I’ve just moved into a new house and the previous owner had laid out some network cables across the house. I’m not too sure what connects to what. Is there an easy way to figure out what the cables are and which work?
There’s a gadget for every purpose nowadays, and tracing or detecting problems with network problems is one of those. It’s a Network Cable Tester and you can get one on sale from Buy.com (which even comes bundled with an RJ-45 crimper for under $10). This model checks both RJ-45 cables and BNC cables. All you need to do is plug one end into one cable and the other end in the other. If you’re not sure which cable is which, just plug it into all of them until the lights light up. Once you’ve established which cables are which, I would suggest colour coding them with different bits of coloured paper and tape. This way, you’ll always know which is which.
I remember the days when I used to test BNC cables by shorting one end and checking the other with a multimeter. Wish I had one of these back then. I believe there used to be devices like these around, but they used to cost hundreds of pounds and the company I worked for just wouldn’t invest in one. I love how gadgets are so much cheaper nowadays 😉