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8 Easy Steps to Make Ethernet Cable Successfully

Posted on Dec 21, 2023 by
12.1k

In the modern world of digital communication, reliable and fast connectivity is more essential than ever. Whether you're wiring a home, office, or data center, the functionality of your network heavily depends on the quality of its components, from the routers and switches right down to the ethernet cables themselves. Bulk ethernet cable, when purchased, presents an incredibly economical option compared to pre-fabricated patch cables. The value per foot can decrease significantly, making it a smart choice for both large-scale installations and smaller, budget-conscious projects.

Moreover, the "do-it-yourself" approach allows individuals the flexibility to create custom-length cables that meet specific requirements, eliminating the excess and wastage that can come with standard-issue lengths. However, successfully crafting your ethernet patch cables does require attention to detail, a steady hand, and a bit of know-how. Here's a comprehensive guide on how you can create your very own ethernet patch cable.

Equipment and Materials Needed

  • Bulk Ethernet Cable: Cat5e or higher (Cat6/Cat6a/Cat7) depending on your network speed requirement.

  • RJ45 Ethernet Cable Connectors: These are the modular plugs that attach to the ends of the cable.

  • Crimping Tool: A specialized tool used for crimping plug.

  • Wire Cutter or Scissors: Cut the cable to your desired length.

  • Wire Stripper or a Sharp Knife: For stripping the protective jacket off the cable to expose the wires.

  • Cable Tester (optional): To verify that each wire is properly connected and the cable is functioning correctly.

You can click here for more information about tools: Network Tool Kits.

Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Your Ethernet Patch Cable

Step 1: Measuring and Cutting Your Cable

Begin by measuring the length of the ethernet cable you require and adding a couple of inches to account for potential mistakes and the part of the cable that will be stripped off. Use the wire cutter or scissors to cut the cable cleanly without squashing the internal wiring.

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Step 2: Stripping the Cable Jacket

With your wire stripper or sharp knife, carefully strip about an inch of the outer jacket from each end of the cable, ensuring not to damage the twisted pairs of wires inside. Once the jacket is removed, you'll see four twisted pairs of wires, each with a distinct color pattern. Slide on the strain relief boot.

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Step 3: Cut off the Pair Separator and the Ripcord

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Step 4: Untwist and Arrange the Wires

Untwist each pair and straighten out the eight individual wires as much as possible. These wires need to be arranged according to the T568A or T568B wiring standards, which are color-coded wiring schemes for Ethernet cables. The typical arrangement for a standard patch cable is as follows (from left to right, with the clip on the RJ45 connector facing away from you):

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Note:

T568B Standard: 1. White/Orange, 2. Orange, 3. White/Green, 4. Blue, 5. White/Blue, 6. Green, 7. White/Brown, 8. Brown

T568A and T568B are essentially the same in performance, so choose one standard and stick to it throughout your cabling to maintain consistency.

Step 5: Cut Wires to the Proper Length

Once arranged in the correct order, hold the wires together tightly between your fingers and use the wire cutter to trim them to a length of about half an inch from where they exit the cable jacket, ensuring that the ends of the wires are even.

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Step 6: Insert Wires into the Connector

Carefully slide the trimmed wires into the RJ45 connector, maintaining the order. Push them all the way in so that the cable sheath is slightly inside the connector and each wire sits in its individual groove. Double-check the color arrangement one last time before moving on to the next step.

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Step 7: Crimping the Connector

Place the connector into the crimping tool's RJ45 jack crimping slot, ensuring it's fully seated. Squeeze the crimping tool handles together firmly. The tool will press down on the connector pins, embedding them into each wire and securing the sheath for a strong connection. It’s crucial to apply enough force to ensure a secure crimp.

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Step 8: Testing the Cable (Optional but Recommended)

After crimping both ends of the cable, it’s wise to test it with a cable tester. This step will confirm whether all the ethernet cord connections are correct and the cable functions as expected. Plug each end of the cable into the tester and make sure all the lights indicated are in proper sequence and correspond to each other.

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Common Pitfalls to Avoid

  • Wire Order Error: Double-check the wire sequence before you crimp; this is the most common mistake when making ethernet cables.

  • Incomplete Insertion: Wires not fully inserted into the connector before crimping may lead to poor connectivity.

  • Damaged Wires: Be gentle when stripping and arranging the wires to avoid damaging them.

Conclusion

Creating your own ethernet patch cable can be an enriching experience – not only does it offer custom-length cabling and the satisfaction of self-accomplishment, but it also allows users to understand the inner workings of their network infrastructure. With the right materials and careful adherence to the outlined steps, anyone can produce high-quality, long-lasting ethernet cables that provide dependable, high-speed connections.

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