Ethernet Wiring Guide

There's some good pages and books out there with wiring information, but here's a few good ones I've found useful.

Things To Have

So you want to do your own wiring, do you? It's really not that hard. To get started, here's a list I wish I had when I first started:

  • A punchdown tool with 110 and 66 blades
  • RJ45 ends for solid and stranded cable
  • Crimp tool that accepts RJ45 and RJ10
  • A cable tester (must have!)
  • Wire cutters
  • A utility knife (retractable blade is a plus)
  • Ghetto Wire Fisher™ (A cut wire hanger)

Questions With Answers

Q: Do they really make different RJ45 ends for solid and stranded wire?
A: Yes, they do! The difference is in the "teeth" that break the insulation of the wire when you crimp the ends on. For stranded cable you have two large prongs that penetrate up and through the center of each conductor. On solid cable, you have three prongs that pierce the outside of the insulation. Stranded cable versions used on solid cable may cause the prongs to break the solid conductor, while solid cable version on stranded results in an incomplete connection. Both can cause trouble in many forms from the cable not working to poor network performance. Make sure you use the right connector on the right type of cable. (Personally, I use solid conductor Cat 5 cable everywhere.)

The Fine Print

If you break something by following anything on this site, it's your fault, not mine. Any kind of wiring, especially when you're cutting in to walls and drilling holes, involves risk. Never mix low and high voltage wiring. Always proceed with caution. When in doubt, ask someone or hire a professional.