Broadband

Save money by making your own Ethernet cables

Cables see a huge markup when sold at retail. With only a small investment for tools and a spool of bulk cable, you can make your own Ethernet cables for just pennies.

Cables see a huge markup when sold at retail. With only a small investment for tools and a spool of bulk cable, you can make your own Ethernet cables for just pennies.

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The dire state of the economy has everyone looking at their finances with an eye toward cutting costs. Little savings can actually add up, though, especially when the alternative is overpaying for a product that carries an inflated price. Make a New Year's resolution and start cutting your own Ethernet cables, and you can spend the money you'll save on other things.

I started making my own Ethernet cables after learning from a friend how retailers inflate their cable prices. He worked at a major electronics chain and informed me that the prices for the cables that they sold in-store were usually many times higher than the wholesale price. Even an online cable wholesaler like MonoPrice --which charges much more reasonable figures than the big box electronics retailers -- can't beat the price-per-foot that a practiced cable clipper can achieve with some tools and a spool of bulk cable. I also discovered that making my own Ethernet cables meant I could make them in custom sizes, which generally improved the neatness of my installations.

The tools required for cutting and crimping cables in-house are not prohibitively expensive, and they are relatively uncomplicated. A quality setup should last for many years. You might already have an Ethernet cable continuity tester around. If that is the case, your cabling toolkit needs only a crimper to attach RJ45 plugs to the cable and a means of stripping the cable's external jacket without damaging the internal wires. Some crimping tools will have a wire stripper built in. Look here for explicit instructions on cable crimping and at Wikipedia for an in-depth discussion of the Ethernet specification.

While some might see making cable as a make-work task, the savings versus packaged cables are discernible. I don't have to sink a lot of time into this, either. I have gotten so that I can make cables while I am on the phone or doing anything else that leaves my hands free. The cables I produce are exactly the length I need, and my network switch racks have never been neater.

If you are doing a thousand PC site install or relocation project, then go ahead and budget in the cost for prefabricated cables...your time is too valuable when you need major quantities. Once the site is up and running though, have a go at clipping your own Ethernet cables when the individual need arises. Who knows what the money you save might end up buying?

78 comments
Oz_Media
Oz_Media

Having NEVER used 'store bought' cables, I couldn't begin to count how many cables I've made. When in IT in telecom, we sold 5000' rools of CAT5e and sometimes even the 15,000' wooden spools for some installs. Having terminated many thousands of feet of CAT5, I wouldn't even consider buying my OWN CAT5 cables for personal use. I've seen them charge $10, $15, $20 for short cables at retail stores and it blowns my mind! It costs pennies! It only takes 3-5 minutes to terminate two ends properly, it really is a piece of cake onece you get used to how to layout and hold the strands properly to get the connector on, and a good crimp tool for $40 gets you on your way. When you figure for less than $5 you can make a $40 cable in less time than it takes to pass through the checkout, its not such a bad deal at all.

oz_ollie
oz_ollie

Great idea but in Australia you actually have to be licensed to create any network cables. The fines can be quite large for businesses.

rayb
rayb

I have seen a number of 'home-made' cables causing problems, not just improper pinouts but the crimp itself, or the quality of the connectors create a bad or intermittant connection. I have also seen people use the cable that is meant to be run inside walls (single solid conductor)for patch cables, bend this cable one two many times and the conductors begin to break at the rj45. For peace of mind it is definately worth purchasing premade patch cables, just shop around on the web and get the best price.

Pezzz (who stole my nic?)
Pezzz (who stole my nic?)

If anyone in Australia is reading this, please bear in mind that it is actually against ACMA regulations to make your own network cables and yes (contrary to popular belief), this does include patch leads. The mandate is that any cabling that is connected to a communications network (and your pc's are through your router) must be constructed by a licensed / registered cabler. I know this is not the case in most situations, but to be honest, from a cabler's perspective it is damn annoying to go back to a job 2 months after completing a new cable deployment and after being told "your network has failed", finding a "home made" patch lead that has a couple of pairs misplaced. Anyway, my 2 cents worth.

Tink!
Tink!

One, because the Ethernet cables that come with accessories and peripherals are NEVER the right length [i](they really expect everything to be within a foot of the computer eh?)[/i] and 2, distance from the server to the workstation is almost always over 50-60 feet. Being able to make your own allows you to customize cable lengths no matter what size is needed. No 1000 foot spools here though. Way too small for that. We bought a box of 250' for about $30. (Came with the ends and the crimp tool...yay for me) :D

santeewelding
santeewelding

I still have my crimper. My tester was crossed fingers.

Michael Kassner
Michael Kassner

Many enterprise situations require tested and certified runs and patch cables. The amount of time spent troubleshooting bad cables can run up costs real fast. Also, it's hard to ensure that the twists stay in place as long as possible when you make cables yourself and that becomes an issue at the higher speeds and frequencies.

jdclyde
jdclyde

by the time you get yourself a QUALITY crimper, and a decent line tester, you will be making cables for a LONG time before it would pay for it's self. Then is the issue of wages to sit and make cables. I personally do a combination. All patch cables for our network equipment are prefabs, but lines to the offices and even the lines from the device to the wall I make as I need them.

.Martin.
.Martin.

when i look at prices, I can get a 25m cable for about $12, or to make it myself, I can pay $0.99 a meter, plus RJ45 plugs, why should I bother. also I look at safety, I wouldn't make my own power lead, why should I make my own Ethernet cable?

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

But then I never buy Retail either so what do I know? But the bottom Line is while I carry all the stuff necessary to make CAT5 Cables I don't use it and never repair broken plugs. I can buy any length CAT 5 cables less than what it costs me to but the Cable by the Box. without adding in the ends and covers. Prices start from a $1.20 for a .5 meter Patch lead up to $22.00 for a 50 meter patch lead. I couldn't make em for that let alone justify the costs of my Labor. But the main reason I refuse to use Self Made Patch Leads is because they are downright [b]Dangerous![/b] People never use the different color CAT5 Cable to denote the different lead types so if a Crossover cable is required they just make em out of the cable that they have handy at the time. The same applies to any lead I've found 20 Meter Fly leads made with Black CAT5 Cable which should be Crossover Cables and the most dangerous ones of all a .5 Meter Crossover Lead made out standard Blue Insulated CAT5. In that particular case the entire network was down and they could only share files internally. This was an office with 2,500 computer and servers all feeding from a single Internet Connection which was down. Of course no one had done anything to the Network so I started off by rebooting everything with no joy. After much mucking around and with a Cable Tester in Hand I finally found the offending cable which was a crossover that had been fitted between the Modem and the first Server which was the wrong type and causing the problem. It wasn't setup like that as it wouldn't work and I do not know where that Crossover cable came from but it was a mongrel to find. Only took a few seconds to fix once it was found but a locked room isn't the first place you start looking. Not sure who did it but I am certain that they wouldn't own up to messing with things after they broke it and I don't know where they got that cable from either but the Bureaucrats insisted that it stay in the office because they owned it. Didn't matter that in lost production it had cost them thousands of times its value and no doubt would again. It is however something I have noticed with some manufactured CAT6 Cable Crossovers and Straight are not differentiated by different color outer insulation and once the small sticky paper falls off it's a problem waiting to happen. Col

