What is a cable tracer?
A cable tracer is an electrical equipment that you can use to check if an electrical connection is functioning properly. It is a vital equipment for the installation, setup and maintenance process of coaxial cables, telephone lines, computer networks and much more. To use this device, all you need to do is connect it to the cable and then press the buttons on the tracer to initiate the test. The device will then provide accurate feedback indicating if the cable is in a health condition or not.
The main function of a cable tracer is to check whether or not a cable is working properly. Usually, when an individual uses this device to check for problems, they are checking for either the intended connections or unintended connections. However, in most cases, the device is used to make sure that no unintended connections are present in the cable. In addition to testing for problems, cable tracers can also tell you a variety of other things concerning the characteristics of the cable like the internal wiring and length of the cable.
Nowadays, a number of cable tracers are available on the market. The two most common types are network and audio cable testers. The first step to purchasing a cable tracer is to determine which type of cables you will be testing, and then compare the options, prices and features of different models.
Network Cable Tracers
- Verification – These are the most basic types of cable tracers. Their function is to verify that all the cable wires are properly paired and connected and can also perform some basic troubleshooting functions.
- Qualification – Qualification network tracers are often used by network technicians who need to repair and maintain existing cables, instead of installing new ones. They come with all the features of verification tracers but have the added function of providing information concerning which type of data transfers the cable can support.
- Certification – These are the most sophisticated network cable tracers available out there. They are used to certify that a cable meets industry standards for a particular type of structure. Certification tracers can also perform more advanced functions like creating a scheme of the entire network. Network installation and maintenance professionals are usually the ones who use this type of tracer the most.
Audio Cable Tracers
For musicians or sound technicians who work with a lot of electrical equipment audio tracers are a vital piece of equipment. Imagine a musician setting up his equipment for a live performance and then suddenly finding out that the amp makes a different sound. Audio cable tracers serve exactly this purpose – they make it easy to systematically and quickly determine the source of the problem across a range of cable connections. When shopping for an audio cable tracer, search for a model that supports most or maybe all the types of audio cables that are most commonly used.