How To: Terminate an Unshielded Pass Through RJ45 Connector

How To: Terminate an Unshielded Pass Through RJ45 Connector

Written by Don Schultz, trueCABLE Technical Sales Representative & Fluke Networks Certified Technician

Bulk unshielded Ethernet cable needs to be terminated. Wow! That sounds serious. No, we are not advocating hunting down all bulk unshielded Ethernet cable and doing it in. Termination means to attach something to the raw end of the cable so it can be plugged into something else like a switch or computer. This is accomplished several ways, and for this blog, we will focus on the quickest, easiest, and most common Do-It-Yourself way...the pass through unshielded RJ45 plug. Let’s dive into this process, where I will show you how to do it correctly.



What are we covering?

When talking about RJ45 plugs, there is quite a variety. This blog is a three-part blog walking you through the steps to terminate Cat5e, Cat6, and Cat6A. 

 

Pick your poison below to jump to the appropriate section:

How To: Terminate an Unshielded Cat5e Pass Through RJ45 Connector

How To: Terminate an Unshielded Cat6 Pass Through RJ45 Connector

How To: Terminate an Unshielded Cat6A Pass Through RJ45 Connector

 

 

How to terminate an unshielded cat5e pass through rj45 connector

So, you purchased trueCABLE’s Unshielded Cat5e Riser and trueCABLE’s Cat5e Unshielded pass through RJ45 Connectors but now you’re not quite sure what to do with them. You’re asking yourself, “how do you get the cable into the plug?”

Don’t worry, we are here to help you out!

RJ45’s or 8P8C connectors are also referred to as plugs or ends. They all mean the same thing.

How do you know that the cable in question will work with the plug in-hand? You must know how to Select the Correct Connector.

Tools Needed:

RJ45 Pass Through Crimp and Termination Tool, Cable Stripping & Cutting Tool, Flush Cutter

Additional tools I recommend that you likely have around the house:

Light gloves and a screwdriver. A screwdriver?! Yup. The smooth shaft will be used to straighten out conductors, while you are wearing the glove. This will save your fingers, trust me.

 

Are You an A or B?

The next step is deciding whether you want to use the T568A or T568B pattern. It does not matter which one you pick, as long as you stick with it. I prefer the “B” pattern, but that is just me. (If you want to make a more educated guess you can read more on the differences)

T568A vs T568B _ trueCABLE

 

 

Gather Up the Tools, Here We Go!

From here on out, I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves with a bit of additional guidance...

Step 1:

Strip off about 2” of the cable jacket.

Strip 2" off the cable jacket

 

Adjust the cutting blade of the cable stripper so that it only makes contact with the cable jacket. This takes practice, and you may have to repeat this step a few times to get the perfect score on the jacket. Don’t cut through it...score it. If you cut through, you likely nicked a conductor and you should cut off the end and start over.

Once the cable jacket is scored, bend it back and forth a few times to break the jacket. Keep the hollow piece of the jacket--it is your new free tool.

 

score jacket

Scored cable jacket

 

Step 2: 

Remove any ripcord, PE tape, or waterproof tape down to the end of the cable jacket using flush cutters. Be careful not to nick any conductors while doing this.

Flush cutting the ripcord

Flush cutting the ripcord

Step 3: 

Now it is time to use your free tool to untwist the conductors. Untwist each pair downward towards the cable jacket.

Untwisted pairs

And you thought nothing in life was free… All pairs untwisted

 

Step 4: 

Now that all the pairs have been untwisted, it is time to put the glove on and use the screwdriver to remove kinks from the conductors. You want the conductors as straight as possible, and it may take two to three passes from the end of the cable jacket to the end of the conductor to accomplish this. Work on one at a time. Don’t use so much pressure that you break the conductors!

Straighten conductors

Easy does it. Practice will make perfect.  This is after straightening 

 

Step 5: 

Put your conductors into a sequence. This is where you will play around lining up the conductors. The goal is to minimize the conductor cross over while maintaining the T568B (in my case) sequence.

T568B sequence

T568B sequence shown

 

Step 6: 

The next step is to flush cut the conductors so they go into the RJ45 plug evenly. Carefully, while keeping the conductor color sequence correct, “choke” upward on the conductors. Flush-cut straight across to remove about ¾ inch. 

flush cut conductors

Step 7:

Put on the RJ45 plug. I use the “bottom” side of the plug (opposite side from the retaining latch) as my reference point. If you decide to use the “top” part of the plug, you will need to know your color sequence in reverse order and be able to see through the plastic latch. It is easier to do it from the bottom side.

