MustAVit Tech Tips – An Introduction to Cat5 Terminating
Cat5 type cabling is used in computer networking as well as an increasing number of office and home setups. The versatility of Cat5 means it can be used for data, audio, video, IR or power. It is regularly used in AV from whole house systems like Nuvo to our simple AV distribution solutions such as the Bluedelta Milestone and our AV baluns and HDMI extenders.
Although the term Cat5 is used here, cables now used as standard are Cat5e or Cat6, which use the same system. Each end of the wire is terminated with an 8P8C connector, often referred to as an RJ45.
The correct wiring scheme for Cat5 cable is T568B, the industry standard for computer networking. Properly terminating the Cat5 wire is crucial for the operation of a system. It is also very important to use a good quality crimping tool, and testing each termination with a Cat5 wire tester will ensure that your system operates flawlessly.
Pre-made Cat5 cables can be very expensive and limit you to using specific lengths. By making your own cables you can save money and get exactly the length you need.
Step by Step Crimping Instructions
1. Strip back around 3/4 inch of the insulation, exposing the 4 twisted pairs.
2. Untwist the wires and fan them out individually. Arrange the wires into the correct colour order, as shown below. Note that 4 of the wires are solid colour and 4 are colour with a white stripe.
3. Flatten the wires in the correct order, and trim them evenly across the top to about 1/2 inch long. Most crimp tools have a wire trimmer built-in.
4. While holding the wires flat between your thumb and forefinger, insert the wires into the RJ45 connector, so each wire is in its own slot. Push the wire into the RJ45, so all 8 conductors touch the end of the connector. The wire insulation should extend beyond the crimp point of the RJ45.
5. Insert the RJ45 into the crimp tool and squeeze the tool firmly. A ratchet type tool should tighten down until it no longer clicks.
6. The RJ45 should be firmly crimped to the CAT-5 insulation. Make sure that the colour scheme is repeated identically on each end of the wire.
Cat5 Pin Colours
1. Orange and white
3. Green and white
5. Blue and white
7. Brown and white
What do I need?
Other than the Cat5 cable itself, all you need is:
- A crimping tool
- A cable tester
- RJ45 connectors
MustAVit provide a Cat5 termination kit containing all of these at a competitive price – click here for details.