The IDEAL 62-160 Tone Generator with its companion IDEAL 62-164 Amplifier Probe. What does it do? It put “tone” (a signal) on a wire so you can trace that wire using the probe to another place. Used extensively in Information Technology and telephone environments to trace computer/telephone wiring from room to room or building to building.  NO POWER CAN BE ON THE WIRES YOU ARE TESTING!!!

That being said, “professional” versions cost in the hundreds or thousands of dollars. This is a very basic unit I purchased online for $69.

What I wanted was something to help me track wiring through “spaghetti” like this…


and this…



A  good tool for getting “close”. Since the wires are bundled together there is “tone bleedover” to some of the other wires, so you are attempting to find the wire with the strongest signal. The only way to BE SURE is to test for continuity with a digital multimeter.  (Although I think this tone generator has a “continuity mode”)

This  is a great little tool for getting close. Toning is something that, the more you do, the better you get. If you have some wiring issues you want to resolve this can be a very useful tool in pointing you in the right direction.


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