Make Your Own Ethernet Cables
If you need to buy an Ethernet cable, you’ll pay quite a premium for it at your local CompUSA or Circuit City. $22.99 for a 7′ Ethernet cable is terrible. For just a few dollars more, you can buy a 250′ roll of cable and make 35 of them yourself. You’ll need to invest in a good crimper and some RJ45 heads as well, but that cost is quite small compared to how much you can save by making your own.
Your data center will look better if you make your own cables. If you buy a bunch of 10-footers and 50-footers and need to run 12 feet, what happens? You’re stuck running a 50-footer to the next rack. Do that a few times and you’ve got one of these. If you make your own, you can have custom lengths just the right length that look like this.
Being able to make your own Ethernet cables also lets you customize your cables. You can make straight-through cables for connecting to a switch, crossovers for creating uplinks, rollovers for making Cisco console cables, or null modem cables for connecting modems to serial ports. I haven’t made any other cables, but I’m sure there are dozens more types out there.
So, save money, clean up the data center, and make whatever you need. I won’t go into how to make them, but here’s a list of some places to show you how.
- A pretty good video
- Some technical stuff on pinouts
- Some pretty detailed instructions on making a crossover
- A DIY kit from Amazon
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This doesn't work in large organizations. I see about a 1% failure rate in cables I purchase, let alone ones that I found out somebody in the office made by hand. Also, I a large organization is losing money if they are paying their network engineers to make patch cables. The network starts at layer 1, and I definitely recommend purchasing your patch cables in various lengths and in bulk.