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Fluke Networks 26000900 Pro3000 Tone Generator and Probe Kit with SmartTone Technology [link]
This one is overly expensive if you're never going to use again. Could get away with a cheaper one or use a cheap multimeter and just use the diode checker to tone out the lines. Could use 2 telephones (battery powered), plug in both ends, talk into it and if you hear it on the other end you're good to go (well on that pair). I'm kidding on that last on but it would actually work. The cable company will label all those for you but it'll cost more than the tools to do it yourself. Hope any of that helps.
Hah, get a cable tracer and start hunting. Found out a few days ago that my house was pre-wired for an alarm system and I'm installing one right now.
Some wires were going to the doors (they installed magnetic sensors in the frame of the door, but no magnet in the doors, I have to find some), some to corners of the rooms (for infrared detectors), one was going to a weird location and I understand it's for the siren, and a few others were going to strategic locations for keypads.
Check if they did not label the wires by writing on them. A few on mine were labelled, but not all sadly.
I hate that the painters simply cut the wires flush to the wall, and painted over the wires. They were 100% invisible. Finding them in the walls was a nightmare. I really would have preferred them to make a small bump or something slightly visible so I knew where the wires were...
You're in for 2-3 hours of tracing if nothing is labelled and you don't know where they are going.
You might want to buy/return a cable toner to see where each line goes. I did a/v installs for 4 years but only commercial, never residental, but I've never seen 3 conductor+ground cable used for ceiling speakers. If that 2 conductor cable is daisy chaining all the speakers together, no way you can get diff audio in diff rooms, but the labeling does seem to imply what you're saying. Curious if any resi guys can explain that to me.
Anyway, usually the speakers are pretty easy to take out even if they are in drywall ceiling. You def want to know what speakers they are and the voltage for them. If they're 70 volt speakers you'll want a 70 volt amp, 8ohm speakers, 8ohm amp etc. I've seen amps get damaged from the wrong speakers on them and vice versa.
you might want to invest in a tone generator and probe. Hook that up to the unterminated cables and started following your walls to see where they go.
Also, check and see if you have an attic access, it looks like they go up there.
Before you disconnect stuff take extensive pictures and mark the cables (painters tape is handy for this) and mark what they're plugged into even if it's just 1,2,3. Like someone said you should get a tone generator and wand. No matter what you do it's going to be tedious but much less so with a tone generator. The wand will tell you where the wire is flowing and can even read through walls.
Yep you'll find it in the electricians tools section of hd. It puts a sound across the wire and has a seperate wand that allows you to hear it so you can find it. Here is one on Amazon that is good you can find cheaper if you look around but this is the one I use. Fluke Networks 26000900 Pro3000 Tone Generator and Probe Kit with SmartTone Technology [link]
There are plenty of you tube videos I'm sure that will show you how to use it if your not sure how
I highly recomend fluke pro 3000 [link]
It has been very good quality and reliable i have traced many cat6 cables and also securtity cables
The alligator clips also have spikes for thinner cables or use the rj45 for your network stuff i also use a coupling to connect it to patch leads
I recently did this for my home. Thankfully, the AT&T gateway is located where my phone lines all come together. Since the lines were labelled, I thought this would be an easy project, however, they were all labelled WRONG.
Thankfully, I had a Toner like this one.
Cheaper option if you only need it for the tone. Otherwise go with the Pro 200 listed in the other comments.
Lights and outlets are usually on different circuits, which is why your lights work. The outlets in some rooms are also on different circuits. One room in my house has 3 different circuits.
Shut off the main breaker and use this. You may have to pull the outlets in question out of the boxes to get access to the wires, but you may be able to just shove the tips into the outlets.
To determine which goes to where you need a sniffer, I recommend Fluke
clip on the wire in the room you want active then "sniff" the wires in the mech room
Theres no way out of crimping your terminations. So sniff the ones you want active and only do those. Cat 5 is a PITA if you've never done it before. After you do about 20 you'll be a pro.
Also the mech room is where the router (and most likely modem) will be
Theoretically you could place the modem in another room and run cat 5 from there to the router which has to be in the mech room but that seems complicated to me located
I do this at work a bunch, but we have something that looks like this tone generator and wand. One side clips to the cable and makes a noise in the line. The wand is something you can wave over (and in and around) the wall panel wires and see which one of them makes the noise.
