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Anyone ever twisted your own ethernet cable?

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by IndyGunFreak, Nov 10, 2005.

  1. IndyGunFreak

    IndyGunFreak

    25,807
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    Jan 26, 2001
    Indiana
    Well, I went to buy some ethernet cable today, and usually having no trouble messing with PC's, I bought the 250ft of Ethernet cable, the crimping tool, and 20 heads, for like 70 bucks(it was an open item). Well, I should have read the instructions before I bought it..lol, much more difficult than I thought. Would have been way easier to buy lengths, and a few inline couplers.

    Crimping the heads, cutting cable, etc, thats easy, a moron could do that. My problem is, on the back of the box, it lists a very specific order, that the wires must be in, when they are put inside the head. Everytime I insert them, usually 1 or 2 of them will shift, or change places, etc, as I push them into the gold connectors.

    I guess my first question is, how critical is it that these are in this exact order. Seems it would be able to send and receive the info over the ethernet cable, no matter what order the wires were in. Reason I believe this, is it lists 2 different orders in which you can insert the cables. Lists them as the 568A, or 568B standard.

    If it absolutely must be in one of these two orders, how the hell can I keep them in order, while inserting them into the jack? I've tried twistin them together in the proper order, and it just doesn't seem to work for me.

    Thanks for any help/suggestions.

    IGF
     
  2. Sgt. Schultz

    Sgt. Schultz Annoying Member

    Are you using a router or wiring the computers directly together ... it makes a difference.

    Theoretically you could use a random pin layout, however it would not be very resistant to interference and crosstalk. 568-B wiring layout is by far the most common wiring method. Virtually all pre-assembled patch cables are wired to the B standard.

    There is no difference in connectivity between 568B and 568A cables, however you need to pick one and use it through out your home/office.


    I strip the cable jacket back about 2" then untwist the strands. I then put them in order and then flatten them out by running them against a solid object such as the edge of a desk, door jam etc... Once I am sure of the order I will cut the wires to the proper length (approx. ½") and insert it into the plug. (Pins up)
     


  3. David_G17

    David_G17 /\/\/\/\/\/\/\/

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    yep. make sure you are doing this.
     
  4. grokdesigns

    grokdesigns

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    Chandler, AZ
    I always use standards (568B) when running cable. I also have a cutter that you twist around the cable to cut the sheath, makes it less likely to nick one of the strands.

    Link to cutter I referred to: http://www.pcloft.com/roflcastto.html
     
  5. IndyGunFreak

    IndyGunFreak

    25,807
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    Jan 26, 2001
    Indiana
    Yes, I am running through a router.

    Thanks for the suggestions, I'll try this.

    IGF
     
  6. johnstrr

    johnstrr In the Garden

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    Oct 15, 2005
    If you strip the wire, pull the strands out, put them in order, hold them between your thumb and trigger finger, then wiggle the ends around it will soften them up and keep them in place better, then estimate the amount of wire you need, hold the wire right next to where you're gonna cut it, and make a nice straight line with some sharp scissors, you should be able to shove them in the head. Make sure you crimp both sides, one holding wire in head, one pushing pins into wire...

    Sorry for the big sentance, my main point was the wiggle, it helps alot...

    Are you using CAT5 or 6, the 6 is a sonofab#%@h, not nearly as maleable...
     
  7. Cryptoboy

    Cryptoboy Sr. Sr. Member!

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    Tempe, AZ
    It just takes a little practice to get the hang of it. I was cutting and making my own CAT5 for a server room at a former company (rewired the room, installed those cable management systems from the ceiling, as we didn't have a raised floorspace there). I messed up a few times with the wires shifting, but after awhile it became quite easy to do. Just keep at it, buy some more heads (Fry's Electronics sells them in packs of 100 for like $5 last I checked).
     
  8. gwalchmai

    gwalchmai Lucky Member

    24,095
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    Jan 9, 2002
    Outside the perimeter
    So, um, how come you're asking how to do it? (sorry, couldn't resist ;))

    This summer I had my son and an intern working for me and one day they made patch cables. Three lights on your cable tester after fifteen minutes' work is a humbling sight... ;) They did OK after a while, though.
     
  9. IndyGunFreak

    IndyGunFreak

    25,807
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    Indiana
    Where can I get a cable tester and what would I expect to pay?

