Tone and probe tracing kits come in handy in providing exceptional tracing capabilities for low voltage connections such as telephone, wiring security alarms and data cables.
Their functionality makes it a must-have tool for structured wiring specialists who need to confirm that cabling is connected properly.
This tool traces wires inside walls, above ceilings and under floors as well as manage pre-existing alarm wirings in security systems work. They effectively determine and verify that such cables are connected properly.
There are several models of tone and probe tracing kits with different features, making it quite daunting to find the best kit to buy.
Some common features include method of conductivity, cadence shifting, selection tones, and loud speakers among others.
To ease your search process, our tone and probe tracing kit review outlines some the best tone and probe tracing kits you can find.
Top 5 Best Tone And Probe Tracing Kits
|The Fluke Network Pro3000 Tone and Probe Kit|
|The Fluke Networks MT-8200 Pro200 Probe Kit|
|Extech Instruments TG20 Wire Tracer and Tone Generator|
|Greenlee 710K-G Tone and Probe Tracing Kit|
|Elegiant XQ-350 Wire Tracker LAN Cable Tester|
1. The Fluke Network Pro3000 Tone and Probe Kit – Best Rated Tone and Probe KitIf you are looking to trace a circuit through several conduits, the Fluke Network Pro3000 Tone and Probe Kit should be your product of choice. It provides invaluable aid in professional tracing and cable or wire toning.
The kit comes with an angled bed of nail clips with an RJ11 plug that connects to an inactive network to trace and locate wires, cables, and wire pairs. It does so by sending a loud tone; ranging up to 16km or 24AWG twisted pair coupled with 3.3kms of SmartTone signals.
The Fluke Network Pro3000 Tone and Probe Kit virtually work on any cable or wire such as security wires, de-energized AC wires, all coax cables, speaker wires, telephone, voice, and data classified cables.
This kit provides five distinct cadences or tones used to identify different wire pairs. Besides, it features an easy to use and adjustable volume speaker that expertly amplifies the tracing tone.
More on the Fluke Network Pro3000
In cases of discrete toning or situations with noisy environments, the kit’s 3.5mm jack allows the users to attach an earphone. However, note that the earphones are not included in the kit, thus buyers ought to find their pair.
To ease its use, the kit allows users to select either solid or alternating tone options often indicated by dual colored LEDs. The colors could be solid or flashing, with red indicating continuity as red and green indicate the polarity of a DC powered cable/wire pair.
2. The Fluke Networks MT-8200 Pro200 Probe Kit – Best for Combined Digital and Analog TonerThe Fluke Networks MT-8200 Pro200 Probe Kit made an important mark by being the first toner to offer both digital and analog toning in one tool. Previously, professionals had to use different specially designed toners for these tasks.
This device is equipped with presumably the most powerful cable location and verification technology, perfect for both active and inactive networks. Unlike the initial model that uses SmartTone technology, this device uses IntelliTone technology to detect digital signals.
This technology has the ability to reject noise, and false signals thus locate cabling only on an active network. Besides, it also locates between 500 to 1200Hz of analog signals on inactive networks.
For utmost efficiency, the Fluke Networks MT-8200 Pro200 Probe Kit features eight multiple LEDs that light successively with an increase in signal strength. This prompts the isolation of single cable within a bundle. The LED feature makes it easy to work with this device even in a noisy environment, saving time.
Further Reviewing the Fluke Networks MT-8200
Professionals like the fact that this kit produces four different analog songs that sing alternately every time the test cable is shorted. Besides, it features a cable map capability that, as mentioned, identifies the common cable wired wrongly. This totally eliminates the need of having a wiremap.
The device’s cable map functionality help in validating RJ11 and RJ45 connectors by testing its continuity as well as discovering short circuits, open circuits and cross-wired faults in the system.
3. Extech Instruments TG20 Wire Tracer and Tone Generator – Best for Cables within a GroupThe Extech Instruments TG20 Wire Tracer and Tone Generator is a perfect toner for those faced by isolation tasks of cables in a group such as operation lines. This is a must-have tool for phone installation lines.
This device is a non-contact amplifier that probes and easily identifies selected wire or cable making it easy to trace from the source to termination. It is an RJ11-compatible toner that injects traceable signals into the cables. This not only makes it easy but also fast and accurate to trace phone lines and continuity checks.
Unlike other models, it features an adjustable sensitivity control that improves on wire identification and eliminates chances of false detection. The Extech Instruments TG20 Wire Tracer and Tone Generator kit includes a wire tracer probe, transmitter with RJ11 phone connector, one pair of alligator clips and two pairs of 9V batteries.
