I am wiring up my home using CAT5e cable. Before committing to the cables I have created, I have plugged them in (uncrimped) and they are not working.

Do I need to take the plunge and crimp the cables before I can test them? I was hoping to wire up first and buy a crimping tool later this week. Apologies if this is an obvious question, I couldn't seem to find this information anywhere.

  • The cables are not working because you need to finish making them. – Ramhound Dec 10 '17 at 2:02
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    I upvoted this. It might be obvious to some, but just because it's not possible doesn't make asking if it is, in itself a bad question. – Tetsujin Dec 10 '17 at 8:57
  • I highly recommend getting a cheap ethernet tester with a remote end. This tool will save you hours of frustration. – Keltari Dec 10 '17 at 14:52

Crimping makes the actual connection by cutting through the insulation on the wires. The colored plastic is insulation; the copper conductor is inside that. There are V-shaped notches on the terminal for each wire that cut precisely through the insulation and compress the wires inside.

Though it is possible to reach the conductor using a needle-tip probe, it certainly would not be worth the time or trouble to do so. The cable itself is reliable, but applying the RJ-45 crimping tool correctly is critical.

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    As an addendum to this answer - I'd highly recommend making up a few small disposable cables first, to practise the method. It's not as easy as it looks when you first start, & as has been pointed out, you can't really test them until they're finished. – Tetsujin Dec 10 '17 at 8:55
  • @Tetsujin has a good point: press too hard and the conductors may be cut, but pressing too gently may not cut through insulation. – DrMoishe Pippik Dec 10 '17 at 23:45

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