|Ethernet Cable Colors: Color Code Standards
The information listed here is
to assist Network Administrators in the color coding of Ethernet
be aware that modifying Ethernet cables improperly may cause
loss of network connectivity. Use this information at your own
risk, and ensure all connectors and cables are modified in accordance
with TIA standards.
By looking at a T-568A UTP Ethernet straight-thru cable and
an Ethernet crossover cable with a T-568B end, we see that the
TX (transmitter) pins are connected to the corresponding RX (receiver)
pins, plus to plus and minus to minus. You can also see that
both the blue and brown wire pairs on pins 4, 5, 7, and 8 are
not used in either standard. What you may not realize is that,
these same pins 4, 5, 7, and 8 are not used or required in 100BASE-TX
as well. So why bother using these wires, well for one thing
its simply easier to make a connection with all the wires grouped
together. Otherwise you'll be spending time trying to fit those
tiny little wires into each of the corresponding holes in the
T-568A Straight-Through Ethernet Cable
Cat5e Cables | Cat6 Cables
The T-568A standard is supposed
to be used in new network
installations. Most off-the-shelf Ethernet cables are still of the T-568B
standard; however, it makes absolutely no functional difference in which
T-568B Straight-Through Ethernet Cable
Cat5e Cables | Cat6 Cables
Both the T-568A and the T-568B standard Straight-Through
cables are used most often as patch cords for your Ethernet connections.
If you require a cable to connect two Ethernet devices directly
together without a hub or when you connect two hubs together,
you will need to use a Crossover cable instead.
RJ-45 Crossover Ethernet Cable
Cat5e Crossover Cables |
Cat6 Crossover Cables
A good way of remembering how to wire a Crossover
Ethernet cable is to wire one end using the T-568A standard and
the other end using the T-568B standard. Another way of remembering
the color coding is to simply switch the Green set of wires in
place with the Orange set of wires. Specifically, switch the
solid Green (G) with the solid Orange, and switch the green/white
with the orange/white.
How to Build an Ethernet Cable Instructions:
- Pull the cable off the reel to
the desired length and cut using wire cutters or scissors. If you are pulling cables through
holes, it's easier to attach the RJ-45 plugs after the cable
is pulled. The total length of wire segments between a PC
and a switch or between two PC's cannot exceed 100 Meters (328
feet) for 100BASE-TX and 300 Meters for 10BASE-T.
- Start on one end and strip the
cable jacket off (about 1") using a wire stripper or a knife.
Be extra careful not to nick the wires, otherwise you will
need to start over.
- Spread, untwist the pairs, and
arrange the wires in the order of the desired cable end.
Flatten the end between your thumb and forefinger. Trim the
ends of the wires so they are even with one another, leaving
only 1/2" in wire length. If it is longer than 1/2" it will
be out-of-spec and susceptible to crosstalk. Flatten and
insure there are no spaces between wires.
- Hold the RJ-45 plug with the
clip facing down or away from you. Push the wires firmly
into the plug. Inspect each wire is flat even at the front
of the plug. Check the order of the wires. Double check again.
Check that the jacket is fitted right against the stop of
the plug. Carefully hold the wire and firmly crimp the RJ-45
with the crimp tool.
- Check the color orientation,
check that the crimped connection is not about to come apart,
and check to see if the wires are flat against the front
of the plug. If even one of these are incorrect, you will
have to start over. Test the Ethernet cable.
Ethernet Cable Tips:
- A straight-thru cable has
- A crossover cable has different
- A straight-thru is used as
a patch cord in Ethernet connections.
- A crossover is used to connect
two Ethernet devices without a hub or for connecting two
- A crossover has one end with
the Orange set of wires switched with the Green set.
- Odd numbered pins are always
striped, even numbered pins are always solid colored.
- Looking at the RJ-45 with
the clip facing away from you, Brown is always on the right,
and pin 1 is on the left.
- No more than 1/2" of the Ethernet
cable should be untwisted otherwise it will be susceptible
- Do not deform, do not bend,
do not stretch, do not staple, do not run parallel with
power cables, and do not run Ethernet cables near noise