Introduction: Make Your Own VGA Cord of CAT5 Cable!

Picture of Make Your Own VGA Cord of CAT5 Cable!

As most of you know, getting a descent length of VGA monitor cable is a costly thing. With this instructable I'll show you how to make a 15m long VGA cable, out of plain ol' CAT5 network cable.

Step 1: Strip You Filthy Cable You! Strip!

Picture of Strip You Filthy Cable You! Strip!

To make life a bit easier, strip of about an inch of the CAT5 outer insulation. And behold: 8 precious wires in pretty colors. Make sure you strip about 2/3 mm of the inner wire insulation. Try using an wire stripper. I use my teeth, because Macgyver does it too. Don't make it to long as it could shortcut when fiddling all the wires in the VGA connector.

Step 2: Soldering Is Fun!

Picture of Soldering Is Fun!

Well the next thing to do is solder the wires to the VGA connectors you bought. The best connectors are male ones. But my local radioshack didn't have em, so he sold me the female ones with an male-male adapter. As long as it works i say! The connector have got the pin numbers on the solderside, and with the help of a scheme i stole from i can solder the right wires to it. Note that im not using an RJ45 connector as shown on the illustration, thats not necessary in my application (very awsome home cinema set).
Just solder the shown colors to the right pins. Good luck with the bridge for pins 5, 10 and 8, naah it's not really that hard =)

Step 3: Decoration!

Picture of Decoration!

I bought some VGA connector housings, it really tidies up the lot. After that i popped on the adapters, but if you bought the good connectors you don't have to, of course. Repeat steps 1-3 for the other side of the cable. You're awesome!

Step 4: Check If It Works!

Picture of Check If It Works!

Connect the cable to the computer and to the beamer. Make sure your graphic card settings are correct and presto! VGA over a CAT 5 cable! I have no idea how long this cable could be. i made one that was 15m long and it worked perfectly @ 1024x768, so hallaluja! Enjoy!


MillerB1 (author)2017-09-15

Archive snapshot link to the now-dead geocities link referred to in the article:

AnuragAgrawal333 (author)2017-05-31

Thanks for posting this. I've made two cables, one is 10 meter long and another is 25 meter for duplicating my monitors display in TVs in two different rooms, and both are working fine. I've used a vga splitter also.

Talegmam (author)2016-07-25

Thanks for sharing that one.

I tried it and it worked. It's a lot of fun


Talegmam (author)2016-07-25

Thanks for sharing that one.

I tried it and it worked. It's a lot of fun


JonB130 (author)2016-05-14

I did this, followed everything step by step. I have an issue now and not sure how to fix it. The cable is about 4.2m long and when I plugged it into the TV, the resolution is unsupported. Okay, so I plugged it into a monitor, same thing. What could case this? I used cat 6, not cat 5 if that is the issue. I can redo the whole thing. I would not have thought that to be an issue unless there is a difference. If there is any help, that would be great.

mde landgraaf (author)JonB1302016-05-17

Hi Jon

Sorry, i am not using my other account anymore. Regarding your question, im not sure what the issue can be, i do know there is a data line that carries the resolution information: pin 12.

Maybe this helps you. It is possible your monitor needs this pin to function, maybe try a different screen?

JonB130 (author)mde landgraaf2016-05-17

Thank you. I will see about running another wire to that. I did start the computer up normally with a traditional monitor, and set it to the lowest resolution, then plugged it into the TV. After that, I up'ed the resolution to max from there. Also, after 4 cores, I was able to get a little bit of a clear image, but still seems to have 4 echos. Its not noticeable from about 15ft away, but I have problems with details. I complained about seeing the screen divider in a movie theater... I will give another go at it, ill run it outside the casing. If it does make it better, Ill see about getting a new cable made with 10 or 12 lines. Thanks for the feedback.

mde landgraaf (author)JonB1302016-05-17

also make sure your screen resolution is 1024x768

RenrickI (author)2015-05-21

I tried to use CAT5 cable to connect it on a projector using this converters/adaptors but the output display is yellowish. can you tell me what might be the problem in this case? TIA.

ManA7 (author)RenrickI2016-04-23

try to change the straight or cross cable...mybe it will help u

imark77 (author)RenrickI2015-06-20

i have made adapters just like that and have experienced the yellow, usually it's a indication that one of the pins is not making correct contact on the cable. I unplug and reseat the cable and usually that fixes it. if that doesn't work you might want to check that all wires are connected properly and wired correct.

if that doesn't work you might want to redo following the standard ( or what I am calling a standard ) in the linked image. the guy who made this spent a lot of research and development just to get the manufacturer to make them. I discovered this on a AVS forum, he developed them for use in churches. and if you go digging for the original forum it lists distance and resolutions ( be warned it was very very long.......).

KrishnaC41 made it! (author)2016-02-28

Thanks a lot for the instructions. I purchased a 3m long vga cable first. but the output was very bad. The brightness was reduced and found ghosting in the display. Then i searched for a solution and found this website. I bought 7M Cat6 .Soldering was dificult but atlast I made it. It works really amazing. NO reduction is the image quality. Thanks a lot.

deniuwish (author)2015-10-25

You can buy 2 video baluns with a standard cat5 cable and run the signal up to 300 ft. or something around that distance. This is meant only as an option if you don't feel comfortable soldering that many wires. Not to mention Running a VGA Signal over 25 ft degrades the signal noticeably.

