How to Terminate Punch Down Style Keystone Jacks (Cat5e / Cat6)

Due to numerous requests for wiring diagrams or general information on how to terminate cat5e and cat6 keystone jacks, ComputerCableStoreā„¢ has created the following "How to Terminate Punch Down Style Keystone Jacks (Cat5e / Cat6)". Within this "How To" article we have included everything you will need to find the materials, tools, and info on how to terminate Cat5e and Cat6 Keystone Jacks.

We will cover materials needed, preferred tools and punch down technique.



Materials and Tools needed:

Solid Cat5e Cable/Solid Cat 6 Cable
Stripping Tool
Conductor Clipping Tool
110 Punchdown Tool

NOTE:Solid Core Cat5e/Cat6 is the best choice when terminating keystone jacks or patch panels. The solid core of the conductors allows the 110 style IDC (Insulation Displacement Connector) connection to properly "bite" into the core providing a sound connection. Most commercial building codes will require the use of plenum rated cable (Please check with your local building codes) possibly making plenum rated cable the proper choice for your installation.





Step 1: Make sure the stripper is adjusted properly on a scrap piece of cable. The Stripper should be adjusted to only score the jacket to make removing it easier and not nick the twisted pairs. Using a Coaxial Stripper strip around 1 inch of the jacket off.  Be careful not to nick the conductors as this will cause the wire to break or short out the connection causing problems down the road. Inspect all wires for damage before proceeding to step 2. We use Ideal's 45-163 Coaxial Stripper for this how to

.Step 1: Strip the end of the cable. Step 1: Strip the end of the cable.Step 2: Straighten the pairs.




Step 2: Straighten the pairs out completely and lay them over the top of the keystone jack noting the color pattern for the 568b wiring. Note: Each keystone jack is slightly different in how they are labeled and how the colors are arranged. The 568B standard is most commonly used and ends of the cable must have the same standards to communicate. We have the 3 most common keystone jack styles pictured here. The first jack pictured has the 2 standard pairs on the right, and the 2 variable pairs on the left. The A standard is the center column and the B standard is on the left. Both A and B standard applies to the right side of the jack.  The solid color box with the lower right corner missing represents the solid color wire with the white stripe. The white box with the colored tip represents the white wire with the colored stripe.
The second jack pictured here has both A and B standards on both sides of the jack, with the color code running down the center. The solid color rectangle represents the solid color wire with the white stripe, wile the half white half color rectangle represents the white wire with the colored stripe. The third jack pictured here has the A and B standard codes labeled on the outside of the jack. With the A standard on top and the B standard on the bottom. The solid box represents the solid wire with the white stripe Wile the box with the white diagonal stripe going throught the middle, represents the white wire with the colored stripe.

 Keystone JackKeystone JackKeystone Jack Side View




Step3: Keeping the pairs as twisted as possible press the wire into the correct groove with your thumbs. If you completely straighten the wires to run them through the jack you will risk cross talk between the pairs.

Step 3: Wires pressed into grooves of keystone jacks.




Step 4: Step 4: Using a punch down tool punch the wires down into the blades built into the keystone jack. The blades in the jack are designed to work with solid cable, and may not work with stranded cable. Make sure the blade (as noted in the picture) is facing the outside of the keystone jack. If you reverse it you will cut the wires inside the keystone jack rendering them useless. The punch down tool should cut off the remaining pieces of the wire on the outside, but sometimes you may need to punch them down a 2nd time and wiggle the wire to it breaks clean off. Once this is done you can install the dust covers if your keystone jack comes with them. This keystone jack did not have the covers. The covers should never be used to do the job of the punch down tool.
Step 4: Punchdown wires into keystone jack using punchdown tool.Punchdown toolKeystone Jack with wires punched down.



-For this Demo we used an ideal punch down tool, However this is our preferred 110 Puncdown Tool.


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