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Best circuit tester

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Tom willis

New Member
I'm looking to purchase a good circuit tester. I need something to reach long distances and to be more specific as to know exactly which wire is at the other end. Any advice or first hand accounts are accepted. Lemme know. An I'm not looking for something like a 110 VAC circuit finder with the three prong plug. It hardly ever traces properly, and only works if you initially have power, dumb.
 

Tom willis

New Member
Just to clarify, I want to remove one wire and find its other end over about 60 ft. Wether it's a frequency generated trace or a closed circuit trace or whatever, I just wanna know my options from some testers that other people have used.
 

KMoffett

Well-Known Member
How many wires in the cable(?)?

Ken
 

KMoffett

Well-Known Member
Multimeter and a battery:

If two wires, disconnect both ends. Place a battery between the pair at one end. Measure the polarity at the other end. If more than two, connect all the wires at one end together, except one. Then measure the continuity between the wires at the other end. The one with no continuity to other wires identifies it. Do this until you have two wires unidentified, then go back to the two wire solution.

Ken
 

Tom willis

New Member
Multimeter and a battery:

If two wires, disconnect both ends. Place a battery between the pair at one end. Measure the polarity at the other end. If more than two, connect all the wires at one end together, except one. Then measure the continuity between the wires at the other end. The one with no continuity to other wires identifies it. Do this until you have two wires unidentified, then go back to the two wire solution.

Ken
This is a good idea, but not exactly what I'm looking for, just a single wire, but I suppose I could use this method to find the one wire, it is romex afterall.
 

KMoffett

Well-Known Member
If you have Romex, isn't that already color coded? Or is there more than one Romex coming to a point of interest? Maybe a sketch?

Ken
 

Tom willis

New Member
If you have Romex, isn't that already color coded? Or is there more than one Romex coming to a point of interest? Maybe a sketch?

Ken
It's a rat's nest of wires in an old basketball court. Many disconnected, but none in conduit. All going to 3 jboxes. I have the pleasure turning it into a functioning assembly.
 

Mickster

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
Are you looking for a particular run of something like 2 or 3 core plus ground, in a bundle of like cabling at the other end?
 

gophert

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
A 12 V battery lead-acid battery and a bucket of salt water.

Connect a pair on one end, Just dunk the whole stack in the other end. The pair that are bubbling are your match. Clip off enough to make sure you don't have salt water corrosion later.
 

KevinW

Member
I used a similar tone generator and probe for years in telecommunication and they will work for miles.

Just to clarify, I want to remove one wire and find its other end
You will need a pair of wires.
 

ClydeCrashKop

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
I have often thought it was "Operator Error" on my part. If you are tracing a pair of wires you can attach the red & green clips to them and get a nice strong signal. The alternative is to attach a clip to the wire of interest and the other clip to ground. I work on boats and am usually tracing one wire. Ground wires go off in all directions and confuse the issue. So I usually attach one clip to the wire of interest and get a weak signal and have to eliminate all other electrical noise to hear it.
And, your signal tracer is probably much better quality than mine.

This is the manual for a good one.
http://www.triplett.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Fox-Hound-3399-Instruction-Manual.pdf

Helpful Hints: It is normal to hear a humming or buzzing noise coming from the HOUND 3’s speaker when it is in an area with fluorescent lights, neon signs, transformers, etc. In fact, an easy test to verify the HOUND 3 is working is to move it toward an operating fluorescent light and note that the buzzing sound gets louder, and the brightness of the LED increases. If the buzzing sounds from fluorescent lights interfere with tracing/locating wires, the user may consider turning the fluorescent lights off.

Wire Tracing Methods: There are two basic wire tracing methods . . . “floating” and “grounded”. In the floating method (also called Line to Line), the tracer tone is applied to two wires (a pair) in the cable or wire harness to be tested. See Figure 5. The FOX 2’s red clip is connect to one wire and the green clip is connected to the other wire. This method is often used on telephone, intercom, or alarm wires. The floating method tends to cancel out some of the tracer tone, so the HOUND 3 usually works best when the user has access to the wires, and can place the HOUND 3 right against the wires. This method identifies the wires as a pair. It will not identify which wire is connected to the FOX 2’s green clip or which wire is connected to the red clip.
 
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