williamjones
williamjones

As I discuss in my original post, I've been making my own Ethernet cables for a while. A one thousand foot spool of Cat5e twisted pair cable lasted me literally *years*. Right now, Monoprice.com lists bulk cable starting at around $50USD per thousand feet. Hard to beat that price. The tools for testing and making cables are basics to have around the office, since it is dead simple to fix an Ethernet cable with a broken connector without having to buy a new one. I have met techs who thought their time was too valuable to be spent making a cable. My opinion, though? A good tech appreciates a simple and economical solution, even if it's not glamourous. What about you? Do you make or buy Ethernet cables?

sdcphoneguy
sdcphoneguy

Had a big job. Bought premade cables. 10% had bad ends. Then we purchased quality plugs, made our own and reduced the failure rate to 1% or less. That meant less labor troubleshooting connection problems where the bad cables were. No more taking time to order premade, no looking for the right length cable, just less hassles all the way around. On the other hand, some people just seem to have a problem making good cables. I am just not one of those people.

jpesadilla
jpesadilla

If I am lucky enough to be in on the actual instalation of the network I will have a contractor do the cable pulls for me with the stipulation the everything be colour coded from the start. Blue - Ethernet CAT5e White - CAT6 possibly for security cameras Green - for Telco CAT5e Yellow - Ethernet CrossOver I have over the years put together a decent Testing/Crimping toolkit. The only item I still need to get is a good label printer. I am qualified to crimp/punch many types of cables with the exception of Fibre. The amount of time I have spent insuring a well organized network cabling system has meant I can spend less time worrying about the cables and more time dealing with possible PEBKAC issues.

williamjones
williamjones

...network cables are low voltage. A mistake won't kill you or others! (Thankfully)

mford66215
mford66215

I learned a long time ago that cable color had nothing to do with the pinouts that cable was using....looks like you've learned that too.

ardz_dhy
ardz_dhy

If you're an IT in a small company, you don't need to buy those cables. If you don't have stock, just buy a box (300m) of cables and prepare your cabling tools, then make it. It's not that hard to do, it's also a good way to stay awake during boring days. As of now, I've never have bought prefabs. ..And i agree about the cable labeling, right now I'm having a headache 'coz when i arrived in my current company, there were no labels on the cables!? and what made it worst is that I'm handling the production area computers which are being used almost 24/7

williamjones
williamjones

... aren't the strongest to me. Granted, my time has *value* to both me and my employer. Ultimately though, when I am called to account for myself, my *accomplishments* are at issue, and time invested only becomes a factor if there are too few accomplishments. I know how to make cable because one of my bosses insisted on it when I was starting out. (Though I'm probably not as expert as some others who have posted comments.) If I can solve a client problem quicker by fabricating and testing a cable, the you bet I'll do it. When they can't work the "time" the client places the value on is their own. Good discussion. Thanks everybody.

neil.delorito
neil.delorito

That would depend sometimes you can find better deals for what you need. Cost difference would matter more on how much is your time worth. Then factor if you're good at making cable ? If there's a project timeline and it requires it, I think building your own can definitely be advantageous but if you have a supplier who's marking up by the pennies, save the time and labor and spend the money to make the job easier.

doug m.
doug m.

We usually buy the premade ones, especially if we're just jumping from one panel to another one. I make will some if I have to make a longer run though, it does save money.

Osiyo53
Osiyo53

Personally, I make my own. These days, in my current job I have an infrequent need to make up cables. But in a former job I did it a lot, have pro grade tools (including the test equipment), know the technical specs on how cables are supposed to be made, etc. AND ... had a lot of practice at actually doing it. So making up a cable, PROPERLY, is for me just a matter of a couple minutes. Where I work we're in the new install/construction biz, we have professional installers. With formal training, professional certs, etc. They make up custom cables all the time. They're as fast or faster than I am at it, with a very low failure rate. I see a lot of hand made cables that are pieces of junk. Usually made up by someone who just looked at some one page tutorial on how to make your own cables, who then went down to Radio Shack and bought a few basic, and cheap, tools. Then the person sort of does a hit or miss job of making up cables. If they work, fine, success is declared. Even if the cable made is faulty and will only allow a 10 mbps connection on a 100 mbps system. And the connector is poorly done and likely to fail after a few cycles of being removed and then plugged in again. My point is that if you're in a job where the ability to make up custom cables is something that would be frequently useful. Learning to make your own, and learning how to do so properly so as to meet Cat 5 or Cat 6 specifications (there ARE formal guidelines for making up proper cables) can be worthwhile. Speed and accuracy comes with practice. However, if making up new cables or replacing cables is only an occasional need I suggest you just buy em pre-made. Oh, and buy a good labeler and USE it.

ellsanto
ellsanto

If I need a cable right away, I have my 11000ft Cat6 box over by the shelf unit. If I can wait a few days, there is no site with better pricing than monoprice.com. Can't beat less than $4 for a twenty footer.

mford66215
mford66215

I've been been doing my own cabling for well over a decade, and there are times when ordering cabling makes more sense. I found a guy who was charging $30 a run for cat 5e and had him do my house because I couldn't match that price even using my own labor. Course, if I need a cable right then I'll make a cable right then.

aneff
aneff

Can your company afford to spend an extra 100-200 bucks to remove room for human error? Its easy to make a mistake making a cable, sometimes they will test good initially but after getting some pressure or such they take damage.

