Making a Network Cable
It can be useful to make your own Network Cables so that you get the exact length of cable that is required.
You will need a length of Network Cable, usually CAT5e or CAT6 depending on the level of performance needed. CAT5e is suitable for up to 1000Mb/s (1Gb/s), and CAT6 for up to 10Gb/s. The maximum length that you should use is 100 metres (328ft). You will also need some RJ-45 Network Connectors.
Tools required include RJ-45 Network Crimpers, Wire strippers or a sharp knife, Wire cutters or scissors, and a Network Tester.
The cable consists of eight coloured wires (four twisted pairs) which are white/orange, orange, white/green, blue, white/blue, green, white/brown, and brown.
There are two sets of telecommunications standards - TIA/EIA-568A (T568A), and TIA/EIA-568B (T568B) for wiring the cable into the connectors, and you can use either standard.
|TIA/EIA-568A (T568A wiring)||TIA/EIA-568B (T568B wiring)|
For this article we will create a standard straight-through Network Cable using the T568B standard.
First, we need to remove the outer cable (sheath) to reveal the eight coloured cables. This can be done with wire strippers or you can use a sharp knife to cut the cable along its length (about one inch from the end), and then holding the sheath and pulling the wires to the side to remove the outer cable. Cut off the sheath neatly with wire cutters or scissors and unravel all eight wires and inspect them to make sure that the insulation on each wire is intact.
The photo above shows the eight wires that have been unravelled, straightened and put in the correct order for the T568B standard. 1. white/orange, 2. orange, 3. white/green, 4. blue, 5. white/blue, 6. green, 7. white/brown, 8. brown.
The RJ-45 connector has pin 1 to the left when the clip is underneath.
Put all eight wires into the correct order (T568B standard), keeping them all straight, and then cut the eight wires so that they are about a half inch from the sheath to the end. We need to keep the wires short so that the sheath fits inside the RJ-45 connector, and we do not end up with bare wires.
The clip on the RJ-45 should be facing the bottom before you push the wires all the way into the RJ-45 Connector, making sure that they are in the correct order and have been cut straight. When the wires have been fully pushed into the connector then the sheath should fit inside so that there are no exposed wires.
Crimp the connector tightly using your RJ-45 Network Crimpers. The copper splicing tabs on the RJ-45 connector will cut into the wires, and the sheath will be locked in place. We have now successfully fitted a connector to one end of the Network Cable.
Cut the Network Cable to the length that you require. Repeat steps 1 to 4 to fit a connector to the other end to complete the straight-through Network Cable.
Lastly you should test that your Network Cable is correctly wired by using a Network Tester. Both ends of the Network Cable are plugged into the tester and it works by sending test pulses down each individual wire, lighting up the corresponding LED lights on the tester.
Cross-over Network Cable
A straight-through cable (sometimes called a patch cable) is for connecting a computer to a switch, hub, or router. A Cross-over cable would be used to directly connect two computers or devices together.
Note that some newer network devices can automatically detect if they are connected to another network device and will run in cross-over mode. In this case you can use a straight-through cable to directly connect two computers together.
To make a Cross-over Network Cable you would wire one end to the TIA/EIA-568A (T568A) standard, and the other end to the TIA/EIA-568B (T568B) standard.