Lab 2 – Networking Cables: Report

Date of lab: 9-2-16

Objectives: My objective in completing the “Networking Cables” lab was to learn how to create patch cables out of RJ-45 connectors and twisted pair wire and then get hands on practice doing it.

Equipment List: Crimp Tool, wire cutter, 3-foot length of CAT5 UTP, two RJ-45 connectors, a simple networking system for testing the cables, patch panel, punch-down tool, Ethernet wall jack

Notes and Observations: In the first half of the lab, we had to attack RJ-45 connectors to the ends of twisted pair wires. My lab partner and I each attached a connector to one end of the cable.

Step one was to strip the cable. We also had to cut the little white fibers away so they wouldn’t get in the way. 20160902_101810.jpg

Step two was to separate the pairs,20160902_101843.jpg

and then untwist them.20160902_102239.jpg

We then had to put the wires in the correct order based on color, cut them short, place the RJ-45 connector over the wires, and use a crimping tool to press them into place. I will post a diagram in the next section showing exactly what order the wires have to be in.

20160902_104241.jpg

We finally tested the patch cable with this little machine. Numbers one through eight all appear on the bottom row along with the word “pass” meaning our patch cable was correctly assembled and is working properly. 20160902_104809.jpg

In the Second part of the lab, we had to attach a patch panel to one end of a twisted pair cable and an Ethernet wall-jack to the other. Here is a picture of the patch panel used. 20160902_104859.jpg

We had to shave the cable again. This time, we only separated the pairs from each other and did not untwist them. 20160902_101843

We then had to place the wire pairs around small pins on the wall jack. The colors on the wall jack correspond with the colors of the wires that  fit in the slots. 20160902_105419.jpg

We then had to use a punch-down tool to push the wires into place and cute off the excess.

20160902_105451.jpg

And Done!20160902_105544.jpg

We did the same thing for the Ethernet wall-jack.20160902_104312.jpg

In the end, this cable didn’t work because of accumulated debris on the patch panel from past students obstructing the contact points.

20160902_105903.jpg

Diagrams, Flowcharts, and Figures:

RJ45.gif

This diagram shows the order the wires need to be in when placed into the RJ-45 connector for the cable to work.

Questions: The instructions for performing this lab included several questions.

  1. Do some research and tell what are some disadvantages and advantages of using Thinnet and/or Thicknet as compared to UTP? What are advantages and disadvantages of using fiber optic cables?

    Thinnet and Thicknet can both send signals farther than UTP. Thinnet can send a signal 185 meters, Thicknet 500 meters, and UTP only 100 meters. UTP is faster than Thinnet and thicknet and it is also very inexpensive. Fiber Optic cable can send a signal much farther, up to 2 kilometers. Fiber Optic can also send a signal faster, but it is very expensive.

  2. When fitting the wires around the pins on the wall jack, it is important not to untwist them more than needed. Why is this?

    Untwisting the wires more than needed could make the connection insecure.

Conclusions: The first time I attached the RJ-45 connector, the cable did not work. My wires twisted too much and the didn’t rest flat, so a couple of them ended up short and didn’t reach the ends of the connector. Debris on the patch panel made it not work. This goes to show that electronic hardware is very finicky. The margin for error is truly minuscule. This could lead to troubleshooting being very difficult as a wire being a few millimeters too short isn’t always easy for the human eye to see.

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