We had a contractor wire up our office with all the cables leading back to a central location. The only problem is that he didn't label anything, so we have no idea which cables go to which room. One end of the cable is terminated in a wall-jack (in the rooms), the other end is un-terminated and will be punched to a patch panel. Is there a way to identify the cables without having to terminate them? We'd like to group the cables on the patch panel by room, but I don't want to crimp/punch each cable twice. Thanks!

  • 1
    Can you get a cable toner?
    – jscott
    Commented Nov 4, 2013 at 20:13
  • I'd rather not have to buy anything, but I do have a multi-meter. Could we do something with a battery and a multi-meter or something? Commented Nov 4, 2013 at 20:32

2 Answers 2


Get a tone generator (http://www.amazon.com/Fluke-Networks-PRO3000-Tone-Probe/dp/B000FTADX0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1383596496&sr=8-1&keywords=tone+generator) and plug that into the terminated end and use the probe to find the cables on the other end.

And anytime a cable is pulled make sure the installer plans to label them cables in a manageable way (I've done site visits before even accepting a bid for work to make sure the installer does quality work)

  • Agreed. The scope of work should include labeling of both ends of the cable being installed. It should also include certifying the cabling.
    – joeqwerty
    Commented Nov 4, 2013 at 20:26
  • I agree, and I missed this when arranging the installation. Let's just say that they did the minimum amount of work possible. Commented Nov 4, 2013 at 20:33
  • A tone generator is definitely the way to go. I'll have to grab one at Home Depot or something to finish this job correctly, thanks guys. Commented Nov 4, 2013 at 20:41

Instead of punching down the entire cable, just punch down one wire (of the 8 in the CAT6 cable), e.g. the orange one, then cut open a patch cable, plug it into one plug and then electrically test that connection (using testing leads, a 9V battery and a little lightbulb/buzzer.

  • 2
    Hmmm. I think using a tone/probe would be a lot simpler and less intrusive.
    – joeqwerty
    Commented Nov 4, 2013 at 20:30

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