How would I be able to trace a coax cable? I was thinking connect + and - together and test for continuity. If I did that, where would both terminals be?

  • 2
    what does this question mean? where would both terminals be?
    – jsotola
    Commented Apr 20, 2020 at 5:14
  • I don't get the question, are you saying you know where both ends are and want to trace the cable's path? Or are you saying you don't know the ends and want to trace it?
    – GdD
    Commented Apr 20, 2020 at 7:54
  • Do you actually mean "trace" - follow it's path, so you can find the end? Or do you mean "test" - see if it's damaged (short/open test)?
    – SiHa
    Commented Apr 20, 2020 at 10:20
  • The ultimate goal would be to find the other end of a preexisting cable.
    – Newo
    Commented Apr 20, 2020 at 14:04

2 Answers 2


Determining which ends of a coax cable correspond is relatively easy using the tester listed in the other answer, or you could short one end of the cable and use a continuity tester/multimeter.

If one of the ends of the cable is missing or buried in a wall, it will be MUCH harder locate.

You can use a tone generator like this (https://www.amazon.com/Extech-TG20-Wire-Tracer-Generator/dp/B00APD16D2?ref_=fsclp_pl_dp_5) and connect the leads to one end of the cable, however only the other end of the coax cable is likely to be detectable. This means you might have to scan a lot of area in your house, and you still might not find it.

Alternatively, you can connect one lead of the tone generator to a nearby ground, and the other end to the coax threads.

This will make tracing the cable easier, but you will also introduce noise into any cables the coax crosses. If you have several coax cables running together for any distance, the noisiest one will be tough to pick out.

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