1. #1
    AceInfinity's Avatar
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    Making your own ethernet cables.

    Haha, Just to make things clear, don't do things like this:

    I seen this posted on a blog on making a network cable.

    I've seen it too many times. This may look good and it's better than some terminations I've seen for basic non-shielded (UTP) cat5/cat6, but the jacket should have been shoved into the modular plug a bit further. There is a bar just a little past the bottom of the crystal that gets crimped down after you use the crimping tool. The whole point of this is to crimp down onto the jacket so that any tension on the cable is not pulling directly on the wires that are making contact with the pins that get crimped down. In some cases, I've seen it where the jacket isn't even inside of the crystal itself.

    None of that is right. The best thing to do is to get non-EZ-thru modular plugs to avoid any possibility of a short at the end of the plug if it contacts anything, and to measure off just enough so that the wires hit the end of the crystal when inserted, and that there's enough jacket in the crystal itself to allow that bar to be pinching down on the jacket.

    I had to post this, it made me cringe a little because I always hated using poorly built cables. If you want a good cable, it takes proper attention to all these details or you're not going to get the ratings that you were hoping for when you actually go to use the cable.
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  2. #2
    Digerati's Avatar
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    Re: Making your own ethernet cables.

    but the jacket should have been shoved into the modular plug a bit further.
    Yeah, I make my own cables and I spotted that right away. My crimpers have a guide that automatically cuts the wires and jacket at the right length. If you make your own Ethernet cables, and I recommend it, "invest" in quality crimpers. Cheap ones will cost you more in the long run with wasted connectors, bad cables, receding hair lines and elevated blood pressure.
    If you want a good cable, it takes proper attention
    And good tool, good eyes, good light, and practice - and strategic placement of tongue.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Making your own ethernet cables.

    On a separate point, what do you mean by "non-EZ-thru modular plugs"? It's not terminology I'm famiar with and I can't get my head around what that paragraph means. Thank you.

  4. #4
    Digerati's Avatar
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    Re: Making your own ethernet cables.

    Yeah, I am not familiar with those either. I know what EZ Thru are (which work great, btw), and standard connectors. I am thinking the standard are what he means.
    Bill (AFE7Ret)
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  5. #5
    AceInfinity's Avatar
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    Re: Making your own ethernet cables.

    EZ-thru are a type of connector that allow you to put the twisted pairs through the end of the connector so that you don't have to cut them to an exact length because there are holes past the pins at the front of the connector. You can buy a crimping tool that has a blade on the end that will cut the excess off, but these connectors are not as good as the ones that are capped off.

    These are the "EZ-thru" type:


    Notice how you can push the pairs past the end of the connector pins? You can't do that with the type that are capped off, so you need to measure exactly where to cut it off so that the pairs fit all the way to the end of the connector, but the jacket will go far enough into the connector.

    With a non-EZ-thru connector:


    You have to measure the exact amount of the (un)twisted pairs to cut off (indicated by the red lines in my diagram) because when you insert them into the connector, the green line indicates the area that is capped off (unlike an EZ-thru connector when you can shove the wires past this point and use a crimping tool that cuts the excess off). As shown you should be cutting enough off so that they will reach to the end of the pins so that they can crimp down into the copper for a solid contact, but also enough to allow for the jacket to reach past the crimp bar that gets pushed down when you crimp the connector (indicated by the orange).

    Another thing to note is the T568-A / T568-B standards. A is an older standard but there's no real difference between the two as long as you are consistent when making straight through cables. The US typically uses B for most things, and the only thing I've ever come across was that the cables I use are typically certified using the B standard, so I usually go with B when I make my cables. There may be reasons to use A, but in my experience it's only due to conformity. You don't want to have a network that mixes and matches A and B if they are not prefabricated cables that you might end up re-terminating at some point.
    Last edited by AceInfinity; 08-09-2016 at 02:23 PM.
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  6. #6
    Digerati's Avatar
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    Re: Making your own ethernet cables.

    What confused me is I forgot the regular plugs are called "modular". Not sure what a non-modular RJ-45 connector is but the ez through are certainly easier.
    Bill (AFE7Ret)
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  7. #7
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    Re: Making your own ethernet cables.

    Quote Originally Posted by Digerati View Post
    What confused me is I forgot the regular plugs are called "modular". Not sure what a non-modular RJ-45 connector is but the ez through are certainly easier.
    All of these connectors are modular connectors:
    A modular connector is an electrical connector that was originally designed for use in telephone wiring, but has since been used for many other purposes. Many applications that originally used a bulkier, more expensive connector have converted to modular connectors. Probably the most well known applications of modular connectors are for telephone jacks and for Ethernet jacks, both of which are nearly always modular connectors.
    I've never really seen an application that doesn't use them unless it's designed for some very specific proprietary functionality perhaps, because these connectors are pretty standard now. Even HDBaseT in all cases I've used it in interface with modular RJ45 plugs and STP Cat6. Nowadays you don't even need RJ11 connectors for phones though unless you're terminating for a dedicated phone jack like what you would see on the back of a telephone modem. If they put an RJ45 port on the back it might be a little confusing as to whether that's for something else or the phone line.

    I mentioned non-EZ-thru modular connectors vs EZ-thru connectors though.

    The EZ-thru ones are definitely easier because the technician has less prepwork and things to consider before crimping the connector, but that doesn't come without it's disadvantages. I've seen where the EZ-thru ones have broken functionality of entire network switches. It gets to become even more of a problem if you're dealing with PoE. If the blade on your tool is dull it won't cut as clean as it once did too which is what I've noticed after doing thousands of them; sometimes the wires at pins 1 or 8 would not fully cut through.
    Last edited by AceInfinity; 08-09-2016 at 02:48 PM.
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  8. #8
    Digerati's Avatar
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    Re: Making your own ethernet cables.

    Yeah, I know they are all called "modular" and have for years. I just got caught by the modular/non-modular as it applies to power supplies, or even other electronics, or even homes where individual rooms are built in factories, then shipped to and put together on site. In other words, cranial flatulence.
    Bill (AFE7Ret)
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  9. #9
    AceInfinity's Avatar
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    Re: Making your own ethernet cables.

    Ahh, I now see what you mean! Yes :)
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  10. #10

    Re: Making your own ethernet cables.

    nice post

  11. #11

    Re: Making your own ethernet cables.

    I would just like to add that making your own cables properly is a great skill to have. There have been many times troubleshooting in a server room when I have been asked to try a cross-over to connect a like device to like device (i.e. switch-to-switch). I have personally seen equipment that is supposed to be auto-sensing not sensing correctly and errors racking up on ports.

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