Making CAT5e Cables

I have recently gotten into making cables by terminating cat5e cables with RJ45 ends. Doing this allows you to create cables of any length you want or need and can potentially save you money if you’re making many cables from the same spool of cabling. Initially, I wanted to use this skill to ‘patch up’ a damaged Ethernet cable by cutting out the damaged part, re-terminating each side of the damaged part that was cut out, and joining the two cables with an Ethernet coupler.

Today, I made cables to run to my all in one PC (across the room from my switch) and to use on my desk for when I need internet connectivity when working with a computer or device, but the cable I currently had on my server was a bit longer than I needed it to be, which left a great deal of slack. To remedy this, I decided to make a new cable that was just the right length.

The Tools and Materials:

From left to right, top to bottom: RJ-45 ends, CAT 5e Cable, RJ45 Crimper, RJ45/RJ11 Cable Tester

The Devices:

Dell PowerConnect 2716 16 Port Gigabit Managed Switch with old cable to server (black cable on port 4).
My server, MERCURY.

The Process:

The first thing I had to do was cut the cable to the approximate length I needed in order to run it from my switch to my server (probably about 6 feet, my switch isn’t too far from my server).

Me cutting the cable at the length I need it at (sorry for the blurry picture).

Then, I had to remove the plastic sheath (outer layer) from the cable in order to expose the unshielded twisted wire pairs that I had to work with.

This is what the wires inside the cable look like!

Then, I had to arrange the wires in the proper order in order to insert them into the RJ45 end. The order for straight through cables (and, I suppose, one end of a cross-over cable) is:

Orange with white stripe, solid orange, green with white stripe, solid blue, blue with white stripe, solid green, brown with white stripe, and finally solid brown.

A quick way to verify that the wires are in the correct order is to check that no two adjacent wires are the same type (solid or white stripe). Instead, they should alternate (white stripe, solid, white stripe, etc.).

This is what the wires should look like once they are arranged properly.

Then, I had to cut the wires down with my crimper’s cutter so the RJ45 end would properly clamp down onto the plastic outer sheath when crimped. After that, I slid the wires into the eight channels inside the RJ45 end and pressed them in as far as they would go.

What it looks like with the wires inside, before crimping.

Once I double-checked that the wire order was, in fact, correct (sometimes the wires like to shift as they are slid into the RJ45 connector), I crimped the RJ45 end onto the cable with my crimper.

Crimping the RJ45 end onto the cable.
The finished project. Beautiful, isn’t it?

Finally, I had to do the same thing on the other end of the cable. The process was exactly the same. The only difference was the end of the cat5e cable I was working with.

After that, I tested the cable to verify that it had good connectivity on each of the eight contacts on both RJ45 ends. This cable tester tests each of the wires individually.

While you can’t see it in this picture, each end of the cable had connectivity on all eight contacts. On each side of the cable tester, the same numbered light lit up indicating that the cable was good to go!

The New Cable in its New Home

Main switch.

And that’s it! New cable created and installed.