What does it mean to generate tone on a wire, how do tone generators/probes work?


I got a set of devices to help me trace ethernet cables, it’s a “toner” and “probe”. The toner generates a tone on one of the wires and then I can use the probe to find it as it produces that frequency sound when its tip is near the correct wire.

My question is, what exactly is happening? What’s being generated, how does it translate to sound, what exactly am I hearing?


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2 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

Just the other day I was checking on a fax machine and had the probe against the wire to listen to what was going on. I could hear the phone noises through the wire.

The fluctuations in electricity causes the magnet in a speaker to move back and forth to create a sound. That’s what the toner is doing. The probe is getting current induced in it from the electric field and once the probe amplifies it the speaker plays the sound.

I was trying to tone out a wire a whole back and I heard some weird clicking, then I heard a voice singing. The business had recently installed speakers to play background music and had run the cables with the ethernet and the sound bled in.

The tone is just like any noise in a speaker or headphone wire

Anonymous 0 Comments

The tone box injects audible signal into the line and the probe acts as a microphone and picks the signal up. The frequency it uses isn’t specific to the probe. The signal it injects could also be heard by a test phone handset.