Tag: patch cable

How To: Make a Cat-6 Patch Cable

Category 6 (Cat-6) patch cable and plugs differ from Cat-5e. Cat-6 plugs are modular and specced to be of higher quality, in order to support the required 300 MHz signal rate and handle 1 Gbit/s to 10 Gbit/s transfer rates. Category 5e cable also supports Gigabit Ethernet, but limited by design to a maximum 100 MHz signal rate.

  1. Cut the needed cable length. If using boots for the plugs (the rubber thingies that usually feature a protective cap), slide them on now.
  2. Trim the outer cable about 3-4 cm / 1.2-1.5″ down. Untwist the cable pairs – use the outer insulation piece to do this faster.
  3. Cat-6 cable has a plastic spine that needs to be cut away before crimping the plug onto the cable. Fold the cable pairs out and pull on the spine while cutting it as far in as you’re able to do.
  4. Straighten the cable pairs well using your fingers and gather them next to each other in the correct order according to one of  the below diagrams. Hold them tightly together and cut them as straightly as possible. (If using a load-bar, cut them at a sharp angle for easier insertion. Recheck the sequence and insert them thru the load-bar one at a time.)CAT6 568-A Wiring Diagram
    CAT6 568-A Wiring Diagram
  5. Recheck the sequence of the wires, then insert them into the plug with the brown wires to the right side.
  6. Crimp the cable by inserting and aligning the plug into your preferred RJ-45 crimping tool. Make sure that all wires go all the way to the end of the plug.
  7. If using a boot for the plug, push it all the way down over the plug.
  8. Repeat for the other end. If making a crossover cable, refer to the other diagram for the second plug (568-A on one end and 568-B on the other).
  9. If you have a cable tester, this would be a good time to test that all the four pairs are working correctly. (See your device instructions).
    There being two types of network cable – solid and stranded core, make sure you either know exactly which type of cable you have before buying the correct plugs, or buy plugs that support both types. Make sure, if using cable with an AWG (guage) of 22, that the cable and plugs are genuine AWG 22 Cat-6 (8P8C) – not just Cat-5/5e sold as Cat-6. If they’re actually guage 24, they may not make proper connection. Many asian manufacturers do not make the cables and plugs according to the quality requirements of Cat-6 specification (copper clad instead of 100% copper). True CAT6 plugs are modular and should have polished contacts. Some Cat-6 cables are too large and may be difficult to attach to 8P8C connectors without a special modular piece and are technically not standard compliant.