Introduction: Making a Straight-Through Cable
Are you tired of having all your router and switch wires, being different sizes and lengths, creating a jumble of cords? Well, I have a solution, that will allow you to customize your jumble of wires, so they can look nice and neat. I have been creating cables for two years now, and I can help you create your own fully functional cable, that has a specific length to reach. The steps for this, are the same for creating most types of cables, but I am going to show you 5 steps to creating an operational T-568B straight-through cable.
Step 1: Cable Inspection
First, a Cat5e or Cat 6 cable will be required. This cable is mostly used with making an Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP.) Make sure that the body of the wire has not been damaged, feel for lumps or anything unusual while examining the cables, as this can cause errors and may not even let your cable work. Also, avoid bending the cable to far past its bend radius because this can cause the copper inside to be damaged and not work correctly. The bend radius is usually where the cable jacket, will start to turn white.
Step 2: Stripping the Cable
Second, a cable stripper will be needed. Start by only stripping off about an inch of the jacket, to expose approximately an inch of wires. Be sure not to take off too much of the jacket, because it will have to be clamped down inside of an RJ45 connector. If there is too much wire, they might have to be shortened, by cutting them directly with wire cutters. After there is a correct amount of the wires exposed, unwind the copper wires twisted together on the inside, while starting with the correct colors left to right. There are a total of 8 copper wires inside of the jacket, each marked with a different color. The colors are orange-white, orange, green-white, blue, blue-white, green, brown-white, and brown, in that order, for a T-968B pattern. When unwinding them, try to bend them back and forth a bit, so the copper can flatten easier.
Step 3: Putting the Wires in the Connectors
Next, this will need at least 2 RJ45 wire connectors, one for each side of the cable. After the wires have been spread apart, organize them into the correct color order of the desired cable. We are making the T-568B standard for a straight-through, which means that the color order for the wires is going to be the exact same on both sides. After the colors have been organized, if they don’t all reach the same length, use wire cutters directly on the end, to make each wire the same length. Be careful not to trim the wires down too far, or the wires might not be long enough and might need to take a little bit more of the jacket off for the wires to be long enough to fit all the way into the RJ45 connector correctly. Once the wires are flat, in order, and can reach all the way to the end of the connector, start to put them into the RJ45 connectors. Make sure that the tab on the connector is facing down, and while holding the wires flat and in order, slide the wires down to the end of the connector, till you can see all of the copper wires at the end, through the end of the plastic. Remember that the jacket has to be inside the connector a bit, so the crimping tool will keep the wire inside the connector.
Step 4: Crimping the Connector
Then, RJ45 wire crimpers will be required, to hold the connector onto the cable. If the cable so far, has got all the wires correctly inside of the RJ45 connector, along with a bit of the cable jacket, then it should be ready to crimp the wire inside of the connector. The crimpers push down a wire locking piece inside, that cannot be undone. Note that, once the wire is crimped down correctly if there are errors with the connection and the wire doesn’t work correctly, the only way to fix this is to cut off the RJ45 connector with wire cutters, and start from step 2, with a new RJ45 connector.
Step 5: Testing the Cable
Last, in order to test the wire, either try using it on the live machines or use a cable tester to get detailed information about the wire in specific such as, what wires are where and how long is the whole cable. A tester can also determine what wires are in incorrect spots.