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puttings ends on a network cable?

2194 Views 3 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  madgunde
We have cable run in our office, it has never been used, just put in when renovating. Now I need to use the cable, but the cat 5 cable does not have the ends that plug into the computer and router. What do I need to do this, and where can I find what I need? I searched on, but I sure what the exact name was so no results in my search.

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Working from memory here, you can buy the ends in packages of 4 or 6 at Home Depot (other places, too, no doubt). They're called RJ something--I never bothered to remember the number because they're obviously larger than phone jacks. While you're there, you can get a special all-in-one tool that will cut and strip the cable, then crimp the jack onto the cable when you've got those tiny wires all lined up nicely. The crimper I bought actually had detailed instructions on how to feed the wires into the jack, and in what order. I've done over a dozen of these, with very little trouble.

Hope this helps.
You need the ends (obviously) and a crimper to put them on. I don't think Staples carries crimpers. I had to get mine through an electronics supply store here. It was quite a few years ago, but I think it cost around $50 for the crimper. Crimping ends can be quite tricky though. Not the actual act of crimping, but it you untwist too much of the wires before crimping the end, or have wires that aren't nicely crimped into the end, or too far off in lengths, you will not get full performance out of the cable. Generally you will see it work under 10Mbs speeds, but anything past that it won't work.

It will probably be cheaper and more effective to take a different route. You can buy quick-connect jacks from Rona/Home Depot/etc for around $5 each. Place these on each end of the cable, and then go buy a couple of prefab cat 5 cables to put between the jack and computer/router. The quick-connect jacks are much more forgiving than making your own cables, and don't require any special tools.

Edit: Kazak posted while I was typing and he is right, Rona/HomeDepot will carry the crimpers as well. However, mine didn't come with any instructions so YMMV. And the number he was looking for is RJ45.
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Google is your friend. That link shows you how to crimp the connectors on. Another option, probably a better one, depending on the situation, is to install RJ-45 jacks at each end so you can then just plug in a standard patch cable. The reason this is a good idea is the clips on an RJ-45 connector are fragile and most likely to break. Installing a jack that you plug into eliminates the possibility of downtime while waiting to have the connector replaced. Also, replacing a connector shortens the cable each time since you have to cut off the old connector. Depending on how much slack you have, and how often you break the connector, you could wind up with a cable that is too short to reach the intended equipment.

You can find RJ-45 jacks at Home Depot, and the one's I've bought from them don't require any special tool to punch down the wires (it includes a small plastic punch down tool). Given that this option doesn't require a crimp tool, it might be cheaper, particularly if you have spare RJ-45 ethernet patch cables lying around that you can use to plug your router and PC into their respective jacks.

By the way, here are some helpful links to products on Home Depot's website:
Crimping Tool
RJ-45 connectors
Ethernet Jack Insert
Wall mount and face plate for ethernet jack

So you're either going with the first two, or the last two.
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