CorH (author)2015-01-25

Does anyone have experience with cables up to 50 meters long? I would like to extend a VGA cable to a projector. The distance is about between 40 and 50 meters. Is it a problem with that length? I wonder if there is anyone who has this experience. I can just buy a VGA to VGA cable, but this is obviously cheaper.

GeorgeK9 (author)CorH2015-06-28

I am the a/v person for my church and have set up a ceiling mounted projector 100 feet away from the computer and the projector's monitor output going 50 feet to a monitor. I used one 100 foot VGA cable from the computer to the projector and two 25 foot cables to the monitor from the projector. It has been a total success for years.

imark77 (author)CorH2015-06-20

the most I have been able to achieve is 50 feet (15.24m) 1024x768. as you increase length the resolution has to be lowered. however using a shielded cat 5e cable I was able to achieve 100 feet (30.48m) with little side effects ( somehow managed to get a ground loop, but I was running on a different circuit than the audio system ).

GeorgeK9 (author)2015-06-28

Shumdez (author)2015-01-28

I recently needed to do this for a work project and found a few things that might be helpful to others. This tutorial works great if you don't need monitor detection as mentioned in the below comments. You could also mentioned below force the resolution, but it's just not practical in a business setting. So if the cable is 10 foot or less(Tested 10 and it worked, tested 30 and it didn't) you can add the 7 and 6 pin to the solder bridge and then solder those cables to 15 and 12. This gives you monitor detection and at a short cable length it still looks okay. The end solution that I found was to use two cat5e cables. Cable 1 is used for red, green, blue(pins 1,2,3) and also their respective grounds(pins 6,7,8) and then cable two is used for pins 5, 10, 12,13,14, and 15. This way I could extend past the original ten feet and still detect the monitor. The pin out I used is as follows:

Pin 1: Orange cable 1

Pin 2: Green cable 1

Pin 3: Blue cable 1

Pin 5: Brown cable 2

Pin 6: Orange/White cable 1

Pin 7: Green/White cable 1

Pin 8: Blue/white cable 1

Pin 10: Brown/white cable 2

Pin 12: Blue cable 2

Pin 13: Green cable 2

Pin 14: Orange cable 2

Pin 15: Blue/White cable 2

Also when soldering this many pins the easiest way was pins 6 7 8, then 1 2 3, then 10, and 12, then 15 14 13 12.

Also I think the maximum footage with this pin out is 75 feet. I have yet to try that though. Hope this helps anyone looking into this.

CorH (author)2015-01-25

Does anyone have experience with cables up to 50 meters long? I would like to extend a VGA cable to a projector. The distance is about between 40 and 50 meters. Is it a problem with that length? I wonder if there is anyone who has this experience. I can just buy a VGA to VGA cable, but this is obviously cheaper.

sippuddu (author)2014-12-05

Aiuto e ciao collegare dvr a tv con vga cat5 vga riesco

MIGUELC3 (author)2014-10-26

Hi. I know this thread is old but I need to ask you guys a technical question:

If I make a cat5 cable with a male DB15 on one end and a RJ45 on the other end and plug it into a hub , will I be able to replicate the signal by using a similar cable on any port and connected to several screens?

Thus, transforming my hub into a VGA splitter?

Thank you

lucasromanp (author)MIGUELC32014-11-20

please dont do that, wont work

PinoyMaker made it! (author)2014-02-11

I just finished mine worked great, I used it at 1280x1024 and it did fine.

By the way I'm from the Philippines, I had a hard time looking for a DB15 plug and so I decided to cut up an old extra cable that i have. I connected mine to 8-pin female boxes so it would be more verstile.

I also found a commercial version over the net(see pic).

But if the cable would be used as a permanent solution this instructable would be the ideal way to do it if you can get the proper connectors (without the adaptors)

michael_nonan (author)PinoyMaker2014-05-29

Sir, you can find the db15 plug in deeco. they have branches in alabang and quiapo. I was wondering where were you able to buy the 8 pin box?

vamc9 (author)2014-01-20

As you shown in step 2 blue-white color LAN cable from pin number 6 is connected through 5,10,8 pins of VGA or only pin number 8. Please help me for connecting properly. And this can be used in video streaming from DVR to monitor

bhurst2 (author)2013-03-06

where did you get the male 15 pin connector? I have looked everywhere. I took apart a monitor cable I already had but the pins where all surrounded by glue. There was no way it was going to work.

johnyradio (author)bhurst22013-12-13

search ebay for VGA hood or DB15 hood or D-sub 15 hood.

Beef_wellington (author)2013-11-13

     Thank you sir. That is fantastic. I have tested this with a run at least 70 feet through a patch panel and looped back to a TV in another office with no amplification and got only slight ghosting.

