The approach mentioned below is a sort of guide for constructing a category 5 Ethernet cable (also called Cat 5). In our article, we are going to make a Category 5e patch cable, but this same method can be used to make any other network cable.
Step 1. Take the necessary length of network cable and add a few inches of margin, just in case
If you are installing an RJ45 socket with a cap, install it before stripping the wires and make sure that this cap is in the correct direction.
Step 2. Carefully remove the outer jacket from the cable
When removing the jacket, be careful not to nick or damage the internal wiring. To avoid this, take a wire stripper. So you won't do any damage. Find out if there is a puller with the wires. If there is none, use the wires themselves to open the sheath. For this last operation, hold the sheath in one hand and pull sideways either the thread puller or the threads themselves. Cut the sheath open and cut the twisted pairs to 30mm. You will notice 8 wires twisted into 4 pairs. Each pair will have one thread of a certain color and another thread that is white with a colored stripe corresponding to its associated thread (this thread is called a tracer).
Step 3. Inspect the newly loosened wires to see if the copper wire, located inside each one, has not been exposed
If copper appears, cut this section and start over at step 1. An exposed copper wire is the cause of various malfunctions. It is therefore important that the sheaths of all network cables remain intact.
Step 4. Untwist the pairs and lay them flat
Cut the sheath entirely. (see the Warnings section at the end of this article). To facilitate handling, cut the wires so that they are about 20 mm long.
Step 5. Choose suitable cables
There are two different wiring standards according to TIA: 568A and 568B. In fact, everything will depend on what you want to do! A straight-through cable is used to connect two different devices together (ie router and PC). Two "identical" devices must be connected by a crossed cable (cross-over). The difference between the two is that a straight cable has two ends of type 568B, while a crossover cable has one end of type 568A and the other end is type 568B. For our demonstration, we'll take the 568B, but these instructions can easily be adapted to the 568A.
- 568B - Lay the cables in the following order, from left to right:
- white / orange
- green / white
- blue White
- brown / white
- 568A - from left to right:
- white / green
- white / orange
- white / blue
- white / brown
Step 6. You can also use the following mnemonic:
1-2-3-6 / 3-6-1-2, just to remind you which threads are reversed.
Step 7. With your thumb and forefinger, hold the wires flat and parallel
Check that the colors have remained in the correct order. Equalize the 8 conductors with the wire cutters, at a length of 12.5 mm from the sheath. The latter must enter the 8P8C connector over a length of 4 mm 1/8. If you strip more than 12.5mm, you risk losing connectivity and quality. Make sure the cut gives you equal length threads that are cleanly cut. If you do not follow these precautions, the contact will be bad inside the socket and you may have connection reversals.
Step 8. Lay the wires flat and in the order you will push them into the RJ-45 jack, flat surface up
The white / orange wire should be on the left when looking at the outlet. You need to check that all the wires are plugged into the socket. For that, you will look by transparency in the socket. You should see a wire in each channel, as seen in the illustration opposite. You will have to push a little hard to engage the wires in the channels. The cable sheath must be 6 mm from the socket to be able to secure the cable after crimping. If necessary, adjust to the correct length. Check that the positioning is correct before crimping.
Step 9. Place the hardwired plug into the crimp tool
Squeeze the handle firmly. You should hear a clicking sound. Once you are done crimping open the handle. To make sure all pins are secure, some people opt for double crimping, repeating this step.
Step 10. Repeat all of the above steps for the other end of the cable
The way to wire the other end (568A or 568B) will depend on the cable you want to get, a straight cable, a console cable or a crossover cable (see our Tips section).
Step 11. Test the cable to make sure it works
A poorly or incompletely assembled cable is the source of inextricable problems. In addition, today with Power over Ethernet (or PoE or IEEE 802, 3af standard) dominating the market, pairs of wires that are incorrectly positioned cause physical damage to computers or telephone equipment, this is the reason for which it is essential to match the pairs in the correct order. A simple cable tester allows you to quickly check if your assembly is correct. If you don't have a network cable tester handy, just test pin by pin.
- If you have a box of network cable, lay it properly so you don't want the cable to tangle or even tangle.
- CAT5 and CAT5e cables are very similar, but CAT5e offers better quality especially for long cabling. If you do a shorter wiring, take CAT5e anyway. It is a very good quality cable, why not use it!
- For cables that are a little long, especially those that are going to be hung or rolled up, it is better to crimp and test them before installing them in their final place. This is especially true for beginners. By checking beforehand, you will avoid a lot of complicated troubleshooting afterwards.
- The key point to remember in making Ethernet patch cords is that the "twisted" pairs should stay together until they are properly seated in the RJ-45 jack. It is the twisting of the pairs in the network cable that provides good connectivity and minimizes interference. Do not untwist the wires more than necessary.
- Fire safety regulations require a special type of wire protection if the wires are to be installed in ceilings or other sensitive areas of the building. This is referred to as a “fire-resistant cable” which does not emit toxic smoke when burned. This fireproof wiring is more expensive, twice the price of an ordinary cable, it's up to you! Riser cable is similar to fire cable, but it is intended for installation in walls or in wiring closets. You should know that a Riser cannot replace a fire cable. The choice of cable depends on where it will pass. If in doubt, use fireproof wiring, as it provides a flawless warranty.
- Unless you have a lot of wiring to do, it may be more convenient and faster to buy ready-made cables.
- CAT5 cable should not exceed 100 meters. Less is even better!
- RJ-45 is the common term people use to refer to the connectors (or receptacles) in CAT5 cabling. The full name of these connectors is 8P8C; the term RJ-45 comes from a connector used in the past in telecommunications that looked a lot like it. Today when we say RJ-45, everyone understands 8P8C, but be careful if you buy online to order an 8P8C connector.
- The layers of protection are generally quite strong. Do not try to tear them off: cut them!
- Know if your cable is shielded. The most common cable is said to be UTP (Unshielded Twisted Pair), but there are some shielded or special cables that have increased noise protection. Buy knowingly and only what you need. In most cases, a UTP cable is more than sufficient.