The Network cable: your best friend

Although we live in an era of wireless technology, being connected by being not connected it is still very common to use a network cable. And most particular a CAT 5 ethernet cable.
This cable is used to connect your computer/router/switch/other to your modem for example. Or to connect 2 computer to each other.

Did you know that it is fairly easy to make your own ethernet cable? Well at least when you get the actual wire.
Let me show you how…

First off you will need to decide which cable you are going to make. There are 2 types, a straight cable (very funny, I know) and a cross cable.
The difference is the way you connect the wires to the RJ45 plugs.
A straight cable is used to connect devices from a different level in the OSI model, a cross cable is to connect 2 devices of the same level.

So for example PC to router = straight
Computer to computer = cross

‘K.. that being said. Following is needed to create a network cable.

The cable itself (cat 5 ethernet cable)

RJ45 Plugs:
Crimping tool:

Shouldn’t be too hard to find in a hardware or DIY store.

Now, take the ethernet cable and cut a few centimeters of the grey cover, so all the coloured wires are visible (as in above screenshot).
Now take the RJ45 plug and take a look inside, you’ll see that there are 8 little “gutters” so to speak… And you also have 8 wires coming from the ethernet cable…

Coincidence? I don’t think so

Good, now unraffle all the coloured wires, none of them should be entangled anymore.
Once they are loose, you should sort the cables in the correct order.
And the correct order depends on what you are going to make.

For a straight cable you have 2 options, for a crossed cable you have one. (I took following images from the internet, my apologies if I stole someones work, or violated some law.. The picture is yours I’m sorry, please forgive me lord and master *bow*)

Just pick one of these schemas (either the top one or the bottom one, it doesn’t matter). This should be done on BOTH ENDS of the cable (this does matter)
A cross cable has a different connection on both sides of the cable. This so pick an end, and make the combination left or right of the picture. Make the other combination on the other end of your cable.
Now once you got the little cables in the correct order (a pain in the ass I know), cut them off at the same height. Like this:

It takes some practice I admit.
Now take you RJ45 plug and turn the opening TOWARD you with the little clip DOWN. Put the 8 cables IN THE CORRECT ORDER in the 8 littles gutters. You may need to do this a few times. Push them in far enough. Idealy, there should be some part of the grey cover of the cable into the plug as well.

Since the RJ45 plug is transparent you can always check if the cables are still in the correct order. Just make sure you always check this the same way you put them in. Hole toward you little clip down.
It may seem silly that I said it 2 times, but trust me.. Experience told me that it will happen to look at the cable the wrong way. Don’t feel stupid… it just happens.. :P

Once you got them in, take your crimping tool. Carefully push the RJ45 plug with the cables connected into the only hole it fits in the crimping tool… And now.. Crimp! Push rather hard, by doing this the 8 cables will be pushed permanently into the RJ45 plug.

Read my lips PER-MA-NENT…  ;-)

If you crimp it and only later you see that one of the wires is connected incorrectly, the only option you have is to cut off the top and start over.

Now to the same for the other side. Careful! Create the same connection on the other side for a straight trough cable and don’t do that for the crossed cable (check the schema to be sure).

The result should be something like this:

Again, was that hard?… Well maybe a little bit :D

Let me know how it worked out!


6 thoughts on “The Network cable: your best friend

  1. Pingback: Computer to Computer connections « Tech-o-rama

  2. Thank you for reading my blog so regularly. I enjoy yours a lot, too, even though I’m techy-deficient. I love the way you explain things and your graphics are fabulous. Thanks again. Stay in touch. Cindy

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