IT professionals should be able to make their own cables. This includes patch cables and long custom length cables. Even if your startup has a virtualized network, it is still necessary to have physical networking equipment. However, if you are an IT professional or a DIY-minded advanced user of the internet, it is essential that you can cut, strip, and crimp your own Ethernet cables. If you are an IT professional who wants to gain experience with cabling, it is a great place to start.
The Networking Toolkit
This starter kit is great for people who need all the basic tools they need in one place. You can also choose individual tools from these options.
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Start trainingCrimper ToolYou will use this tool to crimp the RJ-45 cables. It can crimp and strip or cut.
Option A is a great start piece and can do simple tasks.
Option B is more expensive, but it is more worth it. The build quality of this tool is better and more durable for long-term use.
Punch Down ToolThe punchdown tool is designed primarily for the 110 block. It will fix the wire in the slot and trim the excess strands. This is a reasonably priced option.
This tool strips the casing and cuts the wires so that you can reorder them. This tool is particularly nice and simple to use. The ring at its end creates the loop motion around the wire. As it cuts through the individual wires, you will quickly learn how much pressure to apply to the cable.
These RJ45 Cable Heads are needed to cap your wires so that they can plug into ethernet ports. These will do the trick.
Wire You have two options: either buy a few 6-foot cable to practice with or get bulk cable that will last you a while.
Network Tester Although this tutorial does not cover the use of this tool it is an essential part of your basic networking kit.
Option A is great if you are just starting out and want to make a lot of cables to ensure that the order is correct. This will let you know if the cable is damaged.
Option B can test for continuity and open or short circuits, cross wires, incorrectly wired split pair, or continuity. If used with an Amplifier Probe (not supplied), it can also generate a tone signal to identify individual cables or locate a cable break.
Tone GeneratorA tone generator is not necessary, but it is a great tool for identifying which port on the patch panel is active. You can check for line breaks, opens and shorts as well as cross connections.
Option A is a good starting point.
Option B is a more powerful tool with more capabilities.
How to Make Your Cable Look Great
We will be making an RJ45 Cable using a T568A or B wiring standard. Keith Barker’s Cables, Connectors and Tools video provides a great overview of the different types of connectors and cables. RJ45’s are the best choice if you want to make a basic Ethernet cable.
1. You can cut the cable to the length you prefer, but leave some extra inches to thread it through the cable head. Use a cable stripper to remove enough plastic shielding to allow you access to the wires underneath. You can remove the insulation from the twisted pairs by twisting them. Use the cable cutters to remove the insulation. You should see the individual wires, down to the shielding. Place the wires in an order that corresponds with the standard on your patch panel (where it is plugged in). It’s usually T568A or B.7. Flatten the wires in the right order. Measure the length of the wire you need to extend through the cable head. Cut the wire to the required size. Push the wires through your cable head and crimp.