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:
- Cable Identification
- Service Detection
- PoE Detection
- 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.