Check the conductor sequence at the plug front

 

Step 8:

Once you are satisfied the color sequence is correct, use a push and pull method to pull the conductors through the nose and push the cable jacket into the plug as well. The idea is to get the cable jacket up into the rear of the plug as far as possible so there are no kinked conductors inside the plug.

pull through conductors to seat in jacket

Push and pull… All seated. That cable jacket is not going any further. 

 

Step 9:

Grab your RJ45 crimp and termination tool. Place the plug into the tool (it will only go one way). Make sure the conductors sticking out of the plug nose clear the cutting blade on the other side of the tool. Continue placing pressure on the cable and plug by pushing them lightly into the tool cavity.

At the same time, press the lever downward in one smooth motion. This single step does three things:

  • Terminates the metal prongs inside the RJ45 plug to the conductors of the cable
  • Pushes the strain latch at the rear of the plug into the cable jacket to hold it securely
  • Shaves off the conductor excess

 

Crimp wire

Lever fully down. Cycle complete.

 

Step 10: 

Take the plug and cable out of the tool and inspect your work. Make sure the eight gold prongs (also called pins) are fully down and none are popped up. If any are popped up, your termination is bad. Try re-termination by crimping with the tool again. If that does not work, you will have to cut the plug off and start over. It happens.

Completed termination

 

Once you have terminated both ends of your cable run, it is time for testing. There are several tools to accomplish this, and the easier and more informative the test is, the more expensive it will be. Take a look at this blog for tips on dealing with issues: Basic Network Cable Troubleshooting: What Did I Do Wrong?

There it is. Pretty easy to do, once you have a couple goes at it. Keep in mind that terminating an RJ45 plug is part science and part art. If you are new to this, practice on scrap cable and buy enough plugs just in case you make bad terminations. Trust me, I have made my fair share of bad terminations over the years. Practice makes perfect.

HAPPY NETWORKING!

 

trueCABLE presents the information on our website, including the “Cable Academy” blog and live chat support, as a service to our customers and other visitors to our website subject to our website terms and conditions. While the information on this website is about data networking and electrical issues, it is not professional advice and any reliance on such material is at your own risk.

 

 

 

How to terminate an unshielded cat6 pass through rj45 connector

 

So, you purchased trueCABLE’s Unshielded Cat6 Riser and trueCABLE’s Cat6 Unshielded pass through RJ45 Connectors but now you’re not quite sure what to do with them. You’re asking yourself, “how do you get the cable into the plug?”

Don’t worry, we are here to help you out!

RJ45’s or 8P8C connectors are also referred to as plugs or ends. They all mean the same thing.

How do you know that the cable in question will work with the plug in-hand? You must know how to Select the Correct Connector.

Tools Needed:

RJ45 Pass Through Crimp and Termination Tool, Cable Stripping & Cutting Tool, Flush Cutter

 

screwdriver, light gloves, pliers

Additional tools I recommend that you likely have around the house:

Light gloves and a screwdriver. A screwdriver?! Yup. The smooth shaft will be used to straighten out conductors, while you are wearing the glove. This will save your fingers, trust me.

You may also need electrical lineman’s pliers (right) for, particularly thick Ethernet cables.

Are You An A or B?

The next step is deciding whether you want to use the T568A or T568B pattern. It does not matter which one you pick, as long as you stick with it. I prefer the “B” pattern, but that is just me. (If you want to make a more educated guess you can read more on the differences)

T568A vs T568B _ trueCABLE

 

Gather Up the Tools, Here We Go!

From here on out, I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves with a bit of additional guidance...

Step 1: 

Strip off about 2 inches of the cable jacket. 

Strip off 2 inches of cable jacket

Strip off about 2” of cable jacket

 

Adjust the cutting blade of the cable stripper so that it only makes contact with the cable jacket. This takes practice, and you may have to repeat this step a few times to get the perfect score on the jacket. Don’t cut through it...score it. If you cut through, you likely nicked a conductor and you should cut off the end and start over.

Once the cable jacket is scored, bend it back and forth a few times to break the jacket. Keep the hollow piece of the jacket--it is your new free tool.

Scored Cable jacket

Scored cable jacket

 

Step 2:

Now remove any ripcord, PE tape, or waterproof tape all the way down to the end of the cable jacket using your flush cutters. Be careful not to nick any conductors while doing this.

