Compare Network Devices

By robinson crusoe ·
We're a small company. We have about 50 PC's in a large area(same area, not another city or another part of city).

Our system works without any problems for now but we want to solve problems that we can in our company.

I am a beginner and i'll buy some network devices to help me solving the problems.

I don't know which products will suit us more.

Forexample i will buy a cable tester;

This one is about 10$,

This one 130$.

I want to learn if cable works and maybe i'll learn which port of the switch goes to where, with this device.

Is cable tester and blinker the same device?

There are some ethernet crimping tools about 5$. Will they be enough or shall we choose a more expensive one.

What are the main needs? We want to solve problems without asking for help from outside the company.This is my list;

- Cable tester
- Cable tracer
- a lot of rj45 connector
- we have enough cat6 cable
- switch punch tool
- ethernet crimper tool
- of course a pc and a notebook

* Don't think we'll try to construct the whole network by ourselves, we have a working system. We think of buying services from outside for one more year. We try to make a beginning to solve our problems inside.

Thank you for your helps.

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All Answers

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Don't go cheap on RJ-45 crimper and buy ends for your cable type..

by cmatthews In reply to Compare Network Devices

..since there are different RJ45 plugs for both solid core and stranded core cable. Squeeze hard!

Forget the blinker, just buy a toner/probe combo and make up a short (30cm) RJ45 male to female cable with a tap in the middle for the blue and brown pairs (unused in Ethernet). You put your toner across the blue/white and brown/white pairs and you will hear it load and clear in the switch room.

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For a beginner, nice details here..

by cmatthews In reply to Don't go cheap on RJ-45 c ...
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Disagree - tester is a must for beginners

by oldbaritone In reply to Don't go cheap on RJ-45 c ...

Even a simple blinker will find opens and reversals. Beginners screw it up a lot, and don't crimp tight. They also use the wrong connector for stranded/solid.

Tester saves them a lot of trouble shooting time, until they have enough experience to get it right the first time...


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Your right, but poster mentioned LAN runs 7/24 elsewhere..

by cmatthews In reply to Disagree - tester is a mu ...

..and he's not allowed to take things down.

The male/female jerry-rig I mentioned was really just so he could just pop it in-line on the back of a station and identify if in the switch room.

Going across pairs was so the twists don't null-out the tone, but your right - I forgot the kiss method, after a few years I guess we all can get into our own groove.

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have to be careful of sending a tone down an active line

by CG IT In reply to Your right, but poster me ...

since this is a beginner, cable testers are for non live lines. Tone and probes are ok but again not down live lines connected to a switch. Sending down voltage on a line connected to a switch will damage the switchport.

I mentioned a blinker because it can be used on a live line. unplug from computer end, blink the switchport, plug it back in.

2 guys with walkies and you can get the network physical map and labeling done easily.

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Now why would any non PoE switch port use 4,5,7 or 8?

by cmatthews In reply to have to be careful of sen ...

..all the Delta, Pulse, or whatever phy chips, I have ever seen on switches use 1,2,3 and 6.

The worst that could happen is you'd drain the battery quicker on the toner if those pins were grounded. I'm not against blinkers, but this guy's 7/24 and in his country he has to do what he can.

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yeah true.... personal preference, I like blinkers

by CG IT In reply to Now why would any non PoE ...

I'll be honest, when someone throws out "run 24/7/365 and can't do stuff, I lean towards dubious.

While I've been places that run 24/7, the night shift isn't a full crew, and if necessary, switch around machines for maintenance. So machines and their computers aren't always running 24/7/365.

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You get what you pay for...

by oldbaritone In reply to Compare Network Devices

Most of the $5 crimp tools are junk. They are intended for a home user who is putting a few wires in their house. They're usually good for 10-25 connectors, and then they're kaput. Get a quality crimp tool with replaceable metal dies.

Ditto for the punch tool - the cheapest ones are included with home-user jacks, and they're only good for one or two connectors. They're considered throw-away items, as they should be. I'd suggest a good-quality spring-loaded punch tool (you push it until it "pops") with interchangeable blades. While you're at it, get a spare 110 blade for it; they get dull after a while.

The $10 cable tester may-or-may-not do many of the functions you will find important. Probably not. Minimally, you want one that can find opens, shorts, crossed wires, reversals and grounds. If you're going to troubleshoot, you may want one that is capable of bandwidth testing and TDR, but they are more expensive. It's very handy to have several "remotes" for one tester, so you can test several cables in one step instead of running back-and-forth.

A good tracer/toner is a lifesaver if there are unlabeled cables, or if you have little or no documentation about the existing cables. Plug the toner in, and use the tracer to follow it back. It makes it much easier to find nightmares - like a passive hub "floating" above a suspended ceiling, or a junction point in a closet that you didn't know about.

Are you going to terminate at the head-end with all loose cables? Don't. Consider a patch panel in a rack. There are also a number of adjunct supplies you should consider, like equipment racks, cable trays or troughs, cable ties and cable designations. (labels)

There are some good pre-made kits available that come in a case or carry-tote. They're not perfect, but they're a good beginner's starting point. Try searching for "LAN technician tools".

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You said the magic words

by robinson crusoe In reply to You get what you pay for. ...

LAN technician tools. I have been looking for devices one by one. This search keywords seem very usefull.

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Great idea

by netwrk_admn In reply to Compare Network Devices

I hope you can save some money and learn some useful networking technology in the process!

Your second link, although the details are scarce, appears to be both the blinker (tone generator/receiver) and the cable tester. I could be wrong, but for that price, it seems correct.

For crimpers, I suggest finding a sturdy one with a cutting tool (to cut the shielding and expose wires. A $5 tool sounds cheap, and you may find yourself buying another one in a year after some good use, so use your own judgment, you know what your budget is.

A switch punch tool MAY be overkill. Are you planning on increasing your wire drops to include more office space/rooms? If you add more and more PCs to a single area, you can work with smaller switches or hubs connected to the single drop at the expense of bandwidth (with CAT6 no one will notice unless you work with huge files).

I think you're off to a good start, maybe invest in some monitoring software too, to analyze key server health (disk space, RAM usage, uptime pings) and network traffic statistics for a good network baseline.

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