New: Mapping Line Tester (MapMaster 2.0)

By: 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

Access Control Job Walk Guide on May 22, 2019
Significant money can be saved and problems avoided with an access control job walk if you know what to look for and what to ask. By inviting...
Registration Closed - Spring 2019 IP Networking Course on May 02, 2019
Register now for the Spring 2019 IP Networking course here - Closed. Last chance now.   This is the only networking course designed specifically...
Camera Configuration Manager Shootout - Avigilon, Axis, Bosch, Dahua, Hanwha, Hikvision on May 01, 2019
Which camera manufacturer has the best management tool? We tested 6 manufacturers - Avigilon, Axis, Bosch, Dahua, Hanwha, Hikvision to find...
Locking Down Network Connections Guide on Apr 23, 2019
Accidents and inside attacks are risks when network connections are not locked down. Security and video surveillance systems should be protected...
Access Control Course Spring 2019 - Last Chance on Apr 19, 2019
 Register for the Spring 2019 Access Control Course----Closed IPVM offers the most comprehensive access control course in the industry. Unlike...
Riser vs Plenum Cabling Explained on Apr 18, 2019
You could be spending twice as much for cable as you need. The difference between 'plenum' rated cable and 'riser' rated cable is subtle, but the...
Pole Mount Camera Installation Guide on Apr 11, 2019
Poles are a popular but challenging choice for deploying surveillance cameras outdoors. Poles are indispensable for putting cameras at the right...
Silicon Valley Cybersecurity Insurance Startup Coalition Profile on Mar 20, 2019
Many industry people believe cybersecurity insurance is not worth it, as the voting and debate in our Cybersecurity Insurance For Security...
Large US University End-User Video Surveillance Interview on Mar 18, 2019
Schools have become targets in modern days of active shooters and terrorist fears. The need for video and access security is high. Universities...
Installation Course Fall 2019 on Mar 14, 2019
Register for the Fall 2019 Video Surveillance Install Course. For early registration save $50 off the course's normal $299 price. This is a...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Access Control Job Walk Guide on May 22, 2019
Significant money can be saved and problems avoided with an access control job walk if you know what to look for and what to ask. By inviting...
ASCMA / Monitronics Declares Chapter 11 Bankruptcy on May 22, 2019
Monitronics is entering into Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The company, also called Ascent Capital Group Inc., aka ASCMA, aka Brinks Home Security,...
US Considers Sanctions Against Hikvision and Dahua on May 22, 2019
The US government is considering blacklisting "up to 5" PRC surveillance firms, including Hikvision and Dahua, Bloomberg reported, with human...
Dahua USA Celebrates 5 Years of Errors on May 21, 2019
Dahua USA is, in their own words, 'celebrating' 5 years in North America or as trade magazine SSN declared: Dahua Technology finds success in...
Axis ~$150 Outdoor Camera Tested on May 21, 2019
Axis has released the latest in their Companion camera line, the outdoor Companion Dome Mini LE, a 1080p integrated IR model aiming to compete with...
Covert Facial Recognition Using Axis and Amazon By NYTimes on May 20, 2019
What if you took a 33MP Axis camera covering one of the busiest parks in the US and ran Amazon Facial Recognition against it? That is what the...
Amazon Ring Public Subsidy Program Aims To Dominate Residential Security on May 20, 2019
Amazon dominates market after market. Quitely, but increasingly, they are doing so in residential security, through a combination of significant...
LifeSafety Power NetLink Vulnerabilities And Problematic Response on May 20, 2019
'Power supplies' are not devices that many think about when considering vulnerabilities but as more and more devices go 'online', the risks for...
Facial Recognition Systems Fail Simple Liveness Detection Test on May 17, 2019
Facial recognition is being widely promoted as a solution to physical access control but we were able to simply spoof 3 systems because they had no...
Inside Look Into Scam Market Research on May 17, 2019
Scam market research has exploded over the last few years becoming the most commonly cited 'statistics' for most industries, despite there clearly...

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