    Signed,
    Moron. :)
     
  10. gwalchmai

    gwalchmai Lucky Member

    24,095
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    A basic one should be less than $50 at computer stores or Home Despot.
     
  11. I make my own on occation, I have a "factory" cable that I use for reference. The "squeeze between thumb and forefinger" works VERY well. I usually line them up and then take normal wirecutters to trim them flush. Also, make sure you shove the wires far enoughn into the connector. If you are looking at the "business" end of the connector, you should be able to see the ends of the wires.

    As for the specifics of "making sure they are in XXX order" as long as it is the same on both ends you are mostly okay. The specific Cat5 order where the blue and greens are swapped should not be an issue unless you are running LONG wires, long meaning... say over 100-150 feet.

    The 568a and b are actually different layout. One is for ethernet, one is for 8 pin phone.

    Phone goes:

    | | | | | | | |
    L3 L3 L2 L1 L1 L2 L4 L4

    Where L1 is usually Blue, L2 is usually Orange. Again if your bad, but consistantly bad, you should be okay ;)
     
  12. David_G17

    David_G17 /\/\/\/\/\/\/\/

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    Oct 7, 2002
    fixed ascii art
     
  13. Locke

    Locke

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    Pennsylvania
    I used to make my own a lot; now generally have extras around...

    The order is important as the pairs (pins 1-2 and 3-6) MUST match at both ends for a regular cable to work. Note that you can use 568A or B BUT both ends must use the same.

    I strip the cable back leaving about 2" of the wires to put in order. Usually I start at pin 1 and work over taking as many twists out as possible. Then pinch the wires between thumb & forefinger and pull it with a curving motion (up relative to the "flat" row of wires) then again "down" back to straighten them. This should keep them in order pretty well. Use the crimp tool to cut them even and somewhat longer than it looks like you need (1/8" or so). Slide the wires into the RJ-45 jack, check the color order, then **IMPORTANT** slide the outer insulation towards the end of the jack (holding the RJ-45 jack) so it's well under the triangle which will crimp against it. This allows the outer insulation to work as a sort of strain relief and will make the cable end last significantly longer. I can make about a cable a minute once the work area is setup for quick cable measuring and access, just takes practice.
     
  14. UtahIrishman

    UtahIrishman BLR Silver Member

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    Nov 11, 2001
    Utah
    Making cables is a pain in my opinion. I don't do it unless I absolutely have to. I will only make cable ends for runs greater than 100 ft, anything less I buy them. Usually takes me about 15-20 minutes to do one of them. I don't do them often enough I guess (thank god) to get really skilled at it.

    Just takes practice. And a tester. If you don't have a tester you'll go crazy...believe me I know.
     
  15. Soybomb

    Soybomb Optimistic Fool

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    Aug 25, 2005
    Low
    Actually 568a&b are both used for ethernet cables also. Sometimes you may need to make a crossover cable by using one end as 568a & the other as 568b. This is used to connect two network devices together, although anymore alot of devices are intelligent enough to take care of it on their own (often called auto-MDI/MDI-X sensing). If you've seen a port labeled uplink, or a little switch on your switch thats essentialy what it does. When such handy things are unavailable, you go manual.

    While for most networks just being sure pins 1-2 & 3-6 match will get you a functional connection, gige uses all 4 pairs so I would encourage anyone making a connection to follow the standards and save yourself some headache in the future.
    The thing about making sure the jacket is under the crimp down piece is an excellent piece of advice too. Nothing says bad installation like the individual strands crimped under it ;)
     
  16. IndyGunFreak

    IndyGunFreak

    25,807
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    Jan 26, 2001
    Indiana
    Just wanted to thank everyone for all the helpful tips. While I'm certainly no pro, I'm much better at it than when I posted a few days ago. It probably took about 15-20 or so ends before I finally really got the hang of it and now I can do 1 end in about 5min or so.

    Thanks again
    IGF
     
  17. gwalchmai

    gwalchmai Lucky Member

    24,095
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    Jan 9, 2002
    Outside the perimeter
    Like reloading, it continues to get faster with practice. It's not really my job but I wind up making a lot of them because you can customize the length. The biggest trick I find is lining up the conductors flat and pinching them between your thumb and index finger. That way they don't jump out of sequence while you're trimming, inserting, and crimping them. And did I mention a good ratcheting crimper? ~$20 at NewEgg. The $7.95 ones from the computer stores give inconsistent crimps which may fail to connect later. Bad juju.