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How to: Trace cable on a live network - Need help

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  • How to: Trace cable on a live network - Need help

    Anyone know of a possible way/equipment to trace cable on a live network?

    Thanks!!

  • #2
    Re: How to: Trace cable on a live network - Need help

    Presumably you mean finding where the other end of a cable is amongst an undocumented sea of wiring? Good fun isn't it.

    Not much help to you now, but for future installations you might want to consider PatchSee cables http://www.patchsee.co.uk/

    Personally I much prefer labelling both ends of a cable, but if the cost of PatchSee came down a bit more then I would be tempted. Essentially, each cable has an optical fibre woven into the insulation - illuminate one end of the cable and the other end lights up too.

    As for your problem, I would recommend waiting until out of hours before testing the cables - the most effective way really is to unplug the cables one at a time and see what disappears off the network.
    Gareth Howells

    BSc (Hons), MBCS, MCP, MCDST, ICCE

    Any advice is given in good faith and without warranty.

    Please give reputation points if somebody has helped you.

    "For by now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with a plague that would have wiped you off the Earth." (Exodus 9:15) - I could kill you with my thumb.

    "Everything that lives and moves will be food for you." (Genesis 9:3) - For every animal you don't eat, I'm going to eat three.

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    • #3
      Re: How to: Trace cable on a live network - Need help

      We thought about doing the unplug thing.

      Problem is, our company is running 24/7. We are a printing company so there is always work!

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      • #4
        Re: How to: Trace cable on a live network - Need help

        Tricky.

        Maybe pause a print queue, unplug that printer's network lead at the printer end, and see which LED on the switch goes out? Not overly sophisticated, but could do the job. Takes literally seconds to do, pausing the queue first ensures no significant interruption...
        Gareth Howells

        BSc (Hons), MBCS, MCP, MCDST, ICCE

        Any advice is given in good faith and without warranty.

        Please give reputation points if somebody has helped you.

        "For by now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with a plague that would have wiped you off the Earth." (Exodus 9:15) - I could kill you with my thumb.

        "Everything that lives and moves will be food for you." (Genesis 9:3) - For every animal you don't eat, I'm going to eat three.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: How to: Trace cable on a live network - Need help

          Depending on how far the run is, just pull a new line to where you want it.
          Quick switch to new whatever, then remove the old cable.
          "...if I turn out to be particularly clear, you've probably misunderstood what I've said” - Alan Greenspan

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          • #6
            Re: How to: Trace cable on a live network - Need help

            As Lior_S suggested route a new cable while you find the one at issue. There's really no way to do this without disconnecting the cable.
            I usually use one of these if there's no fiber involved.

            I always bring one when I goto remote sites that I've never visited, because I never know what kind of rat's nest I'm destined to discover [I've seen some disasters].

            How it works: Remove the cable from the device (printer/pc) and connect it to the tone generator. Once you connect the cable to the tone generator at the device end of the cable goto the switch and use the probe to find the cable. To do this, touch the probe to the different switch ports that have something connected. You really only need to get the probe near the correct cable for it to work. If the cables are in a tight bundle in the J hooks or channel you may hear cross-talk on nearby/adjacent cables if its utp so if you hear some sound go with the one with the strongest (loudest) signal and that should be your cable. If you do it right, you should be able to find the switch port/cable within seconds.
            Last edited by ahinson; 6th January 2009, 06:40.
            Andrew

            ** Remember to give credit where credit is due and leave reputation points sigpic where appropriate **

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            • #7
              Re: How to: Trace cable on a live network - Need help

              Originally posted by ahinson View Post
              I always bring one when I goto remote sites that I've never visited, because I never know what kind of rat's nest I'm destined to discover [I've seen some disasters].
              Indeed a good idea, but as a consultant I would never be caught with one of those. Here's why; lay people have an association with that toner and the phone guy, once you get that label it never gos away. (".....some phone guy works on our computers.....")

              Get one anyway, as there are times I wish I had one.
              "...if I turn out to be particularly clear, you've probably misunderstood what I've said” - Alan Greenspan

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              • #8
                Re: How to: Trace cable on a live network - Need help

                Originally posted by Lior_S View Post
                Indeed a good idea, but as a consultant I would never be caught with one of those. Here's why; lay people have an association with that toner and the phone guy, once you get that label it never gos away. (".....some phone guy works on our computers.....")

                Get one anyway, as there are times I wish I had one.
                Lol, well in my case I am also the "phone guy" so ya. With VoIP, the line between telco and network engineer are increasingly blurred.
                Last edited by ahinson; 6th January 2009, 06:41.
                Andrew

                ** Remember to give credit where credit is due and leave reputation points sigpic where appropriate **

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