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Old 3rd April 2015, 04:25 PM   #1
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Default Locating point of broken wire in cable

I was wondering if anyone has a clever solution for finding location of broken wires in multicored cables, headphone cables, and any other audio type cables.
I have tried various tools without much success. These include a homemade TDR, and AC mains sense pens.
I found this CABLE TRACKER WITH TONE GENERATOR Test & Measurements Cable testers , whilst googling around.
Anyone ever try one of these?
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Old 3rd April 2015, 06:01 PM   #2
RJM1 is offline RJM1  United States
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Not with that one specifically, but I used similar devices back jn the 80's I think they were called " Hunter Sniffers" they work good especially if you ground the other conductors.
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Old 3rd April 2015, 06:16 PM   #3
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If you can get to the leads themself just pull on them one at a time. You will feel the broken wire move. The break will be where the wire bends the most. Usually right at the strain relief on either end.
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Old 3rd April 2015, 09:02 PM   #4
sbrads is offline sbrads  United Kingdom
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An accurate capacitance meter or bridge can give you a pretty good idea where a break is by measuring inter-cable capacitance from each end.

I built a high voltage audio generator and a sniffer once upon a time to find a break in a 200 metre underground cable, it worked quite well and saved a lot of work.
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Old 4th April 2015, 12:03 AM   #5
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I have heard of people sending a square wave down a wire and looking for the reflected pulse.
Measuring the time it takes to reflect will accurately show where the wire is broken.
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Old 4th April 2015, 07:04 AM   #6
djk is offline djk
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"An accurate capacitance meter or bridge can give you a pretty good idea where a break is by measuring inter-cable capacitance from each end."

+1
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Old 4th April 2015, 07:28 AM   #7
wwenze is offline wwenze  Singapore
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nigelwright7557 View Post
I have heard of people sending a square wave down a wire and looking for the reflected pulse.
Measuring the time it takes to reflect will accurately show where the wire is broken.
That is what computer motherboards are now capable of doing with LAN cables. Can probably make an adapter or something.
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Old 9th April 2015, 04:21 PM   #8
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OK, I've tried all above mentioned methods. All work, but, I found if the cable has more than two conductors, the capacitance meter method is not accurate. This I presumed also effected the TDR I built.
I went out and bought the unit similar as advertised in my first post. IT WORKS!!
Gives and audible beep as you move the probe down the cable. The break point will give a "dead" spot where no audio is heard.
Hope this helps someone...
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