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Networks Patch cable tool kit?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by David, 24 Jun 2020.

  1. David

    David Take my advice — I’m not using it.

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    I have a million and one network cables, but very few that are the exact lengths I'd ideally want. I've bought custom length cables in the past and, to be honest, the cost of a few easily outstrip (heh) the price of a cable making kit.

    So, in an effort to reduce cable clutter, I thought about grabbing a kit and having a go at making my own. There are loads of basic kits on Amazon, like this or this, but I wouldn't know trash from acceptable. Obviously, these will hardly be the epitome of quality tools, but I don't see them getting worn out anytime soon.

    I don't want to be pointed at some stupidly expensive kits - I'd prefer to keep the cost below 30-40 quid ideally, but my budget isn't fixed.

    Can any of you network engineer types - basically anyone with a lot of experience making up their own cables suggest something reasonable? Or, if the basic kits are ok for your average tinkerer, is there an additional little tool that you'd absolutely recommend adding to a kit?

    [edit] I should add that part of my network is 10gig and I know the cables are of different construction, but I'm assuming the tools are the same?

    Thanks
     
    Last edited: 24 Jun 2020
  2. Bloody_Pete

    Bloody_Pete Technophile

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    I bought a cheap one from amazon years ago and I've used it a fair few times and its still working fine. Had to reamove the massively dangerous razor blade (was for insulation stripping but its position meant that fingers had a big chance of getting sliced!). So I say i should be fine for your uses :)

    Just a FYI, making your own cables is a fools errand, its a lesson in frustration and self loathing. I avoid doing it as much as possible.
     
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  3. David

    David Take my advice — I’m not using it.

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    Received and understood, but you just know I'm gunna try. :lol:
     
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  4. loftie

    loftie Well-Known Member

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    I made my own cables and wired up a box with instruction - and borrowed tools - from @modd1uk. As someone who'd not done it before, box was a bit annoying til I figured out what i was doing wrong, the cable however was easy.
    Think the tool modd has was more expensive, involved passing the wires through the connector and then the tool would cut and crimp the connector in one go. Fairly sure his words were something along the lines of 'I don't know why I didn't buy this sooner'.
     
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  5. danielmartind

    danielmartind New Member

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    I've got one that looks the same as the second one you've linked to and its been fine. I'd never made my own cable before using it and while I've only made a few they have all been fine.
     
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  6. David

    David Take my advice — I’m not using it.

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    Thanks - I've just been looking at the tools that crimp and cut at the same time. It does look easier.
     
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  7. creative

    creative 500rwhp

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    I have the second kit and I bought some through hole rj45 plugs. Use it ALL the time and never had any issues with it.

    The area not to scrimp on is cable. Get decent quality cable!
     
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  8. David

    David Take my advice — I’m not using it.

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    Thanks all, I've ordered this kit. I like the idea of crimping and cutting the wires flush with the connector in one stroke.

    Time will tell if it was worthwhile.
     
  9. Xlog

    Xlog Active Member

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    Looks like i'm a bit late, but already had this typed out so:
    I find cheap passthrough crimpers not worth it - tolerances are just hit&miss, proper tools are close to 3 figure price, imo not worth unless you are doing it commercially. Also wires in plugs tend to oxidase/corrode if used in humid environment, have signal integrity problems on longer runs, chance of shorting if used for POE. But then again, people also use CCA cables without any problems....

    If you are going to make longer cables or installation runs getting smarter cable tester that does length/poe/network act might be a good idea (can be had on your preferred chinese retail site for ~30$).
     
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  10. Mister_Tad

    Mister_Tad Will work for nuts Super Moderator

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    I'd echo this... make your own cables because you need to (due to running through walls etc) and not to save a few pennies IMO.

    I know you've bought it now, so hate to be the instigator of buyer's remorse, but I've found the cheap all-in-one kits are fairly poor. I used one for ages and reliability was poor, both in terms of initial crimp and over time. And I'm not talking about cables just breaking - really difficult to diagnose issues like intermittent connectivity or speed fluctuations, or being visible on the network but not connecting, or cameras intermittently failing recordings for not obvious reason - like 6 months down line when you've forgotten about the cable and tear your hair out troubleshooting everything else first.

