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Uggh, cheap crimper, can't make network cable

3,096 327 September 29, 2017 at 06:48 PM
I got one of those cheap crimper kits from Amazon, which includes a crimper, RJ45 ends, and a tester. But dang, I cannot for the life of me crimp a successful network cable.

I'm wiring correctly, following a T-568b wire diagram.

But when I test, not all the pins test successfully.

Any suggestions, without shelling big bucks for quality equipment?

I guess I don't know where to troubleshoot.

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#2
Quote from Samwise Gamgee
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I got one of those cheap crimper kits from Amazon, which includes a crimper, RJ45 ends, and a tester. But dang, I cannot for the life of me crimp a successful network cable.

I'm wiring correctly, following a T-568b wire diagram.

But when I test, not all the pins test successfully.

Any suggestions, without shelling big bucks for quality equipment?

I guess I don't know where to troubleshoot.
Some of it's tools. Some is technique. You kind of need both but you can learn technique and you'll still be banging your head against the wall if your tool just sucks. Which a lot of the low end ones do.

At least spend the money for a decent ratcheting crimper with a good die set. It will more than make up the small cost in time and trouble and wasted ends that you'll cut off.

You could try the EZ Crimp and some of the other similar auto-crimping type connectors but they're kind of on the expensive side.

What's happening with your ends? Does it look like the pins are all compressed flush or are some still up and irregular? Are you sure that you're wiring it properly? If you're getting the same pairs not working then you may have something mixed up. Also, might test your tester with a known good cable to eliminate some problem with it just to be sure.
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#3
Patch cables are far too cheap these days to mess around with trying to make your own.
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Quote from HarryH3
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Patch cables are far too cheap these days to mess around with trying to make your own.
you are assuming he is trying to make patch cable...
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#5
If you're installing it in wall permanently, use use a punch down keystone instead and buy patch cables.

The plastic plug needs to be decent quality and appropriate for your cable (5e or 6, solid or stranded) there are different versions.

Before you crimp you need to make sure the colors are still in the right order they can get messed up as you push it on. You also need to look at it from the side to make sure the cable is going in all the way past the prongs that the crimper pushes in. Only when those are correct should you crimp.

As to crimping with a basic tool, apply a firm even pressure. If you're using cheap plugs especially it's possible to squeeze so hard you break part of the plug. You do have to squeeze fairly hard, just don't go crazy.
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#6
Yeah if you are running in walls, use a wall jack\keystone and punch down tool. If you are making patch cables, it really is not worth the time and trouble to try to save a dollar or two unless you are for whatever reason running long lengths inside the home.

That said, both keystones and regular crimping tools for patch cables were sort of designed by people who deserve a special place in hell imo. You would have thought that they could have come up with an easier way of doing a fairly simple task. As was mentioned already, lining up the wires and making sure the cables are all in place is always a bit of a pita for patch cables . And with keystone jacks, futzing with getting the wires untwisted and each punched down in the appropriate location without breaking one of them can sometimes be a pita as well.
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#7
I'm just renewing the ends for a lengthy cable, not running through a wall.

Tester checked with a known cable is fine.

I think it's a combination of cheap crimper and ends, maybe more so the ends.

The cimper does not push all pins down, I can see some are still up. Though, all the teeth of the crimper look even.

Looking at ends on a existing cable, they look much better than the one I got from the kit. There is much better spacing between the pins.

I remember doing this when I was in school, and it was not as difficult, granted our tester was an expensive fluke device, and everything else was probably of better quality.
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#8
Are you using the correct parts for the wire size and type you have.
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#9
WORKAROUND

I believe it's the quality of the crimper and ends from the kit, which I bought from Amazon, that are culprit.

I bought a pack of RJ45 ends from Frys to compare with. I learned something new at the store. There's a pack of ends for solid wire and a pack for stranded wire.
  • Stranded wire is used for patch cables, cause they're flexible.
  • Solid wire is used for others (i.e., long cables)
I bought the pack for solid wires.


I'm using the same cable I was using earlier.

With the ends from the kit, the tester showed random pins as not having connection.
With the ends from Frys, the tester showed pin 3 as not having connection.

I manually pressed down pin 3 on both ends of the cable.
The tester now showed all 8 pins having connection.

What a PITA! On the upside, I now know more about ethernet cable than I had.

This is the kit I had bought from Amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008UY5WL0


The crimper also crimps RJ11 cable (telephone cable).

I needed to repair some telephone cables I had. I also bought RJ11 ends from Frys.

