what is patch cable

Getting to Know What is an Ethernet Network UTP Patch Cables and How to Make and Test?

The UTP stands for unshielded twisted pair. A UTP patch cable is a type of length cable that is accompanied by already installed connectors on both ends. Remember, UTP cables are the most commonly used ethernet cables not just in the USA, but across the globe. So, if you are bombing the internet with phrases like what is patch cable, stop doing it, as in this article, you will learn not only about the patch cable but also the process of making it. 

Ethernet Patch Cable:

Unshielded Twisted Pair is often closely associated with Ethernet Standards that is the same often used as Ethernet Cable. However, this is not the actual case. Out of multiple cables out there, a UTP is one of the cable types used in networking. Other types of cables are multimode fiber optic cables, single-mode fiber optic cables, and twin axial cables. 

UTP – Unshielded Twisted Pair:

As stated earlier, UTP cables are most commonly used cables in networking as they are way cheaper than their shielded counterparts. The reason, again, is the simple one: these cables do not have an extra layer or layers or protection embedded beneath the plastic jacket of the cable. To provide protection against the electromagnetic interference, in a UTP cable, wires are twisted together. 

Unshielded twisted pairs are ideal for spaces where crosstalk and electromagnetic interference are not in excess. On the other hand, shielded twisted pair cables are ideal for spaces where there is an excess of crosstalk and electromagnetic interference. As crosstalk and EMI compromise signal quality, it will take a toll on your overall network performance. However, if there is no or little presence of crosstalk and EMI, it is better to install unshielded twisted pair cables as they are way cheaper. Also, why spend extra bucks when UTP cable can do the same job perfectly (in an environment where crosstalk and EMI are minimum).

How to Make an Ethernet Patch Cables?

You will begin by cutting the cable (either Cat5e or Cat6) to the length required. You have to make sure that the boots are facing towards the connector. Now, with meticulous attention, strip the jacket of your Cat5e Cat6 cable back by 1 inch approximately. You can do this either by cutter or by hand. Now you will move on to the next step and untwist all of the 4 pairs. Then, straighten each of the 8 wires as possible. For a standard patch cord, you will use a 568-B wiring scheme on either end. Now move to the third phase, i-e, bringing all eight wires closely together as much as possible. 

You will hold the sorted and grouped wires tightly together between the forefinger and the thumb. Now you will cut all eight wires at an angle of 90 degrees. For this purpose, you will use a sharp cutting tool. Here comes the most important phase. Insert all eight wires into the connector with meticulous care while ensuring that connector pins are facing up. To properly seat the wires in the connector, use moderate amounts of force. Carefully observe the tip of your RJ45 connector to ensure that all eight wires are correctly inserted in the connectors. Keep enough cable jacket inside the connector so that wires remain safe from any damage.Now you will place the connector into a crimp tool and then squeeze hard.  Repeat the same process on the other end. 

Voila! You are all good to go. Hopefully, your query titled “what is patch cable” has been answered and you are able to make patch cables all by yourself. 

Author : Frank Tyger

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