      I also went with normal straight through pinout on the RJ45 connector and it did an awesome job. of course after I did this I did a quick google search and found this. Which at $5 is well worth the time I put into soldering all those things together. But this method definitely works. Thanks again.

twhetstone (author)2013-04-03

Do you have a diagram of which wires act as video and v-sync and h-sync and grounds?

E_MAN (author)2011-05-06

Nice Instructable! I just have one question, is the any way to add a PS/2 extension to this too. I assume it would be easiest to connect all the GNDs that you split apart, and the GND of the PS/2, but you will still be one connection short. Any ideas?

mlandgraaf (author)E_MAN2012-09-26

Yep, run two lengths of cat5 cable ;)
Seriously, the vga signal needs all 4 pairs of wire so doing it over the same cable would be a no-go.

Maybe if you use the same trick to extend USB over cat5, ass a USB hub and an USB to VGA converter it would work. Don't know if the usb would handle the extra length though.

whiskymonster (author)mlandgraaf2012-12-21

nah, usb wont handle anything over 8 meters.
something to do with timing.
but usb repeaters are quite cheap.
check eBay

daleruisky (author)2012-10-27

Great Instructable!! Helped a ton. I made a 35ft. cable for a projector mounted on the ceiling. No problem with the image quality whatsoever. Thanks again!

LEducated (author)2012-10-04

Yes! I made It. Thanks to you IDOL. A Project in my son's school is completed using your instructable. I installed a Ceiling mounted LCD Projector with a 10 meters long cable.and its works.I like the soldering part LOL.I let my students create their own.thanks.MABUHAY!

Yerboogieman (author)2012-09-29

I bought the connectors today, and forgot the housings. I might try to build my own or break down and buy some.

NatDaGamer (author)2012-05-25

Great Instructable man! Helped a lot, and save me a few pennies as well. Needed a long enough lead to hook up my projector, and now I have one! In regards to bridging the connections, I found using some bare wire in each terminal 5, 8 and 10 all joined together and then soldering the blue dotted cable the easiest way to bridge the connections. :)

mlandgraaf (author)NatDaGamer2012-09-26

hi man, good to hear it helped you out!

churchsoundguy (author)2012-06-28

I made a 100+ foot one of these for connecting our church computer to our beamer...and so far every computer I have used, laptop or desktop has worked perfectly. Would recommend to anyone.

good to hear it helped you out!

blob84 (author)2012-09-26

What solder have you used?
It is very hard to do, the twisted pair will break easily.

mlandgraaf (author)blob842012-09-26

Just use normal lead-free solder, very thin. If the solder doesnt flow good, use some flux...

tecnoweb (author)2012-04-12

I've followed the schema and used the correct CAT 5 Patch cable. Unfortunally the vertical frequence is not transmitted and no images is displayed? How can i fix the problem? Thanks

mlandgraaf (author)tecnoweb2012-04-12

Hmm,. Maybe you shorted out a connection? It should work as normal!
Try another cable otherwise

tecnoweb (author)mlandgraaf2012-04-18

Yes, I've tried with another cable but the result is always the same? What kind of monitor have you used?

mlandgraaf (author)tecnoweb2012-04-18

Just a normal 19" lcd monitor to test, and a 1024x768 beamer also!
how do you know the v-sync signal is not sending?

tecnoweb (author)mlandgraaf2012-04-19

I'know because the CRT monitor that I've used (with a LCD - no signal) visualize the message v-sync: 0.

Zigster007 (author)2010-04-16

 I just did this, I bought the D-Sub Connector and Connector Hood from RadioShack. They already have solder terminals on them. So far i have tried a 50ft cat5e and it works perfectly, i also tried a 300ft cat5e and it did not work. So obviously somewhere in between is the limiter. But for any normal household 50ft should be enough distance to go from one side of the house to the other. 

drmrfrk03 (author)Zigster0072012-02-24

From everything Ive read, you can only run cat5e up to 295 feet (90m). That's the standard when using the wire with a switch/router/repeater at one end. I have no idea how much power output comes from the video out connectors on a videocard but I doubt it would match that of the switch/router/repeater. Anyone have luck with a cable between 50ft and 295 ft?

Amazon has a hdmi to cat 5 convertor that supports full 1080p that claims to work at 100ft.  It's "Passive" as it only uses the build in power output of your videocard.


Zigster007 (author)Zigster0072010-04-25

Once i installed it i notice that the maximum resolution you can get on this is 1600x1200. To fix this i followed a tutorial on which gives a walk through on how to force resolutions. But now i have a weird refresh rate that makes it hard to watch anything on the television. Will update when i figure it out.

pdub77 (author)2012-02-16

Hey, Just did this today and it's awesome! Thanks so much for the info. I don't know if anyone else has pointed this out, but you can use a DB9 to RJ45 Modular Adaptor and modify it to work the same way.  This way you can use whatever ethernet cable you have laying around and change lengths whenever you want.  You will have to buy an HD15 Male Crimp Housing to use instead of the Serial Housing that comes with it as well as cut off the DH Crimp Pins (serial cable size) and mod it with DHD Crimp Pins (VGA size).  All in all, though, it doesn't take much time and it looks like you bought it at the store.  Thanks again!

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