For a busy technician out in the field the Quicktest 500 is a great tool for the quick and detailed testing of adsl lines. Without resorting to a laptop with adsl modem attached you can use it to get the results that really matter – is the adsl service in a healthy state?
Opening the box was a bit of a revelation. All the connectors (LAN, ADSL) and chargers (mains, car and battery) are there as is a small shoulder bag to hold it all. It is a well built sturdy tester – slipping on its protecting orange jacket makes it non slip and stops knocks damaging the unit. I liked the stand that pops out the back of the unit to allow you to safely prop it up when testing. I had my first test done 3 minutes after opening the box!
The unit can be used as a point and shoot device – plug in the adsl connection and power on. The process then is that the unit runs its diagnostics against the configurable pass/fail thresholds you set on the unit – and gives an instant visual display of the stats for several of key indicators.
- In service,
- Is ADSL2+ or adls on the line
- Line voltage present ? The rates and values for Line speed, Snr margin and line attenuation (bearing in mind you can set the thresholds to suit the geographical area you work in many of my lines are rural and at a greater distance from the local exchange)
As in my case when testing, the indicators variously indicated – pass / fail – across a range of lines where the key values differed quite extensively but it is a great time saver before having to dig into internal communications and routers to get a definitive answer. The actual detailed values found during the tests can be viewed on the LCD two line panel on the front of the unit using the cursor pad.
The more expansive tests available after checking the line and service status, all relate to DNS / Ping / FTP and HTTP tests, with a tracert facility thrown in for good measure.
I didn’t get a chance to test the IPTV and VOIP checking features but know that these will save me time when diagnosing these more esoteric tests. The transfer of test data is facilitated through a usb connector on the unit and through a whizzy web interface when the unit is plugged in to a LAN via the inbuilt ethernet connection.
All in all the unit is pretty much on the nose as to what an adsl tester should be – compact – sturdy – accurate – fast and easy to use. The speed of the tests will encourage me to use the unit to test when I’m on each site I visit to ensure that the ADSL service is performing as expected!!! Definitely one for the toolkit!! And I may have to disguise it since I think it will be coveted by other engineers who see the power of it.
Further information is available at Quicktest 500 ADSL Tester.