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How to Make patch + crossover network cables

Today I'm covering how to make a network cable. Most of you will be alot better off simply buying pre-made cables. Making your own cables is not the easiest or quickest thing in the world to do. These cables are using cat5 cable and use RJ45 ends. If you're looking for 802.11G cables please leave!

The maximum length for a cat5 or cat5e cable is 328 feet or 100 meters. Do not even try to use lengths longer than this. If you need to cover a distance greater than this you'll need to put a cheap little hub or a switch in place at the end of the first cable to act as a signal repeater. This distance limitation is the same for both patch and crossover cables.

What do I need?

  1. Crimper
  2. Cable
  3. Ends
  4. Time
  5. Patience

If you have extra for #4 and #5 you can certainly get away with a cheap crimper. The crimper I'm using is also the cheapest one that I could find. Some people swear by using expensive crimpers, but since I have had no problems at all with this cheap one I'm not going to try and push that on you guys. If you do this kind of thing professionally I'm sure you could tell a difference, but the oddball cables I've had to make here and their I doubt I'd be able to tell a difference. On cheaper crimpers you will have to put a bit more force into the crimping process, but that's the only thing I've noticed.

Patch cables are also known as straight through cables. To do this you can connect a 568A end to a 568A end OR a 568B end to a 568B end. They must be the same on both ends.

Crossover Cables are generally what you use to connect one computer to another without using a switch. It has some other uses but I won't go into them here. To make one you will need to have one end of your cable using the 568A wiring and the other end using the 568B wiring.

This diagram is with pin 1 on the left and the tab facing you with the cable entering the bottom part of the end.


First thing you'll need to do is trim off about half an inch of the insulator. Alot of you will want 3/4" to an inch to work with at first. In the end you don't want any more uninsulated wire than you have to.
DO NOT take off anymore insulation than you need
DO NOT nick the wires. If you cut the wires even a little bit cut it all off and start over again.

After you've removed the insulator inspect it to make sure you didn't cut into it anywhere. If you did go back to the previous step. If things look OK then you can start straightening the cables and putting them in the order you need them. I suggest using something like the edge of a table to help you straighten them out.

When you're done they should be in the right order and and sitting fairly closely together. After that you'll be ready to trim. Make sure that you get them as straight as possible! If any cables are longer than the others your cable will not work properly!

After you believe you have the cables straight go ahead and insert them into the RJ45 end. After you push them in as far as they'll go examine it closely to make sure they're in the right order and they're all the same length. In the picture below I put pin 1 where pin 8 goes in 568A wiring. That's just to make sure you guys are READING :)

If it all looks good then go ahead and crimp it! Make sure you put plenty of muscle into it. You want to make sure you make a solid connection with all of the wires.

Now when you plug your cable into your computer and switch the light should come on if it's working properly. There's also cable testers you can buy but I don't want to get into that today.

Now you know how to make your own cables. Expect some basic networking guides in the near future.