How to Make Your Own Custom Ethernet Cable

Make Your Own Ethernet/Cat5e/Cat6 Cables

Download the PDF: How to make your own custom Cat5 cable.

This guide will give you step by step instructions on how to cut and crimp an ethernet cable to a custom length. Running and terminating your network cabling properly can save you a ton of headache and troubleshooting later in the installation process, so getting this right in the long run will save you a ton of time and money.

You will need these items:

  • 1 - Bulk Box of Cat5/Cat6 Cable
  • 2 - RJ45 Crimping Tool
  • 3 - RJ45 Connectors
  • 4 - Electrical scissors or a cable stripper

Once you have everything you need, carefully follow these simple steps:

Step 1: Measure the cable and cut it to the desired length, giving yourself a little bit of extra slack and keep in mind that the maximum distance you can run a single cable is 300ft. It's always good practice to leave some extra cable looped above a wall before dropping a cable to a camera or wall jack or exiting an exterior wall. These loops are commonly referred to as "service loops" and ensure that future maintenance to the cable is possible.

Step 2: Trim back about 1.5”-2” of the outermost shielding to reveal the twisted pairs. Be carful to not knick or cut into the twisted pairs as this can weaken the wire and break the cable

Step 3: Untwist each twisted pair and arrange the cables in the proper order. In this case, we are using the T-568B Pinout format (O/W,O,G/W,Bl,Bl/W,G,Br/W,Br).

Step 4: Hold the ordered pairs with your thumb and index finger to keep the wires in the correct order and flat. Trim the wires so that they are long enough to "bottom out" inside the connector while the cable shield extends into the RJ45 connector.

Step 5:With the RJ45 connector clip side down, slide the trimmed off pairs into the RJ45 connector, being sure that each pair settles into it's own groove

Step 6: Place the RJ45 connector with the cable inserted in the corresponding slot of your Crimping Tool. Press down firmly until it is secure. Some crimping tools will click to indicate your connector is fully crimped. Check the end of the connector. You should see the shiny ends of each copper pair in each groove up against the inside of the connector. This is a good indicator of a successful crimp. Also double check the order of your pairs to ensure a wire didn't jump to the wrong groove.

Step 7: If you have a cable tester, test your cable for connectivity. If not, plug your new cable into your IP camera or NVR and wait about a minute for the camera feed to appear on your monitor. You will be able to tell if power is reaching your camera if the IR LEDs glow red or link lights begin flashing on the NVR camera port. Although, don't assume that your cable is good if you get link lights. A bad cable can still behave normally at times. If it powers on, you’re done!