If you’re after an RJ45-terminated cable tester from a brand name firm, the Fluke Networks MicroMapper is worth a look. Testing shielded and un-shielded cables, the Fluke MicroMapper is a simple device that checks continuity to reveal shorts, open circuits, miswires and so on.
It comes shipped with standard AAA batteries and displays results via a series of LEDs. Good for everyone from electricians and networking students to datacomms engineers.
Note: This is not a standard continuity tester, nor voltage tester.
- Detects faults in Ethernet cables
- Remote checking possible
- Works with a tone generator
- Status LEDs indicate good/bad connections
- Simple design
- Easy to see interface
- Size: 4.9” (125mm) x 2”(52mm) x 1.2” (30mm)
- Weight: 4.6oz (130g)
- Cable tester (with remote)
- x4 AAA batteries
- User’s guide (online manual here)
Complete Review of the Fluke MicroMapper
The Fluke Networks MT-8200-49A Tester is used as a verification tool by installers and by service network technicians looking for faults in twisted pair RJ45 cables. This small, handheld tester lets you see opens, shorts, split pairs and reversed cabling and also comes with a low battery indicator.
The MicroMapper also features a remote unit that disconnects from the bottom in order to allow the testing of installed cables at the other end.
How it works: One end of the Ethernet cable is simply plugged into the bottom of the Fluke MicroMapper, with the other end plugged into the detachable, remote device. A test button then sends signal voltage down each successive pair, which is tested for continuity. Green and Red LEDs light up to denote test status.
The minimum length for detection is two feet, with the maximum for twisted pairs up to a generous 650 feet-plus (around 200m). Note: It will only measure continuity and not the distance to the fault, which is what a Time Domain Reflectometer, or TDR, would do.
The MicroMapper also comes with a tone generator. It works alongside probes like the IntelliTone Pro Toner to track installed cables, such as under the floor or in the wall.
Reported negatives: The level of consistency between this or that device, the fairly scant user guide (although there’s not much to it), and the lack of ability for saving results.
A series of green LEDs denote pair type being tested and cable integrity. It can test up to four pairs – 1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8 – along with shielding. A green LED indicates all’s good, flashing green indicates a fault, no light indicates open or not shielded. The red LEDs indicate the fault type: short, reversed, miswire, split pairs. A push button performs the tests.
Other functions: There is also a low battery LED and toner LED on the Fluke Networks MicroMapper. In addition is an auto-sleep mode that helps preserve battery life when not in use.
Being a Fluke, you’d expect a very well built tool reflecting this top brand’s. While it is fairly well made, it has been tendered out to Taiwan to save on costs and is not as substantial as your typical Fluke-made multimeter might be. Price reflects this, though you can pick up a similar device from other brands for less.
Pros and Cons
- Simple interface
- Fluke product
- Built-in toner
- Small and reliable
- Measures circuits to 200m
- Uses AAA batteries
- Low battery indication
- Quite pricey, but it is a Fluke
- Relatively cheaply made
- No case
This simple tool is for verifying and fault finding twisted pair cables. Faults detected include shorts, opens and split pairs etc. The Fluke MicroMapper features a detachable tester for testing installed cables up to 100m in length (200m pair). While it works well, some reviews have commented on consistency and price.
Alternatives: Klein Tools makes a decent mapper in the VDV Scout Pro, which has more options than the MicroMapper, such as simultaneous data & video cable testing. It runs in at around the same price. Other users get on well with the older LanRover TP500, though it is harder to come by nowadays.