Network Cable Testing Guide

By John Scanlan, Published on Oct 02, 2018

Proper cable installation is key to trouble-free surveillance systems.

However, testing is often an afterthought, with problems only discovered when cameras have problems, resulting in increased troubleshooting, or even worse, reinstallation. Simple, inexpensive testers are available, which can easily prevent these issues without adding substantial install time.

In this guide, we examine:

  • Wiremapping
  • Cable Identification
  • Service Detection
  • PoE Detection
  • Crosstalk
  • Propagation Delay
  • Low Cost Cable Testers
  • Cable Verifiers
  • Cable Qualifiers
  • Cable Certifiers
  • Choosing Between Verifiers, Qualifiers and Certifiers
  • Channel vs Permanent Link

The Four Main Test Tool Types

Wiremap testers, verifiers, qualifiers and certifiers are the 4 main test tool types to select from:

  • Certifiers are the only of the three to test to ANSI/EIA/TIA568B standards, which ensures manufacturer warranty and essentially guarantees link performance. Main downside is high price of ~$10,000, 4 to 5x of a qualifer.
  • Qualifiers deliver a detailed technical test but are not standards-compliant, aiming primarily to give a 'real world' test at a lower price than certifiers.
  • Verifiers provide tests such as wiremap and length which allow basic troubleshooting, but not crosstalk, loss, skew, etc. They are also much less expensive, ~$100-300.
  • Wiremap testers only test continuity on all four pairs of the UTP cable, with no advanced tests or troubleshooting information. These tests are the lowest cost type, with some as low as ~$10.

Wiremap testers, verifiers, and certifiers are most common in surveillance and covered below. Qualifiers are typically used more in IT centric applications as they actually transmit real packets to test bandwidth and allow for more in depth switch/network testing, instead of just the cable, not typically necessary in surveillance.

**********

********** **** ****** ******/***/*** *********, ******* * **** battery ** *****, ********* those *** ** ********* and ********** (*******, ******), while ****** ****** *** running **** ** ***** crosstalk *******. *** ***** below ******* * ******** overview ** *****'* ***-**** certifier.

***** ***** *******:

  • *********:**** **** ******** *** amount ** ****** ***** is ****** ******* **** ** * cable ** *******, ** from *** ***** ** another. **** ******** *-* different ********* ***** (**** end, *** ***, ***** crosstalk, ***.) ********* ** the ******** ** *** cable ***** ******. ********** simply **** ***** "*********", without *** ** ***** detailed ************.

  • *********** *****:**** **** ** ******* to *******, ********* *** time ** ***** *** signal ** ***** *** far *** ** *** cable.
  • ***** ****:**** ***** ******* *** difference ** ***** ***** all **** ***** ** the *****. *********** *********** can ******** ***** ****** or ******** ******.
  • *********/****** ****:***** *** ************ ** the ****** **** ****** by ********** ** *** cable *** (********* ****) or ** ********* ****** back ** *** **** point (****** ****) ********* caused ** **** ************ or ***** ******.

*** ***** ***** ************ using * ***** ***-**** certifier.

***** ********** *** *** more ****** **** ***** testers, ********* ** ***** $5,000 ***, ****** $**,***+ is *** ********, **** full **** ********* ***** optic ******** ***** ******* for $**,***. ** ******** to ******* ****, ********** must ** ******* **-********** periodically (***** *-* *****), which ****** **** * few ******** ** **** a ******** *******.

*** ** *** **** strict ********** ******** *** calibrated ******* **** ** these, **** * ******* of ************* **** ***** certifiers, **** ******** ****** ***** ****** [**** no ****** *********] ***** two ** *** **** common.

Certification **** *******

*** ** *** ********** of ********** **** ********* or ******* ******* ** that **** ***** ******* which *** **** ** submitted ** *** *** user ** ******** ** proof **** *** ****** have ****** *** *** properly *********. **** ************* is ********* *** ******** in ***** *******.

