November 28, 2016

Seven Easy Steps to Make Your Own Ethernet Cable

Have you ever met the issue that the Ethernet cables provided no matter in local or online stores are either too long or too short for your network applications? Why not make your own Ethernet cable by yourself? Actually, wiring an Ethernet cable is not so difficult as you think, it is an easy and useful skill. When you terminate cables yourself, you can save money, space, and frustration with tangled cables by making them the exact length you need instead of having to use cables manufactured by a company. In about seven easy steps, almost anyone can DIY his own Ethernet cable.

Things to Know Before DIY an Ethernet Cable

Before introducing the making steps, we should know something related to DIY an Ethernet cable.

Which Ethernet Cable Do You Need?

There are various types of Ethernet cables available on the market, such as cat3, cat5, cat5e, cat6, cat6a, cat7, etc. The most commonly used ones are cat5e, cat6, cat7. Cat5e is an improvement of cat5 cable, which is designed to support gigabit speed. It is very popular in home and office applications, since cat5e can provide a fast enough, reliable and steady network. Cat6 cable is the enhanced type of cat5e, that it has more sophisticated construction and can support the speed up to 10 gigabit over long distances. Cat6 is a good choice for those who want to install future-proof network, but it is not good for the applications at home. Cat7 is a Gigabit Ethernet cable which greatly improves the capacity and reliability of cat6. Its shielding of twisted pair makes it the most durable and longer-lifespan cable than cat5e and cat6. However, it is more available for future use, since it’s comparatively expensive. The image below shows different constructions of cat5e, cat6, and cat7.

different constructures of cat5e, cat6, and cat7

Before deciding which type of Ethernet cable will you make, you should take two things into consideration. The first is how you like your current network speed, while the second is to consider your hardware compatibility.

Which Wiring Scheme Will You Choose?

When terminating a network, you must get the colored wires arranged in the correct order. There are two common wiring standards which are used to specify the arrangement—T568A and T568B. T568A is recommended for home-networking connections, while the T568B is more suitable for the preexisting residential network wiring or other similar projects. The image below shows the different wiring orders of T568A and T568B.

different wiring orders of T568A and T568B

Seven Steps to Wiring an Ethernet Cable

Step1. Prepare Essential Tools and Materials

A pair of wire scissors or wire strippers for cutting and stripping wires.

Some RJ45 connectors.

A spool of Ethernet cable which is chosen according to your needs.

RJ45 crimping tool for making the Ethernet connector a permanent part of your new cable.

A network cable tester to ensure whether there is a problem with the cable.

Essential Tools and Materials for making Ethernet cable

Step2. Cut the Cable into Desirable Length

Cut the cable with a pair of scissors to however long you want it to be, plus two or three inches extra, in case you mess up, from a spool.

Step3. Strip the Outer Sheath

Shove about 1 inch (2.5 cm) sheath from the end of the cable into the stripper on a crimping tool, squeeze the crimper gently, and twist the cable as the razors slice through the jacket. Remove the cable and pop off the cut end of jacket.

Step4. Untwist and Arrange Wires in the Right Order

With the jacket stripped, you’ll find four twisted pairs of wires. Each pair is represented by a solid color. Separate the pairs, so that you have eight individual wires. Using nimble figures, arrange the eight wires into sequence represented in the wiring diagram labeled T568A or T568B as we have mentioned above.

Step5. Guide the Wires into RJ45 Connector

When the wires are in sequence, double check against the diagram in case one or two slipped out of position. Using the cutter on your crimper, or a pair of scissors, cut tips of the wires to fit in the connector. Guide the wires into the plug, being careful not to let them slip out of the sequence. As the cable enters the plug, each wire should slip into its own channel, allowing them to glide smoothly into the plug. Push the cable as far as it will go, and the wire ends should reach as far as possible toward the front edge of the plug.

Guide the Wires into RJ45 Connector

Step6. Crimp

With the wires inserted into the connector, fit the plug into the crimping slot in the crimping tool. Squeeze the crimping tool with reasonable force. This will press the pins inside the plug into the wires and fasten the plug onto the cable. Then repeat step1 to step6 for the other end of the cable.

Squeeze the crimping tool with reasonable force.

Step7. Test

The last step is to test the cable you have just made. Use a network cable tester to ensure there is no problem with the cable. If you find out issues, you’d better check if the color is in the right order.

Conclusion

With these seven steps, you can easily make the Ethernet cable in the most appropriate length by yourself. All of the materials and tools can be purchased in Fiberstore. Come in and DIY your own Ethernet cable.

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