How To Make your Own Network Cables

Buying network cables off the rack can be quite convenient. However, when you are networking your home, it’s often best if you have full control over the length of your network cables. Also, if you plan on inserting the cables through walls and ceilings, then you would most likely need to crimp the plugs on the ends yourself.

Purchase or prepare materials.
Before anything else, you would need to make sure you have the adequate tools and materials needed in making your own network cable. For one, you would need the cable itself. This would be an Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP) Category 5 (CAT-5) cable if you intend to run a regular 10/100 megabit per second network, or a CAT-6 cable, if you are running Gigabit Ethernet. You would also need RJ-45 plugs, which will be attached to the ends. You will also need an RJ-45 crimper, which will be used to connect the ends of the cable. You might also find a wire cutter, scissors or pliers useful for cutting the cable.

Determine the type of connection. Before assembling your own network cable, first think of the purpose of your cable. Most of the time, you would probably have a switch or router, which you will use to connect different computers for sharing a single Internet connection. For this purpose, you would need to create a straightforward connection with a one-to-one correspondence. However, if you will be connecting two computers directly, without a router or hub, then you would need to create a crossover connection.

Measure the cable. Before heading to the store to buy your UTP CAT-5 or CAT-6 cable, it would be good to have an idea of the length you would be needing. If the connection would just be within a room, then you could do a straightforward measurement. If the connection will be across walls and rooms, be sure to include any elevation that the cable will have to climb and descend, such as door jambs, ceilings and even stairs. Give at least three feet allowance on each end, so that you don’t run short.

Strip the ends. You will have to strip each of the ends of the outer rubber insulation. Scissors would be useful, but an RJ-45 crimping tool would usually have a stripper, too. Take care not to strip the insulation from the inner wires themselves, because the crimper and the jacks will take care of this. It’s also important that you can see the colors of the inner wire insulation, because these serve as a guide as to which pin it will be connected to.

Arrange the wires. You will then need to arrange the inner wires in order. With the copper part of the RJ-45 plug facing you, and the wires from left to right, the arrangement should be as follows:

  1. White / Green striped
  2. Green
  3. White / Orange striped
  4. Blue
  5. White / Blue striped
  6. Orange
  7. White / Brown striped
  8. Brown

The other end of the cable should also have the same arrangement. However, if you are creating a crossover connection, the other end should have the following arrangement:

  1. White / Orange striped
  2. Orange
  3. White / Green striped
  4. Blue
  5. White / Blue striped
  6. Green
  7. White / Brown striped
  8. Brown

Trim the ends. With the arrangement in place, trim the ends such that they form a straight edge. This ensures that all ends of the wires are properly in place when you insert these into the jack.

Crimp the jack. Then, carefully insert the cables into the RJ-45 jack, making sure that the arrangement is still intact, and that all wires are properly lined up. Using the crimper like a vise grip, press the contacts inwards until the jack’s copper contacts slice into the wires inside.

Test the cable. The final step in creating a network cable is testing whether it works, and whether it performs well. Sometimes, the connection will be bad or slow, and this might mean that some of the wires were improperly arranged or crimped. You can easily see the arrangement based on the colors of the wires, as RJ-45 jacks are often transparent.

Creating your own network cables usually requires practice, but once you get the hang of it, you will be able to measure, cut, arrange and crimp in just a matter of minutes.


Share this article!

Follow us!

Find more helpful articles: