Test and Measurement Needs for the Shop
To the network
Within the context of an article about test equipment for broadcast engineers network analyzer has more than one meaning of course. Even if you can't justify the RF spectrum analyzer for your shop, you may still be able to get a network analyzer for your LAN. As one example, keeping budget in mind, let's look at the Fluke NetTool Series II inline network tester. This device simply plugs in between a network node (say a switch port) and the host. You then use it to perform testing on that link. For example, you can sniff MAC and IP addresses, subnet and services offered by active servers, routers and printers. You can identify spyware, malware, and viruses, or other unexpected traffic with port monitoring. Analyze frames on the LAN. You can troubleshoot authentication issues with 802.1x log. If you are making use of VoIP phones, insert it inline to test boot-up and call-control issues, or to simply make PoE measurements. And yes -- you can use it to do cable testing as well.
Test equipment needs of the typical broadcast engineer have changed over the years, but many remain the same. Analyze your specific needs, know your budget, and make purchases that will allow you to work as efficiently as possible.
Irwin is transmission systems supervisor for Clear Channel NYC and chief engineer of WKTU, New York. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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