How to DIY Ethernet Cables?

Buying the Ethernet cable in stores is probably a common way for average people. However, have you ever met the problem that the cable length is too long or too short? It is so difficult to find the most appropriate cable length at ordinary stores for your network. Especially when the cable is too long, the extra length may end up becoming a mess at your place. In order to solve this issue, why not DIY Ethernet Cable? You can create your desired length and the procedures are fairly simple. This post will guide you to make a DIY Ethernet cable.

Essential Tools and Materials

Before you get started, there are some necessary tools and materials needed during the procedure. Wire cutter or wire stripper is used for the task of cutting and stripping wires. RJ45 cable crimping tool can make your cable’s data plug a permanent part of your new cable. RJ45 data plugs are important materials which can be found at many cable stores. Some plugs are labeled specifically Cat 6 or Cat 5e, you can buy specific ones if your network needs one or the other. And you should prepare the bulk Cat 5, Cat 5e, Cat 6 or other Ethernet cables according to your needs. Sometimes, having a cable tester is better since it will save time and prevent headaches down the line when you have a problem with a cable or connection.

Which Wiring Schemes?

Ethernet cables have several standard wiring schemes. T568A and T568B are the common wiring schemes which define the order of the individual wires and pin-outs for eight-pin modular connectors and jacks. If the cable is used for home-networking connections, T568B wiring scheme is recommended. T568A wiring scheme may be employed for the preexisting residential network wiring or other similar projects. The following figure presents the different wiring orders of T568A and T568B.


DIY Ethernet Cable Steps

After all the preparations, now you are ready to make your own Ethernet cable. Follow these DIY Ethernet cable steps and you will soon have your first self-made cable.

    • Step 1, measure the cable to the proper length you want. And don’t forget to add an inch or two because you may lose a bit of cable during the process. Then use the tool to cut down the cable.

DIY Ethernet Cable

    • Step 2, remove the outer jacket of the cable. A good way to do so is to cut lengthwise with snips or a knife along the side of the cable, away from yourself, about an inch toward the open end. Also leave an inch to an inch and a half if you are green hand.


    • Step 3, untwist and straighten the wires, then arrange the wires into the desired scheme order.


    • Step 4, once your wires are in the correct order, trim the excess away. Only leave slightly less wire to be fit inside the RJ45 clip. And hold the wires in place with your fingers and insert them all at once into the data plug.


    • Step 5, place your data plug into your crimping tool and give it a firm squeeze. And you just finally complete your Ethernet cable.



If condition permits, using the cable tester to test the Ethernet cable before installation is recommended. Getting this new skill, you will no more worry about the cable length, you can make them as long or as short as you want. Enjoy using your DIY Ethernet cable!

Related Article:

RJ45 Cat5e cable, How to Crimp It?

How to Wire Cat5e Ethernet Cable

Cat5e vs Cat6 Cable – Which do You Choose?

As one type of copper cabling, twisted pair wiring is widely adopted for Ethernet networks which wraps the two conductors of a single circuit together. Nowadays, many kinds of twisted pair network cables are available in the market. To specify the cable wiring standards, the Electronic Industries Alliance (EIA) and Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) have defined twisted pair cables into a series of categories, such as Cat5, Cat5e, Cat6, Cat6a, Cat 7, etc. This article will put emphasis on  Cat5e vs Cat6 cable to see their differences and discuss which one to choose for your network applications.

Cat5e vs Cat6 Cable

Wiring Standards of Cat5e and Cat6 Cables

Two standards of T568A and T568B can be used to wire Cat5e and Cat6 Ethernet cable. The only difference between T568A and T568B is that the green/green strip and orange/orange strip wire positions are swapped. In general, T568B is more popular for office and commercial networks. But no matter which wiring standard you choose, the most important thing is to continue with the selected standard for consistency. The following picture shows the concrete structure of T568A and T568B wiring.


Differences Between Cat5e vs Cat6 Cable

Cat5e vs Cat6 Cable: Speed

Data speed is important for cable selections. You have to choose the cable that is equivalent to what is running on it. As for Cat5e patch cable, it can support 1 Gigabit Ethernet. While Cat6 cable can support a higher data rate of 10 Gigabit Ethernet. This is because Cat6 cable performs up to 250 MHz, which is more than twice that of Cat5e cable with 100 MHz.

Cat5e vs Cat6 Cable: Maximum Length

The common ground of Cat5e vs Cat6 cables is that they are all designed for short distance data transmission because they are made of copper wires. If the cable is used for lower data rate transfer, both Cat5e and Cat6 are able to reach the maximum length of 100 meters. However, when the data rate achieves the maximum speed, the Cat5e cable can only reach 50 meters and Cat6 with 37 meters.

Cat5e vs Cat6 Cable: Cost

Compared with Cat5e cables, the cost of Cat6 cables is typically 10 to 20% more expensive because of the higher transmission speed. But the price of these cables is comparatively cheap, which only takes up a small portion of the total budget. For the consideration of your application, Cat6 might be a better choice if a higher data rate is required. The additional cost can save you more money in the long run.

