been able to justify more expensive offerings.

Comments (0) : PRO Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

Camera Focusing Tutorial on Oct 14, 2019
Camera focus is fundamental to quality imaging. Mistakes can significantly reduce details, making cameras less effective. In this guide, we...
Last Chance - Register Now - October 2019 IP Networking Course on Oct 10, 2019
Last Chance - Register Now - Fall 2019 IP Networking Course. The course starts next week. This is the only networking course designed...
Camera Cable Whip Guide on Oct 02, 2019
Cable whips are one of integrator's least favorite camera features but seem to be unavoidable, now commonplace on dome, turret, and bullet cameras...
Installation Course - Last Chance - Register Now on Sep 12, 2019
Last Chance - Register Now - September 2019 Video Surveillance Install Course. Thursday, September 12th is your last chance to register for the...
US State Department: "Chinese Tech Giants" "Tools of the Chinese Communist Party" on Sep 12, 2019
The US State Department has called out "Chinese tech giants" for being "tools of the Chinese Communist Party" in a blunt new speech that makes...
Genetec Stratocast VSaaS Tested on Sep 05, 2019
The VSaaS market is rapidly expanding in 2019, with Verkada, Meraki, Eagle Eye, Avigilon and numerous startups growing their market share. When we...
ZK Teco Atlas Access Control Tested on Aug 20, 2019
Who needs access specialists? China-based ZKTeco claims its newest access panel 'makes it very easy for anyone to learn and install access control...
Milestone "GDPR-ready" Certification Claim Critiqued on Aug 12, 2019
Milestone is touting that its latest XProtect VMS is "GDPR-ready" with a 'European Privacy Seal'. However, our investigation raises significant...
Hikvision 4K Camera Shootout on Aug 02, 2019
With their latest Smart Series 5 cameras, Hikvision is claiming cameras "fully loaded" with "state-of-the-art technology for high performance and...
Responsibility Split Selecting Locks - Statistics on Jul 22, 2019
A heated access debate surrounds who should pick and install the locks. While responsible for selecting the control systems, integrators often...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Alarm Veteran "Demands A Criminal Investigation" Of UL on Oct 18, 2019
The Interceptor's Project pressure against UL continues to rise. Following Keith Jentoft's allegation that "UL Has Blood On Their Hands", Jentoft...
Camect "Worlds Smartest Camera Hub" Tested on Oct 18, 2019
Camect is a Silicon Valley startup that claims the "Smartest AI Object Detection On The Market", detecting not only people and vehicles, but...
Hikvision Global News Reports Directory on Oct 17, 2019
Hikvision has received the most global news reporting of any video surveillance company, ever, ranging from the WSJ, the Financial Times, Reuters,...
Camera Calculator V3.1 Release Improves User Experience on Oct 17, 2019
IPVM has released a new version of our Camera Calculator, V3.1, with significant user experience improvements, a new development plan, and an...
Securing Access Control Installations Tutorial on Oct 17, 2019
The physical security of access control components is critical to ensuring that a facility is truly secure. Otherwise, the entire system can be...
Access Control Course Fall 2019 - Last Chance on Oct 17, 2019
Register Now - Fall 2019 Access Control Course. Thursday, October 17th is the last day to register. IPVM offers the most comprehensive access...
US DoD Comments on Huawei, Hikvision, Dahua Cyber Security Concerns on Oct 16, 2019
A senior DoD official said the US is "concerned" with the cybersecurity of Hikvision, Dahua, and Huawei due to "CCP" (China Communist Party)...
Pelco Sarix Pro3 Camera Tested on Oct 16, 2019
Pelco has released their Sarix Professional Series 3 cameras, claiming "more security detail in challenging scenes with excellent low light and...
IPVM Camera Calculator User Manual / Guide on Oct 16, 2019
Learn how to use the IPVM Camera Calculator. The guide below includes instructions, images, gifs, and videos demonstrating and explaining the...
Altronix Claims Tango 'Eliminates Electricians' on Oct 15, 2019
Power supply provider Altronix claims its new Tango power supply 'eliminates the need for an electrician, dedicated conduit and wire runs'. In...