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8 pin RJ45 (8P8C) female connector layout
8 pin RJ45 (8P8C) female connector
at the Device
8 pin RJ45 (8P8C) male connector layout
8 pin RJ45 (8P8C) male connector
at the Cable
This is most common cable for 10/100/1000Base-T ethernet networks. This cable will work with 10Base-T (10 Mbit ethernet), 100Base-TX (100 Mbit ethernet) and 1000Base-T (1 Gbit ethernet). It is used to wire a network interface card to a hub, switch or network outlet. This cable is called wipe, patch cord, straight-thru cable.

Nowdays ethernet is a most common networking standard for LAN (local area network) communication, officially standardized by IEEE standard 802.3. It was originally developed by Xerox Corporation in cooperation with DEC and Intel in 1976. Nowdays ethernet runs at 10Mb, 100Mb or 1Gb per second.  Ethernet uses a bus (old coaxial cable) or star topology (standard UTP cable). Most ethernet networks use Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP) cable. Category 5 (CAT5) cable widely used, but other variations are available. EIA/TIA specifies RJ-45 connectors - properly called 8P8C - (ISO 8877) for UTP (unshielded twisted pair) cable. (RJ45 refers to a set of connectors beyond the 8P8C standard but the former has replaced the latter in common usage).

1000BASE-T (also known as IEEE 802.3ab) is a standard for gigabit Ethernet over copper wiring. It requires, at least Category 5 cable (the same as 100BASE-TX), but Category 5e (Category 5 enhanced) or Category 6 cable may also be used and are often recommended. 1000BASE-T requires all four pairs to be present and is far less tolerant of poorly installed wiring than 100BASE-TX.

There are two standards for network cable wiring. Both are correct. You may use either of them to make an Ethernet UTP network cable.

EIA/TIA 568B Ethernet UTP cable wiring diagram

Pin Signal Name Description cable wire color Name Pin
1 TX+_D1 Transmit Data+ White with orange stripe
TX+_D1 1
2 TX-_D1 Transmit Data- Orange with white stripe or solid orange
TX-_D1 2
3 RX+_D2 Receive Data+ White with green stripe 
RX+_D2 3
4 BI+_D3 Bi-directional+ Blue with white stripe or solid blue
BI+_D3 4
5 BI-_D3 Bi-directional- White with blue stripe
BI-_D3 5
6 RX-_D2 Receive Data- Green with white stripe or solid
RX-_D2 6
7 BI+_D4 Bi-directional+

White with brown strip 

BI+_D4 7
8 BI-_D4 Bi-directional- Brown with white stripe or solid brown

 
BI-_D4 8

EIA/TIA 568A Ethernet UTP cable wiring diagram

Pin Signal Name Description cable wire color Name Pin
1 TX+_D1 Transmit Data+ White with green strip 
TX+_D1 1
2 TX-_D1 Transmit Data- Green with white stripe or solid green 
TX-_D1 2
3 RX+_D2 Receive Data+ White with orange stripe 
RX+_D2 3
4 BI+_D3 Bi-directional+ Blue with white stripe or solid blue 
BI+_D3 4
5 BI-_D3 Bi-directional- White with blue stripe 
BI-_D3 5
6 RX-_D2 Receive Data- Orange with white stripe or solid orange 
RX-_D2 6
7 BI+_D4 Bi-directional+ White with brown strip
BI+_D4 7
8 BI-_D4 Bi-directional- Brown with white stripe or solid brown 
BI-_D4 8

Note: It is very important that a single pair be used for pins 1 and 2; 3 and 6, 4 and 5, 7 and 8. If not, performance will be degraded.

 

How to wire your own Ethernet cable

This is simple. You will need some RJ-45 connectors, UTP cable, Rj-45 Modular Connector Crimper and a hand. The ethernet cable,connectors and connector crimper are available at computer stores and most electrical centers.

Pull the cable off the reel to the desired length and cut. Inside the ethernet cable, there are 8 color coded wires. They are twisted into 4 pairs of wires. One wire in the pair is a solid colored and the other is a primarily white with a colored stripe. Start on one end and strip the cable jacket off (about 2-3cm) using a stripper or a knife. The insulation of cable wires must remain intact!

Untwist the pairs and align the wires in the correct order (see the EIA/TIA 568B or  EIA/TIA 568A pinout). Flatten the wires and trim the ends of the wires, leaving approximately 12-14 mm in wire length. Check the correct order, flattness  and tightness of wires bundle.

Hold the RJ-45 connector (clip down, you should see the same as BOTTOM on picture on right)  and carefully insert wires into connector. Each wire should be inserted as deep as possible (to the front of the RJ45 plug). Check the wires order once again. Carefully hold the wire and firmly crimp the RJ-45 with the modular connector crimper.

Repeat the above for the second RJ45 connector of cable.

That's all. Test the Ethernet cable.

If your Ethernet cable isn't working

Check the following:

Did you align wires in correct order on both ends of cable?  Is pin 1 of connector wired with white-orange (EIA/TIA 568B) or  white-green (EIA/TIA 568B) on both ends of cable?

If not, cut off connector and repeat above steps.

Did you tightly press all metal pins of RJ45 connector? 

Tightly crimp the connector with the crimper once again.

 

There are four most common Unshielded Twisted Pair Ethernet standards available nowdays:

Name Speed Standard Wires used Comments
10BASE-T 10Mb/s 802.3i 2 pairs: pins 1,2,3,6 Runs over four wires on a Category 3 or Category 5 cable.
100BASE-TX 100Mb/s 802.3u 2 pairs: pins 1,2,3,6 CAT5 copper cabling with two twisted pairs.
1000BASE-T 1000Mb/s 802.3ab 4 pairs: pins 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 At least Category 5 cable, with Category 5e strongly recommended copper cabling with four twisted pairs. Each pair is used in both directions simultaneously
10GBASE-T 10000Mb/s 802.3an 4 pairs: pins 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 Uses category 6a cable.

Ethernet UTP cable length:

Each network segment cable length may be up to 100 meters, although several chip manufacturers claim 150 meters. Autonegotiation is a requirement for using 1000BASE-T, according to the standard. Several device drivers will allow you to force 1000 Mbps full duplex to eliminate autonegotiation issues.

UTP network cabling history

Category 5 cable , commonly known as Cat 5, is an unshielded twisted pair cable type designed for high signal integrity. With the 2001 introduction of the TIA/EIA-568-B standard, the category 5 cabling specification was obsoleted and superseded by the category 5e specification.

The original specification for category 5 cable was defined in ANSI/TIA/EIA-568-A, with clarification in TSB-95. These documents specified performance characteristics and test requirements for frequencies of up to 100 MHz. Category 5 cable included four twisted pairs in a single cable jacket. It was most commonly used for 100Mbit/s networks, such as 100BASE-TX Ethernet, although IEEE 802.3ab defined standards for 1000BASE-T - gigabit Ethernet over category 5 cable. Cat 5 cable typically had three twists per inch of each twisted pair of 24 gauge copper wires within the cable. The twisting of the cable reduces electrical interference and crosstalk. 

Cat 5e cable is an enhanced version of Cat 5 that adds specifications for far-end crosstalk, usually used for gigabit ethernet. Cat 5e cable does not enable longer cable distances for Ethernet networks: horizontal cables are still limited to a maximum of 90 m in length. Cat 5e cable performance characteristics and test methods are defined in TIA/EIA-568-B.2-2001.

The enhanced version Category 6a cable is defined at frequencies up to 500 MHz and needed to reach 10Gb/s with 10GBASE-T Ethernet. 

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