Easy as pie, but pricey. I bet any friend who works IT in a company larger than 50 people has one at work. Also, telco guys always have one.
A wire toner. [link]
I totally have one. I am in LA by the airport.
I have this:
Let me know if you want it.
The number one most useful troubleshooting tool is a good toner/wand. What you have… works, but definitely get 1-2 good ones as spares, or to tone multiple lines/pairs at once. Kinda partial to Flukes, they really are worth the price premium: Fluke Networks 26000900 Pro3000 Tone Generator and Probe Kit with SmartTone Technology [link]
Second most important would be an actual cable tester. This kit seems kinda junky at first glance, but is the best value choice… and since you’re almost certainly eventually going to bust a tester, might as well be the cheap one (these go up to basically whatever you want to spend): Klein Tools VDV501-851 Cable Tester Kit with Scout Pro 3 for Ethernet/Data, Coax/Video and Phone Cables, 5 Locator Remotes [link]
The Klein covers just about all the major desired features, and can act as another tone generator (though it sucks at that). Continuity, flipped pairs, opens and shorts, and distance to faults… it’s not at a level where it could act as a true cable certifier, but for troubleshooting, I wouldn’t kick one of these off the truck.
From there, it’s a lot of personal preference stuff, but pretty much everyone needs something like the two above.
Use the "fix my mess" guy's best friend:
If you have a bunch of them, they should go in a pretty obvious place (closet, garage) and going carefully around the house (especially garage, basement...) should be enough to find it.
Sometimes they may all go outside at the Telco box if they were intended for telephone wiring.
If you;re less lucky, they are all wired in a daisy chain and there is no central place. That's easy to figure out by unscrewing the wall plates of a few of them.
If all else fails, you can buy a toner to physically trace the cables
Has anyone mentioned an audio tone generator and a probe
(used on ebay for half that)
I use the Pro3000 all the time at work for finding buried wires, and tracing cables. It's a bit of an art form but you can get within a foot or two with a little effort.
If you can't locate the wire using one pair on the red lead and one pair on the black lead of the generator (check for a short, it will not tone properly on a shorted cable) try the ground trick.
Bond all the conductors of the cable to the red lead of the generator, then ground the black lead of the generator (it's audio so it honestly doesn't matter what color you use). This will significantly amplify the audio tone to the probe and allow you to get within a meter of the wire, then un ground it and apply one lead to one pair and the other to another pair. This will give you a quieter tone but it will be more precise.
Alternatively if you have access you can look for a hole (with the wire) in the top plate or sole plate and hope for no horizontal run inside the wall that will locate the stud bay for you. then all you need to do is cut in a wall box and fish hook the wire from inside the wall.
The job you are attempting is a 1-8hr job if a pro were to do it. I might be able to wand it and in 15min have the wire out of a new j-box hole, or struggle for hours trying to retro in a new wire.
Do you have crawl access to retro in a new cable? just cut in the J box where you want it and get a cable to it?
It doesn't look like any of the cables/ports have any information on them. You may call whoever "services" this panel and see if they have any documentation or you can buy a toner:
Which will allow you to plug into the outlet upstairs and see where its punched in downstairs.
However, I see some cut cables in the box and they very well could be the ones wired to upstairs so you would have to remove one of the existing cords (which very well could disconnect something that is currently working) to hook up a new one.
Get this tool and do it yourself. Watch some Youtube videos. This is easy.
[link] I'm thinking about this one. Would you consider it one that would work well for automotive applications?
If you don't need anything super high end, used this for about a year or so, works great.
Unless there is an electrical conduit there. Test with this:
I've always just used a simple Fluke Toner. I don't know why you'd have to spend $1000 or something like this.
A cable toner would probably be helpful for when your contractor forgets to label anything. You can probably find a better deal than that one though
Any home theater receiver will have connections for each speaker, but you'll still want a powered sub.
A tone generator saves a LOT of time finding & labeling your wires.
I suggest lurking eBay for a Niles SI1230 or similar for the rest of your rooms.
Connecting Chromecast dongles or AirPort Express makes control from a 'phone intuitive.
Read thrice - buy once, and have fun!