Connecting home electronics usually comes down to one thing – plug the wire into the socket and go. Computer technology has “grown wiser” enough not to require a physicist and mathematician diploma from the user. Once complex, requiring special training, actions have ceased to scare the modern home user: it does not matter whether to reinstall the operating system on a working machine or set up a router for home use. Together with electronics, the user has grown wiser – now you can open the site, read the instructions and repeat everything in practice. For example, amateurs “indulge” in setting up home servers, file storage or video surveillance, where devices are connected using a twisted pair. And therefore in such “entertainment” you often have to crimp the wires. Although there are ready-made solutions on the market, they are all brought to the standard and are unlikely to be useful for the unique tasks of a particular user, so any home enthusiast has to make twisted pairs with his own hands. Moreover, for this there is everything you need: tools, spare parts and wires. It remains only to find instructions and feel free to start experiments.
A twisted pair is several conductors that are “twisted” in a certain order, both among themselves and together. Since digital technology understands only digital language, a huge number of different signals have to be transmitted over wires: with different wavelengths, different voltages and shapes. All this is encoded and decoded by special “receivers” both on the one hand and on the other. Various factors can affect the quality and integrity of bits in a wire. For example, any sources of magnetic waves and radio signals – such as microwave ovens or 5 GHz routers .
In general, data transmission over a network obeys not only the laws of physics, and therefore has many related characteristics. For example, the signal and its range are influenced by the material from which the conductors in the cable are made and how they are located inside the sheath. We talked about this in detail in the article about how twisted pair works and how data is transmitted.
What is twisted pair cable for?
While wireless technology has long enveloped corporate networks, good old fashioned wiring is still relevant if you want to create a secure, fast, and stable network. And even at home it is sometimes “useful” to connect via cable. For example, to run a fast channel over several floors in a large house or just connect a smart TV over the wire when watching your favorite movies is interrupted by a weak WiFi receiver. And if you want to organize video surveillance in the house and outside it, you simply cannot do without a twisted pair cable and PoE .
Take wherever you want and how much you want – the main thing is that there are enough ports on the router. The only thing that can hinder a beginner is the lack of practical skills. Indeed, to assemble your patch cord, you must at least once see how the wire is crimped and what little things you need to take into account.
What you need to work
It should be said that ready-made twisted pairs can be found on the network devices market. They are called patch cords – such cables are usually produced according to standard patterns and do not differ in a large assortment in size or quality. Moreover, they cannot be used everywhere – a ready-made cable with a connector at the end cannot be passed under a roof or through a thin hole without damaging the connectors. Moreover, off-the-shelf wires cannot offer the user the same level of quality and stability as a home-made cable. After all, “for yourself” you can choose the best components . To create a top-end twisted pair you will need:
The wire. The twisted pair is divided into categories that indicate the maximum performance of the conductors. For home use, choose models of category 5e. It is important that the strands of the twisted pairs are made of copper, not copper-plated aluminum or pure aluminum at all.
Connectors. They are also classified by type and correspond to the designations that apply to the cable. That is, wire 5e needs 5e connectors. High-quality connectors have completely gold-plated contacts – we take this into account when buying. Because there is a props – when there is gilding only at the junction of the connector and contacts in the receiving device.
Crimper. The choice of tool is limited by finance and the front of the job. If you need to compress a couple of wires per year, you can stop at the simplest crimper. If assembling twisted pairs becomes a daily job, we look better and more expensive.
Knife. If the crimper does not have cutting edges, then you can take a clerical or shoemaker – anyone who finds it convenient to clean the cable from the outer sheath.
Screwdriver. A secret tool.
Device for checking. After crimping, the cable must be checked for signal quality and the absence of a short circuit. If this is an industrial scale or, at least, building a serious home network, it is better to use a special twisted pair tester. If the set-top box is connected to the Internet, it is enough to roll a new cable on known working devices and make sure that everything works.
Preparing for crimping
Before crimping, you need to prepare the twisted pair. Let it be a segment with a small margin:
Regular Cat. 5e cable with copper conductors and a soft, high-quality sheath is enough for household tasks with a head. Even an experienced craftsman can “screw up” the process, so the connector is a consumable item. Let them also be in stock:
Simple 5e type connectors – gold and fake. For realism, we will use the simplest crimper available on the market:
Such a tool is enough for the needs of a home craftsman and even a specialist. Flat blade screwdriver:
A secret tool.
We decide on the method of crimping the twisted pair. For example, for a computer-to-computer connection, a cross arrangement of pairs in a connector was previously used. And to connect a computer to a router – a direct pinout. Now all equipment automatically transfers the required pairs in places and for standard tasks you can always use the direct crimping method:
Both connectors are crimped identically.
Preparing the wire and connector
We strip the wire about one and a half lengths of the connector. We try to do it as carefully as possible so as not to damage the shell of the veins themselves:
Each pair is different in color and twisted in a specific order. It is necessary to untwist the conductors, but so that the hidden part of the wire under the sheath remains in the factory twisted state. This is necessary to maintain noise immunity in all sections of the wire, right down to the connectors. Do not forget to distribute the wires by color, as shown in the pinout diagram:
We try on the wire to the connector to determine the required length of the conductors. The red lines in the photo indicate the boundaries for the shell and the twisted pairs themselves:
To keep the bundles in the correct order, you can press them with your finger near the edge of the sheath, and then gently transfer the flimsy structure into the connector. It has a special slide for each wire – so after each conductor gets on its own track, just insert the cable all the way. Do not forget to set aside the nylon thread:
Be sure to make sure that all pairs reach the extreme points in the slide and are completely covered with contact knives:
The sheath of the wire must also reach the taper at the point where the slide starts, so that the disposable latch completely covers the wide part of the wire with its plane:
We are convinced of the quality of the preparation of the structure and transfer it to the working groove of the tool. The crimp carriage contains a limiter and protection against incorrect position of the connector – we do not rush and do it carefully:
When the connector is in the correct position in the tool, we squeeze the crimper handles almost to the stop, after which a click will be heard – the sheath stopper in the connector will work:
The crimper teeth have the same pitch and match the pins in the connector. When the handles are squeezed, they fall into the grooves with contacts and push them through the sheath of the conductors:
We take out the finished wire and check the quality of the crimp. First, we make sure that the knives are completely “cut” into the wires:
Secondly, we check the quality of fixing the wire sheath in the connector:
If one of the contacts does not reach the conductor, then you can make a “control” crimp in a crimper or use a secret tool.
It happens that some crimper teeth do not reach each contact to the same extent and leave some of the pairs without contact. To do this, it is necessary to adjust the crimp carriage, which is movable and adjustable with the fixing bolts. However, you can quickly correct the situation with a secret tool – a screwdriver. We just press the desired contact with a plane:
We press with force, gently, without hitting the screwdriver, without loosening the contact, so that the knives cut through the sheath of the conductor and connect to the copper conductors. However, this way you can squeeze the entire wire if there is no crimper at hand. Long and inconvenient, but feasible:
The same with the latch for the shell – press until it clicks:
Checking the work
To check, you can use a special tester that finds breaks, short circuits and check the pinout of the crimp. You can also do without special equipment – we connect the computer to the router using a new cable and wait for the connection: