Fluke Network recently announced the LinkIQ Cable+Network Tester, which the company explains combines switch diagnostics with the company’s cable-measurement technology. The product provides simple pass/fail test reports using the company’s LinkWare software. It also can verify the performance of switches, including those that provide Power over Ethernet.“New technologies such as 10-Gbit/sec Ethernet and expanded Power over Ethernet are at the core of today’s networks,” stated Walter Hock, vice president of product for Fluke. “Whether it’s an installer who needs to ensure error-free operation and document their work, or a troubleshooter supporting advanced devices, they both need a tool that combines support for today’s advanced technologies with an ease of use that saves time and a price that means it can be widely deployed.”
The LinkIQ is based on a single-test approach that automatically provides the appropriate measurements based on what’s at the other end of the cable. For an open cable, it shows the length and pairing. If it’s terminated with the supplied remote, the test result shows the maximum data rate the cable can support, up to 10 Gbits/sec. If the cable is connected to a switch port, LinkIQ will show the name of the switch plus the port name, speed, and duplex. If PoE is advertised, it will display the power and class—up to 90W or Class 8—and then load the switch to verify the power can be delivered.
LinkIQ uses LinkWare PC, Fluke Networks’ reporting software that supports a variety of testers and has done so for 20 years, with tens of thousands of active users. The simplest way to manage report data is with a free copy of LinkWare. The results from a wide variety of Fluke products can be stored and accessed using LinkWare, or PDF reports may be generated using the software.
“The LinkIQ is exactly the tool we were looking for—something that does all the basics of cable testing but also tells us about the switch we’re plugged into,” said Jason LeBlanc, owner of Austin Structured Cabling. “Being able to provide a report using the LinkWare software we’ve standardized on means that customers will trust our workmanship, and we’ll get the job done and paid quicker.”
The LinkIQ Cable+Network Tester is available for purchase, and more information about the tool is available, at flukenetworks.com/MeetLinkIQ.