Dr Dij
Dr Dij

at the major HQ of international company, years ago, made by hand ethernet cables that 'worked'. Sometimes. On some computers. He hooked his cable up to a sun server. It didn't work. I looked at the wiring and he had it screwed up. not 'transmission' and receive but the offsetting grounds were screwed up. Ethernet DEPENDS on receiving the pairs to eliminate common mode noise. Stupidly, he could not believe he was wrong. people have their ego involved. I both looked at mfg cables and wrote down the pair#s and have taken networking courses where we made cables (back in the days where it made $ sense). And this was only for 10mbps. Now with 100, and 1 gig, I'm sure you shouldn't be making htem. Mabye smalls tores markup the price but I can walk into Fried Computers (You want Fry's with that?) and pickup cables dirt cheap. And is only a mile or so away. BTW, this was the same telcom guy who actually asked me "Why don't we have just one phone company, would be so much simpler?" Apparently this guy hadn't been around in the era of 300 baud modems that had to be approved / supplied by phone ocmany. I don't think the educational system is working.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I've never been very good at putting the ends on, and it usually takes me two or three tries before I get it right. I've got a crimping tool and a tester, but I'm just no freaking good at it. It quickly turns into an exercise in frustration. It's just faster and easier to order five or ten in a variety of sizes periodically and keep a couple of our most commonly used sizes in my toolbox.

mjd420nova
mjd420nova

Having the bulk cable and crimping tools at hand makes this a simple job and far more cost efficient. No more excess cable coiled behind desks or looped near the patch panels. Also finding that WIFI routers eliminate the need altogether in those difficult locations or where wall penetrations are diffcult or would violate a perimeter security scheme.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

invest in a cable tester, saves a lot of heartache. I used to make a lot, new the colours off by heart, the switch for a crossover, had all the tools, and some times they just didn't work, usually a bad crimp. It's easy enough, but much easier to test one on the bench, than when you've ran all 75 meters from the hub to the device.

MGP2
MGP2

In my last house, the way it was set up, I actually had a decent sized data/office closet. It was so easy to just cut a one-foot piece of cable when I only needed that size, as opposed to running out and purchasing one. Need a 30-footer? Cut a 30-footer.

1bn0
1bn0

Determine requirements? Go back to my desk. Determine source vendor, part number and avaialability. Place order if total is under $500. Otherwise: ---Request quote from vendor ---Complete requisition form ---Forward for signature. ---Forward signed form to purchasing ---WAIT for cable to arrive. OR Just make what I need using the box of cable and connectors I keep on the tool cart with my tools. Fix the problem and LEAVE! I don't have time to mess around ordering cables I can make on the spot. And I threw away all of the old cables that were cluttering up the storage room. They were never the right length anyway.

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

Don't buy cheap crappy Patch Leads. The same applies to the actual cable you buy the wrong stuff for that particular job and it's going to fail very quickly. You buy the right stuff either premade or self made and it works perfectly well for a very long time. Though I did see one Doctors Surgery where after 12 months the Insulation on 1 Network Cable was breaking down. That was a strange one 2 as there where 3 Cables terminated at that Plate and only 1 had the problem. They where inside a wall and the external leads where not affected though they did break the Locks on the Network Lead regularly so maybe the lead wasn't there long enough to have suffered any damage yet. The other 2 RJ45 Sockets where for the Telephone system and they where not affected. I'm still trying to work out why this happened and I have no idea. All the leads where put in at the same time by an Austel Approved Fitter and where the same cable which I wasn't overly satisfied with but as I didn't do it and wasn't responsible I don't really care. It's interesting however to see PVC Insulation fail like that so quickly. Col

Osiyo53
Osiyo53

I know of no place in the U.S. which prohibits, by law, you from making your own ethernet cables. That is, cables for use within your own building or the building owned by your employer. Now, the U.S. NEC (National Electrical Code) does have sections of code that does apply to data cabling. And, generally speaking, most states do adopt NEC requirements as part of their own individual state electrical code. Essentially making NEC requirements equivalent to state requirements. (necessary since the NEC committee itself has no legal powers, they're essentially just an advisory group) The sections of the NEC that apply to things like Ethernet cables are few, small, and not very difficult to comply with since the NEC is most concerned with fire and life safety. In fact the code doesn't really care nor concern itself with whether or not that data cabling actually works. As far as they're concerned ... that's your problem. The parts of the NEC that apply to data cabling are such things as you're not to strap or hang data cabling from high voltage cables or conduit, data cables strung thru a plenum space must have plenum rated jacket material, penetrations thru fire rated walls must be fire caulked, etc and so forth. Basic stuff. Refer to the NEC chapter that covers data cabling, and that section that refers to video, etc if you do that sort of work. Effectively, however, electrical inspectors do not come around and inspect do-it-yourself work as concerns data cabling. Or bother to enforce code in such situations (its your own building and equipment, or its a building and equipment that belongs to your employer). At least they don't in the several states I'm familiar with. They DO, however, inspect work done by hired contractors in many, if not most, of the states. For instance, here in Minnesota contractors in the business of installing data cabling (or most any sort of wiring) are required to be licensed, and are expected to file for "permits" for each job done. The obtaining of a "permit" means that an electrical inspector can be expected to show up to review the installation done to ensure that it meets all relevant safety codes. i.e. You're not running a CAT 6 thru the same raceway with a 440 volt power feeder, etc. This, generally speaking, does not include patch cords and the like. For instance the cord going from a wall connector to a desktop wouldn't interest an electrical inspector. He'd be interested in INSTALLED, FIXED wiring. The stuff that is in the walls, goes thru walls, travels thru plenum spaces, up or down riser shafts, that sort of thing. Again, he'd not be looking to even verify that the data wiring actually works correctly. Not his problem nor his concern. For CORRECT data wiring and such, there are various organizations in the U.S. that concern themselves with such things. For instance, where I work our installers (we do contract wiring installation) are BICSI certifed and comply with BICSI and other industry standards when installing cabling. THOSE standards are concerned with whether or not the installed cabling works as advertised and expected for the purpose they're installed. I am not aware of any state in the U.S. that demands by law that BICSI standards (and other similar ones) be followed. There might be such, but I don't know about them. Now, a lot of our larger, more savvy customers, do specify in their contracts with us that BICSI standards be followed. But that is a business contractual matter as versus something like U.S. or state law requirements. Generally speaking, in the U.S. state and federal government only concerns itself with SAFETY. If yah do things that screw up your data network, that's your problem.

