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  • If you do plan on going through the walls of your house, or plan on using more than 50 feet of cat5 cable you may want to buy the cable in a spindle (bulk), and do your own crimping. Crimping is the act of taking a bare cat5 cable (take note, there are 8 wires inside the cable), and attaching the RJ-45 connectors onto the ends. For those of you that may be trigger happy, hold off attaching those connectors until you've passed the cable through the small holes you've drilled in your walls. I know it sounds like an obvious thing, but all too often this can be forgotten.

    Cat 5 Cable

    Crimping a cat5 cable is not too difficult a task with the right tools. First off you'll need a wire-crimping device which you can pick up at your local hardware store for about $25. The crimping device is used to attach the small metal connectors (or prongs) onto the cat 5 wires when slid into the RJ-45 connector. Trying to do this without a crimping device can prove to be a very daunting task. Second, for those that like to remove the hassle from projects like these, find a local cabling store and pick up an RJ45 loopback tester. This tool will tell you if you successfully crimped the connector on the end of your network cable, and even the speed rating of your cable medium, not to mention that all of your friends will want to borrow it.

    Crimping Tools

    To crimp a bare cat5 cable, first carefully cut off about a quarter inch of the plastic casing away from the cable. Before you crimp, it is important to understand that the order that you place the wires inside the connector is critical. The order is:

      1 White-Green
      2 Green
      3 White-Orange
      4 Blue
      5 White-Blue
      6 Orange
      7 White-Brown
      8 Brown

    Carefully spread out the eight color-coded wires, put them inside the RJ-45 jack, and crimp. Once you think you've got a good cable, grab your RJ45 loopback tester and verify your success. These devices can be great, as I can't tell you how many times we've done a bad crimping job only to find that we have to do it all over again.

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