Trouble-Shooting to Wire Level

 
 
By Cameron Sturdevant  |  Posted 2002-03-25 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Agilent Technologies' FrameScope 350 is a good test tool for cable plant installers and network trouble-shooters who need to certify cable and get accurate after-installation results in a compact, easy-to-use form factor.

Agilent Technologies FrameScope 350 is a good test tool for cable plant installers and network trouble-shooters who need to certify cable and get accurate after-installation results in a compact, easy-to-use form factor. The biggest problem we had with the product was a terminally misaligned touch-screen that prevented us from scrolling through long lists of results.

Released to customers last month at a price of $5,995 stand-alone and $7,995 for the DualRemote package (a wire-test end point with no screen), the FrameScope 350 is much like Flukes One Touch cable test tool, which costs $4,125.

The expense of these tools keeps them out of reach of most free-lance mischief-makers, which is good because the FrameScope 350 soaked up a lot of data during tests. I plugged the unit in to our corporate network (with the permission of our IT guy, of course) and got the most curious results: Not only did the FrameScope 350 show the workstations, servers and routers on the network, but the device also picked up more than a thousand workstations outside our firewall.

Agilent technicians showed me how to configure the FrameScope 350 to rein in this prying packet-sniffing behavior, but it was a revealing experience, to say the least.

I also tested our cable plant, where the FrameScope 350 did a good job of diagnosing potential troubles by scrutinizing the usual measurements such as cable length.

I was able to access the FrameScope 350 via a Web browser to get results from remote locations in the building. The FrameScope is easy to access via the Web, and I was able to set up and use the device without once reading a users manual. The touch-screen interface made tests, including cable tests of Category 6 wire, a simple chore. The FrameScope 350 can be connected to a portable printer to dash out tags noting pass/ fail or identifying information.

 
 
 
 
Cameron Sturdevant Cameron Sturdevant is the executive editor of Enterprise Networking Planet. Prior to ENP, Cameron was technical analyst at PCWeek Labs, starting in 1997. Cameron finished up as the eWEEK Labs Technical Director in 2012. Before his extensive labs tenure Cameron paid his IT dues working in technical support and sales engineering at a software publishing firm . Cameron also spent two years with a database development firm, integrating applications with mainframe legacy programs. Cameron's areas of expertise include virtual and physical IT infrastructure, cloud computing, enterprise networking and mobility. In addition to reviews, Cameron has covered monolithic enterprise management systems throughout their lifecycles, providing the eWEEK reader with all-important history and context. Cameron takes special care in cultivating his IT manager contacts, to ensure that his analysis is grounded in real-world concern. Follow Cameron on Twitter at csturdevant, or reach him by email at cameron.sturdevant@quinstreet.com.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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