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SoundTools XLR Sniffer / Sender Cable Tester

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The SoundTools XLR Sniffer/Sender (formerly known as "The Rat Pack") is composed of two small pieces, the Sniffer and the Sender. The Sniffer works on either phantom power alone or power supplied by the Sender. The Sniffer shows the cable is good or has faults via three two-color green and red LE... Read More

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The SoundTools XLR Sniffer/Sender (formerly known as "The Rat Pack") is composed of two small pieces, the Sniffer and the Sender. The Sniffer works on either phantom power alone or power supplied by the Sender. The Sniffer shows the cable is good or has faults via three two-color green and red LEDs. The Sender is battery powered and only supplies power when hooked to the Sniffer insuring long battery life.


  • Simple and Quick to Us
  • Compact, Pocket Sized, to Carry Always
  • Three, 2-Color LEDs to Display Faults
  • Cable Ends Can Be in Different Locations
  • Sniffer Alone Checks Cable when Phantom Power Present
  • Sender for Checking Cables Without Phantom Power

  • New Sniffer and Sender are smaller circumference
  • Looser XLR tolerance avoids super tight fits
  • High-quality laser etching
  • New Sniffer LED's now labeled with A, B, C for easier result code identification
  • New Sender unit now shorter than original version
  • New Sender unit now has a green, illuminated power button at the rear instead of a switch on the side like original
  • 100% assembled and etched in the USA

The Rat Sniffer and Senders are On the fly, highly reliable, testers with remote ends used in the field to quickly determine faulty XLR cables and for testing phantom power at various stages and locations. They can also be used to quickly test phantom power on snakes.

Please note: the Rat Sniffer and Sender units are not intended to replace a multi-meter during your repair phase. These are designed as a fast way to test for faulty XLR cables and phantom power in the field. The Rat Sniffer is a single ended XLR male cable tester that utilizes phantom power or the Rat Sender as a test source. The Rat Sender is a battery powered XLR female tester that send the proper voltages to test all possible XLR line faults. Color coded LED's for easy use and trouble shooting.


Designed by Rat Sound to deal with the "real world" of pro audio, the Rat Sniffer cable tester is a amazingly simple and reliable tester with many unique features. Testing snake lines and cables with the ends located at a distance from each other is now simple and easy and you can do it without running extra cables just to test. The ability to test snake lines using phantom power as a test source allows you to troubleshoot an entire snake system in minutes. The barrel design is extremely reliable and eliminates the problem many testers have of internal solder joints failing. The simple 3 LED readout indicates every possible short, open or cross wire in XLR cables. If the tester reads "green" the cable will work!
A key feature of the "patent pending" design is its ability to detect a short between pin 2 and 3 while utilizing phantom power as the test source along with the ability to test for every other possible fault that would cause the mic to lose signal. This means that when experiencing a "bad line", troubleshooting complexity and time can be greatly reduced by using phantom power and the sniffer. Many people are familiar with dealing with a bad line during line check or set change "hey the house engineer says line 7 is down, try another mic, check one two, radio the engineer and ask if it works, nope still bad, try swapping the mic cable, radio the engineer and see if it works and so on and so on. The Rat Sniffer gives the stage tech the ability to trouble shoot without feedback from the console operator. Instantly know whether it is the mic or the line. Have the engineer supply console phantom power to the bad line. Plug in the sniffer where the mic was, "green lights" means the mic is bad, any other combination means it is the cabling. Plug the sniffer into the stage box, "green lights" means the snake line is good, mic cable is bad. What normally would take 10, 15 precious minutes or more can be accomplished in a minute or so. The Rat Sniffer is a simple, inexpensive, reliable, compact tool that can save valuable time with accurate results.

Receive Unit - "Sniffer"

Test Mic lines using standard phantom power
Checks mic line for phantom power
The simplest way to trouble shoot snake systems and long installed cables
Checks all potential faults and wiring problems in XLR lines
Can be used with or without the Send Unit

When used with any standard Phantom Power source, the Rat Sniffer� indicates faults with the following indications: Phantom present and all wiring is correct (green, green, green)) Pin 1 to 2 short (off, off, green) Pin 1 to 3 short (green, green, off) Pin 2 to 3 short (off, green, green) Pin 1 & 2 reversed (red, red, green) Pin 1 & 3 reversed (green, green, red) Pin 1 no connection (off, off, off) Pin 2 no connection (off, off, green) Pin 3 no connection (green, green, off) Pin 2 & 3 reversed (green, green, green) Send unit required to detect fault.

Additionally when used with the "Send Unit" the Sniffer will indicate all of the above plus: Pin 2 & 3 reversed (off, green, green) 3/4" diameter X 3" in length

The Send Unit - "Sender"

Powered by a 12 volt "car alarm" battery - included! Extremely long battery life. Months to years on a single battery! On/Off switch allows storing the Send and Receive units plugged into each other. No battery drain if unit is left on while not plugged in. Will not harm microphones or electronics if in inadvertently plugged into a cable with a Mic or console attached to the other end.


There are two basic ways to use the Rat Sniffer.

1) Using the sniffer and sender together you would attach them to a mic cable, the sniffer on one end and sender on the other. Turn on the sender and if the three LED's on the Sniffer illuminate green, the mic cable is good. Any other combo is a fault condition that can be decoded with the included card.

Note: you can attach the sniffer directly to the sender to test them. Also, if the sender is not attached to anything, the battery will not drain so you can leave it on.

2) You can use the sniffer without the sender if you have a console that supplies phantom power. In which case you would use the console as the "sender" and turn on phantom power, plug a mic cable in to that channel and plug the sniffer onto the other end of the mic cable.

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