Sunday, 2 September 2012

How To Make A Great CAT5 Cable

If you want a really nice rack install, or you're cabling up long runs of Cat 5/6 twisted pair cables with RJ45 connectors, you really need to make your own cables. It can be a bit of a pfaff getting the RJ45 connectors on the end, but I'll show you how I've found the easiest way to do it.

You need:

* Crimping tool. Can't really do it without one.
* Side-cutters. If not included in the crimping tool.
* RJ45 connectors.
* Cat 5/6 cable.
* Recommended: Cable tester. Really helps if you're doing a lot.

1. Measure the cable to the correct length and cut.

2. Strip the sheath off using the crimp tools sizer, or about 15mm.

3. There you'll see 4 twisted pairs of sheathed cables. 1 x Orange / Orange-White striped. 1 x Green / Green-White striped, 1 x Brown / Brown-White striped, 1 x Blue / Blue-White striped.

At this point, make sure your boots are on, if you're using them.

Don't forget your booties, it's cold outside!

4. Untwist all 4 pairs about 2 or 3 times, trying to straighten each wire as you do so.

5. If you can get them into the same kind of order as on the right, it will be a bit easier. Don't worry if not.

6. By pushing the cables together, get the order of Orange, Green and Brown, with the striped cables being first.

7. Then get the Blue cables, swap the stripe / plain order back to front, then push in between the Greens.

8. Try to straighten them as much as possible. If you need to trim them with side-cutters, now's the time.

9. While holding tightly, gently push the wires into the RJ45 blank, checking they're still in the correct order before pushing all the way home.

10. Then push all the way home very tightly. Check the wires on the edges are pushed up to the end.

11. Then crimp tightly.

12. And admire your handywork, testing with a tester if you have one.