******* *** ** ********* be ******** ** *** format ** ** * spreadsheet (******* .***) ****** detailing *** ****** ***** drops ** * ***** system.**** ***** ** ******* ** a ******** **** ****** produced ** * ***** certifier.

**********

********** *** **** ********** functions, *** *** *** precisely ********** *** ******* to *********, ****** **** the ****** ****** ******* verifiers *** **********.

*** ****** ********* ******* the *******, ******, ************** and ******* ********* ** verifiers, *** *** ********* such **:

  • ******* *******: ******* ** simply ********* ******** ******* on * *****, ********** runs ****** ***** ** check ***** ********* *** basic ****** *** ******** whether ** **** ******* 10/100, ***, ***. ***** tests ********* ******* *********, though *** ** *** level * ********* *****.
  • *** *******: ******* ** simply ********** **** *** is *******, ********** ******* measurements **** ** ******* and ******* *******, ***** can ******** ******* * port ** ***.*** ** 802.at, *** ************ ****** with ***** ******.
  • ***** **** *******: *** vast ******** ** ********** record **** ******* ** on-board *******, ** ***** may ** ******* *** or ****** ** *** end ** * ******* for *************.
  • **** ******** ********: ********** display **** ******** ***** information **** *********, ******* the ********* ******** ** the ***** *****, *** wehther **'* * ***** or ********* *****, ***** caused ** ******* ** damaged (*** *** ***) cables.

********** *** * ***** price ******** **** *********. The***** ************ *** *****$*,*********, ****** *** ***** the ***** ** ***** verifier *****, *** ************. Some, **** ** *****'* SignalTEK ** **** (~$*,*** ******), *** ****** **** higher.

********** *** *** ** widely ********* ** ********, with *****, ******** ********* **, *** ************ *** Voltage *** [**** ** longer *********], ***** **** of *** **** ****** and ******* ***** **********.

Cable *********

***** ********* ******* *** most ****** ***** ****** to ****** ***** ***** performance, ****** ***** ******** and ********* **** ** manufacturer. ********* ******* ** the ******** **** **** itself, *** *** ** more ****** *****, ******* into *** *** *** of *** ***** ** be ******. **** **** allow ******* ** **** cables *** * *********.

*** **** ****** ******** of ********* ***:

  • *******: ******* ********** ******* UTP ** ********** *********, with *** ******* ***** in *** ***** ***** on *** *********, ********* to***/*** ****/*. **** *** ** displayed ***********, *** **** or *******. ********* ******* is **** ******* ** use *** *** *************, as ** ******** ******* which **** *** *** issue, *** *** **** are *******. ** *** case ** **** ******, it ****** ***** ******* there *** *** ****** between ****** *** ****** conductor.
  • ******/******** ** *****: *** verifier ********** *** ****** of ***** ** ********** may ** **** *** does *** ****** ****. This ******** **** ***** the ******** ** ***** faults, **** ** ****** and ******, ** ******* can ** **** **** easily.
  • ***** **************: **** ****** unit *** * ****** identifier, ** **** ***** may ******* ** ******** cables ** ***** ** once, *** *** *** handheld **** ** ****** each. **** *** ***** troubleshooting ** ****** *** existing ** **********, ******* of ****** ** ***** a ****** ***** ** a ****.
  • ******* *********: **** ****** verifiers *** ****** *** use ** ********, ***, or **** ********* ** a *****, *** ***** pairs *** ****. ***** this **** *** ****** proper *********, ** **** show ******* * ***** is ******* **** * switch ** *****-********* ** a ***** ****.

********* ********* ** *** save *** ***** **** results, * ******* ******** found ** ********** *** certifiers, ****** **** ********** are *********, **** ** the ************ ******** [**** no ****** *********].

***** ********* ***** ** price **** ***** $***-*** USD, **** **** ********* driven ** ******* **. LED *******, ******* ****, and ****** ** *********.

***** **** ****** **** as *** ***** *** II (~$*** ******) ******* * ******* display *** ******* ********** of ******* ******** ** the ********* ******* ** more ********* ******. **** fully ******** ******* **** as ******** ************(~$*** ******) *** ************ ******** (~$***), ***** * ****** graphical ******* *******, ** the ******* ** **** test *******.