4. Greenlee 710K-G Tone and Probe Tracing Kit – Best for Internal Wiring TechniciansThe Greenlee 710K-G Tone and Probe Tracing Kit functionality make it a must-have toner for any internal wiring technician. This device offers superior tracing especially for low voltage applications including telephones, data and security systems.
Technicians attest that this device has the ability to check voltage on wire pairs and generates a tagging tone on the wire, which is then picked up by the tracing probe. Supporting this is the 200EP-G amplifier that allows the users to identify cables and wires without making direct metallic contact with conductors.
The Greenlee 710K-G Tone and Probe Tracing Kit amplifier come with a powerful speaker for noisy environments and adjustable volume control with single button operation. Besides, there is an audio shock-protected headset jack with a replaceable tip for use with earphones.
More on the Greenlee 710K-G
Moving on, this device comes with a high-power tone generator that comes in handy in identifying a conductor within a bundle of wires and cables at cross-connect points and remote ends.
This tool can be used on twisted pair wiring, coaxial cables, and single conductors and de-energized AC wiring. Other features of this toner include polarity and continuity testing feature with LED and beeping responses.
5. Elegiant XQ-350 Wire Tracker LAN Cable Tester – Best for Sorting Out Cable EndsThe Elegiant XQ-350 Wire Tracker LAN Cable Tester is a good toner of choice for sorting out cable ends from a bundle of twisted pair lines. It can be used to test LAN connection from an ONT – Fibre Optic Network Terminal making it a good investment and good value for money.
This device is easy to read and operate. It also comes with a carrying case and lightweight for enhanced portability. The amplifier provides clear and loud tones that indicate the correct wire. The adjustable volume control makes it best for noisy environments.
Readings with the Elegiant XQ-350 Wire Tracker LAN Cable Tester are correct when the default CAT 5e cable is used than when testing a mix of CAT 5e and CAT 6 cables. For enhanced portability, it has a little flashlight on the end that helps when putting in the carrying case.
Some of the technical specifications of the Elegiant XQ-350 Wire Tracker LAN Cable Tester include:
- Uses a DC 9V battery that is not included
- Uses multi-frequency pulse signal transmission format
- Features a flexible interface
- Comes with a set emmter, set receiver and PC earphone
Things to Consider Before Buying a Tone and Probe Tracing Kit
As mentioned, there are numerous tone and probe tracing kits present in the market currently, each of different models and features.
Therefore, customers ought to consider various factors before settling on one kit. This will ensure that they find the best tracing kit matching their needs.
Some of the main feature details of the best tone and probe tracing kits include:
Various tone and probe tracing kits provide different levels of cadence/tones. Note that cadence come in handy when identifying individual wire pairs. The best models provide up to five distinct cadences used to identify individual wire pairs with others providing a lesser number.
Probe-tracing kits have a speaker that enables the users to easily identify the traced cable. The best tone and probe tracer ought to feature an easy to use and control adjustable speaker that enables easy amplification of the tone for tracing.
Some kits also feature a jack that allows the user to use an earphone, which is sometimes not included, especially where there are cases of discrete toning or when operating in noisy environments.
Perhaps the best thing that ever happened to tone and probe tracing kits is the inclusion of LED colors. Otherwise, how would professionals identify alternating tone options? That said, always go for a kit that allows you to select either solid or alternating tone options guided by dual LED lights.
This provides surety, especially when working on multiple cables without identification. Note that the red color indicates continuity while green indicates polarity for DC powered wire pair.
Common mix-up errors during wiring results from wrong wiring and short circuits. However, a tone and probe tracing kit with cable map capability can identify wires that are wired wrongly especially in twisted pair cabling. This eliminates the need for a wiremap.
Such kits test continuity and discover short circuits, crossed pair wiring faults and open circuits. This helps in eliminating common electrical faults.
Other general features quality tone and probe tracing machines should feature include the price or cost, brand type, safety margins, warranties, and battery. Always begin by identifying your needs before proceeding with any tone and probe kit type.
Our Final Review
Tone and probe tracing kits are essential tools for network administrators, electricians, security installation professionals and other utility workers. Some models are easy to operate favoring novice enthusiasts.
They eliminate the need for calling for a professional electrician as anyone could use this tool to detect electrical faults and handle them easily.
However, to find the best kit, it is recommended that you gain some understanding of the different uses and applications.
Additionally, identify some of the key features such as methods of conductivity, and the presence of cordless phone interface. Also, adjustable speakers, cadence shifts, selection tones and signal strength indicators.
To ease your search, our tone and probe kit review above highlights some of the best products on the market. Besides, the buyer’s guide section details what features to look out for.
That said, have you tried using any of the kits mentioned above? Which one is your favorite? Share with us below!