Lab 2: Networking Cables

Lab 2:  Networking Cables

by:  James Moore

Project 1 Objective:  Practice putting an RJ-45 connector on a twisted-pair cable, and then use the cable to connect a workstation to the network.

Equipment List:  Crimp tool, wire cutter, CAT5 UTP cable, two RJ-45 connectors, and simple network system.

Notes and Observations:  For this project I had experience doing this in the past so my group was able to get ahead and I was able to show them how to do it.  Basically we stripped the end and exposed the twisted pair.  From there we organized the twisted pair in to correct color combination (WO, O, WG, BL, WBL, G, WBR, BR) for a straight through cable.  We cut the twisted pair to a shorter as desired length and put the RJ-45 on the end and crimped it.  We did the same for the other end.  We used a tester to test if all 8 wires PASS and they did.

Project 2 Objective:  This time we made a crossover cable for connecting a computer to a hub or computer to computer.

Equipment List:  Same as above in Project 1, Two Macbooks.

Notes and Observations:  We did the same for the straight through cable but in this case one end was straight and the other end had a different color combination.  For this end pin 1 and pin 3 wire swap and Pin 3 and 6 swap (basically White-Orange and White Green, Orange and Green swap).  We were not able to use the tester this time due to crossover cable.  Instead we used our Macbooks and connected them together and created a shared folder to validate the connection and cable was good.

Project 3:  Visual Inspection of cable types other than UTP.  Earlier types of coaxial (Thinnet and Thicknet), and Fiber Optics.

Equipment List:  Coaxial and Fiber Optic Cables

Notes and Observations:  Thicknet coaxial cable was the standard many years ago and is still used.  The advantages is that it has large bandwidth capability and is a durable long lasting cable.  The disadvantages is that it is limited to 500 meters in length and to make connection you must tap into the cable via clamps along the cable.  Thinnet similar and has the advantage of being more flexible and cheaper, but is limited to bandwidth and length of only 185 m.  Fiber Optics is the new standard and has much higher bandwidth capabilities than coaxial.  The disadvantages are mainly high cost, and it is not as durable which leads to higher cost installation to protect it.

Project 5 Objectives:  Instal twisted UTP cable into a Patch Panel using a punch.

Equipment list:  Complete Cat5 cable, punch down tool, Patch panel.

Notes and Observations:  The patch panel was color coded so it was not difficult to figure out where the wires go.  We aligned the wires into the correct small blocks on the back of the patch panel trying not to untwist the pairs as much as possible.  The twist makes the wires less susceptible to crosstalk and noise interference.  The max length is 100m.  Once aligned we used a punch tool to push down and make connection and cut excess off all in one push.

Conclusion:  After not making a Cat5 cable with RJ45 connector I realized I forgotten the standard, the color order, and most importantly to read the wires from left to right in order from the backside window and not where the lock side is.  After my second try I was back doing it pretty well and fast, and was able to help the rest of the group.  Another forgotten thing is that computers need a crossover cable end.  I liked the convenience of the tester tool to tell if the cable was properly done and worked.  This would have been nice to have in a past job in the military.  One thing way we used to test the crossover cable was to just use two macbooks and that also led to us learning to make a networked folder to share between, something neither of us knew how to do.  This overall lab is a great basics skill to have due to if things are not connected right nothing will work.


About jmm0592

I am from Lakeland, FL. I am married with two kids. I've been in the military since 2002, which led me to Kansas. I worked on Signal Communications for 5 years in the Army on older Vietnam era Small Extension Nodes, Line of site Antennae, Radios, and fiber optics and cable installing. I switched career fields to Unmanned Aircraft back in 2007 in the Army. I separated from Active Duty and have been a student at Kstate since Spring 2011. I am a UAS major.
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