The market for video is heating up. The technology is evolving and the marketing channels are changing to keep pace with new vendors, products, and applications appearing on a daily basis. This article contains a sampling of some tools and concepts for you consider. There is much more on the...
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The market for video is heating up. The technology is evolving and the marketing channels are changing to keep pace with new vendors, products, and applications appearing on a daily basis. This article contains a sampling of some tools and concepts for you consider. There is much more on the way. Please do not touch your dial.
One of the most valuable additions to my toolbox was the Fluke Networks TS90 Cable Fault Finder. This product was originally sold by Harris, but is now sold by Fluke Networks, web site http://www.flukenetworks.com/fnet/en-us/products/TS90/Overview.htm.
This tester allows you to troubleshoot for breaks in all types of cable, including coax. It does so by measuring the length of the wire, and giving a numeric display of how long the cable is, in feet up to the break, or the end of the wire. Additionally it will indicate a short circuit on the cable. Finally, it puts out a tone for tracing cables.
It comes with an easy-to- read red 4” display and is 250VAC, overload protected. It comes in a carrying case that’s easy to attach to something, and the included manual fits in the case. The native connector on the TS90 is a BNC, but it also has a pair of alligator clips for attaching to any type of cable you are testing.
• Works on any two or more conductor cable up to 2,500 feet (762 meters)
• Instantly measures distance to open or any fault from one end of any cable pair
• Patented SmartTone™ tone generator positively identifies pair
• Measures cable distance on spool
• Measures constantly while “On”
• Displays distance reading rather than waveform
• Large LED screen
• High voltage detection
• Moisture proof
• One-button operation
• Additional line cord options available for coaxial cable (F-connectors) and other applications
MEASURING & TESTING CABLE
This thing really works. We connected it to known lengths of cable and it was extremely accurate. We frequently used it to compare our estimated wire pull lengths to the actual.
It turned out to be a great learning tool. It helped us to immediately anticipate if we were going to have voltage drop or signal loss.
We also were toning out a lot of cable, since our wire pullers were bringing the camera cables back to a central location without labeling them. Also we often either wanted to verify a cable, or the label was inadvertently cut off as we were trimming and dressing in cables to the DVR head-end.
The toner feature is unique. You place it on the wire and turn it on. At the other end, you use an inductive receiver to listen and isolate the cable carrying the tone. We were toning out multiple cables at once, and the TS90’s tone changes each time you short out the pair to which it is connected so you have positively identified that pair. The unit uses Time Domain Reflectometry (TDR) to measure the wire. It uses pulse and the impedance of the wire like Radar. The manual has a listing of wire types, and you set up the TS90 for the type of wire you are working with. We found that the TS90 was accurate even if we had it set wrong. But we only had coax, 2 conductor 22 gauge and 2 conductor 18 gauge for our evaluation.
The TS90 is micro-processor based, sturdily built and easy to use, and I don’t know how I ever did without it, like my trusty Fluke 112 Digital Volt Meter.
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