When it comes to RJ45 terminations, speed and accuracy can make or break a project. This blog serves as the second in a three-part series about the importance of termination reliability, ease and versatility.

When talking about termination ease, what factors determine whether an RJ45 termination is “easy” or not? An easy termination is one that:

  • Is fast
  • Is easy to learn
  • Eliminates the potential for human error when possible
  • Doesn’t require multiple, complex tools

Why is it important that the termination process be made faster and easier? Easy-to-complete terminations lead to:

  • Efficiency in the termination process
  • A shorter learning curve, which allows new technicians to get up to speed quickly
  • Fewer opportunities for mistakes
  • Fewer tools to carry around in a tool bag

cant ignore cat 6a bannerMake RJ45 Terminations Faster & Easier

Now that the benefits of faster, easier terminations are obvious, how can we improve the process and make our own terminations quicker and easier to complete? Here are five tips we recommend to make the most of your RJ45 termination time.

1. Learn your color code

Instead of relying on the termination sticker or printed color code, memorize the T568A and T568B schemes. This saves time because you’re not having to constantly look at the label. It also creates better cable preparation habits.

2. Consistently prepare cable

Believe it or not, the quality of your cable preparation can dramatically impact the quality of your termination. For example, when prepping shielded cable, it’s important to strip off approximately four inches of jacket to ensure that there is enough drain wire to wrap and achieve a proper bond. If you prep to a shorter length, you may not have enough drain wire length for a good bond.

3. Invest in good tools

Inexpensive tools are easy to come by, but they’re often unreliable and don’t have long lifespans – so you’ll end up purchasing them over and over. Good tools may cost a little more upfront, but they quickly pay for themselves by enabling reliable, headache-free terminations that don’t have to be redone. They also last much longer, with frequently available replacement parts (such as replacement headsets or cutting blades in Rapid Termination Tools) that allow you to continue using the same tools for a longer period of time instead of paying to replace them.

Belden’s Rapid Termination Tool reduces termination time by up to 50%, including cable preparation.

4. Use termination aids

Belden T-Bar and X-Bar technology are good examples of termination aids.  These bars help stabilize pairs and ensure accurate positioning prior to termination. They also provide great strain relief for superior cable retention. Other examples of RJ45 termination aids include load bars, wire guides and stuffer caps.

5. Measure, measure, measure

Sure, “measure twice, cut once” is a saying for builders, but it applies to us, too. Taking good measurements during the RJ45 termination process can ensure that you have enough space for your termination to reside, especially in wall outlets and when used in modular furniture.

Is Termination Getting Easier Yet?

While all the tips we provided above are excellent best practices to follow, sometimes terminations still become complicated. In Category 6A terminations, pair twists can be very tight, making for a complicated untwisting process. When using bonded-pair cable, an additional special tool and special process are required in order to complete the termination.

Belden is excited to offer a new connectivity platform that will completely change the way you view RJ45 connectors. You’ve spoken out, demanding a more reliable, easy-to-use connector. Very soon, we’ll introduce you to one that is truly REVolutionary, redefining the meaning of “termination ease.”

Find out more about Belden connectivity solutions here. And make sure to sign up for our blog so you don’t miss a thing – stay tuned for our last post in this series, which will discuss RJ45 termination versatility.