Local Area Network (LAN) is a cornerstone of modern connectivity, enabling devices within a limited area, such as a home, school, or office, to communicate and share resources. A crucial aspect of setting up a LAN is understanding how to make CROSS and STRAIGHT cables. These cables, often referred to as Ethernet or network cables, are the lifelines that connect devices in a network. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the process of making these cables, ensuring you can create custom cables that meet your specific needs.
Understanding Ethernet Cables
Before we delve into the process of making CROSS and STRAIGHT cables, it’s essential to understand what an Ethernet cable is. An Ethernet cable is used to connect devices in an Ethernet network, facilitating wired data transmission between devices. They are commonly used in both personal computers and servers, and even in the automation industry. For instance, PROFINET, the sister to PROFIBUS, uses Ethernet over twisted pair cabling to communicate between PLCs.
Ethernet Over Twisted Pair
Ethernet networks use twisted-pair cables for wired communications. These cables have wires twisted along the cable in pairs, a design that helps cancel out any electrical noise or electromagnetic interference (EMI) from outside. There are several types of twisted-pair Ethernet cables available, including UTP (Unshielded Twisted Pair) and STP (Shielded Twisted Pair), each suited to different environments depending on the level of electrical interference.
Ethernet Cable Categories – Cat Cables
Ethernet cables are divided into categories, each defined by the available bandwidth and used for different purposes. For instance, Cat5 Ethernet cables are used for short distances in LAN (100Base-Tx), supporting up to 100 Mbit/s. Cat5e Ethernet cables offer faster transmission speed (1000Base-T), while Cat6 Ethernet cables are suitable for up to 10GBASE-T, providing up to 10 Gbit/s.
Making CROSS and STRAIGHT Cables
Now that we have a basic understanding of Ethernet cables, let’s delve into the process of making CROSS and STRAIGHT cables. The process involves choosing the right cable, understanding CAT 5 cables, and then making the actual cable.
STEP 1: Choose the Right Cable
The type of cable you choose depends on the devices you want to connect:
- To Connect PC to PC → Cross Cable.
- To Connect PC to HUB/SWITCH/ROUTER → Straight Cable.
- To Connect HUB/SWITCH/ROUTER to HUB/SWITCH/ROUTER → Straight Cable.
STEP 2: Understanding CAT 5 Cables
CAT 5 Cable has 4 pairs of copper wire inside it. Standard cables have BROWN, BROWN WHITE, GREEN, GREEN-WHITE, BLUE, BLUE WHITE, ORANGE, ORANGE WHITE.
STEP 3: Making Straight Cable
To make a straight cable, you’ll need two RJ45 Connectors, a crimping tool, and a CAT 5 cable of the desired length (less than 250 meters). There are two standards adopted for cabling: EIA/TIA 568A & EIA/TIA 568B. When you use a single standard (either EIA/TIA 568A or EIA/TIA 568B) on both ends of the cable, the resulting cable is a STRAIGHT CABLE.
STEP 4: Making Cross Cable
On the other hand, if you use different cabling standards on the ends of the cable, the resulting cable is a CROSS CABLE. The most common way to make an Ethernet crossover cable is to use T568A in one end of the cable and use T568B at the other end of the cable.