13 Feb Fluke Networks MicroScanner2 vs T3 Cable Prowler
Unless you’re a technical expert, it’s difficult to differentiate between products made for network cable testing and troubleshooting, because each vendor will tell you their product is the best on the market. The truth is, most of the time you don’t really need to know which is the best on the market – you need to know if a particular device will do the job for you very well, and whether or not it fits your budget. This discussion will center on a comparison between the Cable Prowler from T3 Innovation, and Fluke Networks Microscanner2, and will make a recommendation based on the facts.
Both these instruments are positioned to appeal to network technicians as high-end cable testers and length testers, but Cable Prowler also has the ability to identify link status and link capability. While both devices can detect the presence of PoE, Cable Prowler can also sense the PoE mode, which refers to whether it’s Mode A/Endspan or Mode B/Midspan, a distinction relating to which pins are being used to supply power.
Both devices are very capable at detecting continuity, and finding opens and shorts in cable lines, but there’s a big difference when it comes to testing and saving data results from those tests. The Microscanner2 does not save test results for later export and analysis; by contrast the Cable Prowler can comfortably store up to 256 test results for export. This of course can be a huge benefit when trying to conduct analysis and generating relevant reports.
Users in non-English speaking locales would probably not do well with Microscanner2, since its display is presented in English only – and the display for Microscanner2 is a monochrome display, whereas Cable Prowler has a full color screen. This may not seem like a huge selling point, but data does stand out better on a screen when color contrast is provided and significant updates to the firmware can be made to improve features and how results are displayed. Cable Prowler can have its display set in English, French, Spanish, German, or Italian languages.
Cable Prowler comes with optional hanging clip attachment, which most technicians will tell you can be extremely important on the job, and it also can be fitted with a kickstand attachment. It’s only a small thing, but the kickstand allows the device to be stood up erect, so the display can be read in a hands-free manner. Neither option is presently available on Microscanner2.
Given the fact that Cable Prowler is entirely made in the USA, and has been constructed according to exacting manufacturing standards, it should be a popular choice among buyers who prefer a ‘USA First!’ perspective, but as the side-by-side look above bears out, Cable Prowler from T3 Innovation seems to be the clearly superior device from several other aspects as well.
In addition to having more functionality, better readability, and more available options that users will find very useful, the Cable Prowler also is equipped with updateable software that allows for future enhancements, which occur rather frequently as networking requirements change. All in all, the Cable Prowler simply provides the most feature sets for the money, and is the better device for cable testing and troubleshooting.