********* *** ****** *** for ********** *** ***** time **** *** **** for * ******* ******. They *** **** ** report **** ****** *** the ******** **** *** verifier, ****** **** ** discovery / ***************.

Wiremap ****** / ******* ***** ******

***** ******* *** ********* low **** *** **** wiremap, ******* ******* **** pair ** ********* ** both ****, *** *** testing *** ***** **********. This *** ** ********* on ** *** ******, but ** ***** ****** shown ***** * ******** LEDs (*** *** **** wire ** * *** cable), ** ************ * if ******** ***** ** used.

*** ***** ***** ************ wiremapper ***.

***** ******* *** **** limited *** **** ****** for ******* ****** **** making / ******** ***** cables. ** ********** ******* is ********, **** * verifier ****** ** **** since ******* ******* ******* limited *************** *********** ***** could ******** ******* **** compared ** * ******** which ******** ******** ** fault.

What ** * ****?

** *******, *********** ****** keep ** ***** * verifier ** ****. ******* and ****** *** *** key ******** ***** ****** be ****** ************ *******, ***** ** devices ***** *********. ** is ****** *** ** least *** ** *** cables ** ** ************ to **** ******* ** shorted *****. ******* ** simply ******** ***/** **-*********** the ***** ******* ********** the *******, * ******** may **** ******* **** is *****.

***** ***** ***-**** ******** with *** ****** ** support ** *** **** to ****** ** * qualifier. *** ******* ** test ******** *** ******** results *** ** **** not **** *** ************ and ***************, *** ** a **************, ***** **** integrators (********** ***** ****) do *** ******* ***** services ** *************.

**** ** **** ***** should *********** ****** ** a *********, ***** *** quantity ** ****** ** most ******** ******** ** low, *** ****-***** ************* tests *** ***** ********. In **** *********, ********* or **** *** ******* a ********* ** ****, and **** ******* ********** as **** ** *** closeout *******. *******, ** this ** **** * periodic ****, ********** *** available *** **** *** a *** ******* *******, well ***** ***** *** of ****** ****, ** well ** *** **** of *********** ***** ***********.

Channel ** ********* **** *******

**** ********** *******, *** terms "*******" *** "****" may **** **. ***** terms ******** ***** *******(*) of ***** ** ***** tested.

  • ********* **** ****** ** the******************* ******* ******* ** a ******* ****. **** includes * ***** *****, the **** / ********** cable ***, *** *** jack ** *** *** other ***.
  • ******* ******** *** ****** permanent **** ** ******** to ***** ****** ********* to *** ********* ****. Note: ** ** ********* to *** *** ***** cables **** **** ****** onsite *** ********* ** the *******, ** ******* to ***** *** ***** cable ** ******* *** channel ***** ** * site.

*********, ********** **** **** permanent ****, ***** *** users ***** ******* ******** after ************. *******, **** may ******* **** *** entire ******* ** *********. Additionally, **** ***************, ** is ***** ********** ** perform * ******* **** as ** *** **** errors ** ***** ****** or ***** ***** ******** which * ********* **** test **** ***. *** method ** ** **** should ** ******** ***** to *******.

**** *** ******* *** certified ***** ********* ********, with *** **** ******** including * ***-********** ***** lead ***** ***** **** jacks/patch ******:

******* ******** ********* **** an **** ****, **** which **** ***** ****** are *********, ***** *****:

Fiber *** *** *******

**** ******** *** ******* pair ***** (***/***/****, ***.), but ***** *** ** used *** ****** ******* or ******** *******. ***** testing ** * **** complex ***** **** **** copper ***** *************, ********* training ** ***** ** perform ********. *** **** details, ***:***** ***** ****** *** Surveillance.

Test **** *********

**** ***** ******** *******

Comments (46)

Curious how many Integrators possess a certifier. 

U1 - thanks for the comment. I am curious too, and I am sure others are as well. A poll has been added.

