How to trace telephone cables

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by JDR04, Nov 6, 2013.

  1. JDR04

    Thread Starter Active Member

    May 5, 2011
    Could somebody please help me with this.

    I have a huge number of telephone wires all meeting up in a central board. Nothing is marked and everything is a complete birds nest!

    I would like to trace one particular extension cable back. I know if I use a cable tracker with tone generator then it would be relatively easy, however, when checking to see which one to buy, I get the idea that the tone generator and tracker cannot be used on any wiring that has any AC or DC on it.

    So, the only way to remove the power is to disconnect at the central board but If I could do that I would not need to trace the wiring out.:confused:

    I dont mind buying a budget tone genrator and tracker for the one off job but can anybody suggest one that is not sensitive to power on the line??

    Thanks a lot - JDR04
  2. BReeves


    Nov 24, 2012
    if it's typical it's a 4 conductor cable and only two wires are used. See if the yellow and black wires have anything on them, if not use that pair for your tone tracker.
    JDR04 likes this.
  3. PackratKing

    Well-Known Member

    Jul 13, 2008
    Aren't the yel/blk often used for DSL hookups for dial-up net service ?
  4. BReeves


    Nov 24, 2012
    When I had a DSL line the data was on the same pair as voice. You installed a filter to filter out the data from the voice sets. This was ATT..

    Only time I have seen all 4 wires used in modern day phones is on a digital phone system with a KSU.
  5. MikeML

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 2, 2009
    They are at my house. I installed exactly one DSL filter at the service entrance box. The Red-Green pair is fed through the filter and goes to phones and fax. The Yel-Black pair has the unfiltered DSL signal on it and goes to the modem.

    This makes both the filtered and unfiltered lines available at every RJ11 jack in the house and shop...
  6. strantor

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 3, 2010
    I've had as much luck using only one wire of the tone generator as with two. If you only connect one wire, I can't see how that would be disagreeable to the tone generator. However I don't know how well it would work either, I've never tried it on an energized wire.
  7. studiot

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 9, 2007
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