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

Basically if a cable or connection that you do is substandard and causes damage to the Communications Network you are libel for the cost of Repairs and Down Time. I don't do this work any longer but if you dug up a Fiber Optic Trunk Cable the AU Owned Telco charged you at the rate of 1 Million per hour or part there of. A problem for Earth workers who pay to have the cables located and still get charged if they dig them up. :D The reality however is that it's just [b]Bloody Annoying[/b] as the Modems have to Isolate the Internal Network from the Communications grid under Law here so the worst that should happen if you stuff up is the modem gets damaged but the Optical Couplers in it prevent any damage to the Communications Grid. I have only ever heard of Unapproved Communications Equipment causing problems and even that was 20 or so years ago now. But if you like I could ask one of the many Austel Licensed Fitters that I know what the current state of play is. It is however really annoying to get a call back and find that someone has messed with the Network Cables while blaming you for not installing them correctly. Most times in my very limited Experience they break the locks on the RJ45 or 12 Plugs and try to fit another end as they see the Techs do this easily and quickly so it must be easy. Naturally things like Color Codes are of no importance so if the wire fits there it must go there and crimp away to your hearts content. At one place I got my own back and handed over a off cut of CAT 6 when I was pulling some internal cables and gave the guy several ends and covers as well as my crimping tool and told him since it was so easy, make them yourself I'm not even going to charge you for the ends. :D When he was satisfied that he had done a good job I handed him a Cable Tester and said test them before fitting them. I think he went through about 30 Plugs before realizing that it wasn't really that much fun to do and that it was cheaper to actually buy the Premade Leads that I was offering him. Most of the time now the consumables that I use are used by Work Experience people making leads to see how it is done. I'll replace a plug if they break the lock and it's hard to pull the old one out but otherwise these days I just can't be bothered it's just easier and faster to throw a new one at the problem area. However these are all short 5 meters or under with 2 or 3 meter being the most commonly used lengths as I run the Internal Building cables as close as possible to where the computers actually are. I can remember at one place I spent the best part of a day making up CAT5 and Token Ring Leads and haven't made cables since that day with any regularity. It was just too much hard work. Besides it doesn't pay anywhere near enough to justify my hourly labor bills. :D It is however scary some times to see how some of the supposedly Professional Cable Pullers actually work. At one shop I stood back and watched one of the staff trip over a CAT5 Cable laid out across the floor behind the counter and held in place with some Packing tape. Or at another shop the POS Scanner on a Home Made 4 Pair Cable that looked as if it had been hand knotted there was 10 meters or so of it twisted up in a ball about half the size of a Basket ball. Instead of having a swivel connection on the back of the hand held scanner they just ran the lead straight in and replaced them every 6 months or so when they stopped working. Though if you ask me they must have been giving errors quite badly for a very long time before they get replaced. I do however carry 300 Meter Boxes of Blue, Black & Yellow Cat 5 & 6 cable with me at all times so it's not hard to make one if things get tight. Col

jdclyde
jdclyde

We were adding a new addition to our building, and my boss gave the contractors the job of pulling the cat5 cables. I spec'ed the job to have a box with 4 cables on each wall of each room, times 30 rooms/cubicles. They had 4 rooms done when I walked in and noticed they were not LABELING the cables, so no way of knowing which was 1-4, let along which box it went to! :0 I informed them that each cable HAD to be labeled AND kept in the bunches of 4. I punched them all down as straight through. If something needed a cross-over, I would just use a cross-over patch cable at the end because they all came back to a patch panel.

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

When I worked on Main Frames. You would go into a new installation and find no diagrams and everything the same color so you had no idea of what went where. Of course the Installers knew exactly what went where when they pulled the cable but 2 Cable runs latter it was a differed story. Let alone the 3 weeks latter when I got called in because it didn't work. But as these cables always worked there wasn't a problem right. :^0 I did love the Crossover though in a Locked room that no one had gone into so they didn't bother finding a key to let me in. After all it wasn't necessary and every time I asked I was fobbed off. But as I'm paid by the Hour and not by the job I suppose I shouldn't be worried. :( I just have to love the new CAT6 Cables here at one place all of them are a Burgundy Red. Of course the Crossovers have a piece of sticky paper each end that says Crossover but I wouldn't expect them to be there in a years time. Or all the new Routers come with Yellow CAT5 Cables but as these are straight CAT5 I looked a bit confused when I tested the first one. :D Col

williamjones
williamjones

...on the labeler. That's something no reputable network admin should be without!

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

[i]...11000ft Cat6 box... [/i] an 11,000-foot box? I'll bet that takes up some space... :^0

williamjones
williamjones

...for a micro network I set up for a video editing team. (The markup on CAT6 is even higher than on CAT5 & 5e.) Crimping was tougher because of the monstrously thick jacket on the CAT6 spool I bought, but the network tested fine in terms of transmission speeds. (As an aside, the video editors were able to even use the dedicated gigabit backbone to capture their DV directly to their network storage...for 2 whole minutes. Technically, that's not supposed to be possible with Ethernet. Fibre Channel or directly connected storage is usually required to provide the bandwidth required to capture uncompressed DV.) Respectfully, I disagree with you. As long as a tech pins out his cables correctly, there's no reason a handmade cable can't be every bit as reliable as a store-bought one. Haven't you ever had a bad cable come out of a retail pack? I know I have.

thezar
thezar

It would be a lot easier for all if the writers could also proof-read. Is there such a thing as an htem? "Smalls tores" made sense after I crossed my eyes. My phone "ocmany" is eVrizon. If we can press for wire testers, proofing shouldn't be so bad...

hcrawford
hcrawford

Rolling your own is ok if you have no budget and value your time at zero. Otherwise, particularly if you're buying the components and tools in less-than-huge quantities, the cost saving just doesn't bear up. Buy quantity and on-line -- not at a brick-and-mortar retail store

IBM 1401
IBM 1401

I also used to have 50-60% failure rate, until I discovered EZ-RJ45 connectors. After reading all the posts, I was surprised that no one else had mentioned them. They are the greatest thing since sliced bread. They have 8 holes in the front of the plug to allow the wires to protrude through. This allows better alignment and visual verification of the wiring. You can also pull them tight to mimimize the amount of untwisted cable and to ensure the cable jacket is positioned properly for crimping. After crimping, you can just trim the tag ends off flush. They make special crimpers that trim off the tag lines when crimping, but my existing crimper works fine, so I trim them manually. Since I started using EZ-RJ45s my failure rate has been zero. I got mine from Platinum Tools.

