Tim's blah blah blah

Crimping network cables

(Updated: )

Although most of us (including me) are familiar with making our own network cables/jacks, I recently wired network cable in my house learned some new things/abbreviations on cable thickness, cable material, pin termination, cross-over vs straight cables. I document my findings here for reference and case I forget in the future ;).


  1. UTP (wikipedia.org) (‘Unshielded Twisted Pair’) - A type of cable where the pairs of wires are twisted to improve signal quality, there are different shielding flavours available: U/UTP F/UTP U/FTP F/FTP (wikipedia.org)
  2. CAT (wikipedia.org) (‘Category’) a type of twisted pair cable specifically for Ethernet
  3. AWG (‘American wire gauge’) (wikipedia.org) - a certification for cable thickness, lower is thicker.
  4. RJ (‘Registered jack’) (wikipedia.org) - a type of jack/connector, RJ45 (wikipedia.org) is commonly used for for ethernet as it has 8 pins
  5. Punch down tool (wikipedia.org) (also known as LSA punch down) - a tool to punch wires in to IDC.
  6. T568A/B (wikipedia.org) - a type of wiring/termination schema for telecommunication
  7. IDC (‘Insulation-displacement connector’) (wikipedia.org) - a connector where the insulation of the wire is removed upon installation



Get a UTP cable (wikipedia.org) cable. Things to watch out for:


Get RJ45 (wikipedia.org) jacks


Pull the cable where you need it, when pulling them through tubes, lubricate with Vaseline or similar if you have difficulty. However note that vaseline might dry out and make the next pull more difficult (thanks RobIII).

Terminate the cables, either in a wall socket, or with a RJ45 plug (wikipedia.org). When terminating, be sure to: