Wiring your own Category 5 or Cat 5 cables has many benefits. You can purchase cheap Cat5 cable if you buy it in bulk, versus if you were to buy the same length of already prepared wire. You can also cut the wire at your own desired length so that you can avoid having excess wire looking messy behind your desk or even worse, not enough wire.
Wiring your own Cat 5 wire is a simple project that can easily be completed within an hour. For this project you will need a few essential supplies:
- First of course is a bulk amount of Cat 5 cable.
- Second, you will need a bulk amount of RJ45 crimp-able connectors for Cat 5.
- Third, you will need a RJ45 crimping tool.
- A completely optional but very helpful tool is an inexpensive Ethernet cable tester, this would be used to test the cable and make sure everything is connected properly.
Before beginning you need to know if you will be connecting your computer to another computer or if you will be connecting it into a router. If you will be connecting your computer to another computer you will be using the Crossover Method, if your computer will be connected to a router, switch, or hub, you will be using the straight through method.
Cut 1 inch of the plastic sheath off of your Cat 5. Your crimping tool should have a razor blade that will accomplish this quickly. Make sure not to cut into the wires inside the sheath.
Look at the wires inside the sheath and pair them according to color. This is referred to as the Lan cable color code. For example, solid green and green stripes would be paired, solid orange and orange stripes would be paired, and so on.
Next you will flatten the wires out between your fingers depending on the order that they need to be placed in the connectors. The order of the wires is very important and the order depends on whether you will be using the Crossover Method or the Straight Through Method.
Use scissors to cut the wires a half-inch from the plastic sleeve. Be sure that the cut is straight across all the wires.
Now that you have your wires in the correct order and at the correct length you can insert them into the connector. After inserting the wires make sure that they all go to the end of the connector, and that the plastic sheath is well within the connector. If the wires or sheath aren’t where they are supposed to be then adjustments need to be made.
Use your crimping tool to tighten the connector onto the wires and the sheath. Now, if everything was done correctly, this side of the cable is ready to use.
Now you just need to repeat the steps for the other side of your cable. Once done with both ends you can use the Ethernet cable tester, to test your cable and make sure everything is put together correctly. If your cable works then it is now ready to be plugged up.
Congratulations! You just finished your first Cat 5 cable!