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How to build a network cable certifier? Answered

I have a fairly extensive lan in my home that is constantly expanding. I want to do some custom wiring and started looking into building my own cat 6 cables. When I started shopping for the wire I noticed a lot of complaints about wiring not being capable of carrying gigabit speeds, CCA being sold as solid copper etc. Now I'm questioning the wiring I already have, wondering if it might be the culprit for random problems. I want to find a way to test my current wiring and anything I make in the future. But as anyone with experience knows a cable certifier is thousands of dollars. Then I got to thinking if i have two computers capable of gigabit speeds shouldn't I be able to run a cable between them and verify the performance of the cable? I was hoping someone here will have the experience I lack to make this a reality. Also if it was possible to make a smaller arduino based tool that would be amazing. This seems like a tool damn near everyone could use these days.


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6 years ago

Only connecting two computers (PC or arduino doesn't matter) to the ends of a cable and let them exchange data will tell you not much. As the system is digital, the cable my be ultra fine and capable of being twice/thrice/ten times as long or may e just barely working and start to fail if it gets a bit longer, gets coiled etc.

What you need to do is analyse the analogue properties of the cable like wave impedance, capacitance, cross talk - all those properties are (more or less) frequency dependent. Doable? Maybe. But nothing you can simply put down with an arduino and a bread board. To get trustworthy data, the whole design has to be high frequency grade (we are talking giga Hertz here). There is a reason those cable analysers are expensive,