Cat5e vs Cat6 Cable: Application

Traditionally, Cat5e cable is run for the business telephones. But using Cat6 cable with a phone might be a waste. Cat6 is suited for broadband video and digital video applications because of the lower signal losses and better transmission performance at higher frequencies compared with Cat5e.

Can We Use Cat5e With Cat6 Cable?

The answer is yes. Regardless of a possibly different coating on the pins, Cat5e and Cat6 are both employing the RJ45 plug standard which makes them compatible with each other. But you can only receive a limited speed of the lowest link in the chain. Therefore, if you want to receive the best performance of cables, you should better use the matching components for your application.


As regard with Cat5e vs Cat6 cable, they are two different categories of twisted pair cabling. The major difference between them is the data speed. Cat6 has a higher speed than Cat5e which accordingly varies its maximum length, cost, and application. All these factors are important for you to make a choice between Cat5e and Cat6. Moreover, if a higher speed over long distance is demanded, fiber optic cables might be a better solution.

Related Article:

Quick View of Ethernet Cables Cat5, Cat5e And Cat6
Home Ethernet Wiring Guide: How to Get a Wired Home Network?
How to Terminate and Install Cat5e, Cat6 Keystone Jacks?

How To Install Twisted Pair Cable Connectors

Currently, twisted-pair Ethernet Cabling is most ubiquitous, particularly UTP cabling, for For LAN and telephone installations. The main method to put connectors on twisted-pair cables is crimping. You use a tool called a crimper to push the metal contacts inside the connector onto the individual conductors in the cable, thus making the connection.
Firstly, we should know the types of twisted-pair cable connectors
Two main types of connectors/plugs are used for connectorizing twisted-pair cable in voice and data communications installations: the RJ-11 and RJ-45 connectors. Figure1 shows examples of RJ-11 and RJ-45 connectors for Twisted Pair Cable. Notice that these connectors are basically the same, except the RJ-45 accommodates more conductors and thus is slightly larger. Also note that the RJ-11 type connector shown in Figure1, while having six positions, is only configured with two metal contacts instead of six. This is a common cost-saving practice on RJ-11 type plugs when only two conductor contacts will be needed for a telephone application. Conversely, you rarely see an RJ-45 connector with less than all eight of its positions configured with contacts.

RJ-11 connectors, because of their small form factor and simplicity, were historically used in both business and residential telephone applications, and they remain in widespread use in homes. RJ-45 connectors, on the other hand, because of the number of conductors they support (eight total), are used primarily in LAN applications. Current recommendations are to install RJ-45 jacks for telephone applications because those jacks support both RJ-11 and RJ-45 connectors.

Both types of connectors are made of plastic with metal “fingers” inside them (as you can see in Figure 1). These fingers are pushed down into the individual conductors in a twisted-pair cable during the crimping process. Once these fingers are crimped and make contact with the conductors in the twisted-pair cable, they are the contact points between the conductors and the pins inside the RJ-11 or RJ-45 jack.

Two versions RJ connectors are stranded-conductor and solid conductors
>>Stranded-conductor twisted-pair cables
Stranded-conductor twisted-pair cables are made up of many tiny hairlike strands of copper twisted together into a larger conductor. These conductors have more surface area to make contact with but are more difficult to crimp because they change shape easily. Because of their difficulty to connectorize, they are usually used as patch cables.
>>solid-conductor cables
Most UTP cable installed in the walls and ceilings between patch panels and wall plates is solid-conductor cable. Although they are not normally used as patch cables, solid-conductor cables are easiest to connectorize, so many people make their own patch cords out of solidconductor

Tools for Connector Crimping

The first tool you’re going to need is a Fiber Stripper, as shown in Figure 2. It will only cut through the outer jacket of the cable, not through the conductors inside. Many different kinds of cable strippers exist, but the most common are the small, plastic ones that easily fit into a shirt pocket. They are cheap to produce and purchase.
Another tool you’re going to need when installing connectors on UTP or STP cable is a cable connector crimper. Many different styles of Network Cable Crimping Tool can crimp connectors on UTP or STP cables. Figure3 shows an example of a crimper that can crimp both RJ-11 and RJ-45 connectors.
Notice the two holes for the different connectors and the cutting bar.


The last tool you’re going to use is a cable tester. This device tests for a continuous signal from the source connector to the destination and also tests the quality of that connection

Installing the Connector
Now we’ll go over the steps for installing the connectors. Pay particular attention to the order of these steps(shown in Figure 4)and be sure to follow them exactly.
Equipment from some manufacturers may require you to perform Warnin g slightly different steps. Check the manufacturer’s instructions before installing any connector.

Check to ensure all conductors are making contact and that all pins have been crimped into their respective conductors. If the connector didn’t crimp properly, cut off the connector and redo it.