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I had a naff batch of cat5 connectors (the latching mechanism didn't work) so decided to order in some cat6 connectors in preparation for the inevitable upgrade.

My existing reel of for making patch cables is cat5e utp stranded. I made up a few cables and tested them- none of them worked. I recrimped and still nothing. When i check them with a multi-meter not all pins are connected.

This reel has always worked with the previous cat5 connectors so I tested the cat6 connectors on a reel of solid cat5e cable and they work fine.

Any ideas what I might be doing wrong? Or what might be at fault? (cable/connectors) and how I can diagnose?



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This doesn't really answer your question, but making your own cables is likely a waste of time/money. See here for a nice explanation: everythingsysadmin.com/2011/01/… –  ThatGraemeGuy Jan 16 '12 at 10:31
isn't cat6 grounded using the braid around the cable pairs ? –  Sirex Jan 16 '12 at 10:37
What's the difference between a CAT5 connector and a CAT6 connector, other than the label on the package? CAT6 uses the same 8P8C connector that CAT5 does as far as I know. In addition, what inevitable upgrade are you referring to? GbE will run just fine on CAT5 and CAT5e cable. Are you upgrading to 10GbE? –  joeqwerty Jan 16 '12 at 11:40
cat5 connectors are a single piece (the cores are all aligned in a single horizontal line). cat6 connectors come as two pieces- a guide rail which you load the 8 cores into before loading into the outer shell and crimping (the cores are aligned in 2 rows of 4) –  Lee Tickett Jan 16 '12 at 11:45
and yes- progressively as prices come down and as my existing supplies run out i will order in higher standard equipment (so i don't have to replace everything at once). also i may be running HDMI over cat (which may require cat6) etc –  Lee Tickett Jan 16 '12 at 11:50
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5 Answers 5

I've hand-crimped hundreds, maybe thousands of patch cables. The thing that normally bites you is trying to use modular plugs designed for stranded wire on solid conductor cable or vise versa. They have to match. If not, you'll get enough connectivity for a DVM to show that your pinouts are correct, but not enough to support a 100Mhz signal.

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Compared with Cat 5 and Cat 5e, Cat 6 has more stringent specifications for crosstalk and system noise. Additionally, stranded cable has higher attenuation than solid cable. In my opinion, this is what bit you, assuming that you've ordered connectors that are compatible to stranded cable (and not to solid cable), which would've been my first guess otherwise.

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

So it turns out that cat6 connectors are not neccessarily backwards compatible with cat5(e) cable. I'm struggling to find sources to cite at the moment- http://www.cat6.com/faqs/freqAskQues%20cabling%20system.aspx for example suggests they are backward compatible- lots of confusion!

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The company we used told me a story of a job they did when they first started using a new set of Cat6 clip-shut terminals. They had connected 1000's of cables to a giant patch panel and they all failed because the clippers they had used did not clip the ends of the cables precisely flush and so 1mm of cable was poking out and when the metal terminal was clipped shut, all the cables touched the metal case and so shorted.

Once they worked out the problem it was simply a matter of getting some better clippers and clipping the 1000's of cables exactly flush and they all worked a treat.

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I faced the same problem as yours, but when I got solution then I came to know 'how stupid am I'.

The solution is 568-B Wiring on both ends. This applies to Cat6 as well. Check out the article How to Make a Category 5 / Cat 5E Patch Cable.

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