making patch cables FREE cabling and networking Helpdesk
 Question by Bob Avery-Babel posted 01 Jan 2002
 making patch cables
Hello. I love your site! I have been trying to make patch cables now for a couple of months. It has been very frustrating. Here are the main problems I run into:
1. The plastic piece keeps breaking off (where the crimper crimps in that little piece, how much is too much crimping on an end?).
2. The cables take a long time to make :-).

Does the crimper tool need to be from the same co. as the rj45 ends are from so they are compatible with each other? Are there crimperes where the tension can be adjusted?
Finally, Everyone says to buy "factory made" cable. How do the factories make it? Are there machines out there that automatically make these finished cables? Where are they? I haven't found them yet.
Oops, one more question. Is there any advantage to puttin on those boots over the end of the plug?

Thanks for any information you can provide!

 Answer by Dmitri Abaimov posted 06 Jan 2002
Dear Bob,
I'm sorry you have problems with crimping patch cables. Actually, everybody does, that's why everybody says "buy factory-made". Factories (the ones I've seen) make them pretty much manually as well, only using pneumatic tool to squeeze the crimper to save operator from fatigue. It's just a matter of experience when yours will become perfect. Also, good factory does test them after they are done and when there is a bad one (and there are always much more than one), it gets scrapped. This is pretty much the "success formula" here.
There is no such thing as too much crimping (assuming you use a good quality crimper) because they all have ratchet mechanism that prevents from moving further than needed.
It's great to have crimper and plug from the same company, but as long as both are from good, reliable manufacturer, you're fine. BTW, some crimpers are not compatible with AMP plugs, so check that for your plastic breaking issues.
If this is a bog scale operation (and it really sounds like it is) for you, go with AMP, Ideal, Paladin or General Tools crimpers.
The boots prevent the cable from snagging, so it's pretty nice feature, especially for workarea cords.

Dmitri Abaimov, RCDD

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