Friday, October 3, 2014

Learn How to Make Cables

What types of cables are there?

The most common types of cables are ethernet, fiber, and coaxial cables.  Every network engineer should know how to make ethernet cables.  If you can make fiber cables, you can earn quite a bit of money depending on where you live.  Making coaxial cables is optional but can still be important to create.

Why make ethernet cables?

It is easy enough to buy ethernet cables from Monoprice and run them.  However if you need to run very long patch cables, or "home runs" as they are called, you will need to learn how to make ethernet cables.  You will also need to learn how to make crossover cables and rollover cables in case you are connecting from switch to switch, or consoling into a Cisco networking device.

Why make fiber cables?

It is not required to know how to make fiber jumpers, but it can be a skill that can make you a tidy bit of cash depending on where you live.  On a personal note, when I was deploying a build out in New York City, I was told that fiber technicians can make up to $50/hour. Glassdoor shows some data points for fiber technicians, which goes from $17 an hour to 94k in salary.

It can be easy enough to buy fiber cables, but if you need to run very long patch cables in a data center, you will be buying spools of fiber.

Why make coaxial cables?

Cable companies still use a lot of coaxial in the home plus DS3 circuits connect with coaxial cable.

What other miscellaneous cables could I learn how to make?

DS1 loopback plugs are very useful to have around when troubleshooting circuits.

DS1 crossover cables are also useful when troubleshooting circuits.

66 block is a type of punchdown block used to connect multiple wires into a telephone system.  A 110 punch block replaces a 66 block and it is also used to connect sets of wires in a structured cabling system.

Have any suggestions to what other cables a network engineer should know or be familiar with?  Put it in the comments below!

Recommended Reading  / Videos

How To Make RJ45 Network Patch Cables - Cat 5E and Cat 6  - The person is really annoying, but at least he's crisp and clear in HD.

How to Make a Network Cable - Step by step web page on how to make an ethernet cable.

I honestly have looked on YouTube and Google, and I cannot find a really good easy-to-read / watch instruction manual on how to make fiber (ends.)  I'm debating whether to make a video myself.

How to Install a Coax Cable Connector - This was the best of the bunch.

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