Thanks!

I just got a pockethernet tester from Germany. It's a $200 device with the abilities of a $1000 fluke tester. I'm going to test it in a field soon. I'd appreciate if somebody who owns the thing could comment on that. Maybe some tips and advices.

We have a couple of them. Work great!

Make sure you use the correct side of the little block. One end is for wiremap, the other for bit error rate tests etc.

When you connect it to a switch you can check link speed, PoE voltage and see which port you're connected to (if lldp is enabled on the switch).

Does that device tell you cable length?

It does and faults locating as well. I haven't tested it yet though

Oh, that's why... I plugged the thing and it didn't show me the data. That's all my stupid habit to not read the manuals :)

I'd love to hear your review on it, if it's that great for that cheap I may pick one up for my own use. The occasional side job I get to fix some one else's work haha.

Unless it's a requirement for a project or you are building a module for the ISS, your money is better spent elsewhere. The occasional bad crimp/cable doesn't warrant spending so much money on the device.

For the customers that don't require cable testing, send them the cable test reports anyway as a differentiator.  

In a previous life, I had someone that hounded me over and over about a camera that was intermittently power cycling, claiming it was a faulty camera, replacing it several times with exact same $1200 model. It was a pain in my ass for months. Guess what the problem was?

Bad connection, I take it? I've had similar issues with clients. One client utilized a long-range Yagi WIFI bridge system and the network went in and out, and; finally went down entirely. I immediately checked the connections and noticed they didn't use a weather-proof boot and the pins rotted out of a RJ45 connector. It took me all of 40 minutes to fix and half of that was going to get a ladder to get on a roof.

 

In that case, even if they had "certified" the cable, it wouldn't have helped as it degraded over time.

Kink. Was intermittent from the beginning. Finally replaced the drop, found the kink.

For some perspective, I have had contracts with .gov clients whom don't require Ethernet certification. If I were to perform that, it would cost you (tax payers) $20k to send a guy out and certify each project on something I've never had a problem with. I'm happy to take your last dollar if you are willing to give it, but I wouldn't feel comfortable wasting it on (Ethernet) certification. That money is better spent upgrading building lighting in most of my cases.

 

I don't really do smaller, residential properties but I suppose it would be easy to provide a client something. The structured cabling projects I'm normally engaged with would require flying someone out for at least a week, and the bid or change order would have to reflect it. It's not a pro-bono thing at this scale.

 

interesting. I think it's just North American approach to structured cabling. I've noticed that too: clients don't care about project documentation, extended manufacturer warranty, and integrators don't care about selling all that.

In Europe, it was mandatory for big projects. Not a law, but just a standard practice. You will not be considered as a professional company if you don't provide 25-years certificate, link testing protocols, floor plans with all the network elements, rack equipment layout, logical link diagram, etc. So, in 10 years somebody else comes to maintenance customer's network and it will take them minutes to figure out the cable system design.

Same for several countries in the Middle East. Even some of the smaller projects expect 25-year support now.

Cabling contractors typically do this as a standard and adds little to the cost of projects. Maybe the tax payers need to have projects competitively bid by contractors who possess the skills and tools to provide a certified cabling infrastructure?

Let's say you have 2000 Ethernet cables. At 5 minutes each, that'll take 167 hours to complete. At $120 an hour, you pay $20,040. Even at $80 an hour, that's $13,360.

Add $3k airfare, $3k Per Diem, $3k lodging.

Tweak the numbers and it's still not cheap.

I can't agree. When you have your cables terminated, one guy stands in a data centre, other guy walks around the building. They usually test up to 50 links/hr. So, for 2000 links just add 100 man-hours to your project. It's like 1-2% of the overall budget if we're talking about a project that size.

It's a simple procedure, you don't need a high-qualified senior tech to press the button. Two apprentices will do the job perfectly. An easy way to make money, especially when you charge $120 USD/hr.

