Many people would be surprised at how easy it is to wire their own Ethernet cables and connectors at home. All you need is a basic knowledge of the insides of an Ethernet cable, what types of Ethernet cables and jacks are out there, and how to use a small assortment of tools. The materials needed to construct an Ethernet cable are readily available at many computer stores or electrical or home centres. This article explains how to wire an Ethernet cable at home.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Ethernet Cable -- bulk Category (Cat) 5, 5e, 6, 6a or higher
- Wire cutters
- RJ45 Plugs
- 110 Punch Down Tool
There are eight colour-coded wires within an Ethernet cable. These wires are twisted into four pairs of wires, with each pair having a common colour theme. These twists are extremely important, as they counteract noise and interference. It is important to wire according to standard in order to get proper performance. There are many standards when it comes to wiring, but straight-through is the most supported of them all.
RJ45 plugs are 8-position modular connectors that look like a widened phone plug. These plugs come in a variety of styles, and it is important to know which one you will be using. RJ45 jacks are designed to only work with solid Ethernet cables. Also, most jacks are designed for either T568A, T568B, or both. Make sure you end up with the correct one.
Generally, all fixed wiring should be run as straight through. This is the most versatile, since many Ethernet interfaces can cross and uncross automatically as needed.
Measure out the length of the Ethernet cable you wish to make. Make sure to make it longer than the length desired.
At one end, cut the wire to length. Leave enough length so you have enough material to work with, but not too much.
Strip the plastic off about 2 inches of the end of the Ethernet cable.
Align each of the coloured wires according to how the jack is laid out. Insert each wire into the jack using the punch down tool.
Repeat the above steps for the second RJ45 jack.
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