How To Make a Category 5 / Cat 5e Patch Cable - Straight and Crossover - DIY


Due to numerous requests for wiring diagrams or general information on how to build patch cables, ComputerCableStore™ has created the following "How to Make a Cat 5e Patch Cable". Within this "How To" article we have included everything you will need to find the materials, tools, and info on how to build straight-through Cat 5 Patch Cables and Crossover Cat 5 Patch Cables.

We will discuss materials needed, cable preparation, as well as connector termination.


Materials:

The first and most important material we will be using is the cable.  Bulk Cat 5 cable is available in a variety of different types:


Stranded Cat 5
Stranded is primarily used for building patch cables. The core of the conductors is comprised of many strands of copper so that it can be flexed repeatedly without the copper cores of the conductors breaking.


Solid Cat 5
Solid Cat 5 is primarily used for in wall/permanent applications. The core of a solid category 5 cable is comprised of one single solid copper conductor. This allows the cable to carry signals over longer distances although it can not be flexed as much as a stranded cable without breaking the copper.


Plenum Cat 5
Plenum is primarily used for in wall/permanent applications where the local building codes require that plenum cable be used. Plenum cable is essentially the same as solid except the jacket is comprised of a PVC Teflon mix. This plenum jacket is a low smoke/flame retardant jacket that reduces the amount of toxic fumes that are released into the air should the building that it is installed in catch fire.




Stranded is best when building patch cords. The flexible stranded cores will hold up best against the daily abuse that these cables tend to endure. We carry Stranded Category 5e in a variety of colors to suite your particular needs.



Stranded Category 5e is available in the colors shown below.



Other Materials needed:

Cat 5, 5e 8p8c RJ45 Modular Connectors
Stripping Tool
Conductor Clipping Tool
Crimping Tool


 
Cat5e Stranded CM UTP 350Mhz Network Cable - Green - 1000FT Cat5e Stranded CM UTP 350Mhz Network Cable - Green - 1000FT

Networx™ CAT5e Bulk Network Cable is ideal for voice, data, video and security communications medium for your network installation. Wiring your home, home office, office or even a entire college campus, Networx™ has the right cable for you. Networx™ bulk 350Mhz cable is available in a PVC rated jacket. Networx™ bulk 350Mhz cable is also available in various colors so you can easily identify and color-code you wiring. With our UL listed CAT5e cable exceeding 350Mhz, Networx™ has the bulk cabling you need!
Cat 5 e cable is an enhanced version of Cat 5 that adds specifications for far end crosstalk. It was formally defined in 2001 as the TIA/EIA-568-B standard, which no longer recognizes the original Cat 5 specification. Although 1000BASE-T was designed for use with Cat 6 cable, the tighter specifications associated with Cat 5e cable and connectors make it an excellent choice for use with 1000BASE-T ethernet networks.


View All Green
 
Tool Wire Cutter Tool Wire Cutter

The ICACSWRCTR is a must have compact and light-weight wire cutter. Knife-like blades provides an accurate shear type cut on the cable.

View All Stripping & Cutting
 
Cat5e Stranded CM UTP 350Mhz Network Cable - Yellow - 1000FT Cat5e Stranded CM UTP 350Mhz Network Cable - Yellow - 1000FT

Networx™ CAT5e Bulk Network Cable is ideal for voice, data, video and security communications medium for your network installation. Wiring your home, home office, office or even a entire college campus, Networx™ has the right cable for you. Networx™ bulk 350Mhz cable is available in a PVC rated jacket. Networx™ bulk 350Mhz cable is also available in various colors so you can easily identify and color-code you wiring. With our UL listed CAT5e cable exceeding 350Mhz, Networx™ has the bulk cabling you need!
Cat 5 e cable is an enhanced version of Cat 5 that adds specifications for far end crosstalk. It was formally defined in 2001 as the TIA/EIA-568-B standard, which no longer recognizes the original Cat 5 specification. Although 1000BASE-T was designed for use with Cat 6 cable, the tighter specifications associated with Cat 5e cable and connectors make it an excellent choice for use with 1000BASE-T ethernet networks.


View All Yellow





Step 1: Before we start building a patch cable you will need to cut a length of stranded Cat5e. When cutting the length you should make sure to measure. Nothing is worse than the patch cable you just built being an inch too short for your application.

After cutting the desired length we will start building our cable by stripping back approximately 1 inch of the jacket. We have a variety of tools Here.