Place the conductor pairs into a “star” pattern, at a near 90-degree angle to the cable jacket as shown below.

Cut the ripcord and place the conductors in a star patter

Flush cutting the ripcord separated into the star pattern

 

Step 3:

At a slight downward angle, cut each “wing” of the spline (plastic cross skeleton) using flush cutters. Make four cuts, but don’t cut the spline straight across. Be extremely careful. You do not want to nick a conductor in this process. The idea is to remove the spline so that it is as even as possible with the top of the jacket.

Once the spline wings are cut, twist the spline to remove it.

Cut and remove the spline

The more spline that protrudes the more difficulty you will have with fully seating the RJ45 plug. Like that old song...let’s do the twist and remove the spline

 

Step 4:

Now it is time to use your free tool to untwist the conductors. Untwist each pair downward towards the cable jacket.

Untwisted pairs

And you thought nothing in life was free… All pairs untwisted

 

Step 5: 

Now that all the pairs have been untwisted, it is time to put the glove on and use the screwdriver to remove kinks from the conductors. You want the conductors as straight as possible, and it may take two to three passes from the end of the cable jacket to the end of the conductor in order to accomplish this. Work on one at a time. Don’t use so much pressure that you break the conductors!

Straightened pairs

Easy does it. Practice will make perfect, this is what you are after

 

Step 6:

Put your conductors into a sequence. This is where you will play around lining up the conductors. The spline inside the cable jacket will fight you every step of the way. Work with the spline as much as possible. For any Ethernet cable that has a spline, this step, in particular, requires patience and practice. The goal is to minimize the conductor cross over while maintaining the T568B (in my case) sequence.

t568B sequence shown

All lined up. T568B sequence shown. From here on in, you need to maintain the correct sequence until the plug is actually terminated.

 

Step 7:

Flush cut the conductors so they go into the RJ45 plug evenly. Carefully, while keeping the conductor color sequence correct, “choke” upward the conductors to remove about ¾”. Flush cut straight across.

Flush cutting prior to RJ45 insertion. Keep the conductors lined up at all costs.

Step 8:

Time to put on the RJ45 plug. I use the “bottom” side of the plug (opposite side from the retaining latch) as my reference point. If you decide to use the “top” part of the plug, you will need to know your color sequence in reverse order and be able to see through the plastic latch. It is easier to do it from the bottom side.
Check the conductor sequence again at the plug front

Check the conductor sequence again at the plug front

 

Step 9:

Once you are satisfied the color sequence is correct, use a push and pull method to pull through the conductors and push the cable jacket upward as well. The idea is to get the cable jacket up into the rear of the plug as far as possible and to not have kinked up conductors inside the plug. 

This step may require ovalization for a particularly thick OD Ethernet cable. Our Cat6 CMX Unshielded Outdoor Ethernet cable is a great example. Ovalization utilizes electrical lineman’s pliers. This type of plier has an oval cut out near the nose that you can use to shape the cable to fit into the plug. One other characteristic of this type of plier is they are not adjustable. If you need to ovalize, use the oval cut out and don’t smash the cable flat. I suggest the 6” long compact variety, as they will fit easily into your tool bag.

 Push and pull… All seated. That cable jacket is not going any further.  This is a 3/16” termination, which is much tighter than the ½” ANSI/TIA requirement.  Tighter termination = reduced crosstalk.

Push and pull… All seated. That cable jacket is not going any further.  This is a 3/16” termination, which is much tighter than the ½” ANSI/TIA requirement.  Tighter termination = reduced crosstalk.

 

Step 10:

Grab your RJ45 crimp and termination tool. Place the plug into the tool (it will only go one way) and make sure the conductors sticking out of the nose clear the cutting blade on the other side of the tool. Continue placing pressure on the cable and plug by pushing lightly into the tool cavity.

At the same time, press the lever downward in one smooth motion. This single step does three things:

  • Terminates the metal prongs to the conductors
  • Pushes the strain latch at the rear of the plug into the cable jacket to hold it securely
  • Shaves off the conductor excess

Lever fully down. Cycle complete.

Lever fully down. Cycle complete.

Step 11:

Take the plug and cable out of the tool and inspect your work. Make sure the eight golden contacts are fully down and none are popped up. If any are popped up, your termination is bad. Try retermination with the tool again. If that does not work, you will have to cut the plug off and start over. It happens.

No popped pins.

Look Ma! No popped pins.

