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Picture of Repair a Broken Ethernet Plug
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The locking tab of RJ45 plugs breaks very easily. Replace it by two nylon cable ties (aka zip ties), in minutes.

IMPORTANT NOTES:
- This must be regarded as a temporary "Mac Gyver" solution, for home usage.
- Definitely not for IT staff! (no crimper? asking for one in the budget won't get you fired!)
- Before the tab breaks, consider protecting the plug.
 
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Step 1: On Broken RJ45 Locking Tabs...

Picture of On Broken RJ45 Locking Tabs...
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There are always some Ethernet cables around with a broken tab. Did you remember to exchange the cable?

Now the RJ45 plug no longer locks properly, making the connection unreliable. You firmly push the plug into the socket, hurray you're connected again! so you forget about the plug until the next lost connection some weeks later, wasting a long time to figure out that it's this damn broken plug again. And so on.

Now it's time to act and grab your RJ45 crimp tool. Oh, you don't have one? Or you're reluctant to use it? so read on...

Step 2: Needed Stuff

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Tools:
  • Cable tie tool (optional)
  • Sharp knife
  • Cutting pliers

Materials:
  • TWO CABLE TIES (small size)
They are true heroes of this instructable.
Their exact size matters, this is discussed in the next step.

Step 3: Find the Right Size of Cable Ties

Picture of Find the Right Size of Cable Ties
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The head of the cable ties must have the proper width to snap into the socket, and be easily released.

To test, insert the head into the socket as shown in the first picture below. It should snap.

Then gently pull the cable tie. You should feel some resistance.

I measured a head width of 4.3mm.

Step 4: Cut the Cable Tie #1 to Length

Picture of Cut the Cable Tie #1 to Length
Cut approx 4.5 cm (1.8 inches).

Step 5: Make its Head Thin

Picture of Make its Head Thin
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With the sharp knife, and preferably on a piece of scrap material, cut the head of the cable tie, to make it flat.

Step 6: Bend the Cable Tie #1

Picture of Bend the Cable Tie #1
Bend it as shown.

Step 7: Use the Cable Tie #2

Picture of Use the Cable Tie #2
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With the second cable tie, tighten the first one.

Step 8: Done (Almost)

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Now it looks funny. Is that meant to work? Read on...

Step 9: Tune it

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Tune the position and bends of the cable tie #1, so that it acts as a spring.

Step 10: Now, Use it !

Picture of Now, Use it !
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Insert the repaired plug as shown.

You should get this beloved "click" noise again!
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N.Khan1 year ago
dude you totally rock! :v
x burn1 year ago
really brilliant
Fat Aido2 years ago
I am in love with you man! xxx
An excellent fix for an all too common problem. Saved me hours of laying new cables or renewing connectors. A simple and annoyingly obvious fix once you have seen it done once.
mmcpherson45 years ago
MUAHAHAH!!! NEVER will I EVER be disconnected from Xbox Live because of that cursed cable!!! :D Thanks a bunch dude! 
haha same exact reason im doing this!
julietaodio3 years ago
How clever!!!!!!!! ithis is the most amazing solution for something sooo annoying thank you for reminding me of things like these make the world interesting. I know, a little drama hasn´t killed anybody but it is true 8)
lmlei3 years ago
Can people that tried this way confirm if its safe for my laptop...? I LOVE the idea i just hope its safe to use haha
rquader3 years ago
Great fix. I'll try this out on my cables!
weldam3 years ago
cool
kkroflin3 years ago
Well done!
qdexheimer3 years ago
Had a RJ-45 network cable with both plugs broken. After some hard time, it works perfectly for both sides. Thanks for this wonderful idea, I'll repair a lot of Ethernet Plugs with that method.

Quentin, from France
Thank you!
Mooch074 years ago
These are my favorite instructables - the ones that are easy, cheap, and everyone will need at some point.
egal4 years ago
thats great ..you have a wide ideas thanks for sharing
ozone3334 years ago
Wow, that's brilliant! I'm impressed... I'm gonna try that ASAP instead of fixing it with my crimper. Imagine how many broken rj45 plugs wouldn't have to be removed and re-crimped... Thanks!
edfarina4 years ago
Magnífica idéia... Meus parabéns!
Com uma idéia muito simples e com um custo baixíssimo, resolveu um problema que para muitos ia custar uma nota... tendo de chamar um "técnico" para "tentar" refazer o cabo...
Já ví muitos apanhando dos RJ-45... =)
GENIAL !

Elton Farina / Viamão / RS / Brasil
That is downright ingenious!
I always believed that cable ties could fix anything :)
and duct tape
Man, I love you. You solved my problem with 50% of my ethernet cables and gave me something to do with the huge pack of zip ties I bought...
xeon_hl24 years ago
thanks man this will help me now
thanks
pikky_team4 years ago
use full idea
Popsdacook5 years ago
My grown up, know it all, computer expert kids now think I'm a fix-it God. Once again "Pop can fix anything." I'll never tell them about this site. Thanks for the tip. A great one. Now, what can I do to impress the grandsons?
Jet pack
i did this. it didn't click though. but it works as a way to wedge the plug in there. can you use zip ties that are rounded?
BjornR4 years ago
I just made some cables useful again. Thanks for this instructable !
vbrtrmn4 years ago
Great little hack!
Blackwo4 years ago
 Hey it works pretty well. Used it on 2 different cables. A little disappointing turnout but hey, it's better than nothing =)
juanoporras5 years ago
that is insanely awesome, I mean, seriously, seems like a simple fix but nobody did it before, and the fact that you came up with makes you a macgiver :P, congratulations and thanks for the awesome instructable.
bunnydeath5 years ago
GREAT Hack. I destroyed one of my good cables to give this a spin. It works like a charm!  Thanks!
Nice guide! I have a lot of broken ethernet cables but don't want to replace them.
Tdotcom5 years ago
AWESOME I have a friend who has a broken cable. Cant wait to try this out. :)
ajparag5 years ago
great idea! i have a broker Ethernet cable too... m surely going to try it. thanks keep posting great ideas
pedz20045 years ago
THANK YOU VERY MUCH! YOU SOLVED MY PROBLEM!
favrock5 years ago
GOOOOOD idea! Congratulations!
Yayyy! Great instructable! Will implement ASAP!
deeeveeeg5 years ago
Nice idea and well done Instructable. I've replaced a lot of cable ends too, but with a cat3/5 crimping tool. Many a time I could have used this idea to keep a network happy until a"real" cable were available..
mistere3275 years ago
I was told years ago that when these types of plugs (RJ-11, RJ-45) were designed (by some folks at Western Electric) they worked to a specification that required the connector should withstand 50 insert-remove cycles. This repair might well last longer than the original!
spremoneb5 years ago
BRILLIANT !!! This must be the most creative and original idea in this century. Great close-up photos. Thank you.
laxap (author)  spremoneb5 years ago
Thank you! But the century has still much room for ideas.

Close-up photos credits: http://www.instructables.com/id/How-To-Take-Great-Close-Up-Photos/
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