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How to Make CAT6 Patch Cables

ComputerCableStore has created the following "How to Make Cat6 Patch Cables" to help you make your own custom length Cat 6 network cables. Within this "How To" article we have included you will need to find the materials, tools, and information on how to build straight through Category 6 Patch Cords and Crossover Cat6 Patch Cords.

Step 1: Before we start building our patch cable, you will need to cut a length of Cat6 cable. When cutting your cable be certain to make the correct measurements as there is nothing worse than building a patch cord that will not reach.

Now we begin, by stripping the jacket back approximately 1 inch from the end. We have a variety of stripping tools available.

Exercise caution when striping back the jacket, making certain that the blade depth of your strippers will not damage the conductors but will still cut through the jacketing. If you nick the conductors, it may work fine at first, however, after time the conductors will break or begin to short out.

Step 2: Now that we have the jacket stripped back with the conductor pairs exposed, we will need to separate and straighten them. You can start by pulling the first pair and the last pair to their respective sides (Orange to the left and Brown to the right). Untwist them, but not any further than you have stripped back the jacket. Next we split the green pair. Pull the white/green conductor to the left and the green to the right. This leaves you with the blue pair in the middle. Untwist the blue leaving the white/blue conductor on the left and the blue on the right.

Note: Normally, we wouldn't untwist Cat 6 pairs except when building patch cords. It would be next to impossible to insert the conductors into the proper locations in the connector without untwisting them. (Keep in mind you want to keep as much of the twist of each pair intact in order to meet performance standards).

Cat6 Twisted Pairs Seperate the Pairs Untwist the pairs

Step 3: Now that we have separated and straightened all of the pairs, we need to arrange the conductors into the proper order according to which of the wiring standards you would like to use. For this example we will be wiring via the 568-B standard (most common in patch cords). Please consult the pin-out  to find the proper color codes that reflect your desired wiring standard.  After you have all the wires arranged in the proper order, place them tightly together as show in the picture to the left. Once you have done this, verify that the wires are still in the proper order before continuing to step 4.

Line up the Cat 6 Conductors

Step 4: Now we'll trim the conductors down to fit into the RJ45 connector. When trimming, make sure to 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 or cut too short, some of the conductors may not reach the contacts in the connector. If you leave the conductors too long, when crimping the connector, the jacketing will not be gripped leaving all the strain on the conductors. This is not a good situation!  For proper trimming, hold the wires securely in their proper order just at the end of the jacket.

Cut the Conductors Flush Flush Cut Conductors

Step 5: Now that we have our Cat 6 patch cable prepped for termination, we are almost finished.  While still holding the cable firmly, we now need to place the conductors into their proper location in the RJ45 Modular Connector. Hold the RJ45 modular plug with the pins facing up (towards you) and carefully insert the conductors holding firmly to be certain they retain their order. You will need to use a moderate amount of force to properly seat the wires against the contacts in the connector. When this is done, look at the tip of the connector. As illustrated in the picture to the left you should be able to see the end of each conductor indicating that they were fully inserted. Also take note of the colors. All whites on the top and all the colored conductors on the bottom.

Update 10/03/2007: Many customers have reported Cat6 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.

Step 6: Carefully insert the assembly which you have just completed into a modular crimping tool. When crimping the connector you want to make sure you 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.

Step 7: If you are building a straight through (standard) patch cord, terminate the other end by repeating this process from step one using the same wiring scheme as the first. If this is a Crossover cable, return to step one and continue, however, be sure to terminate this end 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.

Properly terminated Cat 6 Patch Cable

Step 9: That's it!  Use a tester to test for continuity and you are done.

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