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7 Tests To Identify If You Need A Network Repair 0r A New Cabling Installation



When it comes to identifying problem areas in your data cabling structure, there’s a number of tests that can be carried out to detect problems on the network. 

Not all tests are completed by electrical engineers, but when you use a certified cabling engineer, you can be sure that you’re getting the best cable testers to do your site survey for you. The difference is fundamental in terms of the cost.

What you DO want is someone with the right skills to use the appropriate cable testing tools and knowledge to detect any and all problems on the network, and then provide the most appropriate solution to remedy the situation.

A new installation can be expensive, whereas, if it’s a single network point causing intermittent problems on the network, you may only need a repair, which could get your network back up and running at full speed capacity quicker.

What you don’t want is a cable tester who will test your networks pin-out connectors for power, frequencies, and continuity only.

What you DO want is someone with the right skills to use the appropriate cable testing tools and knowledge to detect any and all problems on the network, and then provide the most appropriate solution to remedy the situation.

 The following are 7 better cable tests that a certified data cabling engineer can provide



  1.  Wire-map test (testing pin-outs) This is usually the first test to carry out, as a single broken network point will cause problems in your network. The first thing is to ensure all the connectors are paired correctly. This test is fairly basic and identifies where there’s a cable incorrectly terminated, which could be crossed wiring, or perhaps a faulty connection. The wire-map test will identify any of these.
  2. The N.E.X.T Test The next test is actually an abbreviation. It refers to testing “Near End Cross-Talk.” This stage is to identify any interference on the network that would contribute to network problems. You’d be surprised by how much interference there is in buildings. Even the likes of fluorescent lighting will interfere with your signal. When a high value is detected, it points to signal interference. Having this insight could identify the problem being as simple as an incorrectly wired cable termination point, or even the wrong type of cable or the wrong connectors used in the structured data cabling network.
  3.  Testing Attenuation The length of cable used is extremely important for a high-speed network. As the cable gets longer, it will cause a gradual loss in the intensity of the signals it’s delivering. The cables used, Cat 3, Cat 5, or Cat 6, will determine the speeds the network can obtain. For example, if the attenuation test shows that the maximum speed is under 10 Mbps, with a max frequency output of 16 MHz, then it’d indicate a Cat 3 installation. The solution to that is to upgrade the network onto a Cat 5 Cabling Structure, which will increase the frequency to 100 MHz, providing a faster network, with a range up to 100 Mbps. It is possible for an existing Cat 5 network to be incorrectly configured, if the cables are installed over distances exceeding 100 meters. Where excessive cable lengths are used, the frequency will diminish.
  4.  Electrical Impedance This is when network testing gets complicated to the untrained eye. The electrical impedance is representative ratio used measure the frequency domain (voltage-current ratio). When an electrical impedance mismatch is detected, it could be indicative of a couple of things. Either the wrong type of cable is being used, or a wrong or faulty connector used at the termination point.
  5. The A.R.C test The A.R.C test is an abbreviation for testing “Attenuation to Cross-talk Ratio”. Essentially a combination test of number two and three listed above. This test will measure the strength of the signal produced against the background noise. This is represented as the signal to noise ratio, SNR for short. Where the SNR is too low, it could indicate the data cables are incorrectly installed, (over 100 meters for Cat 5 cable networks - see number 7 for how measurements are tested) or it could represent substandard connectors are installed.
  6.  The Capacitance Meter Test Any component with the ability to store an electrical charge is known as capacitance. That’s tested to establish the voltage-to-current relationship. Where abnormal values are detected, it’d be indicative of broken wires, or short circuiting occurring in the wiring.
  7. Analysing the Installed Cable Length Without cabling, you won’t have a network. Even wireless networks rely on cabling. They’re naked to the eye, as they’re installed behind the wall. Without ripping the wall apart, tests can be done to determine if the cable lengths are installed to the applicable standards. To establish this, timing will be measured from the point the signal is input to the cable, and then returned. That allows certified data cabling engineers to verify the correct cable lengths don’t exceed the maximum best practice standards. All the above tests can be carried out through a site survey with a professionally qualified data-cabling engineer, to establish the best course of action to get your network operating proficiently.
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Job status: Mike Belletty, Subcontractor
Availability: Immediate start.
Tel: 0783 189 0975
E-mail: jobs(at)cat5cablingjobs.co.uk
Location: Central London, Greater London, M25, Milton Keynes, Bedfordshire
Skills: Data Cabling Installer, Cat6 Cabling, Structured Cabling Install, Cat5 Cable Testing, Validation, Termination

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