Introduction: Creating Your Own Cat5e/Cat6 Ethernet Cables
Creating your own CAT5e/CAT6 Ethernet cable is useful skill and very easy to learn. Nearly every home now has its own network and knowing how to terminate your own cables can save you money as well as having cables the exact length to your needs so no more tangled cables. It only takes about 10 minutes for almost anyone to measure and terminate their own Ethernet Cable.
Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.
Step 1: Equipment Required
Step 2: Cutting the Length Required
Pull the length required for your cable. You will also need
to add about 4 Inches for the plug on each end. You can also use this technique to shorten a cable you already have all you have to do is measure the length you need and the cut the cable remember to leave yourself 2 inches for the new plug to be put on (this way you only have to terminate 1 plug).
NOTE: Network cables have a maximum length, depending on which type is being used, a common rule of thumb is Solid cable you should not exceed 100 meters. Stranded Cable you should not exceed 10 meters. If the length of the wire between two powered network devices exceeds this length, signal degradation and data loss may occur. Short patch leads should be made using stranded cable as it is more flexible but at longer lengths solid cable will be required.
TIP: When creating longer cables it is best to run the cable from point to point to get the length correct. The cable should not be tight, when pulling the cable make sure it does not have any kinks.
TIP: I normally try to allow some spare cable on most runs, encase in the future I decide to move the device a small distance then I do not need to run the cables again.
Step 3: Strip the Cable
1: Measure out 2 inches from one end of the wire and place the wire in the cable strippers at that location. The cable should be snug in the strippers, but not tight. For the recommended strippers, the second notch inward is appropriate.
2: Ensure the blade of the wire stripper is perpendicular to the wire and turn the wire stripper around the cable once, which will score the sheathing of the wire.
A: You are only trying to strip the outer sheath, when turning the stripper only do 1 rotation anymore and you are increasing the risk of cutting the inner cables.
3: Remove the cable stripper and gently bend the cable along the score line. This should break the sheathing which can be pulled off the wire and thrown away. When removing the sheathing you should expose 8 twisted cables.
NOTE: Some cable will have a cord running through it this can be cut near to the outer sheath. As you become more experienced with making Ethernet cables, you may not need to remove the full 1.5 inches of sheathing.
Step 4: Prepare the Inner Cables
1: Separate the individual cables so they are no longer
twisted together. At this point it does not matter on the order of the cables.
2: Now you have to organise the cables for the data plug. There are two configurations for this the most common is T-568B with the order shown below. The other configuration is T-568A which works just as well but is not as commonly used. If you are terminating one end from a cut down patch lead you will need to terminate in the same way as the original end.
I use the following configuration moving left to right
NOTE: If you are interested in making an Ethernet Crossover cable, just do an image search for "Ethernet Crossover Cable Diagram" to get a wire configuration diagram.
3 (optional): Place the boots on the cable. The large part of the boot is to cover the connector so should be closets to the cut.
4: Firmly grasp all the cables near the sheathing and slide your fingers up, collecting all the cables into a flat line. Make sure the cables from left to right are the same configuration as described above.
5: Straighten the cables. Do not worry if the cables aren’t an even length, just straighten them as best you can.
6: Using the cable cutters, trim the tips of the cables so they are even. Make sure the cut is perpendicular to the cables.
Step 5: Crimp the Connectors to the Cable
1: Ensure the cables are still in the same configuration as
the last section. Insert the cables in the connector as shown in the images above. The tab on the connector should be facing the floor White-Orange cable should be the furthest left in the connector. When inserted, the sheathing should be just inside the end of the data plug. If the wires are too long, remove the data plug, cut a very small length of wire from the end, and reinsert the cable into the data plug.
NOTE: Looking into the connector check all the cables are as far forward as they can be making sure they are past the metal spikes which will come down when crimped.
TIP: If the wires do not want to slide into the connector, moisten them with a drop of water.
2: Make sure the outer sheathing is just inside the plug, pinch the cable about 2 inches below the connector. With your other hand pinch the cable slightly higher and slowly slide towards the connector as if you are stretching the outer sheath. This should move the sheathing further into the connector. Be sure you are not pulling the cables away from the end of the plug.
NOTE: If you push the sheathing too far into the connector, you will start pulling the cables back into the sheathing. Make sure all the wires are fully inserted in the plug.
3: Insert the prepared plug in the crimping tool and squeeze the handle, crimping the wires.
4: Repeat on the other end and pull the boots over the connectors
Step 6: Test Your Patch Lead
Now it is time to test your lead, all testers are different but on my one the lights, light up on after the other and they all worked fine.
Well done you have now made your own patch lead