 

Once you have terminated both ends of your cable run, it is time for testing. There are a number of tools to accomplish this, and the easier and more informative the test is, the more expensive it will be. Take a look at this blog for tips on dealing with issues: 

There it is. Pretty easy to do, once you have a couple goes at it. Keep in mind that terminating an RJ45 plug is part science and part art. If you are new to this, practice on scrap cable and buy enough plugs just in case you make bad terminations. Trust me, I have made my fair share of bad terminations over the years. Practice makes perfect. Basic Network Cable Troubleshooting: What Did I Do Wrong? 

HAPPY NETWORKING!

 

trueCABLE presents the information on our website, including the “Cable Academy” blog and live chat support, as a service to our customers and other visitors to our website subject to our website terms and conditions. While the information on this website is about data networking and electrical issues, it is not professional advice and any reliance on such material is at your own risk.

 

 

How to terminate an unshielded cat6a pass through rj45 connector 

So, you purchased trueCABLE’s Unshielded Cat6A Riser and trueCABLE’s Cat6A Unshielded pass through RJ45 Connectors but now you’re not quite sure what to do with them. You’re asking yourself, “how do you get the cable into the plug?”

Don’t worry, we are here to help you out!

RJ45’s or 8P8C connectors are also referred to as plugs or ends. They all mean the same thing.

How do you know that the cable in question will work with the plug in-hand? You must know how to Select the Correct Connector.

checkA note on trueCABLE Cat6A unshielded pass through plugs:

  • Wire conductors are “staggered” four high and four low
  • The reason for this design is physical compatibility.  The size of the RJ45 plug on the outside is limited according to ANSI/TIA specifications, but Cat6A wire thickness is often larger than Cat6.  If all Cat6A conductors were to be placed eight across like in Cat6 or Cat5e plugs, there would be no room for them.
  • The bonus benefit of staggering conductors is reduction of crosstalk.  As Ethernet cable frequency exceeds 350 MHz, crosstalk starts to become an issue of particular concern.  All the better if the plug physical design also reduces the crosstalk phenomenon.

  

Tools Needed:

RJ45 Pass Through Crimp and Termination Tool, Cable Stripping & Cutting Tool, Flush Cutter

 

screwdriver, light gloves, pliers

Additional tools I recommend that you likely have around the house:

Light gloves and a screwdriver. A screwdriver?! Yup. The smooth shaft will be used to straighten out conductors, while you are wearing the glove. This will save your fingers, trust me.

You may also need electrical lineman’s pliers (right) for, particularly thick Ethernet cables.

Are You An A or B?

The next step is deciding whether you want to use the T568A or T568B pattern. It does not matter which one you pick, as long as you stick with it. I prefer the “B” pattern, but that is just me. (If you want to make a more educated guess you can read more on the differences)

T568A vs T568B _ trueCABLE

 

Gather Up the Tools, Here We Go!

From here on out, I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves with a bit of additional guidance...

Step 1: 

Strip off about 2 inches of the cable jacket. 

 Strip off about 2” of cable jacket

Strip off about 2” of cable jacket

 

Adjust the cutting blade of the cable stripper so that it only makes contact with the cable jacket. This takes practice, and you may have to repeat this step a few times to get the perfect score on the jacket. Don’t cut through it...score it. If you cut through, you likely nicked a conductor and you should cut off the end and start over.

Once the cable jacket is scored, bend it back and forth a few times to break the jacket.  Keep the hollow piece of jacket--it is your new free tool.

Scored cable jacket

Scored cable jacket

 

Step 2: 

Now remove any ripcord, PE tape, or waterproof tape all the way down to the end of the cable jacket using flush cutters.  Be careful not to nick any conductors while doing this.
Flush cut the ripcord and place in a star pattern
Flush cut the ripcord and place in a star pattern

Step 3:

At a slight downward angle, cut each “wing” of the spline (plastic cross skeleton) using flush cutters.  Make four cuts, but don’t cut the spline straight across.  Be extremely careful to not nick a conductor in this process.   The idea is to remove the spline so that it is as even as possible with the top of the jacket.  

Once the spline wings are cut, twist the spline to remove it. 

Cut the spline and twist off

The more spline that protrudes the more difficulty you will have with fully seating the RJ45 plug and like that old song...let’s do the twist!

 

Step 4:

Now it is time to use your free tool to untwist the conductors.  Untwist each pair downward towards the cable jacket. 

