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This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

Lab 3: Wiring, Part II


In Chapter 1, you examined layer 1 wiring and how to make and test a simple patch cable. I mentioned then that most of the time, you would purchase these patch cables, because doing so would save you time and money. What I did not mention was that more commonly, you will be wiring permanent layer 1 connections, and you cannot purchase these! By "permanent layer 1 connections," I am referring to long-distance cable runs from the patch panel to the RJ-45 jack. This lab will show you how to do the following:

  • Use a punch down tool.

  • Terminate Category 5e wiring to a patch panel and RJ-45 jack in a simulated environment.

  • Test the connections with a continuity tester.

  • Prepare for the Network+ subdomain 3.3.


For this lab you will need the following additional tools:

  • Punch down tool with 110 blade

  • Category 5 or 5e patch panel

  • RJ-45 jack

  • 25 feet of Category 5 or 5e twisted pair cable

  • Continuity tester

  • Wire stripper

  • Cutting tool

We are using the following:

  • Paladin punch down tool with 110 IDC blade

  • WiedMuller wire stripper

  • Signamax 24 port patch panel

  • Leviton 568B RJ-45 jack

  • Testum continuity tester

  1. Prepare your equipment.

    1. Lay your patch panel face down so you can see the colored 110 IDC clips where you will be punching down.

    2. Ready your RJ-45 jack. Have your tester at the ready as well.

    3. Cut a 6-foot length of Category 5e cable.

  2. Punch down to the patch panel.

    1. Strip one of the ends with your wire stripper to expose the eight wires. Take off about two inches of the PVC jacket.

    2. Separate all eight wires as demonstrated in Chapter 1, but this time organize them in the original order, BOGB (blue pair, orange pair, green pair, brown pair). Always use the white with colored stripes first, and then the solid color for each pair. This is illustrated in Figure 3.20.

    3. Place each wire (pin) in its color-coded 110 connector. Normally you would start with white/blue and move on from there, but with the patch panel we are using, any color order will work. Temporarily place each wire with your fingers or a placing tool. Keep the PVC jacket as close to the connectors as possible. This is shown in Figure 3.21.

    4. Use the punch down tool to connect the wires. Make sure that the cut side of the tool (if you have one) is facing toward the end of the cable. If it is facing the wrong way, you will sever the connection before the terminating point. Double-punch each wire until all eight are done. (The cut side of the punch down tool should remove all the excess wiring beyond the 110 connector.) This is illustrated in Figure 3.22.

    Figure 3.20

    Figure 3.20 Category 5e cable in BOGB order.

    Figure 3.21

    Figure 3.21 Wiring the patch panel.

    Figure 3.22

    Figure 3.22 Punching down.

  3. Punch down the other end to the RJ-45 jack.

    1. Strip the other end of the cable about two inches down.

    2. Separate the wires the same way you did before.

    3. Note the color-coded scheme on the jack. You can use the 568A or 568B standard. This all depends on what you want to use and what standard your patch panel is using. Most likely you are using the 568B standard, so wire the RJ-45 jack appropriately. Match the wires with the correct color.

    4. Place the wires in the colored connectors with your fingers or with a placing tool. Make sure that the PVC jacket runs as close to the edge of the jack as possible. This is shown in Figure 3.23.

    5. Punch down each wire. Make sure that the cut side of the tool is facing toward the outside of the jack. This will ensure that you do not sever the wires before the termination point, and that you remove the excess from the end of the wires. The finished product should look something like Figure 3.24.

    Figure 3.23

    Figure 3.23 Wiring the RJ-45 jack.

    Figure 3.24

    Figure 3.24 Finished wired RJ-45 jack.

  4. Test the connection with a continuity tester.

    1. Connect your continuity tester to the jack using the supplied patch cable.

    2. Connect the supplied terminator to the patch panel. Use the port that you wired!

    3. Turn on the continuity tester and test. If all wires are correctly punched down on both ends, you should get a beep and/or a message that says "Pass." This is shown in Figure 3.25.

    4. Figure 3.25

      Figure 3.25 A tested cable run.

    5. It is possible that your test will not work the first time. With cabling, you have to remember that practice makes perfect! It may take you a few times to get it right. Check the pins (wires) carefully on each end. Make sure that you are wiring each one correctly. They are usually color-coded, so always check the colors. In addition, most testers will tell you what is wired incorrectly, so read the display carefully. An example of an incorrect wiring connection is shown in Figure 3.26.

Figure 3.26

Figure 3.26 An incorrectly wired display.

And there you have it! In Chapter 1 you learned how to create temporary cables, whereas this chapter showed you how to wire the permanent connection. This is a necessary skill for all network administrators. You never know when you will need to add a cable run or re-wire a malfunctioning connection. Excellent work!

What Did I Just Learn?

In this lab you learned how to wire permanent physical connections to allow data transmissions over the physical layer. You used several tools to aid you in making proper network connectivity. In detail you learned how to do the following:

  • Use a punch down tool and continuity tester.

  • Wire a 568B cable connection.

  • Terminate to a 568B patch panel and RJ-45 jack.

  • Test your wiring connection.

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