As wired internet becomes more and more popular, there will be more and more cables throughout your house. These cables, called cat5e, or ethernet, are what is responsible for the internet from your provider to your router. The ends on the cables can go bad from time to time, whether it be dirt or water. However, it is not necessary to call your internet provider if this happens; the ends can be replaced through a fairly simple process. By working for a local internet company this past summer, I replaced multiple cat5e ends every day. I will now walk you through the steps to replace them so that you may save time and money in the future.
- Crimper Tool
- Cat5e/Ethernet Cable
- RJ45 Connector/End
Step 1: Remove the Old Broken End
The crimper tool shown earlier is capable of cutting off the broken end of your cat5e cable. Simply put the cable through the tool like shown and squeeze the handle to cut it with the blade. It does not matter where you cut the cable, just be sure that the cable will be long enough to fit your needs. If you need to make two cables out of one, just cut the cable in half and put two new ends on.
Step 2: Strip Back the Wire
Much the same as cutting the old end off, the crimper tool can also strip the wire so that the eight inner wires are accessible. Place the wire through the tool, making sure the wire is contained in the semicircle so that it does not get cut completely. The blade should not clamp the cable, but just touch enough to cut the outside. Make sure that about two inches of wire in sticking out the other side so that you have enough to work with and squeeze the tool. While squeezing it all the way, rotate the crimper so that the blade completely cuts all sides of the wire. Rotate it completely a few times to ensure it cut all the way around. Then, pull off the outer wire that you cut, leaving just the eight colored wires available.
Step 3: Unwind and Straighten the Wires
Next, simply unwind the wires so that there are eight individuals, not 4 intertwined. This next step is not completely necessary, but it makes the remaining process so much easier. Straighten each wire as best as you can, this makes putting them in the right order a much easier process and you will not have to repeat it a hundred times (I learned the hard way).
Step 4: Orient the Wires
Now for the hard part. The eight wires need to go in a specific order to be able to function. If you look closely, there are four colors: orange, blue, green, and brown. There is one wire of each color that is solid, and another wire that is white with the color stripe. For example, there is a green wire and a white wire with a green stripe. The striped wires are referred to as white - then the color (e.g. white-green, white-brown). The correct order of the eight wires is white-orange, orange, white-green, blue, white-blue, green, white-brown, brown. It is easiest to take the first wire, the white-orange, and pull it to the left, making it as straight as possible. As you go down the order and add more wires, use one hand to hold them in place and the other to add wires to your left hand.
Step 5: Cut the Wires to Length
This step will take some time and repeated trials (also learned the hard way). The wires will need to be cut so that the shielding-the outer shell protecting the colored wires-is crimped inside the end you are about to put on. This will take some practice, but I've learned that the colored wires should be cut to about the length of your fingernail. The wires can be cut using the blade on the crimper, in the same manner that the old end was cut off.
Step 6: Put on End and Crimp
The last step is to actually put the end on. This is the shortest step simply because you will most likely have to repeat all the others. If you look closely at the new end, you will be able to see 8 pieces of metal, one for each colored wire (obviously). With the end of the cable pointing away from you, hold the end of the cable with the white-orange, orange on the left. The connector goes on with the tab down, and all the cables should fit into each channel. It will take some force to get the end all the way on, as shown in the two pictures above. Make sure that the order did not get messed up. It is also very important to make sure each colored cable goes all the way through the connector and touches the end. Cut the wires shorter if needed. If the wires are not long enough to touch the end, you will have to strip back more wire and repeat from step 2. When the connector is on and all wires are touching the end, put the end in the slot shown above on the crimper and squeeze the tool. Make sure the end is completely in and be sure to squeeze all the way; I usually squeeze the handle two or three times. Now, if done correctly, you should have a working ethernet cable!