Untwist conductors and separate

And you thought nothing in life was free… All pairs untwisted

 

Step 5:

Now that all the pairs have been untwisted, it is time to put the glove on and use the screwdriver to remove kinks from the conductors. You want the conductors as straight as possible, and it may take two to three passes from the end of the cable jacket to the end of the conductor in order to accomplish this. Work on one at a time. Don’t use so much pressure that you break the conductors!

straightened conductors

Easy does it.  Practice will make perfect. Conductors with no kinks left

 

 Step 6:

Put your conductors into a sequence.  This is where you will play around lining up the conductors. The spline inside the cable jacket will fight you every step of the way.  Work with the spline as much as possible.  For any Ethernet cable that has a spline, this step, in particular, requires patience and practice.  The goal is to minimize conductor cross over while maintaining the T568B (in my case) sequence.

T568B sequence shown

All lined up.  T568B sequence shown.  From here on in, you need to maintain the correct sequence until the plug is actually terminated.

 

Step 7:

The next step is to flush cut the conductors so they go into the RJ45 plug evenly.  Carefully, while keeping the conductor color sequence correct, “choke” upward the conductors to remove about ¾”.  Flush cut straight across.

Flush cutting prior to RJ45 insertion

Flush cutting prior to RJ45 insertion

 

 Step 8:

Put on the RJ45 plug.  I use the “bottom” side of the plug (opposite side from the retaining latch) as my reference point.  If you decide to use the “top” part of the plug, you will need to know your color sequence in reverse order and be able to see through the plastic latch.  It is easier to do it from the bottom side.

Check the conductor sequence again at the plug front!

Check the conductor sequence again at the plug front!

 

Step 9:

Once you are satisfied the color sequence is correct, use a push and pull method to pull the conductors through the nose and push in the cable jacket as well. The idea is to get the cable jacket up into the rear of the plug as far as possible so there are no kinked conductors inside the plug. 

 

TipThis step will likely require ovalization, where you will shape the cable jacket.  This makes the process far easier, but requires an extra tool.   Ovalization utilizes electrical lineman’s pliers.  This type of plier has an oval cut out near the nose.  One other characteristic of this type of plier is they are not adjustable.  Use the oval cut out near the plier nose and don’t smash the cable flat!   I suggest the 6” long compact variety, as they will fit easily into your tool bag.

cut out in the rear of the RJ45 plug and Push and pull

Ovalize the last ¾” of the cable jacket.  Try to keep the oval “in line” with the rectangular cut out in the rear of the RJ45 plug. Push and pull…

 

Top and side view of fully seated jack

Jacket fully seated, top view.  This is a 3/16” termination, which is much tighter than the ½” ANSI/TIA requirement.  Tighter termination = reduced crosstalk. Now you can see why ovalization is necessary.  The cable has been eating too much pizza and got fat!

 

Step 10:

Grab your RJ45 crimp and termination tool. Place the plug into the tool (it will only go one way) and make sure the conductors sticking out of the nose clear the cutting blade on the other side of the tool. Continue placing pressure on the cable and plug by pushing lightly into the tool cavity. 

At the same time, press the lever downward in one smooth motion. This single step does three things:

  • Terminates the metal prongs to the conductors
  • Pushes the strain latch at the rear of the plug into the cable jacket to hold it securely
  • Shaves off the conductor excess

Crimp down

Lever fully down.  Cycle complete.

 

Step 11:

Take the plug and cable out of the tool and inspect your work.  Make sure the eight golden contacts are fully down and none are popped up.  If any are popped up, your termination is bad.  Try retermination with the tool again.  If that does not work, you will have to cut the plug off and start over.  It happens.

No popped pins

Look Ma!  No popped pins.

 

Once you have terminated both ends of your cable run, it is time for testing. There are a number of tools to accomplish this, and the easier and more informative the test is, the more expensive it will be. Take a look at this blog for tips on dealing with issues: Basic Network Cable Troubleshooting: What Did I Do Wrong?

There it is. Pretty easy to do, once you have a couple goes at it. Keep in mind that terminating an RJ45 plug is part science and part art. If you are new to this, practice on scrap cable and buy enough plugs just in case you make bad terminations. Trust me, I have made my fair share of bad terminations over the years. Practice makes perfect.

HAPPY NETWORKING!

 

trueCABLE presents the information on our website, including the “Cable Academy” blog and live chat support, as a service to our customers and other visitors to our website subject to our website terms and conditions. While the information on this website is about data networking and electrical issues, it is not professional advice and any reliance on such material is at your own risk.

  • Jul 17, 2020
  • Category: Videos
  • Comments: 2
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