Introduction: Repair a Broken Ethernet Plug

About: So many things to learn and make, so little time! I like things that are cool, useful, efficient, well crafted.

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

- 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.

Step 1: On Broken RJ45 Locking Tabs...

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

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

  • 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

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

Cut approx 4.5 cm (1.8 inches).

Step 5: Make Its Head Thin

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

Bend it as shown.

Step 7: Use the Cable Tie #2

With the second cable tie, tighten the first one.

Step 8: Done (Almost)

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

Step 9: Tune It

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

Step 10: Now, Use It !

Insert the repaired plug as shown.

You should get this beloved "click" noise again!