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post #1 of 11 Old 01-30-2011, 08:26 PM - Thread Starter
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I ran a bunch of wiring from downstairs to my upstairs a couple years ago. For whatever reason, I didn't bother to label the wires (coax, RG6 & speaker wire). Now I need to know which wire is which. And I have access to both ends of the wire.

What is a cheap solution for this? Just get a 9 volt battery connected to one end and my multimeter to the other end?
Or is there a slightly easier, more professional way?

Not looking for a tone generator, since it seems anything under $60 is junk. At least from the reviews I've been reading. My cabling is all about 50', give or take a few.

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post #2 of 11 Old 01-30-2011, 08:37 PM
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One cable at a time, short two of the wires together at one end. Then measure the resistance of the same two wires in each cable at the other end. The one you are looking for will show a resistance. The others will measure infinite, unless there are shorted somewhere.
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post #3 of 11 Old 01-30-2011, 08:53 PM
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The 9V battery or shorting a pair together both work, and need only a multimeter to use.

Assuming you meant Cat5 and RG6, you might be better off with a cheap cable tester, which will work just as well as the 9V battery, but will also tell you you've got the cat5's terminated correctly. This little Extech unit works great for this, and does coax and cat5:

http://extech.com/instruments/pr...id=2&prodid=11

The difference between all the above and a cable locator is the need to physically connect to each wire to find the correct one. For a small number of wires, this isn't that big of a deal, but for more than a dozen, becomes a big time sink...

If you go the 'cheap' route, attach the battery (or tie the pair together) at the "far end" of the wire, and do your locating at the head end. That may be obvious, but it's worth mentioning...

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post #4 of 11 Old 01-30-2011, 10:48 PM
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Job would go alot ezier if you have 1 person on each end.
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post #5 of 11 Old 02-10-2011, 09:09 AM
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The ONLY way to trace those wires is with a tone generator and wand. Tripplet makes one. Just Google "Triplett Fox and Hound" or "Fluke Networks IntelliToner".

You clip the tone generator to the wire you want to trace, then use the non-contact wand at the other end. You'll hear the tone in the wand the closer you get to the wire. Its fantastic.

One tip: the tone generator has two clips, when tracing CAT5 wire don't clip the generator to both wires of the same pair (like the blue and blue/white pair). The twist serves to cancel the radiated signal. Instead, clip to the blue and orange wire.

Hope this helps

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post #6 of 11 Old 02-10-2011, 09:37 AM
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I use a set I got from lowes it was under $30 and works well. Has connectors for coax, network, and aligator clips.

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post #7 of 11 Old 02-11-2011, 06:16 AM
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Since you have access to both ends of each cable, you don't need a 'fox and hound'.

A battery and a lightbulb would work, but a device from HD/Lowes for $20 would be much, much, much easier. A cheap piece of junk would work just fine for 20 drops.

Or, as you said, your multimeter.

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post #8 of 11 Old 02-14-2011, 11:54 AM
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9 volt battery and your tongue.

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post #9 of 11 Old 02-14-2011, 12:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AI Limited View Post

9 volt battery and your tongue.

Funny enough, I recall seeing a cable installer doing this once. He had a 9v all rigged up with an F connector on it. He'd terminate the wall end, connect the batter, then head up to the attic and lick the cut ends until he found the right one...
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post #10 of 11 Old 02-21-2011, 08:01 PM
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I didn't bother labeling my cabling I pulled in my house for a reason: All the cabling had a distance marking every foot. So, where I pulled 2 coax cables, I could look at one side of the pull (roughtly 30') and see one labeled '260 ft' and the other labeled '290' ft. Then go to the other side of the pull and see one labeled '289 ft' and the other labeled '319 ft', I can figure out which is which.

Are your cables labeled this way?
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post #11 of 11 Old 02-22-2011, 04:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yobrigidey View Post

I didn't bother labeling my cabling I pulled in my house for a reason: All the cabling had a distance marking every foot. So, where I pulled 2 coax cables, I could look at one side of the pull (roughtly 30') and see one labeled '260 ft' and the other labeled '290' ft. Then go to the other side of the pull and see one labeled '289 ft' and the other labeled '319 ft', I can figure out which is which.

Are your cables labeled this way?

Are you terminating your cables at a patch panel? If so, once you have your wall plates on at each drop, how are you then going to know what cables go where? At the very least, you'll have to label them at the closet, right?

I guess for the purposes of pulling the cable though, no labels would be necessary.
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