Introduction: Tracing Network Line

About: I’m your average everyday citizen.

Well I need some way to trace some network lines that were installed while my house was being built 7 years ago. Unfortunatly they weren't labeled at that time. You can spend a lot of money on a commercial unit, or with a little know how and 5 dollars worth of part you can make your own.

Step 1: Parts

Here is a list of the Parts that I used on this build:

Length of Cat5 cable, about 6" is all that is needed
9 volt battery connector x 2
LED's x 3
Resitor 330ohm x 3
RJ45 male connectors x 2
RJ45 Female ports x 2

Step 2: Tools

Here are the tools I used:
RJ45 striper/cutter/crimper
Soldering Iron

Not shown:
Wire cutter

Step 3: Lets Create the Power for Our Line Tracers

I made two of these. One to power the RJ45 connector and one to power what is normally the wall outlet.

When assembling these I followed the 568B-wiring standard.

The positive side of the battery plug was wired up to the Green and White stripped side, and the negative was wired up to the solid green side of the plug.

On the Wall port power plug I punched the positive side of the 9-volt battery plug to both the green and white stripped and the orange and white stripped ports. The negative side was attached to both the solid green and solid orange side of the wall outlet. This way power is supplied to both the green and orange wire groups and will light up their corresponding LED's (this will be shown during testing)

Step 4: Creating the LED Indicators

You will need to create three of these.

On the positive side of the LED I soldered the 330ohm resistor, I also soldered on some wire lead to the end of the resistor. On the negative side of the LED I soldered on some wire lead. To make the wire lead I cut about 2" to 2.5" off of the CAT5 cable, and then pulled all of the Twisted Pair wire out of the jacket. I used one set of the twisted pair wire as my lead wire. Set the jacket aside to be used as shielding over the resistor.

Step 5: Covering the Resitor and Finishing the LED's

On the RJ45 connector I connected just one of the 3 LED
assemblies. This is being used only to trace lines. The positive lead of the LED was put in the position for the green and white striped wire and the negative was put in the position of the solid green wire.

On the wall port again the first LED was wired up to the green wires in the fashion described above. The second LED was wired up to the orange wires also in the same fashion as above.

*Note how the CAT5 jacket is being used to protect the resistor.

Step 6: Testing a Loose Cable for Proper Wireing

Connect the wall port with a 9-volt battery and one end of
a network cable. Connect the other end of the network cable to the wall port with the LED. If both LED's light up it is wired correctly, if only one lights up it indicates which twisted pair is wrong.

Step 7: Testing With the Set of Tracing Connectors

This is how you use the Tracing Connectors. Plug the RJ45 connector with the 9-volt battery in to the wall port that you want to use (see pict).

Go to where ever your network lines are run to and go through each port until the LED lights up indicating the other end of the network line (see pict).

Jury Rig It! Contest

Participated in the
Jury Rig It! Contest