gklassen
gklassen

Add to that the cost of the time it takes, vs all the other work to be done and the savings disappear. If you need one cable or a special length, it may make sense to make it. But for me it makes more sense to buy many cables and put them in stock--quantity purchasing gets savings too. When you need one you can just grab one and not waste time getting out the tools, and measuring, and then finding out all you have are ends for solid cable and need to terminate a stranded cable, etc. etc. etc. Just be sure to purchase quality cables. Cheap cables can refer to quality as well as price. "Caveat emptor" as always.

jdclyde
jdclyde

is the issue though. If you aren't going to do this often, it won't pay for it's self as the savings has to cover the cost of crimper and tester, as well as your time.

williamjones
williamjones

...for a support shop, period. Regardless of whether one clips their own cords or not. They aren't that expensive, and it an important part of a troubleshooting process to make sure that the network media is reliable. Now, a fancy Fluke network tester that can vet a network for collision problems, and other magical things, I'm still waiting on purchasing approval for one of those. Some of thise things cost more than my first car.

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

One company that I do work for dug up the main Brisbane Sydney Trunk Cable that is both the Optus & Telstra cables but as they where in the same trench laid at the same time that's not so unreasonable. They paid the Telco's 5K to locate the cable hand dug down and located the Optical Fiber and then started the heavy earthmoving equipment 40 meters away after driving in Star Pickets and tieing orange flags to them. The first bucket to come out of the ground had both Optical Fiber cables looped over the top of it and for some strange reason Optical Fiber doesn't like being stretched. :D While the techs where replacing a couple of KM of this stuff they moved the heavy equipment 5 K's down the road and started digging again and got the same cable again. Seems that they didn't like that cable at all and wanted to dig it all up. But at least the equipment and techs where there this time to repair the mess. The Telco still wanted to be paid for incorrectly locating the cable as well as the down time. I just have to love the way that some people claim that it [b]Moves[/b] after being covered for a few years. :^0 Col

half
half

In my experience under ground cabling is a joke. It is supposed to be a certain depth and a certain distance away from the road. In practice it is usually, where ever is the easy route, More so if no one is watching the installation Back in the 80,s/90.s here they put fibre, along the main routes and they had the specs They told the powers that be it was all ok We had a job and found it attached to a fence along a highway, just too tired to dig the trench. One of our machine loves cable and 50Kva goes with a real bang. As does water pipes A lot of it does not even have the yellow tape above it.And fibre is just as bad, We can strip a couple of meters before it is seen. Then all hell brakes loose, not our problem its not to spec. the sign says 1 metre down 3 metres out in fact its 400 down and 1.1/2 metres out, because of a big rock in the way Its real fun at 2am in the middle of winter

Osiyo53
Osiyo53

That's my thinking about such things. People get in a hurry and skip little details like that. Or just consider labeling as unimportant. But over the years I've seen enormous amounts of time spent correcting mistakes made or tracing out lines and so forth which could have been avoided if one had developed a labeling scheme and consistently used it. There is little that frustrates me more than having what should be a 5 minute job turn into a one or two hour task because of poor or non-existent labeling. On projects I work, I give my installers heck about it. Of course those who have worked with me before know this is a pet peeve and will have made sure things are done properly. Likewise, they ensure our color coding scheme for cables is observed, things are neatly bundled, and that there are no "rats nests" of disorderly cable ends where they're terminated to something. I like things neat. It looks more professional (our customer notice such things and comment about them) and it makes later work such as add-ons or modifications go quicker and more smoothly. We used to use hand written labels. But the problem with those is that it is often hard to read the writing. And sometimes the guy would use an ordinary ink pen or marker whose ink would fade with age or smear with handling. Etc. A quality label machine with quality label tape can be an expense, good ones aren't cheap. But I think they're worthwhile. When we're installing new, or making modifications we're always thinking about the next guy who'll come along and need to do a fix, change, etc. And try to do things to make his work easier and faster. Overall, we find that while we might spend a little extra time up front doing things right, we get paid back in time savings later.

mamies
mamies

How heavy would it be and that poor poor shelf that it sits on :D Oops forgot to read the post above mine

kkopp
kkopp

Since a 1,000ft box weighs over 30lbs, that monster is sitting on a floor, or needs a forklift to get it on that shelf.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

An 11,000 foot cat box? Gods, who has to change the litter? Oh, a Cat6 box. That makes sense. 6 cats probably need a box that big.

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

When we deployed VoIP PBX's we had some major cable jobs to do, and I mean MAJOR pipes. We had one tech, who died prematurely last summer...RIP my friend, that could whip up cables faster than you could open the package on a store bought one, plus you CAN'T properly run cables WITH connectors on them anyway. Try pulling a 200' drop with stupid plastic clips on the end, you'll soon give up and find a new line of work. Anytime there was an issue with the system, th efirst thing was to point the finger at the cabler. But he NEVER failed. I have a 35' at home that he made for me in 1999. It gets moved all over the place, room to room getting dragging behind like a guitar cord as I wander around the house (I despise home wireless networks, absolutely detest them). NEVER had a problem with it, ever. On the other hand, I have bought peripherals that come with patch cords that I have replaced with home made cables and the home made cables have held out much better. If you take making cables as seriously as setting up network IP's and installing hardware, you won't have problems. And for longer runs, there' sno way that buying premade cables works out cheaper, even if simply due to time wasted trying to pull cables with plastic conectors on them al;ready, an insane practice to even begin.

melissab
melissab

As if it's not bad enough having to test each connection, now we have to proofread too? LOL! Kudos, my friend!

