Test and Measurement Reviews

Fluke Networks Pro3000F60 Tone and Probe Kit Review


Fluke Networks Pro3000F60 Tone and Probe Kit Filters Out Unwanted Noise

Tone and probe systems are incredibly useful for identifying and tracing cables and wire. They’ve been around for a long time and the principles are pretty simple. So simple, in fact, that almost anything with an electrical field sends a signal to your probe. That’s where the Fluke Networks Pro3000F60 Tone and Probe Kit comes in.

Pros

  • Filters out 60 Hz interference
  • Turn the filter on or off with the press of a button
  • 3.5 mm jack allows you to use headphones
  • LEDs on the toner match what setting you’re in (off, continuous, alternating)
  • Spare probe tip in the battery compartment

Cons

  • No major drawbacks

Recommendation

The big draw for the Fluke Networks Pro3000F60 Tone and Probe Kit is its ability to filter. For the communications installs I do, it functions beautifully. Whether it’s because your hearing isn’t what it used to be, you work around challenging cable bundles, or you’re just trying to make the job easier, I can highly recommend this kit for cable and wire identification.

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What’s all the Buzz About?

With a traditional tone and probe set, any live wires send a signal that the probe can pick up. While the toner sends a clearly different signal from all that, the additional noise can make it difficult to identify which wire actually has the tone in it.

The Fluke Networks Pro3000F60 (or Pro3000F50 in 50 Hz areas) filters out the extra noise to make it easier to identify or trace your line amongst others. Here in the US, we’re on a 60Hz system, so our Pro3000F is set to filter out that frequency.

When you turn the probe on, a green light lets you know that the filter is also on. If you don’t want to use, press the button and it turns red to let you know it’s off. It’s that simple.

Pro Tip: The LED doesn’t light up and the volume decreased when your battery is close to dead.

Even though there’s a filter, you still need to use this on an inactive line.

Keep it Down

When you’re working around cable or wire bundles, it can be challenging to figure out exactly which wire the tone is on. Ambient noise from work going on around you doesn’t help. The Fluke Networks Pro3000F60  (and Pro3000 analog) have a 3.5 mm jack on the side. Just plug in a set of headphones or earbuds and let your ears hone in better.

When you don’t want or need to use headphones, the built-in speaker is plenty loud enough for general identification.

A Toner that Goes the Distance

Looking at the Fluke Networks Pro3000 Toner, there are 5 different tones you can send to dial in the exact pair you’re identifying. It’s strong enough to send a tone up to 10 miles down the line on many cables.

You can choose between constant and alternating tones. Start with the switch in the “tone” position and press the button on the left to cycle between constant, alternative, and power off. If you’re not sure what mode you’re in, take a peek at the LED—it matches the mode (constant, flashing, off).

Flip the switch to ‘”cont” to check continuity.

The toner includes a pair of alligator clamps and an RJ-11 connector for terminated phone jacks. I mainly work with Cat 5, so the alligator clamps are what I turn to most frequently.

Additional Features

  • Nylon carry case included
  • Powered by one 9V battery
  • Auto shut off (~5 minutes)
  • Spare tip in the battery compartment

Field Notes

We started by pulling a ton of Cat 5 runs in through our shop for a demo unit we’re building. Some of these are long enough to be a bit sketchy with our other tone and probe systems, but the Fluke Networks Pro3000F60 didn’t have an issue with them at all.

On another office building project, we had the unenviable task of tracing some pretty old existing runs and create a network infrastructure map. The probe’s ability to trace through drywall was a HUGE help and kept us from having to switch to a separate tracing instrument.

I’ve used my 727 Process Meter for years and it still keeps coming back to work. I’m really glad to see that the Pro3000F60 definitely holds up to the Fluke reputation I’m used to in both function and durability.

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Price

You can pick up the Fluke Networks Pro3000F60 Tone and Probe Kit online for $106.46. Tone and probe sets start under $50 and this price isn’t bad for a high-end model that filters out the extra noise.

If you don’t feel like you need the filtering, you can get the Fluke Networks Pro3000 Kit for $72.17.

The Bottom Line

The big draw for the Fluke Networks Pro3000F60 Tone and Probe Kit is its ability to filter. For the communications installs I do, it functions beautifully. Whether it’s because your hearing isn’t what it used to be, you work around challenging cable bundles, or you’re just trying to make the job easier, I can highly recommend this kit for cable and wire identification.

Fluke Networks Pro3000F60 Specifications

  • Model: Fluke Pro3000 Analog Toner
  • User interface: Slide switch selects Continuity or Tone Mode Push button switch selects SOLID, ALT or OFF Tone mode LED Continuity/Polarity LED
  • Solid Frequency: 1000 Hz nominal
  • Alternating Frequency: 1000/1500 Hz nominal
  • Over Voltage Protection: 60 Vdc in Toner/Polarity Mode
  • Output Power in Tone Mode: 8 dbm into 600 ohms
  • Output Voltage Level in Continuity Mode: 8 Vdc with fresh battery
  • Battery: 9V alkaline
  • Temperature Operating: -20° C to 60° C, Storage: -40° C to 70° C
  • Case dimensions: 2.7 in. x 2.4 in. x 1.4 in. (6.9 cm x 6.1 cm x 3.6 cm)
  • Model: Fluke Pro3000 Analog Probe
  • User interface: ON/OFF push button Volume dial Replaceable tip 3.5 mm earphone jack
  • Battery: 9V alkaline
  • Temperature Operating: -20° C to 60° C, Storage: -40° C to 70° C
  • Case dimensions: 9.8 in. x 1.6 in. x 1.3 in. (24.9 cm x 4.1 cm x 3.3 cm)

 

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