Unsuitable Length of Ethernet Cable In Your Application?

Sometimes we may encounter the situation where the length of Ethernet cable bought in store is not suitable for the application. Is there an cost-effective way to solve this problem? Terminating the cable with RJ45 connector or using a RJ45 coupler to connect two cables by yourself can be a good option. This passage will introduce these two ways to solve such awkward problem.

Terminate Ethernet Cable With RJ45 Connector
Overview of RJ45 Connector

Before we come to the termination process, let’s have a brief overview of RJ45 connector. The letter “RJ” represents “registered jack”, which is a standardized physical network interface for connecting telecommunication or data equipment. RJ45 connector features eight positions and eight contact pins (8P8C). Material of the connector often uses plastic which makes it look transparent, thus the connector can also be called crystal connector (shown as the figure below). RJ45 connector is the most common twisted-pair connector for Ethernet cables.

RJ45 connector

Necessary Tools for Termination

Using special tools for termination is very important. You should not cut the cable with other unprofessional tools since it may cause damage and increase signal loss. Jacket cutter or wire stripper is needed to safely cut the jacket off and not hurt the inner wires. Cable crimping tool is necessary for crimping the RJ45 connector onto the wire to make a compact connection. Wire cutter is used to neatly cut the cable ends. Ethernet testing tool is important for the final check of the cable when termination is complete.

Steps of Termination Process

After everything is prepared, you can start terminating the Ethernet cable. Just follow the steps one by one, and the process can be done within several minutes.

Step one. Trim the end of the Ethernet cable with a crimping tool. Strip off about one inch of the jacket, leaving the twisted pairs outside.

Step two. Separate the 4 twisted wire pairs from each other, and then unwind each pair. Flatten the 8 individual wires as much as possible to make preparation for proper individual insertion into the connector.

Step three. Make clear on which standard you are based, then carefully place the wires in order according to that standard.

Step four. Hold the RJ45 connector and carefully insert the prepared wires into the connector, pushing them through the connector until the wire ends come out of the connector’s pin side. Make sure the color order is correct. If not, remove the wires from the connector and do it again.

Step five. Carefully cut the wire ends using crimping tool. Make sure the ends are as flush with the connector’s surface as possible to ensure a good plug-in connection.

If you have experience to install or maintain cables in LANs, you may know how important to terminate Cat5e, Cat6 or Cat6a bulk Ethernet cables with RJ45 connectors. Mastering this skill sometimes can save time as well as money in Ethernet cable installations.

Use a RJ45 Coupler

A RJ45 coupler, or inline coupler, is a small device with two female RJ45 jacks that joins two wires with Ethernet plugs together (shown as the figure below). Inline couplers do not provide any amplification or signal boost, and can cause attenuation and signal degradation unless they are of high quality. The primary use for a RJ45 coupler is to turn two short Ethernet computer networking cables into one long cable. When processing this, the RJ45 couplers need to be built to carry two cables with the same bandwidth in the network. This can be a convenient way to join two RJ45-terminated cables together to form one long cable.

RJ45 coupler

Conclusion

Learning the skill of Ethernet cable termination or connecting two cables with RJ45 couple efficiently solves the problem of unsuitable cable length. In this way, Ethernet cables can be more flexible to suit different applications. FS.COM provides the related copper products mentioned in the article, such as Cat5e cable 305m, Cat5e coupler, Cat6 coupler, RJ45 to RJ45 connector, etc. If you want to know more details, please visit our site or contact us via sales@fs.com.

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What Is The Difference Between Cat5, Cat5e, and Cat6 Cable?

00ftWhen it comes to network cabling, there are always a variety of choices. And there is no doubt that people prefer the cable with high performance and low price. In this article, we will discuss three different copper cable options—Cat5, Cat5e, Cat6. After reading, you will be much more acquainted with these cable specifications and have a better idea of what you would like to use in your network.

Overview of Cat5, Cat5e, and Cat6

First, let’s come to the overview of Cat5, Cat5e and Cat6 cables. Cat5, or Category 5, is an Ethernet network cable standard defined by the Electronic Industries Association and Telecommunications Industry Association (commonly known as EIA/TIA). Cat5 cable uses the fifth generation of twisted pair Ethernet technology and contains four pairs of copper wire supporting Fast Ethernet. Cat5e, or Cat5 enhanced, is designed to better support Gigabit Ethernet by utilizing all four wire pairs. And Cat5e cable additionally preserves backward compatibility with Fast Ethernet equipment. As the sixth generation of twisted pair Ethernet cable, Cat6 contains four pairs of copper wire and utilizes all of these pairs for signaling in order to obtain the higher level of performance—supporting 10G Ethernet. Here is a figure of the inner structure of Cat5, Cat5e and Cat6.

Inner Structure of Cat5, Cat5e and Cat6

Differences Between Cat5, Cat5e, and Cat6

This part will discuss the differences between Cat5, Cat5e and Cat6 from four aspects: speed, length, cost and application.

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 Cat5 cable, it can handle 10/100 Mbps speed (Fast Ethernet) with bandwidth up to 100 MHz; for Cat5e cable, it can support 1 Gigabit Ethernet with bandwidth up to 100MHz; while Cat6 can support higher data rate of 10 Gigabit Ethernet with bandwidth up to 250 MHz.

Length

The common ground for Cat5, Cat5e and Cat6 cable is that they are all designed for short distance data transmission, because they are made of copper wires. Their cable runs are limited to a maximum recommended length of 100 meters (328 feet) for their nominal connection speeds—Fast Ethernet speed for Cat5, 1 Gigabit Ethernet speed for Cat5e and Cat6. At present, Cat5 cable 1000ft (305m), Cat5e cable 1000ft (305m) and Cat6 cable 1000ft (305m) are available on the market, and both of them can support 1000Mbps maximum data rate with 100MHz bandwidth.

Cost

Compared with Cat5e cables, the cost of Cat6 cables is typically 10 to 20% more expensive because of higher transmission speed. However, the cost of these cables are comparatively low, which only takes up a very small portion of the total budget once you consider all the other equipment (racks, servers, switches, routers, etc). For the consideration of your application, Cat6 might be a better choice if higher data rate is required. The additional cost can save you more money in the long run.

Application

Cat5 is often connected to patch panels, switches, routers, desktops, IP phones and many other networks and network devices that utilize the internet. And traditionally, Cat 5e cable is run for the business telephones. Cat 6 is suited for broadband video and digital video applications because of the lower signal losses and better transmission performance at higher frequency.

Conclusion

Be sure to make clear of these three types of Ethernet cables and select the suitable one for your home or business project. I hope the information in this article could be helpful or a guide for you when you are confused about which Ethernet cable to choose.