crimping cat5 cable

Hey there,
I was trying to crimp some cat5 ethernet cable last night. I stripped the wires and used a punch down tool to press the wires into the connectors, but the wires would come loose before I could get all of them crimped. The cat5 cable uses stranded wire, and I'm wondering if this is what is causing my problems. I had already crimped a phone line without problems.
Assuming that the stranded wire is the problem, is there some kind of marette that can be used for slicing solid wire to the stranded wire? I could then crimp the solid wire to my connector and tuck everything into the wall behind the connector faceplate.
thanks
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Are you connecting the CAT5 to one of the "quickport" type of RJ-45 jacks or are you "crimping" an RJ45 "plug" to the end of a patch cable? Since you mentioned a wall-mounted connector faceplate, I'm assuming your connecting CAT5 inside your wall to a quickport style connector jack that mounts in the faceplate.
In that case, you usually don't need to strip the wires. You cut back the outside insulation of the CAT5 to show the individual wires (maybe 1/2" or so?), then you place each of the eight individual wires into their respective slots on the jack, usually denoted by a color guide on each side of the jack. Then use your punchdown tool to push the wire (insulation and all) in to its slot. The slot has a blade of sorts that slices into the insulation and makes contact with the actual wire inside.
It may be that because you were stripping the wire to start, it was not "thick" enough to stay in the slots.
Once the wires are in the slots and punched down, trim the ends back to be flush with the outside edges of the jack (I think some punchdown tools do this automatically, but not the little plastic ones that come with many of these jacks). Then place the little black cap over the connection area on the jack (covering your intividual wires) and press it down so it stays put. Then snap the whole enchilada into the faceplate.
Hope this helps... -- Vinnie

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thanks, for some stupid reason the instructions from the crimping tool said to strip the wires. My brain went on vacation, thanks for the reminder!
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CAT5 should be solid.
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Not on patch cables. :)
Jeff
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When I make up Cat5 cables (stranded), I carefully cut the outer jacket off, squarely cut off the ends of the conductors at the right length, put them in the right order, carefully and forcefully slide them into the connector making sure each wire slides into the correct position all the way. You don't individually strip each conductor wire. When you use the crimping tool, the insulation will be pierced and contact made automatically.
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You ought to consider using cat 6 instead of 5.

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snipped-for-privacy@nbr1.com says...

Why, Joe? Can you point me to any information on this?
Thanks,
Rick

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snipped-for-privacy@shaw.ca said...

Because it's like the Spinal Tap amp that goes to 11.
Other than that it's just a reason to spend more money.
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Cat 6 is state of the art cable, especially if you are stringing the cable over 25 feet. I have network connections in 4 bedrooms and my home office that are connected to a Linksys router. There is less loss possible with cat 6, and the cost isn't that much greater than 5 is. To prove my point check with a network consultant.

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Don't strip the wires, only strip off the main outer jacket - carefully, so as not to cut into the insulation around the wires. The blades in the connector will cut through the insulation on the individual wires and make contact with the core. The insulation provides protection to the wires and helps hold the wire in place.

If you are using a spring-loaded punch-down tool, try it on the higher setting. If you are using a manual one, like the cheapos that come with some parts from Home Depot, make sure you are seating each wire fully, and only use the tool for one or two jacks - they're not much good after that. Sometimes you have to use your fingers to fully seat the wires 'cause these cheapo tools are so bad. If you've got a lot of these to do, buy yourself a spring-loaded, metal-tipped tool.

To do something like this would require you to crimp an RJ45 to one wire and a jack to the other wire to make the splice. Whatever you do, always remember that "Category 5" is a rating that must be adhered to throughout the cable run for it to mean anything - including not only the jacks, plugs and cables, but also the techniques used to connect everything and even how and where to pull the wire. As soon as you do anything out of spec, the whole run is out of spec (it may still work, however).

Cat5 cable can use either solid or stranded wire - it matters not. When purchased unterminated, in my experience, solid is much more popular, and typically a bit cheaper. However, pre-made patch cables and such often use stranded wire to add flexibility. But, as far as the spec is concerned, they are interchangeable. However, the connectors you are trying to crimp into, plugs in particular, are made to be used with either stranded _or_ solid, and they usually do not work well with the wrong type.
Jacks are more forgiving, and can be used with any type, so this is unlikely to be the OP's problem (assuming he's talking about jacks when he says "connectors").
---JRE---
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Stranded wire doesnt work worth a hoot on punch down blocks. It just squishes and sooner or later comes out.

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The CAT5 should be solid. Stranded CAT5 is usually used in factory made patch cables and I don't believe it is stocked where normal consumers would shop. Did you cut up a factory cable? Crimping usually refers to attaching an RJ45 male onto a cable and using a crimp tool. If this is what you are doing then you have to buy the correct RJ45 plugs for stranded or solid. They look almost identical. If you are referring to the S110 type punch down blocks then you also have to verify that they were made for solid or stranded or both. In no case do you strip the individual wires! At one job the tech cut up patch cables and tried to punch them down. They worked for awhile but we had nothing but trouble with the connections. Kevin

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