Osiyo53
Osiyo53

"I don't see a need to run anything faster than 100mbps to the desktop except in very rare circumstances. Hell, for most offices, you can still get away with 10 Mbps to the desktop; the users won't even notice until they try to download that 10 GB video attachment." True enough. Altho in our offices where I work, in the kind of business we do, for instance, I and others would notice the difference between 10 mbps and 100 mbps rather readily. Have in fact noticed such in the past, and notified our internal IT department to fix the issue when it was discovered. No, its not because we download multi-gigabit video attachments. But our office is full of engineers, engineering technicians, CAD people, and so forth. So a lot of the folks are accessing, manipulating, re-saving, and so forth files that commonly range from 100 mb to several hundreds of mb per. And all files for a particular project might easily total several gigs. An its commonly needed that one is flipping thru one after another such large files looking up a particular bit of information needed to answer a question, solve some issue, or whatever. But even for us, as long as we're getting 100 mbps at the desktop location its generally adequate. (slower is not) For some of our customers, streaming digitized video over their network is becoming far more common. Mostly related to security systems. I won't specify who and what for obvious reasons. But we have customers who're very security conscious, for good reason. Who have the latest and greatest in video surveillance equipment, very high resolution cameras capable of great image amplification, low light level amplification, capable of biometrics tricks, and so forth. Where video streams can be and are transported to almost any desktop or laptop within the organization. Not to mention that all video streams, besides being collected and recorded on site, are being sent off-site for independent secure storage and off-site monitoring at the same time. But, yeah, for ordinary office work most users don't really notice much difference between a 10 mbps and 100 mbps local connection.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

I don't see a need to run anything faster than 100mbps to the desktop except in very rare circumstances. Hell, for most offices, you can still get away with 10 Mbps to the desktop; the users won't even notice until they try to download that 10 GB video attachment. In my current job, the only thing running at Gigabit speeds are the fiber links between the core switches in the MDF and the distributed switches in the IDFs. Everything else is 100 mbps and some ports/equipment are even capped at 10Mbps.

Osiyo53
Osiyo53

At least you, and maybe a couple others on this forum, understand that there are differences between this cable and that. Which means yah probably understand the what, why, and how. A good thing. It means that some of the professional IT types are now educating themselves about the Physical Layer of things they deal with. A part of the overall picture that too many have neglected to learn about and understand for too long. Geez, I don't know how many times I've run into a situation where I've been called upon to troubleshoot a system where the local IT guru was stumped and stuck. A guy who I knew to know a LOT more than I did about so much. Just to find out that that his troubles were caused by some really piss poor wiring/cabling knowledge and practices.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

The installation certification is for the fixed infrastructure; from the wall to the PC doesn't count. Besides have you priced certified patch cables? Certified cable - $9.99 - http://tinyurl.com/7fcomo Uncertified - $1.99 - http://tinyurl.com/84ngd8 I'm not going to use certified patch cabling outside the server/equipment room.

stuoutlaw1
stuoutlaw1

So in these instances where EVERYTHING must be tracked and certified 100% of the time they allow hand made cables that are not certified?? or do you carry all the equipment to hang a certification on EVERY cable you make? everything I have been taught about situations you describe tells me I would be using pre-made certified cables per their own need to meet FDA standards in this situation

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

[i]...whether to buy premade, or to make your own hasn't got a simple, one size fits all, answer[/i] For the computers and Ethernet connections, all I need are the patch cables. I carry 5-, 10-, 15, and 25-foot patch cords with me. However, I also work with 5 different proprietary networks and three systems that use proprietary wiring schemes for the peripheral cabling, so I carry a box of Cat 6, a box of Cat 3, a reel of flat satin, and all associated jacks and plugs, from 4P4C ("RJ-22") through 8P8C ("RJ45").

Osiyo53
Osiyo53

But this really isn't a matter of one answer fits all needs and requirements for everyone. If your primary need for a new cable is a matter of needing a new patch cord for a network closet, or a new cord to connect a laptop or desktop to a nearby wall outlet (or hub/switch) then almost certainly you're better off just having a selection of factory made cables handy. Lengths of 3 to 10 foot common, non-plenum rated stuff is such a common demand, and both manufactured and sold in such quantities that they're pretty dirt cheap. But, take the situation of one customer I deal with. A pre-existing, older building. And the customer's needs and requirements are constantly changing to meet market demands, new product production, new equipment needs, and so forth. Common office areas are of the partitioned, cubicle type. Which regularly get changed around. Somewhere in the building. The building covers a full city block and is multi-story. 15 floors IIRC. At any one point of time, I know their internal IT department is stringing new connections in some area of that building because one or another "office area" is being readjusted for whatever reason. Then add changes in "production" and "shipping" areas. Which undergo routine changes. i.e. One product area is reduced, another enlarged. Or they're making a new product so some areas get rearranged to squeeze in a new production line. Each of these areas have connections for standard business type desktops, add numerous networked printers for printing everything from product data sheets, daily reports, materials labels, shipping labels, and so forth. Then add network connections for various specialty equipment used in the product production itself, much of which are essentially specialized, dedicated computer systems themselves that need to be connected to the common network. These are devices such as computerized chemical mixing equipment, chemical analysis equipment, testing equipment, and so forth. This is an outfit that produces medical related stuff. Each step of production, testing, quality control, packaging, handling, storage, shipping, etc is tracked by computers. And a master database of EVERYTHING, every step and phase for each product (and they make 100's) is tracked and recorded. To meet FDA standards. They can tell you by name every person that touched the material at any point from pre-production to delivery, and tell you, for instance, what temperatures that material was exposed to in 15 minute increments from creation to delivery. In any event, their IT department, as part of its tasking, routinely re-runs new network connections for something that was moved, or added, or whatever. It's not that any one area in the building changes all that fast, but given the shear size of the building and the number of activities within it ... its a constant chore. Add that network reliability is at the top of their priority list. As a matter of routine, any of their IT people who spots any cable that looks damaged or compromised in any way; torn jacket, connector looks worn, excessive kink in the cable, flattened area where something heavy pressed on it, whatever ... and they replace it. They keep NO used cables in a box or storeroom somewhere. I know those guys, deal with em regularly. Worn, used cable is an unknown quantity, they're not gonna trust it. Would need to test it with proper test equipment before trusting it, and if they gotta do that, might as well make a new one. They strive for the highest reliability they can get. Particularly important in a business where the failure, even for a short period, to maintain the continuous record, for instance, of temperatures some materials were exposed to means that one might have to trash a million bucks worth medical pharmaceuticals. Those guys are routinely and regularly replacing cables of all sorts of lengths, styles, and purposes. For ordinary network closet work, patch cords, they do usually buy premade. But those are tested before use. In my case, in my line of work, I carry a FEW factory made standard length cords. But given that my office and my storeroom is my truck, and its not a big one. I don't carry any large quantities or large selections. I do however, carry several rolls of various cables of the assorted types I might need, plus the necessary connectors, tools, etc. I don't bother with every type cabling. Not enough room, and it doesn't matter. For instance I'll use top quality Cat 6 even if a lessor quality would have sufficed. In my line of work, a difference in cost of a few cents per foot isn't even worth thinking about. I'm not an installer. I'm what we call, where I work, a technician/field engineer. I test and configure new installations and certify them. Do programming when that is needed. Do network setup, testing, configuration and such when needed. Install, configure, and check proprietary software we need to install in some installations. And among other things, if it don't work its up to me to figure out why and fix it regardless of the reason. I also respond to trouble calls from customers on systems we installed, which are still under warranty. After the warranty period, they need to call our regular service department, fix it themselves, or hire someone else. So usually, in my work, when I'm on site ... its because something isn't working. If its something dumb like a faulty cable ... it's getting replaced NOW. If at all possible. Its not just a matter of the cost of my time to make up a cable. Its a matter of getting things up and running as soon as possible for the customer. Failures are disrupting customer and costing them lost time, also. And the last durned thing I want to do is to find that problem is a 10 foot cord, and I haven't one in my truck. So I've either got to order one thru the shop. Which they can buy pretty cheap if they haven't got it on the shelf. BUT ... every time an order is processed there are costs associated with that process. Time spent for someone to look up part numbers, process order form, use our internal accounting software to generate purchase order and bill costs against that particular job number. Physically get part from here to there. Do the follow up steps to process invoice pay the bill, update accounts software, etc. The office tells me it costs them a minimum of $50 to process every purchase order. Or, I can run over to the nearest place and buy a cable off the shelf. Hmmm, at a current estimate of 57 cents per mile cost of operating and maintaining my vehicle, plus my own work time involved ... that's one heck of a pricey cable. Even if the price sticker on it reads $5.99. Besides the trip to go get it and come back, plus actual cost of cable, I'll be turning in an invoice which needs to be processed back in the office. Did I mention that usually the customer is sitting on pins and needles wanting whatever it is I'm working on back up and running RIGHT NOW? I like to keep customers happy. Happy customers will usually do business with us in the future. So, I maintain the means to make up the cable I need right now, as needed. And to get their system up and running as soon as possible. In my situation, in the kind of work I do, yeah its worth the bucks per hour, plus bennies, that I'm paid. It's not just a matter of the cost of my personal time. Its also a matter of what any delays are costing customer in time and/or productivity. A matter of impressing customer with our services so we get future business with them. Etc. So whether to buy premade, or to make your own hasn't got a simple, one size fits all, answer. IMHO.