I hear you and it's not even 1-2% if I'm honest. If it's not spec'd by the government, I can't just add it to the bid. I estimate hours based on their specifications. I can't just say I'll add a few hours here and there to do work outside of their scope. It's actually fraud and the government is a different beast than in commercial etc. Someone in the residential and commercial world would appreciate you handing them a cable cert or power budget pro-bono, but a government COR will ask you: "You spent 100 hours on WHAT!?".

If the government solicits a project for carrots and eggs, you provide a bid at the cheapest price you are comfortable with, for carrots and eggs. If you want to provide more than that, you have to request a change order and sell the idea to a person that likely has no idea what a BNC connector is in the first place.

You are doing 2000 drop projects and do not have a certifier/and or qualified person on site to certify? I am stunned.

 

 

 

I want to work at a plce that has a $143/day per diem! I'm lucky if I get $40.

Jokes aside, more and more places, as IT gets more involved with cabling, require certification. The first job I did that required certification, luckily the IT department had their own and did the tests for us. 

I said in another comment, it's something you can go back to as proof your cables were fine, and could make you money in the future by no longer having to replace cable under warranty, because you can't prove it was working when you left.

If you're doing a lot of small jobs with short runs, I can agree, as long as customer is not requiring it maybe a certifier is overkill. But if you're regularly doing jobs with 2000 cables? Probably should consider it.

Gotta go OCONUS my friend.

Union per diem for install and service technicians ranges $200-$250 per day depending on which local you are working in. Also keep in mind your hotel will come out of that price. Most teams will bunk up multiple to a room and split the cost to keep more dollars per diem in their pocket.

Average room in the bay area when bought at the last minute can cost you $299 per night or you can stay in the Motel 6($85-$100) per night winter rates. Summer is going to cost even more.

Any traveling technician needs to be efficient. These young married hipsters just burn hours on jobs.

Do you provide a warranty on the structured cabling without certifying? Have the cable manufacturers honored their warranty sans installation certification?

Negative, sir. Typically, we provide no warranty.

The reason is two-fold:

1) The projects I'm referencing are .gov spec'd/designed systems. I couldn't guarantee their stuff works even if the installation was performed without a hitch. I am always getting a bad IFS module, some printer that doesn't have the right driver, or some device that has been EOLd. It's the same if a client asked you to install an off-the-shelf system they bought. You may consider installing it for them, but you couldn't and probably shouldn't offer a guarantee that it will work.

2) My projects are inspected by multiple inspectors (or AHJs) and the client (.gov) assumes ownership of the deliverables upon certification. The AHJs certify to you (the Tax Payer and Congress) that the work meets standards and after they certify the project, I'm done. In short, I guarantee the project meets standards and will pass accreditation, nothing else.

 

Hi

I did post elsewhere about an issue we had with a site: Cameras would just drop out from time to time randomly, we changed everything from cameras to switches.... What bothers me to this day is that the Cable Verifier we used, one of those mentioned in this report, did qualify the links as good ...  We verified visually and witnessed the horror show this cabling plant was, had to redo the cabling .... the problems stopped!! 

We were about to invest in a Cable certifier; the violent cost of those, even second-hand had us reconsider. We, rather invested in training and have been performing more stringent supervision of cable installation. We believe that manufacturers of Cable certifiers are missing out as there is a need for a reasonably priced cable certification instrument/tool.

 

While I agree they can be pricey, how much did it cost you to re-cable the whole place where you had the issue? Imagine if you had to do that at two other sites, a certified tester might start making some sense.

Also depends how you warranty your installs. With a certified tester, you can prove all your cables were 100% or damn close to it at the time of install, so if they aren't 100% anymore, you may not have to cover customer mistakes as warranty.

Not enough competition - Fluke is a racket.  Especially on the recalibration costs.  ROI on Fluke is tough.  

What happened to Gillette and Schick in the shaving gear world after “Harrys” hit the market needs to happen to Fluke.

Yes, that analogy is correct as used.

Im at my daughters field hockey game.  After I posted that, I turned to my wife and said “In less than 5 minutes at least three people are going to tell me I shouldnt be certifying cable with a shaving razor”

She looked at me, blinked 3 times, and looked back at the game.

