I love this little yellow box!
I work in Information Technology, in a department where we pretty much do it all. We install hardware and software and even run the cable for the networks that we build from the ground up. Last year, we took on the huge task of moving nearly a hundred people into a new building, and we had to do all the wiring from scratch. That’s our department decided to buy one of these LinkRunner Pro Network Multimeter devices to help with the job, and it really made things a lot easier.
So what exactly is this boxy little thing? It’s a multimeter, which by definition is measuring instrument that combines several functions into one device. In this case, it is a network multimeter that provides several different network diagnostic and testing functions into one device. Basically, this device was designed for troubleshooting network cabling and function.
For the big project that I mentioned earlier, we were moving a bunch of people into an old school building. The school had run some network lines to the classrooms already, but we had to run more to cover the extra people that would occupy the rooms. Furthermore, we needed to test those original lines to see if they were even still working. The building had been hit pretty hard by Katrina, and with weather and wildlife getting to the structure, those soft cables might not have held up so well.
When it comes to testing cabling, from Cat5 Ethernet line to Cat3 Phone lines, this LinkRunner Pro is amazing. Not only will it tell you exactly how long the cable is, but it will also show you how each wire in the cable is punched down. If there is a break in any part of the cable, it will also detect this and show you how far down the line the break is located.
To test the cable, you simple plug the LinkRunner Pro to one end and connect the included Remote Identifier to the other. The Remote Identifier is a little plug about the size of a pair of fingernail clippers, and it doesn’t need any batteries to work. It works with the LinkRunner to send signals back and forth down the line, and this is how it determines length and/or any problems that might be found. If you get one of the kits that Fluke Networks offers, you’ll get six different Remote Identifiers, which can save you a lot of time when you have to test a bunch of cables at once.