My house is wired for Cat5e. In each room there is a blank socket with a cat5e cable behind it. I presume they all terminate in a common location. I've looked in all the usual and unusual locations where they might terminate but I can't find them.

Are there tools/equipment I can use to send a signal on one of the cables and track it through the walls/floors?


There are wire tracers (e.g. "fox and hound" a brand name, not affiliated, don't even own own one) or "tone and probe" more generically - you need the type with an inductive (non-contact) probe. Those inject a high frequency signal which the detector detects. But I'd start with a careful check or re-check of basement, attic and near where the telephone and or TV enter the house (I guess if the cables are "behind blank panels" rather than terminated to jacks you'd have to look inside blank panels for the other end of them, too.)

  • youtube.com/watch?v=7q-UW9XT4BM – rdtsc Jan 11 '16 at 16:39
  • @rdtsc - Aside from no sign of tracking the cables before I stopped watching in disgust, I can't think much of a video that erroneously claims Cat5e is not certified for gigabit; someone is repeating a cable salesdroid's blatant lies. 1000Base-TX is an orphan standard, and Cat6 is an orphan cable-type.1000Base-T is fully blessed on 5e. – Ecnerwal Jan 11 '16 at 16:47
  • Toner/ tracer is what a lot of pros use there are some very inexpensive models on the internet that have a connector that can be plugged in or alligator clips that can be connected to enfs that are not terminated. I like dual tone (many have solid or dual tone). Now you take the traced and find the wire that has the tone. – Ed Beal Jun 25 '18 at 2:29

You can build a very low quality tester very quickly as follows:

Take the cheapest patch cable you can find and cut it in half. Connect the blue and white and blue wires together on one half, and plug it into one socket using one of the two plugs from the patch cord.

Now go find a flashlight or some electrical gadget with batteries. Tape one blue wire to the back of the battery, tape the light to the battery, plug the jack into the socket, and touch the other blue wire to the other contact on the light. If it lights up, you know you've found the other end of that wire.

Repeat for every room.

  • 2
    Not very helpful when the questioner can't find the other end of the wires to connect to. It's not a "Which wire" question, it's a "where do they go" question. – Ecnerwal Feb 11 '16 at 15:40
  • Before doing this disconnect every device in the house or risk causing some damage to something. – Ed Beal Jun 25 '18 at 2:22

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