2rs
2rs

Just trying to get the wires to stay in the correct order whilst popping them into the connector is my big problem (along with the aging eyesight). I've been reading these comments hoping that SOMEONE would offer up a solution! Thank you to Alfred!!!

Osiyo53
Osiyo53

I've had a very low failure rate. But have been making cables for years. One gets pretty accurate at it after the first couple thousand times. :-) But I'd never heard of those EZ RJ45's before your mention of them. Looks to me, I just looked at em on the Net, as if they might well serve to speed up the process of adding a connector. Not to mention that with the ability to have the ends of the conductors protrude from the connector ... it looks like it'd be a darned bit easier to verify by sight that everything is in the right order. Chuckle, I hate it when the lighting is bad and just before making my crimp I'm trying to peer thru that plastic as a last check to make sure I've got things right. I'm getting a bit long in the tooth and my eyesight is not what it used to be. Thanks, I'm gonna have to buy some just to check it out.

williamjones
williamjones

I've never heard of these, but then I usually am going for the cheapest possible bulk pak of connectors. They sound handy, though. As practiced as I am, sometimes even I end up mis-crimping a cable end.

kkopp
kkopp

The solid cables will break within a year if they get moved with any frequency. You would need to make sure you get stranded wire and the right ends. I've actually seen this in some of the stores I used to service. I've done it both ways. I can do a wire without really paying attention to what I'm doing. I won't do it unless I need an odd size or am short of cables and I can make 2 from a big one.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Special length? That would be over 100 feet. I keep 3, 4, 5, 7, 10, 14, 25, 50 and 100 in stock, along with 3-foot crossovers. If one of those is too long, I tie up the excess. I rarely need anything else, maybe once a year.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

I spent about $125 for my Fluke Micromapper. It gives me continuity, shorted, crossed, and reversed indications, but it's all done with lights, so you have to have some intelligence to use it. ;) The testers you're thinking of have an LCD display that writes all that out for you, have a TDR to tell you how long the cable is, and can also tell you which end is bad. The one I want (the Fluke Microscanner2) runs about $750. Edit: The testers that measure cross-talk and can certify the installation cost more than a small car!

jdclyde
jdclyde

When I first started working here, they had the cheap crimper. They couldn't figure out why they kept getting bad crimps..... It was common to have to chop the end off and put another end on , and recrimp. The cheap crimper was driving the pins in on a slight angle, and every now and then they would miss the copper as they penetrated the cable. And the ends, as everyone here knows, is the expensive part of the cable. Got the new crimper, and no more bad cables. And then comes the tester. Most are just looking for a matching pair, but don't look for shorts or cross talk. A good tester starts at a few hundred. Wasn't that big a deal back in the 10t days, but in your 10/100/1000 network, only checking matched pairs doesn't cut it. Making your own does have it's uses and benefits. I do a combination. I just wish it was easier to find 2' prefabs for my patch panels. 1' is to short and 3' is to long. :(

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

1974 and though I don't use it much these days it's still as good as the day I bought it and it was considerably more than $50.00 and I have got my money's worth out of it if I never touch it again. A cheap metal coax Crimper I bought 3 years ago has however broken not long after first using it. Doesn't matter as I bought a good pair even though I have never needed to use them since but who knows I may start doing Closed Circuit Security Systems one day so they will be useful latter maybe. Personally I don't touch those cheap tools even if they are metal. At a friends place recently I broke one of those cartridge guns because he told me to just squeeze the trigger and the goo would come out. Well it didn't the metal bent and the guy who owned it was impressed. He was insistent that it wasn't possible to break one of those with just 1 hand so he insisted that I do it again. After breaking the second one I turfed the cartridge because there was no way known that you where going to get any of the sealant out of that and opened a new one. The right tool is the only tool to use for the job and good tools last a lifetime. My little brother used to insist that anything that did the job was good enough till he hurt himself and scared himself badly when a cheap adjustable spanner from Target Broke and left him paralyzed from the neck down for a fortnight. After that he started to buy good tools and never mistreated them again. But it was so dangerous that it's not a thing I would recommend as a [b]Learning Experience.[/b] Col

JamesRL
JamesRL

When it made more economic sense to make cables rather than buy them. Mine cost well over $50 if I recall. James

williamjones
williamjones

...are they? I'm seeing one on Monoprice for $17. The one my kit was part of a set from Hawking Technologies that came with a tester, connector, boots *and* a punchdown tool I never used. That was $79 when I ordered it several years ago. I agree with you though. I'd never buy a plastic crimper.

