How To Trace A Live Ethernet Cable To A Switch

How To Trace A Live Ethernet Cable To A Switch

Tracking cable location on an active network can be a challenging task. An active network is one where devices are connected and transmitting data, and the cables are live. This means that the cable tracing process must be carried out with caution to avoid disrupting the network's operation. However, with the right tools and techniques, it is possible to track cable location on an active network safely and accurately. In this article, we will explore some methods for tracking cable location on an active network.

Cable Toners

Klein Tools VDV500-820 Cable Tracer with Probe Tone Pro Kit

A cable toner, also known as a tone generator, is a tool used by network technicians to locate and trace cables in a network. It consists of two parts: a tone generator and a probe. The tone generator produces a tone that travels through the cable, while the probe detects the tone and helps the technician locate the cable.

To use a cable toner device to trace a live Ethernet cable to a switch, follow these steps:

  1. Plug the tone generator end into the network cable you are trying to trace.
  2. Turn on the tone generator and select the appropriate tone frequency.
  3. Turn on the probe and adjust its sensitivity. The sensitivity should be set high enough to detect the tone but not so high that it picks up other nearby cables.
  4. Move the probe along the cable path, following the tone. The probe will emit a sound that gets louder as you get closer to the cable.
  5. When you reach the switch, the probe should emit a constant tone. This indicates that you have successfully traced the cable to its endpoint.
  6. If you need to trace multiple cables, label them as you go to avoid confusion.

Cable Identifiers

Fluke Networks CIQ-IDK24 Remote Identifier Kit

The cable identifiers are small, numbered devices that are attached to the end of each Ethernet cable you want to identify. Each identifier has a unique number that corresponds to a specific cable. To use a cable identifier, you simply plug the identifier to a terminated cable and it will send a signal, then you can read from the other end. Cable identifiers are a simple and effective tool to locate and trace network cables.

Use Of Link Lights On Switch

Tracing the location of cables on an active network can be accomplished through the use of link lights on a switch. These lights typically illuminate and flicker when connected to a device that is actively sending and receiving data.

A tester can be plugged into the far end of the cable and used to control the blinking of the link light by enabling and disabling the link pulse at regular intervals, such as twice per second. However, when dealing with switches that have numerous ports, it may take some practice to determine which of the many lights is blinking and which is simply flickering.

Klein Tools VDV501-851 Cable Tester Kit

Use a network analyzer

A network analyzer is a tool that can scan the network and provide information about the devices and cables connected to it. A technician can use a network analyzer to identify the MAC address of the device connected to the Ethernet cable and then use this information to locate the switch port connected to the device.

In conclusion, tracing live Ethernet cables to a switch requires caution and careful planning to avoid disrupting the network or damaging equipment. However, by using the methods discussed in this article you can ensure a successful and safe Ethernet cable tracing experience.

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