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Cable tracker

Updated on November 9, 2012
Your cable tracker
Your cable tracker

Cable tracker is a device that will help you in finding cables that are placed in thick walls up to 15 cm, or there is a possibility to use them in cases when you have to find the right cable in a bunch of cables. It consists of two parts: transmitter and receiver. In cases when you are using it, the transmitter is connected at the start point of the cable which sends a recognizning signal through the cable, which you have to follow with the receiver. It is a simple project but very handy, because it can save you a lot of trouble during cable tracking.

The receiver

The schematics of the receiver is presented below. It is a very simple schematics, made of the following parts:

  • Antenna is made of isolated wire with length of 10 cm. This wire must be protected, so it would be nice to place one plastic pipe of the same length or just 1 cm more, and insert the antenna in it.
  • High pass filters (C1, R2)
  • Amplifiers (IC1) output (T1)
  • Speakers with high impedance of 220R, which you can find in phone handsets

Parts list for the receiver

Antenna – 10 centimeters of wire

Battery – 9 V


C1 – 39pF

IC1 – CA3031T1

LED1 – 3mm, green

P1 – 50k

R1, R2 – 1M

R3, R4 – 1k

T1 – BC547

Schematics for the receiver
Schematics for the receiver

Potentiometer P1 is placed for setting the amplifying of the device. The “ground” is connected with the metal part of the switch.

The transmitter

Below this section, I have presented the schematics of the transmitter. I have used “timer 555”, but is used two of them, and that is why the hosuing is listed as 556. The other timer is used for modulation of the signal, which is produced by the first timer. The output frequency varies between 2100 Hz and 2200 Hz. The signal is easily recognized. The output is actually made from one resistor R6 and short piece of wire that acts as antenna, while the other end is connected on RJ11 and RJ45 slots on the box.

Parts for the transmitter

Battery - 9 V

C1, C2 - 100nF

C3 – 10 uF for 63 V

IC1 – NE556N

LED1 – 3 mm, green

R1 – 10k

R2 – 100k

R3 – 68k

R4, R5 – 2.2k

R6 – 100R

R7 – 1k


Important: This device should be used while there is no voltage applied on the cable.

Is the cable tracker a good device?

5 out of 5 stars from 3 ratings of Cable tracker


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      5 years ago

      What is that CA3031T1 anyway? Can't find any information about that IC. Does it have any analogs?

      And there's no schematics for the transmitter. What's the point of providing the part list if there's no schematics?


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