When striping back the jacket make sure that the depth of your stripper is set deep enough to cut the jacket but not so deep that it nicks the conductors. If you do nick the conductors while stripping the cable, the cable may work fine at first, but after time the conductors will break, or even worse, begin to short out.

Coaxial Stripper Stripped Cable End




Step 2: Now that we have the jacket stripped back we'll want to separate and straighten the pairs. We'll start by pulling the first pair and the last pair to their respective sides (Orange to the left and Brown to the right). Untwist these pairs making sure not to untwist the cable any further than you've stripped back the jacket. Now we'll split the green pair. Pull the white/green conductor to the left and the green conductor to the right. This leaves you with the blue pair in the middle.  Untwist the blue taking care to ensure that the white/blue conductor is on the left and the blue conductor on the right.

Note: Normally, it would be unmentionable to untwist the Cat5e pairs, except when building patch cables. It would be almost impossible to insert the conductors into the proper connector locations without untwisting. (Keep in mind you want to keep as much of the twist of each pair intact in order to meet performance standards.)

Cat 5 Twisted Pairs Untwisted Cat 5 Pairs




Step 3: Now that we've separated and straightened the pairs we need to arrange the conductors in the proper order according to which wiring standard you are using. For this example we will be wiring via the 568-B standard (most common in patch cables). Please consult the pin-out for the proper color codes. After you have the wires arranged, place them tightly together as show in the picture to the right. Once this is done, verify that the wires are still in the proper order and continue to step 4.

Align the Cat 5 Conductors




Step 4: Now we need to trim the conductors down to fit into the RJ45 connector. While trimming, make sure you make a nice clean cut at a 90 degree angle about 1/2 of an inch from the end of the jacket. If you fail to make a straight cut, some of the conductors may not reach the connector contacts. If you cut the conductors too short, again they will not make contact. If you leave the conductors too long, when crimping the connector, the jacketing will not be gripped leaving the strain on the conductors. This is not a good situation! For proper trimming, hold the wires securely just at the end of the jacket as shown in the picture to the left. Be sure to keep the conductors in the proper order.

Cut the Cat 5 Conductors to make them flush Flush Cat 5 Conductors




Step 5: Our Cat5e patch cable is almost done. While still holding the cable firmly, we now need to place the conductors into their proper location in the RJ45 Cat5e Modular Connector.  Hold the RJ45 modular plug with the contacts facing up (towards you) and carefully insert the conductors in their proper locations. Apply a moderate amount of force in order to properly seat the wires against the contacts in the connector. When the wires have been correctly inserted into the RJ45 modular connector, observe the tip. As illustrated in the picture to the left you should be able to see the end of each conductor, indicating that the conductors were fully inserted. Also, take note of the colors. All whites should be on the top and all the colored conductors on the bottom. Once this is achieved, continue to Step 6.

Update 10/03/2007:
Many customers have reported that they find Cat5e Connectors with load bars much easier to use during the termination process. The load bar is used to align the conductors into the proper order and hold them in place during insertion.


Cat5e Network Patch Cable TerminationCat 5 Conductors inserted into Connector Contact Points




Step 6: Carefully insert the assembly which you have just completed into a modular crimping tool, taking care to verify the conductors stay fully inserted. When crimping the connector, use the full stroke of the crimp tool so that the contacts properly "bite" into the conductors.  After you have completed the crimp, take time to look at the connector and make sure all the pins were crimped and that they made good contact with the conductors.

Use a crimp tool on the Cat 5 connector




Step 7: If you are building a straight through (standard) Cat5e patch cable, terminate the opposite end by repeating this process from step one. If this will be a cat 5 crossover cable, return to step one and continue, however, terminate the other end of the cable using the wiring scheme that you did not use for the first end.  Terminating one end with 568-B and the other with 568-A creates a crossover cable. If it is a straight through cable you are making, simply use the same wiring scheme for both ends.

Terminated Cat 5 Cable Ends




Step 8: That's it!  Use a tester to test for continuity and your diy Cat 5, 5e patch cable is complete.

Note: If the cable does not test positive for continuity cut the connector off and start over, or buy one of our pre-made or custom length patch cords.




RJ45 Pinout RJ45 Pinout
Pin # Wire Color
1 White/Green
2 Green
3 White/Orange
4 Blue
5 White/Blue
6 Orange
7 White/Brown
8 Brown

568-A Color Code

Pin # Wire Color
1 White/Orange
2 Orange
3 White/Green
4 Blue
5 White/Blue
6 Green
7 White/Brown
8 Brown

568-B Color Code








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