Splicing a CAT 5 (or CAT 5e) cable together can be done in several ways. The most professional and reliable method is using an Ethernet junction box or a punch-down patch panel. Another quick method, which may be less reliable for long-term or high-bandwidth needs, is to use RJ-45 connectors and a coupler. Here’s a step-by-step guide for both methods:
1. Using an Ethernet Junction Box:
- Prepare the Cables:
- Strip about 1-2 inches off the outer jacket of both ends of the CAT 5 cables using a cable stripper or a small knife.
- Separate the twisted pairs and straighten out each individual wire.
- Ethernet Junction Box:
- These are small plastic boxes with punch-down connectors inside.
- Insert each wire into its corresponding slot on the junction box, following the color-coding pattern (either T568A or T568B).
- Using a punch-down tool, press each wire into its slot to secure it. Make sure to do this for both CAT 5 cables you’re splicing together.
- Secure the Junction Box:
- Once all the wires are punched down, snap the cover of the junction box closed.
- Ensure both cables are secure, and there’s no excessive strain on any part of the junction.
2. Using RJ-45 Connectors and a Coupler:
- Prepare the Cables:
- Strip about 1-2 inches off the outer jacket of both CAT 5 cables.
- Separate and straighten the twisted pairs.
- Attach RJ-45 Connectors:
- Align the wires according to your chosen wiring standard (T568A or T568B).
- Firmly insert the wires into the RJ-45 connector, ensuring each wire slides into its respective channel and the insulation of the cable enters the connector to be gripped by the crimping part of the connector.
- Use a crimping tool to crimp the RJ-45 connector, securing the wires in place.
- Use a Coupler:
- With RJ-45 connectors attached to both cables, connect them using an Ethernet coupler. Ensure the coupler is rated for CAT 5 or higher (like CAT 5e or CAT 6).
- Test the Connection:
- After using either method, it’s crucial to test the spliced connection using a network cable tester to ensure all the pins are connected correctly and the signal is passing through.
Remember, while these methods will join two CAT 5 cables together, they might not provide the same signal quality and speed as a single, unspliced cable. For critical connections or longer distances, it’s always better to use a single cable without splices if possible.