TDR measures length, finds faults on live cables

The Snap Shot time domain reflectometer from T3 Innovation can be used on energized data lines, live coaxial systems and electrical cable runs.

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The Snap Shot time domain reflectometer (TDR) from T3 Innovation finds faults and determines cable lengths over energized data lines, electrical cable runs and live coaxial systems. When announcing the cabling tester's introduction, T3's chief executive officer Ron Vogel explained, "With the complexity of today's electrical, data, voice and video signal-carrying systems, you need a tool that is fast, accurate and easy-to-use to see down the wire and show the exact conditions that exist. Our new, compact Snap Shot TDR accurately detects, locates and identifies fault conditions such as opens, shorts, and arc faults on energized cables of all types up to 3,000 feet in length.

"In addition to precise location of faults, Snap Shot uses an advanced form of spread-spectrum time-domain reflectometry that allows its use over energized cables," Vogel continued. "Now, attached working data lines, electrical cable runs, and live coax systems can be measured for run lengths, and to see if there are any existing electrical faults while the cable is in use and under power. No other TDR has this capability."

According to T3 Innovation, the Snap Shot has a large backlit LCD display that clearly shows length in feet and/or meters with an accuracy of better than 1 percent for pinpointing any fault or condition. Dual internal memory allows users to store cable parameters for easy reference, the company adds, while a built-in tone generator with multiple tone capability traces found faults. Other features of the tester include an auto power-off, the ability to generate four different tones, and the ability to calibrate any cable NVP (nominal velocity of propagation) value. Its dimensions are 6.8 x 3.15 x 1.3 inches; it weighs 12 ounces with battery and its MSRP is $259.95.

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