JamesRL
JamesRL

There is no way I would buy a cheapo plastic body crimper ever again. James

williamjones
williamjones

...less than $50 for both at monoprice.com. Given the simplicity of these tools, neither is going to fail anytime soon. So you can look forward to having quite a long time to pay off the investment. And regarding the investment of my time: if a user's problem can be fixed by a replacement network cable, then providing that cable is *my job*. I don't consider the five minutes it takes to make my own cable a waste of time.

Osiyo53
Osiyo53

No need to get too fancy. Pro grade high band width cable testers for doing data throughput testing, or time domain reflectometers, etc can be VERY pricey. When I worked for a major telecom we had such tools. But due to their cost, plus how infrequently they were actually needed they were kept in a central tool issue location and transported across state to whereever they were needed, when needed. In most business office settings, an IT department can usually get by with much less. A basic multimeter for general purpose usage, a tone tracer, and your basic network cable tester should meet most requirements. With the moderate cost being easily justified even for a small outfit with modest needs. A basic network cable tester, which can identify continuity problems such as shorts, open wires, reversed pairs, crossed pairs and miswiring for 10BASE-T, 100BASE-T, EIA/TIA 568A/568B and Token Ring cables and verify shield integrity on STP cables can be had for from $50 to $150 (depending on quality). It's quick and simple to use. I even run a quick test on store bought cables using one before installing them. I've had brand new, factory made cables that were bad right out of the package. For detecting other issues, I hook up using the cable and use standard software to check and see what throughput speeds and collisions look like. For ordinary office purposes, this is usually sufficient. Now if you're doing a lot of 1000 Base-T work, yah might want a network qualifier, which runs from $1000 to $1500. Gigabit networks tend to be fussy. The Fluke CableIQ is an example. Of course, yah can get real fancy and go for a cable certifier good for up to 10 gigs. That can check crosstalk, attenuation, skew, length, wiremap, RL, Next, ACR, etc. Runs between $7000 and $8000. It all depends on what kind of work you're primarily doing. Ordinary office, the simple tools I listed should suffice. At places such as one site of a customer of ours, which is a central billing, accounting, and data processing office for a major retailer that handles the data, real time for a couple thousand retail outlets? There is a need for speed ... REAL SPEED. And they'd not blink at the price of an $8000 cable tester.

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

After about 12 months of attempting to justify the need for a Multimeter I finally got approval to buy one. Naturally there where no $2.00 throwaway Digital ones way back then and even the cheapest No Name Brands where horrendously expensive. Anyway the day finally arrived where I got the thing and the State Manager just had to come down and see what all the fuss was about. He got very disappointed to see that I was actually using it and wearing it out because I had been saving up Circuit Boards that Needed Repairing for a while basically anything not obviously blown was put to one side till they got the proper tools. It was either that or randomly replace components till it worked and I don't work that way. It was bad enough that I was pulling these Circuit Boards out and replacing them without repairing them in my books I wasn't going to remove perfectly good components and replace them with the same thing. So if there was a resistor blown a Inductor torn off the Board or something like that it was repaired and put back into service pretty straight forward stuff really but when the Boss came down to see my new Play Toy I was taking some resistance readings and this just showed a needle moving over a scale. I'm not sure exactly what he expected but he was defiantly unimpressed. After all what good was it doing? Anyway I figured that I needed to show him something different so I sung the switch over to 1 KV stuck the probes in a Mains Socket and said see I can see that we are getting the correct Voltage now so if the things don't work to begin with I will know where to start looking. Back them he was impressed and went away figuring that it was a good buy. Didn't matter that I had already saved the company more in a hour repairing those Circuit Boards than what the thing initially cost. Anyway Lunch time comes around and I go out when I return the State Service Manager has a pale look to his face and is obviously nervous. He points to my workbench & I immediately thought of what I had left on causing a problem though I was sure that I had switched everything off before leaving. Not a problem so I go over thinking that something had started a fire & it was my fault and I see a Fried dead Fluke sitting on my bench that I know I had put away before leaving the Workshop. Besides Multimeter's don't spontaneously combust so even if it was left turned on on the bench the worst that was going to happen is that it chewed some electricity and may have wasted a cent or so of electricity powering the front display. But what actually happened is that the State Manager came down with one of the dealers opened the Drawer that I had put away the Fluke Bench Multimeter in dragged it out didn't bother plugging in the mains lead and stuck the Probes in a Power Socket at which point the thing exploded according to the guy holding the probes. Apparently leaving something like this on a low resistance reading and inserting the Probes into the Active and Earth of a mains socket isn't a good thing to do as if I needed to be told. The outcome was that now after getting shocked blowing the fuses for the entire building and destroying my then new play toy they suddenly discovered that Electricity is dangerous so my tools had to be locked away when I wasn't there using them as someone could get killed. :D Then to top off the insult they wanted me to repair the destroyed Multimeter which was doable provided I had one to test things with. Didn't matter that it would have cost more in parts than another new one either and they wondered if Idiots using them was covered by the Guarantee. Only good thing to come out of that was that the State Manager never entered the workshop again and never touched any of my tools. Though he did think he knew how to do the mechanical Repairs and was always stealing the Hand Tools to attack his car with. And no we didn't fix cars so when he returned the tools that he [b]Borrower[/b] they where ruined and we just dragged now ones out of stock. Didn't matter as we didn't need to go outside the company to buy these so it was no big deal though a Bloody expensive trick. Only good thing about that experience is it taught me to protect my tools so a couple of years latter when I had to buy a CRO I hid it when it wasn't in use and carried the leads with me at all times. :D Col

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

I spent over $100 for precision crimpers and bought the Fluke Micromapper so I would have a tester that gives me more than just a yes/no continuity check. I'm still trying to convince management that if they want me to do serious cable troubleshooting I need the equivalent of a Microscanner (http://tinyurl.com/989uss), or better yet, a NetTool (http://tinyurl.com/2clqj6). So far, no good.

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