The Klein Tools VDV 501-809 is a circuit finder able to check data and video cable pairs in homes and businesses. It tests data RJ45 and voice RJ11/12 cables, along with continuity on video coax cables. Included with the package is a tone generator and remote connectors and it boasts a large screen that displays results clearly. A decent tool, although others have better features and add-ons.
- Maps out multiple ports
- Traces drops and ports
- RJ11/12 voice cable tests
- RJ45 data cable tests
- F-connector coax video connections
- Includes RJ45 and F-connector remotes
- Removable F-F barrel connector
- Five location RJ45 remotes
- Five location F-connector remotes*
- F to F barrel connector
- 9V battery
- Carry pouch
*extra LanMap connectors can be bought online
Complete Klein VDV 501-809 Scout Pro Review
The VDV 501-809 Scout Pro is a decent tool if you’re looking to diagnose cable issues or perhaps upgrade your home network. It works well in commercial applications, though is a bit limited on the amount of simultaneous tests compared with other units from Klein Tools and other manufacturers.
It is reliable and tough and is adept at testing CAT-5, CAT-5E, CAT-6 cables etc, and has F-connectors to locate cable runs to outlets. Example test: easily decipher between straight through and crossover cables, with the units showing all pins and how they are connected. Shows pass/fail indication.
Test distance on a CAT-V cable with the Klein Tools VDV 501-809 VDV Scout Pro is up to 1,000 feet (>300m). It can also test CAT-VI cable runs for pair swaps and continuity. It is not a high performance tool, however, and unfortunately can’t tell you the length of the cable. You’d need the likes of the Klein Scout Pro for that task.
Data and video cables can be tested simultaneously to save time. The remotes allow for the mapping of a cable loom more easily, where labels often fall off etc. The display is large and shows split pair diagnosis quickly, with no LED lights to monitor. The inbuilt tone generator supports different tones, together with control of pins carrying the tone.
While you get an indication of cable status, you don’t get info on crosstalk, speed, IP protocol, signal strength or inference and it can only check up to eight connections. When testing for continuity with the base remote, you have to make a separate test as it won’t do it through the ID remotes.
The Klein VDV 501-809 tends to receive mixed reviews on its design and build quality. Some praise its tough case and large display, others find it lacking compared with other Klein meters. The unit is nice to carry around, with grippy sides and a solid case. The F connectors are the push-on type – threaded ones are better – and the labeling could be better, liable to falling off as they are.
Display: It has a 2.4″ display that shows wire status and connector number. You get pass/fail data for voice, data, video cables and an indication on shorts/splits/opens. ID type is from 1 to 8. Those having not used a circuit finder may find it a bit confusing to work out at first, but it is quite straightforward.
While the display is nice, contrast and viewing angle could be better, plus it is not backlit. There is a low battery status icon.
Pros and Cons
- Remote base fits into unit
- Simultaneous testing
- Remote connectors
- Tough build
- No cable length indication
- Fewer connectors than others
- Doesn’t ping
- No backlight
You can test and troubleshoot a variety of voice/data/video cables with Klein Tools’ VDV 501-809 Scout Pro. A useful device for various tasks, though is without features such as a ping tester and cable length measurer. It is thus more suited to DIY work. There is a kit version (the VDV 501-814), which has extra connectors.
Alternatives: The Klein Tools VDV 501-098 has added functions and includes 19 remotes, while the VDV 526-052 Junior Tester is a more basic alternative. Also keep an eye out for the Scout Pro 2 kits. The Fluke IntelliTone Pro 200 is preferred by many.