VDV Works Virtual Hands-On Training


Cat 3 and Cat 5/5E/6 UTP Termination

Terminating Modular Plugs


Step 1 NEXT BACK  Terminating Plugs
You will need:
Cat 5 or Cat 3 cable
Modular plugs
Wire cutters
Crimp tool

Lesson Plan Links

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Cat 5 - 110 Punchdown Block

Cat 5 - Jack

Cat 3 - 66 Punchdown Block

Cat 3 - Jack

Cat 3 & Cat 5 - Plug

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The modular jack mates to a plug to complete the connection. The plug is generally called a "RJ-45" but that is technically incorrect. A true "RJ-45" is this modular 8 pin plug terminated with a USOC pinout. However, since everyone calls it a "RJ-45", it is OK to call it that!

Most plugs are part of patchcords, while the installed link is terminated in jacks. Patchcords are not simple or easy to make, and it is usually much less expensive to purchase factory-terminated patchcords in specific lengths to use for interconnecting cables or connecting network hardware.

Another critical difference is patchcords are made with stranded wires, not solid wires like the installed link. Solid wire will fail quickly if used for patchcords, since it is not flexible like stranded wire. If you are going to be making patchcords, get some stranded wire to do it properly




Begin the process by stripping 1 - 1/2 inches of jacket from the cable. Untwist back to the end of the jacket this time. When we crimp the plug on the cable, we want to crimp the cable in place.

As you separate and order the strands, the color codes must match the jack that will be used. This will be either 568A or B. It's best to lay the plug head on to a jack so that you can clearly see the pattern.

Make sure you get your pin numbers oriented properly. This is a jack, looking into the slot where the plug goes. Looking from the back of the plug, where the cable goes, pin 1 is on the left when the latch is down.


The wires must be laid out in order, they must be flat, and very close together. They need to be parallel for most of the exposed length to fit into the plug properly. Once they are in order and flat, cut the wires straight across so that only 1/2 inch of the strands protrudes from the cable.



Carefully slide the cable into the plug. The wires must stay in order, and separated from each other. The wire tips have to slide all the way into the plug to connect to the contacts properly.

Look for the colors of the wires to reach the end of the plug.



Once you are satisfied that the wires are seated fully at the plug contacts, insert the plug into the crimping tool and crimp the cable to the plug.



Now the plug is complete and ready for testing.




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