Testing Cat5 connections?

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Old 12-18-08, 02:52 PM
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Testing Cat5 connections?

I recently ran Cat5 cable thoughout my house. I will soon crimp the plugs to the ends of the wires and I imagine it will be a good idea to test my connections. I came across this tester and was wondering what the pros think of it, keeping in mind that I won't be doing this type of thing very often (I hope, LOL).

Thanks,
Guy
 
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Old 12-18-08, 03:15 PM
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I just plugged one end into the router and the other end to my computer and then attempted to get on-line. This does require re-booting the computer from cold and maybe doing a router re-boot prior to the computer re-boot.

Of course, being retired I have to watch my pennies and I have WAY too many tools already that I will likely never use again.

Be real careful when crimping those plugs on the cables. It's really easy to slip on a pair of wires. I've had to cut several plugs off and re-do them because of this.
 
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Old 12-18-08, 03:54 PM
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Furd,

Thanks for the advice. I appreciate your situation. Since I'm still working and doing this in my "spare" time, I'm looking for a quick way to check things, particularly since I have about 10 jacks to check. I don't mind spending $20 something bucks if the tool will test the commonly seen problems accurately, given the kind of work that I'm doing. But, of course, I don't want to waste money on the wrong tool.

Guy
 
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Old 12-18-08, 04:04 PM
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Testing

At work we use a $13,000.00 piece of gear that will measure voltage drop, check mis-wired pairs, cross-talk, you name it.

HOWEVER, at home, I'd just plug one in in the router/modem/whatever and the other to the computer. If you get on-line....great, your done. Most likely if you CAN'T get on line....there is a bad twist in the cable or you have a mis-wired pair.

Somewhere I have a GREAT diagram of Cat5/Cat6 in either 568 A or B convention that shows what goes where. I'll look and try to find.

The average guy though.....if it works when you plug it in, then thats all the testing you need...
 
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Old 12-19-08, 03:58 AM
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I know some guys who use them and they work fine. It will test telephone wiring too (first two lines only). Buy two F-to-BNC adaptors and use it to test your TV cable connections as well.
 
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Old 12-19-08, 05:05 AM
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I will soon crimp the plugs to the ends of the wires
do yourself a favor and dont crimp

terminate one end to a jack and then use factory made patch cords the other end should go to a patch panel (or jacks) and use factory patch cords

it will save you a lot of grief long term

as to the tester its better than nothing but cheap testers like that can give you a false positive you need to spend a couple of hundred to get the minimum decent tester
 
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Old 12-19-08, 01:01 PM
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Mango makes a very good point. The cable from the station jack to the hub should be solid wire. Any cable using plugs should be stranded wire. Crimp-on plugs are a prime source of trouble when used on solid wire.

While commercially made patch cables are fairly inexpensive they are limited to stock sizes. I wanted patch cables about 18 to 24 inches in length and the commercial cables were 12 or 36 inches in length so I took some eight and ten foot patch cables the Verizon installer gave me and cut them to my desired length and crimped on the plug. I ended up ruining about three or four cables when the individual conductors slipped out of pace just before crimping but it was still less expensive than custom length cables. Since these were short cables I was able to do simple continuity tests by plugging them into eight-position modular jacks and then doing point-to-point testing.

I actually got pretty good at making up the patch cables but since that was a year or more ago I suspect I would have to go through the learning curve again.
 
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Old 12-29-08, 10:37 AM
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But IF you were going to crimp the CAT5e into an RJ45 connector, as long as you untwist each twisted pair just barely enough so that you can slide 1 of the wires into each of the 8 slots, the connection should work, I'm assuming.

If I'm wrong, tell me, because I might have to do this soon.

I'd rather not buy a tester, I also have too many tools I might never use again.
 
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Old 12-29-08, 12:47 PM
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crimping is just asking for trouble , its done all the time and its one of the reasons troubleshooting guides tell you to"always check the cable first" .

I do this for a living , own a $240.00 crimp tool and use it very rarely and only as a last resort

you are correct as long as you crimp the wires in the correct order it SHOULD work
a what capacity and for how long is the issue

spending a few dollars to do it right saves lots of grief in the long run in my opinion
 
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Old 12-29-08, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by doublezero View Post
But IF you were going to crimp the CAT5e into an RJ45 connector, as long as you untwist each twisted pair just barely enough so that you can slide 1 of the wires into each of the 8 slots, the connection should work, I'm assuming.
There's the problem. The spec says you have to keep the twists to within 1/2 inch of the connection, which is really REALLY difficult unless you have the proper tools to not only make the connection, but also to test it after you're done. It's so much easier and foolproof to buy the punch-down jacks and proper patch cables to do the job right. Not too much more $$ either ... probably less than $10 per drop.
 
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