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Premises Cabling Skills Lab - Copper Cabling

Lesson 3: UTP (Unshielded Twisted Pair) Cable Testing

Objectives: From this lesson you should learn:
What specifications for UTP cabling must be tested
Wiremap testing for checking connections
Certification testing for rated performance 

Tools And Components Needed
UTP cable wiremapper
UTP cable certifier or Verifier
Samples of cable and connectors


It is impossible to work in premises cabling without having a good working knowledge about cabling performance and testing. In this lesson, we will cover testing the cabling and the test equipment used


Testing UTP cable begins with checking all connections are correct. Then you test the performance of the cabling vs. requirements of the standards.

Allow plenty of time to complete the exercises without interruption, although this lesson can be broken into segments for each cable type.

Please Note: This is not the usual online course - it is intended to guide you as you learn new skills - the "hands-on" skills needed to install optical fiber cable plants. It involves using tools and components in a realistic manner. Some of the processes here can be hazardous, like working with sharp scraps of optical fiber and chemicals.

In Lesson 1 you should have familiarized yourself with the safety procedures - follow them all the time. Do not work with fiber without eye protection and a proper work area that is easy to clean up.  Always wear safety glasses when doing any of these exercises and dispose of all scraps properly.

Background Review
This "skills" course assumes you have a basic knowledge of cabling. If you are new to premises cabling, you should first complete the "
Fiber U Premises Cabling" course before attempting the hands-on exercises here or review the FOA Guide section on cables.

Hands-On Lab Instructions

Download the Workbook section on Cables and the VHO tutorial on Cable Preparation. Watch the videos and/or read the references on the cable types you have available for practice. The
VHO  "Virtual Hands On" Tutorials take a "step-by-step" approach to the hands-on processes covered in this self-study program and the videos will show the processes in motion. They are both a good way to teach yourself the processes here - watch the video for the overview then follow the steps in the VHO web pages.

Workbook Section (PDF)
VHO Tutorial (PDF)
Videos (YouTube)
Lesson 1: Coax Cables Lab Manual For Copper Cabling (PDF) - Coax Wiring Section UTP Testing
UTP Testing

Hands-On Assignments:
After reading the workbook section and VHO tutorial
and watching the videos, complete these exercises. Refer to the workbook, VHOs and videos as you do the exercise.

UTP Cable Testing And Cabling Testers
Using the workbook, familiarize yourself with the testers used for checking UTP cabling. If you have your own testers, become familiar with their operation.

permanent link

UTP testing is defined by link and channel testing. The "permanent link" is the cabling permanently installed from outlet to outlet. Most specifications are based on the permanent link. Channel testing adds the patchcords used for connecting equipment over the cabling. Since patchcords are purchased ready to use, get swapped and are not permanent, testing usually focuses on the permanent link.

Your exercises in Lesson 2 should have built a simulated permanent link. This lesson will look at testing it.



Wiremappers do end-to-end testing so a tester has two parts - the tester and a remote that are connected to either end of the cabling to check connections. Most have the option of connecting to plugs or jacks. When testing the permanent link, it would connect with plugs to the outlets of the permanent link.

If you have built a cable or simulated permanent link in Lesson 2, test if with a wiremapper. Record your results in the workbook.

Cable Certifiers

Cable certification requires a special tester that can test performance characteristics of the cable plant over the full frequency range it it specified. These are complex instruments that require time to learn how to use the instrument. If you have access to a cable certifier, first learn how to use it and then use it to test the cabling link you created in Lesson 2.

As you finish each section, fill in the worksheet at the end of the Workbook section. Your completed worksheets are the records of your having successfully completed the exercises.


Test Your Comprehension - Online Quiz  

Have you completed the Workbook worksheets that are the records of your having successfully completed the exercises?

Return to Lesson Plan


Table of Contents: The FOA Reference Guide To Fiber Optics

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