Same problem, the crimper doesn't push all the pins down. I had to manually press the pins down on the RJ11 ends.
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Last edited by Samwise Gamgee October 10, 2017 at 01:26 AM.
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#10
Quote from Samwise Gamgee
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SOLVED

I believe it's the quality of the crimper and ends from the kit, which I bought from Amazon, that are culprit.

I bought a pack of RJ45 ends from Frys to compare with.

I learned something new. There's a pack of ends for solid wire and a pack for stranded wire.
  • Stranded wire is used for patch cables, cause they're flexible.
  • Solid wire is used for others (i.e., long cables)
I bought the pack for solid wires.


I'm using the same cable I was using earlier.

With the ends from the kit, the tester showed random pins as not having connection.
With the ends from Frys, the tester showed pin 3 as not having connection.

I manually pressed down pin 3 on both ends of the cable.
The tester now showed all 8 pins having connection.

What a PITA! On the upside, I now know more about ethernet cable than I had.

This is the kit I had bought from Amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008UY5WL0


The crimper also crimps RJ11 cable (telephone cable).

I needed to repair some telephone cables I had. I also bought RJ11 ends from Frys.

Same problem, the crimper doesn't push all the pins down. I had to manually press the pins down on the RJ11 ends.

You always need to be aware of what type of wire you have so you can buy the appropriate ends. As to the crimper, I would send it back to Amazon as defective as that is just lame. The 1-star reviews sort of point to the crimper being junk (and maybe the tester too) or at best having QC issues. Buy a better product if in the future. The cheap stuff is just not worth it. They are selling you that kit for 13 dollars and change and still probably making $7 profit on it. Tells you how little it really does cost to make that stuff.
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Last edited by YanksIn2009 October 1, 2017 at 03:37 PM.
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#11
Quote from Samwise Gamgee
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SOLVED

I believe it's the quality of the crimper and ends from the kit, which I bought from Amazon, that are culprit.
...
Same problem, the crimper doesn't push all the pins down. I had to manually press the pins down on the RJ11 ends.

Yeah, send that mess back.

For future reference, for a crimper look for the ones that look like a pair of ratcheting pliers with open jaws at the front. Front loaded for the RJ45 dies. Easier to seat things well that way and you can adjust the crimp pressure better. They'll have swapable dies that you can change out to do pretty much anything. Most all of those work well even the cheaper versions.

Like these but this doesn't show the RJ45 die:

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Eclips.../206304230

You just unscrew the two screws at the front and plug in another die set for whatever you want. RJ45, coax, barrels, etc.
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Last edited by Mike A. October 2, 2017 at 01:04 AM.
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#12
RESOLUTION

So I ended up buying this crimper,
https://www.amazon.com/TRENDnet-R...B0000AZK4G

The difference is night and day. Not one bad crimp.

The RJ45 connectors that came with the cheap kit crimp fine too.

All 8 pins pushed down equally and enough to press down on the wires inside the connectors.

The connectors go in fine/easily on my routers and switches too. Before, when not all pins were pushed down equally, the connectors didn't go in smoothly.
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#13
Quote from Samwise Gamgee
:
RESOLUTION

So I ended up buying this crimper,
https://www.amazon.com/TRENDnet-R...B0000AZK4G

The difference is night and day. Not one bad crimp.

The RJ45 connectors that came with the cheap kit crimp fine too.

All 8 pins pushed down equally and enough to press down on the wires inside the connectors.

The connectors go in fine/easily on my routers and switches too. Before, when not all pins were pushed down equally, the connectors didn't go in smoothly.
Cheap tools usually suck. You will find this more and more, you get what you pay for.
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#14
Quote from LiquidRetro
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Cheap tools usually suck. You will find this more and more, you get what you pay for.
Agreed, but sometimes using a cheap tool from harbor freight until it looses all it's chineseium is all you really need.

I find it interesting how the exact same cheap junk tool can have so much price variation depending on exactly where you buy it.
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#15
Quote from jkee
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Agreed, but sometimes using a cheap tool from harbor freight until it looses all it's chineseium is all you really need.

I find it interesting how the exact same cheap junk tool can have so much price variation depending on exactly where you buy it.

That is because all the cheap junk is made in China for next to nothing and sold here for whatever markup they and the distributors\retailers think they can get away with. Just look at the 0.79 cent ethernet cables made in China and shipped free to the US on Ebay as the classic example. If they literally can make it and ship it half way around the world to your door for 79 cents and still make money on it, you know the stuff costs a few pennies to make. Most of the really cheap tools like this likely cost under a dollar or two to make imo, leaving plenty of room for distributors and retailers to mark up to make a profit. My 2 cents.
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