Best Coaxial Cable Tester/Tracer 2020 Detailed Review.
Best Coaxial Cable Tester/Tracer in 2020: Coaxial cables can be essential to running a variety of different signals. Radio signals, HDTV signals, internet signals, and so on.
Copper cabling is so ubiquitous that you’ll find coax cables in both residential and commercial areas. So when problems start to emerge in your cable network, it’s pretty important to be able to localize, identify, and resolve them.
And when it comes time for that, having a good coax cable tester can be essential. But how do you choose a good coaxial cable tester tracer?
Klein Tools Coax Tester Tracer Mapper with Remote Kit
The Klein Tools Coax Kit was made rather specifically to help verify the continuity of an F-connector coaxial connection, and then help you to map out their location.
Whether you’re doing routine maintenance of a network or you’re trying to diagnose a problem in the line, that’s a very useful design.
In order to help make the multi-testing process a little easier, the Klein Tools Tester makes use of a color-coded design for each testing remote.
Keeping things simple, this tester uses a one-button operation. You literally just connect the cable you want to test, press a button, and you’re done. Pretty hard to mess up.
Design & Construction
Similar to many Klein Tools instruments, this tester was built with a bright yellow chassis. Maybe it won’t be winning any beauty contests, but it’s certainly easy to spot among other instruments.
The tester measures 5.75 x 2.38 x 1 inches, making it reasonably compact, and mostly handheld in nature. The chassis is primarily made from ABS plastic, which helps the instrument be at least partially impact resistant.
The relatively lightweight nature of this instrument ensures if you did drop it, the damage would probably be superficial. Light scratching and nothing more.
Jonard CM-8 Coax Cable Mapper
Extending its support much further than the Klein Tools instrument, the Jonard CM-8 is an eight-way cable mapping system.
It’s capable of running maps for several coaxial cable systems from one central point, making it ideal for a variety of different coaxial cable installations.
That might include installations for satellite TV, closed-circuit TVs, alarm systems, and so forth.
Design & Construction
The CM-8 measures 2 x 1 x 2.8 inches and weighs just shy of one pound. The blue chassis isn’t especially attractive, but it’s just as sturdy and protective as the instrument from Klein Tools.
That’s because it’s made of essentially the same stuff, and built to essentially the same physical standards. Though there’s still no lanyard strap or carrying cable, once again, the device is lightweight and sturdy enough that occasionally dropping it shouldn’t be a grave concern.
Southwire Tools & Equipment M500CX4 Coax Continuity Tester/Mapper
Sometimes you don’t need a coax cable that can do everything. Sometimes you just need a simple tester that helps you do your job.
The Southwire M500CX4 was designed to try and be that tester. The interface makes use of an easy to understand LED display, which makes this instrument very approachable.
Even though it’s wonderfully approachable, it’s also able to provide wide compatibility for testing installed cables or testing patch cables.
It can identify four coax cable remote locations, and includes four color-coded IR remotes, allowing it to perform every bit as well as the Klein Tools tester.
Design & Construction
The M500CX4 measures 5.5 x 1.25 x 0.5 inches and weighs only a few ounces. It’s powered by four LR44 batteries, which are included.
The unit was constructed with a double molded housing which serves to bolster both its durability and the user’s grip. Though again, ruggedness isn’t the highest priority for an instrument like this, it’s fair to say the M500CX4 is quite solid.
Similar to the CM-8, you’re looking at a one-button design that is pretty hard to mess up. But the interface is actually considerably more approachable and friendly than the CM-8.
The device is pretty much made to where a total novice could start using it without having to so much as read the user manual.
The Klein Tools Coax Tester Tracer Mapper with Remote Kit isn’t the right choice for someone who’s trying to test high-resistance lines or someone who’s trying to test cables that run extremely long distances.
But for most residential circumstances, this kit is going to perform marvelously. It’s simple, intuitive, and it gives you all the tools you need to get the job done.
If you’re looking for a cheaper instrument for primarily residential use, you’ll probably want to try the Klein Tools tester.
The Jonard CM-8 Coax Cable Mapper was made to handle lengthier cables, and it was made to handle cables putting out more resistance.
The instrument itself is still reasonably intuitive and easy to use, but the hardware is simply able to take on more challenging tasks than instruments like the Klein Tools Coax Tester. Which makes the CM-8 a good choice for someone testing high resistance lines running 100 ohms.
Last but not least, the Southwire Tools & Equipment M500CX4 Coax Continuity Tester/Mapper is similar to the Klein Tools Coax Tester.
It’s not able to take on enormously lengthy cables, or cables with incredibly high resistance, like the CM-8. But it’s even a bit as intuitive, and it’s designed to accommodate slightly more throughput than the Klein Tools’ instrument.
For someone who’s going to be using their coaxial cable tester tracer for more than the occasional measurement, the M500CX4 might be worth grabbing.
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