 

 

Exactly which tester did you use?  The the blue tester shown in the video, the Ideal one is just a wire map continuity tester. These type do not test the performance of the cabling, just that the terminations are in the correct order.

Was it a Fluke or other certifier that passed the cabling yet you were still having  issues?

I had a bid spec that required cables to be tested using Level II field testers.  Googling that term did not show exactly what testers qualify as "level II".  Anybody know the answer to this?

it's not about OSI model levels but accuracy levels. There're 4 right now and level 5 will be released soon. Just rent a fluke DTX, provide all the protocols. It qualifies as L5.

Level IIe is for Class D/Category 5e. I don't think you can find a tester that L2 only but not L3/4/5. Just use Fluke :)

Levels are defined in ANSI/TIA-1152

Best comment on LinkedIn? :)

Id love to buy a certifier set, for both copper and fiber, we work in both frequently, but the costs are too prohibitive in relation to their expected (or unexpected) EOL's which, based on our experience, is far too short to properly quantify ROI.  Fluke needs to make a reasonably priced certifier and they dont.  It's one of those technologies that have not seen a lot of competition over the years, so the cost for a set remain high in both the copper and Fiber categories.

I get there is a lot to the equipment that makes them pricey, but given you also need to get them re certified every x number of years (3? 5?) You'd think fluke, or some one else could make the upfront cost slightly cheaper. 

Nice Article and interesting comments but, I think there is a lot going on in the space between verifiers, and certifiers. For instance the pockethernet mentioned above which is a lot like the NetScout (was Fluke) LinkSprinter and devices higher up (functionality and price) like the Ideal NaviTek and SignalTek testers.

I like the fact that I can test frame rates across layer two (switches etc.) devices with the various profiles in the Ideal SignalTek but I’m not sure how aware the integrators or customers are or if the higher cost is worth it to those that are currently working with simple verifiers. To me there is a lot of room here with lower cost than a certifier and more LAN and IP troubleshooting features. What do the rest of you think ?

Informative article, I'd like to see it re-written as a compact training guide to give to CCTV installers in particular.

There are various differing capabilities between the brands, personally loving the Ideal Networks product set, having originally cut my teeth on a VDV II and now the proud owner of most of the products in range (thanks in part to the free gift promo).

We could use what the UK electrical industry calls an 'On site guide' documenting how and why to carry out the testing.

Its all very well completing the tests but if you cannot interpret the results, they mean nada...

Maybe IPVM could review the Platinum Tools Net Chaser Ethernet Speed Certifier & Network Tester   TNC950AR. I purchased 1 of these for my company approx 2 years ago and works very well for most of our needs. Not perfect but will speed certify your network up to 1Gb/s to IEEE standards 802.3 and also do PoE testing, VLAN and Port Discovery, traceroute, and other useful networks testing tools. Does BERT, SNR, SKEW and also can test coax as well with optional testing and ID remotes as well as stores cable tests and prints out certification reports in pdf or excel format. The only problem we have so far is the interface and naming convention and changes are somewhat  far from intuitive and more difficult than necessary. I hope they will address this in the next software update as for approx dealer cost of $2200+Taxes CAD it has been a worthwhile investment for us as we use it al ot more for troubleshooting than we do for certification of structured cabling systems. We don't offer a true certified cabling system with 25 year warranty as I only have ran into this a maybe 10-12 times in my 30 years experience in the systems integration business. If we were just in the cabling business and offered the 25 yr warranty where sometimes it is required than it would be a worthwhile investment. With the technology that is available today it is beyond ridiculous that Fluke and competition charge $10 grand plus for their certifiers when it should be costing maybe $1500. We have smartphones now for $600 that could run the space shuttle 10 years ago or less and they still have these massive meters that cost more than my 1st car and motorcycle combined. I can't and won't play that game....period! Take a close look at the pockethernet Smartphone connected Cable tester & ethernet network analyzer for approx $200 CAD. I have seen quite a few reviews on this tool and all are extremely positive and I am going to order 1 today and give it a test run. Unless your using a Fluke or Ideal Certification tester to offer a 25 yr warranty I am going to bet this little pocket sized tool is all I will be carrying in my laptop bag from now on...especially for troubleshooting. I am totally for porfessional installation of the structured wiring system and having them tested and stored for the client and wish it was standard on every job to keep the trunk slammers and the Blue Wire guys away but the price to carry a Fluke or whatever is just to high. Fluke makes great testers and I use quite a few Fluke tools but come on Fluke your Network testers are a complete ripoff. Was 20 years ago but we had no options then but now we do and you have lost 1 customer unless you get in the game!

