New: Mapping Line Tester (MapMaster 2.0)

Author: Brian Rhodes, Published on Oct 16, 2012

A new cable testset delivers advanced features at a fractional cost of competitive offerings. However, while the set offers over 15 different tests, how many are useful to the average video installer? Does the tool deliver value, or is it another worthless gimmick? In this note, we dig in and take a look.

Tester Overview

While the Platinum Tools T129 is modestly priced at just over $100, it includes advanced features costing four or five times more than competitor's products:

  • Continuity Testing: Checks that each strand for breaks or miswires over the entire length
  • Cable Location Mapping: Includes receiver clips for 19 locations at once
  • Tone Generator: Individual cables can be found using tone set.
  • Length Measurement: End to end length is measured, using resistance
  • Shield Integrity: The continuity of cabling shields can be checked for interference vulnerability. (See our "STP vs. UTP" report for further details on shielding)
  • "Looping" Feature: A "continuous" mapping mode for troubleshooting intermittent connection issues.

The video below provides a demo of how the length feature works for both UTP and Coax cable:

 

Value to Video Surveillance

While the T129 may not have the widespread utility of a multimeter, it is 'customized' to check the cable types and cabling problems to video surveillance. The T129 is a 'VDV' product - a video, data, voice - tester, which means it is customized to check those specific types of cables. Unlike a Ohm/Voltage/Multimeter, the T129 is designed to check for specific functions, not measure electrical properties.

The Mapmaster 2.0 is designed to work with both UTP and coax types of video cabling, and while individual settings may need to differ, the set provides the same tests for either medium. For example, the chart below shows how overall length measure varies depending on cable type being used:

Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox
Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox

Length

The T129's Length Measurements are most useful when determining where a break or short is occurring. For example, if the meter returns a distance value shorter than the overall known length of the cable, then that distance reveals how far up the line the physical break lies. This feature can be very useful in determining if a connector is the problem or the problem lies in the cable itself.

Mapping

The most advanced feature the Mapmaster provides is the 'mapping' function. Given the undocumented/messy nature of many surveillance networks, simply establishing which cable goes where is a daunting effort. The T129 includes 'numbered remotes' (jack plugs) that send an identification signal back home where they are received by the base unit. The video below shows this feature in detail:

Using this feature greatly simplifies the process of discovering which port an unlabeled camera is plugged into, or where a certain cable is connected in a facility.

Comparison

The pricing of the T129 is what makes it distinctive in the market. Because alternative products cost $400 - $500, they are often too costly to issue every technician, and invariably those sets get broken or lost over time. For example, the closest Fluke Networks product, the MS2-100, sells for $400 online.

The $100 Mapmaster 2.0 provides the same features as the Fluke model, but also includes 'extras' like a Remote Port button, Toner/Alligator Cables, and F-style port adapter sets. 

While we have not tested the T129 in the field and cannot evaluate actual performance and durability, it is an inexpensive tester/mapper option for those frustrating and mundane troubleshooting tasks.

Comments : PRO Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

ISC East 2018 Mini-Show Final Report on Nov 16, 2018
This is our second (updated) and final show report from ISC East. ISC East, by its own admission, is not a national or international show, billed...
Winter 2019 IP Networking Course on Nov 05, 2018
This is the only networking course designed specifically for video surveillance professionals.  Lots of network training exists but none of it...
Network Cable Shootout - Belden, Hikvision, Honeywell, NavePoint CCA, Windy City Wire on Nov 05, 2018
Every IP camera install needs UTP cabling. But how much of a difference is there between dirt cheap generic cables found online and the bigger,...
IP Camera Installation Tool Shootout - Avigilon, Axis, Ideal, Hanwha, Triplett, Veracity on Oct 23, 2018
Setting up IP cameras has historically been challenging, with techs often precariously using a laptop on a ladder or lift. Some options for install...
Integrator Laptop Guide on Oct 16, 2018
This 18-page guide provides guidance and statistics about integrator laptop use. 150 integrators explained to IPVM in detail about their laptops,...
Security System Health Monitoring Usage Statistics 2018 on Oct 09, 2018
How well and quickly do integrators know if devices are offline or broken? New IPVM statistics show that typically no health monitoring is...
Network Cable Testing Guide on Oct 02, 2018
Proper cable installation is key to trouble-free surveillance systems. However, testing is often an afterthought, with problems only discovered...
Ladders For Installers Guide on Sep 25, 2018
Ladders are one of the most important pieces of worksite equipment for the surveillance technician. Too often, however, even highly experienced...
IP Camera Cable Labeling Guide on Sep 14, 2018
Labeling cables can save a lot of money and headaches. While it is easy to overlook, taking time to label runs during installation significantly...
IP Camera Cable Termination Guide on Sep 06, 2018
Terminating cables properly is critical to network performance, but it can be a tricky task with multiple steps. Fortunately, this task is easy to...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Openpath Access Control Tested on Nov 20, 2018
Big investment in access startups is uncommon, but Openpath has recently attracted $20 million doing just that. The company has limited security...
No GDPR Penalties For UK Swann 'Spying Hack' on Nov 20, 2018
The UK’s data protection agency has closed its investigation into Infinova-owned Swann Security UK, the ICO confirmed to IPVM, deciding to take “no...
Milestone Disrupts Milestone With Arcules on Nov 19, 2018
Milestone is now competing against... Milestone's own spinout Arcules. New IPVM testing shows that Arcules has incorporated a substantial amount...
Pressure Mounts Against Dahua and Hikvision Xinjiang Business on Nov 19, 2018
Pressure is mounting against Hikvision, Dahua, and other companies operating in Xinjiang as an international outcry brews against the Chinese...
Arcules Cloud VMS Tested on Nov 19, 2018
Arcules is a big bet, or as they describe themselves a 'bold company', spun out and backed by Milestone and Canon.  But how good is Arcules cloud...
'Sticker' Surveillance Camera Developed (CSEM Witness) on Nov 16, 2018
The Swiss Center for Electronics and Microtechnology (CSEM) has announced what it calls the: world’s first fully autonomous camera that can be...
ISC East 2018 Mini-Show Final Report on Nov 16, 2018
This is our second (updated) and final show report from ISC East. ISC East, by its own admission, is not a national or international show, billed...
Facial Detection Tested on Nov 16, 2018
Facial detection and recognition are increasingly offered by video surveillance manufacturers. Facial detection detects faces in an image/video...
Throughtek P2P/Cloud Solution Profile on Nov 15, 2018
Many IoT manufacturers either do not have the capabilities or the interest to develop their own cloud management software for their devices....
ASIS Offering Custom Research For Manufacturers on Nov 15, 2018
Manufacturers often want to know what industry people think about trends and, in particular, the segments and product they offer.  ASIS and its...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact