ECN Forum

DSL tester?

Posted By: KJay

DSL tester? - 11/30/07 03:30 AM

Does anyone know of an affordable test set for DSL?
I'm trying to find something I could use to test for active lines, data rates, etc. I was thinking maybe Harris/Fluke might have something.
Posted By: KJay

Re: DSL tester? - 11/30/07 09:16 PM

Found one!

Fluke TS-25D DSL/POTS test set.
$219.00 from
Looks like a good basic butt-set. Anyone have or use one of these?

Posted By: EV607797

Re: DSL tester? - 11/30/07 09:38 PM

Nope, that's not going to give you the ability to actually test for the presence of a DSL signal. It just makes sure that you don't interrupt one on the line.

You are going to need to spend the money (and lots of it) to purchase such an animal, the basic equivalent of a laptop equipped with a DSL modem. This service isn't simple, like caller ID which many butt-sets are able to test.

Sorry for the bad news. The good thing is; DSL is either there or it is not. There are no gray areas, so testing devices really aren't necessary.

Re: DSL tester? - 12/01/07 03:06 AM

ATT will provide dry pair DSl starting next year, some others like earthlink provide them now. Having problems with telco thinking dry pair are unused pairs and cutting them an using them to replace bad pairs. this will get worse. robert
Posted By: KJay

Re: DSL tester? - 12/01/07 03:32 AM

I see what you are saying now that I have actually read the spec sheet on Fluke’s website.
It looks like the lowest priced functional unit is the TS1200. At $1800.00, that thing costs almost as much as my Scopemeter did.
I know the box/modem type setup your talking about and that would be great at the point of use, but I am really looking for something rugged that I can use in a closet and other places upstream to verify and test for DSL service with or without a user hookup present such as, for customer pre-installation, move and changes, etc... you know the drill. I was also hoping not to spend two-grand. Oh well!!

Posted By: hbiss

Re: DSL tester? - 12/02/07 10:52 PM

Data lockout butt sets like the TS44 will alert you when there is data such as DSL on a POTS line. That's no guarantee though because if the DSL modem is not connected and linked up there will be nothing on the line to show it's a DSL line.

Generally I wouldn't even worry about the DSL. If the associated POTS line is working and you get dial tone that's all you have to worry about. Plug the modem in and it should link up, if not make sure the filters are installed correctly. If it still doesn't work you or the customer should call tech support.


Posted By: KJay

Re: DSL tester? - 12/03/07 12:54 AM

Hi Hal,
Thanks for the reply.
The reason I was looking into a tester for DSL was because of a situation I encountered last week when I was relocating a jack in a customers home.
Apparently, at least according to the customer, Verizon now offers DSL with or without POTS service in our area, depending on whether or not the subscriber wants or needs it. Not sure but I think this is what another poster referred to as "Dry Pair" DSL service.
I was slightly panicked at first thinking I had downed the service because when I connected my TS21A, and went off-hook, I couldn’t draw dial tone. You get the distinct click of the line being seized but then just dead silence. I was glad that when the wireless hub/modem and laptop were again connected, the DSL service came back up almost instantly and functioned nicely.
For the time being though, I won’t be purchasing any expensive specialized test equipment for this purpose.


Re: DSL tester? - 12/03/07 04:20 AM

A dry line DSL has no dial tone, no POTS is provided, some have no battery ether. If the modem is not plug in, there is nothing on the line. ATT is delivering TV by phone line here in Texas. It is by a dry pair separate from the POTS line. I have installed several here. It does work good.
Posted By: KJay

Re: DSL tester? - 12/06/07 02:56 AM

I ran into the same situation again today. DSL with no POTS. Is this common everywhere?
I found a bad IDC punch down on the block. Looked like it was fine, but wasn’t making very good contact through the insulation. It took a few minutes to find with no POTS reference to work with. A toner sometimes can only get you so close.

Re: DSL tester? - 12/06/07 09:53 PM

I keep a DSL modem in my tool kit. Most DSL modems have a light that indicates it is handshaking with the node (DSL LIGHT) Will not talk to the server unless configured, but will tell if there is a DSL signal on the line. Cheaper than a $2000.00+ tester.
Posted By: pauluk

Re: DSL tester? - 12/07/07 01:22 AM

Originally Posted by KJay
Not sure but I think this is what another poster referred to as "Dry Pair" DSL service.

It's also sometimes referred to as "naked DSL," at least it is over here in England. I understand it is available here, although I've never come across it yet out here in the sticks (although DSL has only been available at all for about 3 years).
Posted By: KJay

Re: DSL tester? - 12/08/07 01:20 AM

Thanks WESTUPLACE, that’s a great idea keeping a DSL modem in the truck. I never even thought of that.
Simple and inexpensive. I’ll look into buying a low-priced model so I won’t feel too bad if it gets broken from banging around on jobs.

Posted By: KJay

Re: DSL tester? - 12/08/07 02:40 AM

Hi pauluk,
Thanks for the reply.

Hmmm, “naked DSL”,

I’ve never heard that term before, although, it sounds like a lot more fun than having a dry pair!
grin grin
Posted By: djk

Re: DSL tester? - 12/09/07 08:29 PM

They'll have to come up with some kind of a simple signal to avoid confusion with other cables. ISDN presents a similar problem i.e. carried on a phone line pair, but without a dial tone.

Surely some narrowband signal could be applied that would not take up too much bandwidth yet be used to ID the line.

I don't think DSL customers are going to be too happy if they have their service interrupted randomly by linesmen/women accidently disconnecting them!
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