This article, under the Qualifiers section mentions "Qualifiers are not as widely available as verfiers, with Fluke, the Ideal SignalTEK NT, and ByteBrothers Low Voltage Pro, being some of the most common and popular among installers."

Is it saying the "Fluke, the Ideal SignalTEK NT, and ByteBrothers Low Voltage Pro are Qualifiers or Versifiers? 

This line seems to be missing the figure of how many times more expensive one model is over the other

Qualifiers are a large price increase over verifiers. The Fluke CableIQ sells for about $1,100 online, almost the times the price of their verifier model, the MicroScanner. Some, such as Ideal's SignalTEK NT line (~$2,000 online), are priced even higher.

the=three

So I had this thought today as I was trying to register our newly purchased Fluke Versiv 2. In the past we have always tested using the "channel" method, but we just keep using the same patch cord over and over again.

That's not a true channel test, correct? Since the patch cord is not staying in place, we are in reality doing more of a sloppy permanent link test, correct?

I wanted to try and do some quick internal documentation for proper procedures when we are testing our cabling. Since we rarely have the final equipment in place when we are testing, often this can be weeks after we finish, should we just be doing a permanent link test? Really we are verifying the infrastructure is good. The patch panel to the jacks at the other end. IT will come in when ever and add the device, with their own patch cable.

My understanding for the channel link test, would be if the devices are already in place, so to speak, we test from patch cable to patch cable.

Yes, the patch cable that will be used by the equipment is the one that should be used. I will add that to the text to make it clear - thanks for pointing this out.

The idea is that you are certifying all cabling that will be used. If you are certifying a new setup without devices installed or don't know the location of those devices or how things will be patched in, then it probably makes more sense to just perform a permanent link test since you wont be leaving the patch cables that you are testing with in place.

If you install surveillance system cabling and are also responsible for providing patch cables / patching in all equipment then it would make more sense to perform a channel test.

That's not a true channel test, correct? Since the patch cord is not staying in place, we are in reality doing more of a sloppy permanent link test, correct?

It may not be a “true channel test”, but I believe the way you are doing it is still better than a permanent link test.

First, IMHO, the fact of adding two patch cables (even if just stand-ins for the permanent ones), is unlikely to give you a PASS on a link that would otherwise give you a FAIL without them.  

But even if the temporary patch cables themselves are without fault, they could produce a FAIL on a link that would PASS if tested without them.  Due to length of the patch cables, for example.

So it only makes the test more stringent.  Therefore, I think testing with the closest approximation to the patch cables that will be used is not harmful and could be beneficial.

Read this IPVM report for free.

This article is part of IPVM's 6,592 reports, 889 tests and is only available to members. To get a one-time preview of our work, enter your work email to access the full article.

