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How to verify CAT6 installation?


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I am new to these forums, so I hope this post is in the right place.  Anyways, I am about to wire my house with CAT6, so I have been creating some small patch cords & outlets just to practice. My test cords all appear to be working correctly for gigabit ethernet, but my question is how can I verify that my cable runs pass the requirements for NEXT and return loss?  Using gigabit ethernet to test the runs really only verifies that my connections are at least as good as CAT5e.  I know that I could buy a scanner for a few thousand bucks, but I was wondering if there is any (less expensive!) software available that could do this with a laptop?  I mean, I am spending the money to install CAT6, but I would like a warm fuzzy feeling that these runs were installed properly.

Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks.


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Welcome jprizzo.

  I was wondering how long it would take this topic to make it's way here.

There are several ways to check your internal B/W, but w/o the full network in, and no physical meter, ????   NEXT is just the beginning, you have to take in consideration powersum cross talk, and far end cross talk (PSNEXT & PSFEXT) There are 4 pairs to worry about in bidirectional networks.

Your weakest areas will be the termination at the wall plate (due to physical harmonic imbalances between the cable/jack/and connector). Everything "echo's" back o the wall plate as a weak link. (not the crosstalk issue  )controlling these echoes requires tuning or impedance-balanced network, carefully selecting each component.

Enough rambling, I'm sure you already know this stuff.

As for a software solution,  I'm not aware of any, of course I am no expert on the subject by any means. I would recommend calling the ISP, and speaking to the tech who comes out until they are interested enough to investigate : )

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