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Old 11-26-2005, 03:26 AM   #1 (Print)
Restorer
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Problem with network plug

I have managed to snap the little plastic prong that holds my network plug in the back of the PC. When I pushed it back in the socket the plug light came on briefly but then went out. It seems secure enough but I can't get it to light up and XP showing "network cable unplugged".

Is it possible for the plug to break or short out or something. Can it be fixed or replaced at all? I don't really want to replace the whole cable as it runs 25m through my loft down through a homemade corner conduit (glued to the wall) and into the Tivo.
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Old 11-26-2005, 04:30 AM   #2 (Print)
sanderton
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Just cut the old plug off and put a new one on. Crimping tools cost a few quid form PC World or borrow one.

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Old 11-26-2005, 12:45 PM   #3 (Print)
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Ah, I'm glad to hear that. I've never done anything technical with wires before. Will it be obvious which wires go where? Are there different types of crimping tool and do they come with instructions on what to do?
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Old 11-26-2005, 01:05 PM   #4 (Print)
sanderton
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They usually have instructions on the back; the wires are colour coded and go in in a particular order, which you can find in a trice with Google.

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Old 11-27-2005, 10:25 AM   #5 (Print)
Richard Loxley
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Fitting a new plug isn't too hard, but it does take care and patience. The crimping tool will probably cost between 10 and 20 quid, depending where you buy it.

The plugs are about 30p each. Best to get more than one, since it is quite possible that you will make a mistake with the first one you fit (I certainly did!)

The crimping tool crimps all 8 wires at once, so it is very important that all wires are straight and inserted properly into the channels in the plug. This is what takes care and patience - I typically take several minutes getting the wires perfectly ordered before pushing them into the plug. Then the crimping itself takes 2 seconds!

The order of the wires is obviously vitally important. The problem is there are typically 4 orderings that might be used - there are 2 rival wiring schemes (they just assign different colours for the same data). And then there are "straight" cables and "crossover" cables. Crossover cables are used to connect 2 pieces of equipment directly (e.g. a Tivo to a computer). Straight cables are used to connect equipment to a router/switch/hub.

The best solution is to see if the existing plug is transparent - if so make a note of the order of the colours and just copy that. If it is not transparent, see if you can
see the order of the wires when you cut it off.

If you have any techie computer friends with a crimper, just offer them a beer to come round and do it for you!
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Old 11-28-2005, 12:23 AM   #6 (Print)
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Stuart's post had me breathing a sigh of relief But Richard's was more as I feared - expensive and more than a little techie .

So what with the expense of a crimper I'm leaning towards the rip it out of the wall and replace whole cable solution. Unless anyone knows a cheaper source of crimpers .....
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Old 11-28-2005, 12:30 AM   #7 (Print)
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Hang on though just seen on Maplins they do this for £5.35.

"Delux Crimp Tool Set RJ45 Crimpmaster Crimp Tool Recommended for Cat 5 data applications · RJ45 eight position crimp tool for keyed or non-keyed"

Mine is a crossover cable - would this do the trick. Also is there a special plug I need to get for crossover or is it just a matter of the order of the wires? Do all RJ45 plugs have the little light in?
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Old 11-28-2005, 05:24 AM   #8 (Print)
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For a crossover, same wires, different order.

1 White/Orange
2 Orange
3 White/Green
4 Blue
5 White/Blue
6 Green
7 White/Brown
8 Brown

But, for cross over cable, you will need to make one end differently. Make sure you know which end you're replacing.

1 White/Green
2 Green
3 White/Orange
4 Blue
5 White/Blue
6 Orange
7 White/Brown
8 Brown

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Old 11-28-2005, 05:28 AM   #9 (Print)
sanderton
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That crimper will do it.

Crossover cables just have the wires in a different order - crossed over in fact!

Never seen a plug witha light?!

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Old 11-28-2005, 12:53 PM   #10 (Print)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sanderton




Never seen a plug witha light?!



Hmmm.. well something used to light up before I broke it. Maybe the light is in the socket? I hope I haven't damaged the port itself now
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Old 11-28-2005, 09:36 PM   #11 (Print)
Richard Loxley
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The light is often in or near the socket - and most plugs are transparent, so the plug "glows" when it is in the socket - that will be what you are seeing.

The plugs are identical for crossover or straight - just the order of wires is different.

bradleyem is correct for a crossover cable - but you need to check how the end you're replacing compares to the other end.