    I eventually replaced the crimper with one of these - https://www.amazon.co.uk/97-51-10-SB-multi-component/dp/B000XUJQJS which has resolved a lot of these problems.

    And have also started using the plugs with open ends - not to use one of the crimp + cut tools (because the ends can short and break POE), but because pulling the wires all the way through, trimming, and then backing off half a mm is a foolproof way of getting the tightest connector possible - particularly if you're using 10GbE.

    EDIT: As @Xlog said, basically... I already had this typed out and then had to get the door and then got distracted, and I moseyed back into the office I was just repeating what had already been said anyway :lol:

    I hadn't considered issues with corrosion... many of my self-crimped connectors are outdoors, though I've not had any issues yet... hopefully I won't because I don't think the spare length on my cameras' cables will take much more trimming :worried:
     
    Last edited: 25 Jun 2020
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  11. modd1uk

    modd1uk Well-Known Member

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    I'm yet to use my new fan dangly crimp/cut tool on POE, but from what I've read if using on POE just push the cable through, cut with snips and back out a fraction before crimping, still allows you to use the push through connectors without causing POE havoc ;).

    @David I've crimped thousands of ends in my life so far, loftie wanted to run / make some cables so instead of sending him down my old tools I invested in the push through / cut tool and a lovely little cable stripper, he managed it with 0 prior experience.

    I bought this -
    https://www.screwfix.com/p/ideal-industries-rj45-ft-45-feed-thru-crimp-tool/8518x

    And this -

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B000FI2RVC/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    Although I paid £16 ouch.

    And the ends -

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07283WRKM/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    If you want to borrow my tools to see if you get on with them just cover postage both ways and i'll chuck you a few connectors in so you can make up some cables :)
     
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  12. David

    David Take my advice — I’m not using it.

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    To be fair, it wasn't really all about saving a few quid. It was about having the flexibility to make a cable on a whim. Plus, I like playing with new things.
    You lie! :p:

    You can't earn your geek badge until you've wasted half a day because of a dodgy network cable. :)

    I looked at that same crimper, but thought it might be a bit over the top for limited/occasional use. Again, time will tell.

    Thank you for the tip on trimming for a better connection - 10GbE is a factor here. That kind of insight is what I'm looking for. Most of it is short runs however, and the only cables longer than a few metres are fibre.

    If the kit turns out to be utter sh!te, I'll come back and fess up that I shouldn't have been a tight wad. :)


    I really don't like borrowing tools, and one of my reasons for buying this is the ability to make up a cable at a moment's notice. However, thank you for the very generous offer, regardless. It really is appreciated. :thumb:

    Thanks all.

    You gotta love this community.
     
  13. Mister_Tad

    Mister_Tad Will work for nuts Super Moderator

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    Real geeks terminate their own fibre too :D
     
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  14. edzieba

    edzieba Virtual Realist

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    REAL geeks phreak an OM4 fibre by furiously waving their hand in front of a laser pointer then peering in to read the ACK!

    Safety note: do not look into energised fibre with remaining eye.
     
  15. David

    David Take my advice — I’m not using it.

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    It arrived a few minutes ago and I've made up my first cable. I cut the ends off an old cable that the clips had broken off and put new end on it.

    I assume the cable tester is nothing more than a loop-back continuity tester?
     
  16. Mister_Tad

    Mister_Tad Will work for nuts Super Moderator

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  17. David

    David Take my advice — I’m not using it.

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    Aw, it's so cute!

    [​IMG]
     
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  18. Mister_Tad

    Mister_Tad Will work for nuts Super Moderator

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    Isn't there some theoretical badness that can result from super-short connections between devices?

    Not to say I've ever had any ill effects from the ones I have.
     
  19. David

    David Take my advice — I’m not using it.

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    I didn't see any drop in throughput.

    Badness as in crosstalk or EMI?
     
  20. Midlight

    Midlight Member

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    Some of the earlier network specifications had minimum cable lengths to prevent reflection issues. Not an issue with anything xx Base T.
     
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