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Cheap way to do continuity testing / labeling wires in home?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Just bought a home with lots of pre-wired stuff poorly labeled. There's cat5e, component, and rg6 all running to the basement utility room but I'm trying to make clear what is where so I need a continuity test kit or something I can connect to a wire upstairs, run to the basement, and touch wires until I hear a beep or something.

I'm hoping someone knows what I'm talking about and can recommend a cheap device that will help me with this. My only other idea was to bring a stereo into each room, connect the wires like speakers and bring a small speaker to the basement and connect until I heard sound! I'm sure there's a better way!

Thanks!
post #2 of 13
Thread Starter 
Well that was quick - some googling sent me to this, I'll pick it up today and cross my fingers.

http://www.lowes.com/ProductDisplay?productId=3201613
post #3 of 13
i have been looking for the same thing but that link doesn't work..
post #4 of 13
a cheap multimeter would work to test continuity! do a google search on how. on cat5e you would twist two of the wires together and at other end apply meter you'll hear a beep when you find them. if they are all terminated are you able to put ends back on? with the rg6 a little jumper wire held from conductor to the ground by a friend and you at other end would work. if you aren't comfortable with putting ends on the cat5 you could to it with some thinnner wire but would be a little tricky cause of the size. when finding speaker wires if they are hooked up to speakers use a 9 volt battery it'll make the speaker pop quick and make it easy to locate. hope this helps you a bit. good luck!
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
post #6 of 13
Here
http://www.specialized.net/Specialized/VDV501814-Klein-Tools-VDV-Scout-Pro-LT-Tester-Kit-8296.aspx#

This is a wire mapper, or get a tone and probe kit.
Edited by ifor - 3/3/13 at 12:40am
post #7 of 13
post #8 of 13
Label well, too.

Sharpie works, if white cables.

I've been using a Dymo labeller, polyester labels. Work very well with a flag wrap, but look unsightly.

flagwrap.jpg

Not many labels work well with like this, unless you buy label tape this is made to shrink fit with heat:

1302007841_img1.jpg

A simple label wrapped like that though will do well if wrapped with clear heat shrink.
post #9 of 13
Polyester tape is designed to resist tearing, and last a very long time. Other labels won't do as well, generally.

P-Touch and Brother are other popular brands.

Check the prices on the refills. Dymo is way overpriced. I wouldn't buy it again, for that reason. Otherwise, good stuff.
post #10 of 13
I think what you might be looking for is a wire tracer. You hook a transmitter to one end, and you have the receiver at the other end. The Sperry ET64220 is a fairly inexpensive one. About $40. It will work with a variety of different wires. "Identifies coax, CAT 5, speaker, phone or any non-energized wire"

http://www.homedepot.com/buy/sperry-lan-tracker-wire-tracer-et64220.html#.UTQa2KV2CkR
post #11 of 13
I use this. Helps when you start terminating your own cables. Will tell you if you got the wires wrong.

http://www.amazon.com/Tripp-Lite-N044-000-R-Network-Tester/dp/B000VM6TTI/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1362730644&sr=8-2&keywords=cat6+wire+tester
post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neurorad View Post

A simple label wrapped like that though will do well if wrapped with clear heat shrink.
Hey, good idea. What diameter and brand heat shrink works best with most CAT5 and RG6 cabling?
post #13 of 13
Let me back track a little. Use a super cheap method for marking labels during pre wire; they will all get cut off. The house trim out - adding plates, and connectors behind walls - I'd use something relatively affordable then too. Nobody will ever see them, but they should be solid. Save the fancy labels for the rack trim out.

I don't have a good rec on a super cheap method.
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