What I said earlier about 2 different wiring standards is partially true, there's the "A" standard and the "B" standard. Straight through cables have A-A or B-B, but crossovers are always A-B. I've found this webpage which has some nice pictures:

http://www.cablesplususa.com/rj45-utp-guide.htm

Don't give up hope - seriously, replacing the plug will be easier than replacing the whole cable - and it looks like you've found a reasonably priced crimper too. Definitely have a go, and come back here for advice if you have any problems :-)
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Old 11-29-2005, 01:46 PM   #12 (Print)
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Ok got my the crimper ordered. But there seem to be many types of RJ45 connector to choose from. Some are shielded, some unshielded, some for "twisted pairs", some even have "a clever two-piece design allowing the cable cores to be separated and aligned in the correct order easily".
Which would I need for a normal crossover network cable?

Last edited by Restorer : 11-29-2005 at 02:40 PM.
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Old 11-30-2005, 11:25 AM   #13 (Print)
Richard Loxley
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To be honest, I'm not sure what the "shielded" plugs offer - all the one's I use are just plastic, therefore presumably unshielded.

All CAT5 cable (i.e. 100Mbit ethernet cable) uses twisted pairs. It is this twisting that gives them the shielding from electrical signals, which is why you only untwist enough at the end to get it into the plug.

Looking on the Maplin site, I see the plugs you mention. I wouldn't bother with the shielded plugs. The two piece look interesting - it might make it a little easier to get the wires in. But I find the ordinary ones are ok with a bit of care.

The only thing that might concern you is the cheap plugs say they are suitable for "stranded" cable. There are 2 kinds of cable "stranded" and "solid". Stranded is usually used for patch cables, because it bends more easily. Solid cable is sometimes used when the cable is running through walls, but needs special plugs.

If your cable was bought as a ready made cable, then it is very likely to be stranded.

I'd just get the cheap ones: http://www.maplin.co.uk/Module.aspx...2111&doy=30m11D
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Old 12-01-2005, 07:29 AM   #14 (Print)
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Thanks for the guidance. I'll pop into Maplins tomorrow. My local has plenty in stock.
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Old 12-03-2005, 03:32 AM   #15 (Print)
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Went into Maplins and the crimper I quoted was £29.99. Said there was a pricing error on the website (now corrected). They had cheaper one for £14.99 but that's the same price as a whole new cable. I'll try Ebay.
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Old 12-03-2005, 06:46 AM   #16 (Print)
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How about this solution..

Buy a male-male adaptor and short flylead, put the broken connnector into the adaptor and the flylead in the other end. Hopefully you will get a good connection, you can then superglue the broken connnector into the adaptor and use the flylead on the other end to go into the box.

Nothing to lose and the adaptor should only be a couple of quid.

If it doesnt work, then chop the ends and get a crimp tool!

Unfortunately you are not in Bracknell, otherwise I could pop round and do it. A while ago I persuaded my boss he needed to buy a pro quality crimp tool, a couple of drums of cat5, continuity tester, cable stripper, connectors and I even got a fluke meter (which I DO actually use for work.

My house is now nicely cabled :-)))
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Old 12-03-2005, 08:51 AM   #17 (Print)
ndunlavey
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There are several Cat5 crimper tools available on eBay for good prices. There's a guy in HK that keeps putting them up at 1p plus £6.88 P&P.

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Old 12-03-2005, 01:01 PM   #18 (Print)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jar_uk1
How about this solution..

Buy a male-male adaptor and short flylead, put the broken connnector into the adaptor and the flylead in the other end. Hopefully you will get a good connection, you can then superglue the broken connnector into the adaptor and use the flylead on the other end to go into the box.



Nice idea but would the fly lead work for a crossover cable?
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Old 12-03-2005, 08:21 PM   #19 (Print)
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Yep. Just make sure you buy a straight through patch cable, and that the connector is also straight through (most are).

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Old 12-06-2005, 08:11 AM   #20 (Print)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Restorer
Nice idea but would the fly lead work for a crossover cable?


ah - missed this, but I see someone has replied.

Yes it should work as long as your short flylead is straight-through, ( I missed the bit about your main cable being X-over) I have never seen a x-over male-male adaptor, but I have no doubt some DO exist.

Of course if you wanted to convert your cable to straight-thru, then you could put a x-over patch cable into the end :-) (actually I am not 100% sure this would work!!)

If you PM me your address I just found a male-male adaptor in a drawer at work, I will mail it to you.

John R
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Old 12-06-2005, 07:15 PM   #21 (Print)
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Two cross overs do make a straight through.

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Old 12-16-2005, 08:42 AM   #22 (Print)
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Thanks to Jar_UK1 for the adaptor - works fine now. The broken plug seems to fit more snugly than directly into motherboard so no glue needed even.

Now, I still have a crimper coming from Hong Kong!
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