Already a member? Login here | Join now

Related Reports

Remote Network Access for Video Surveillance Guide on Jul 27, 2020
Remotely accessing surveillance systems is key in 2020, with more and more...
AHJ / Authority Having Jurisdiction Tutorial on Aug 06, 2020
One of the most powerful yet often underappreciated characters in all...
Drain Wire For Access Control Reader Tutorial on Sep 23, 2020
An easy-to-miss cabling specification plays a key role in access control, yet...
Avigilon Social Distancing Analytics Tested on Aug 26, 2020
Avigilon released its social distancing analytics in response to the...
Dedicated Vs Converged IP Video Networks Statistics 2020 on Sep 10, 2020
Running one's video system on a converged network with other devices can save...
Access Control Levels and Schedules Tutorial on Sep 29, 2020
Configuring access levels and setting up schedules is central to maintaining...
Actual Coronavirus Testing Options Examined on Aug 13, 2020
Fever cameras have emerged as an indirect and flawed way to test for...
Door Fundamentals For Access Control Guide on Aug 24, 2020
Doors vary greatly in how difficult and costly it is to add electronic access...
Access Visitor Management Systems Guide on Jul 22, 2020
"Who are you, and why are you here?" Facilities that implement Visitor...
Clinton Public View Monitor (PVM) Mask Detection Tested on Jul 09, 2020
Face mask detection, or more specifically not wearing one, is expanding...
Network Cable Usage Statistics 2020 (Cat 5e vs Cat 6 vs Cat 6a) on Sep 02, 2020
Integrators are split between using Cat 5e, 6, and 6a but 2 of them have...
Temperature Tablet Shootout - Dahua, Hikvision, ZKTeco, TVT + 5 More on Sep 30, 2020
Temperature tablets, aka terminal or stations, have emerged as a 'low-cost...
Top Video Surveillance Service Call Problems 2020 on Oct 23, 2020
3 primary and 4 secondary issues stood out as causing the most problems when...
Free Online NFPA, IBC, and ADA Codes and Standards 2020 on Sep 03, 2020
Finding applicable codes for security work can be a costly task, with printed...
Verkada Disruptive Embedded Live Help on Sep 24, 2020
Call up your integrator? Have someone come by the next day? Verkada is...

Recent Reports

ISC Brasil Digital Experience 2020 Report on Oct 23, 2020
ISC Brasil 2020 rebranded itself to ISC Digital Experience and, like its...
Top Video Surveillance Service Call Problems 2020 on Oct 23, 2020
3 primary and 4 secondary issues stood out as causing the most problems when...
GDPR Impact On Temperature / Fever Screening Explained on Oct 22, 2020
What impact does GDPR have on temperature screening? Do you risk a GDPR fine...
Security And Safety Things (S&ST) Tested on Oct 22, 2020
S&ST, a Bosch spinout, is spending tens of millions of dollars aiming to...
Nokia Fever Screening Claims To "Advance Fight Against COVID-19" on Oct 22, 2020
First IBM, then briefly Clorox, and now Nokia becomes the latest Fortune 500...
Deceptive Meridian Temperature Tablets Endanger Public Safety on Oct 21, 2020
IPVM's testing of and investigation into Meridian Kiosk's temperature...
Honeywell 30 Series and Vivotek NVRs Tested on Oct 21, 2020
The NDAA ban has driven many users to look for low-cost NVRs not made by...
Ubiquiti Access Control Tested on Oct 21, 2020
Ubiquiti has become one of the most widely used wireless and switch providers...
Avigilon Aggressive Trade-In Program Takes Aim At Competitors on Oct 20, 2020
Avigilon has launched one of the most aggressive trade-in programs the video...
Mexico Video Surveillance Market Overview 2020 on Oct 20, 2020
Despite being neighbors, there are key differences between the U.S. and...
Dahua Revenue Grows But Profits Down, Cause Unclear on Oct 20, 2020
While Dahua's overall revenue was up more than 12% in Q3 2020, a significant...
Illegal Hikvision Fever Screening Touted In Australia, Government Investigating, Temperature References Deleted on Oct 20, 2020
The Australian government told IPVM that they are investigating a Hikvision...
Panasonic Presents i-PRO Cameras and Video Analytics on Oct 19, 2020
Panasonic i-PRO presented its X-Series cameras and AI video analytics at the...
Augmented Reality (AR) Cameras From Hikvision and Dahua Examined on Oct 19, 2020
Hikvision, Dahua, and other China companies are marketing augmented reality...
18 TB Video Surveillance Drives (WD and Seagate) on Oct 19, 2020
Both Seagate and Western Digital recently announced 18TB hard drives...