How to Make a CAT5 Crossover Cable

28 Jan 2006 by rayheffer

If you are in need of a CAT5 crossover cable, but can’t find one then it’s very easy to make one providing you have the right tools.

This is what you need:

  • Length of CAT5 (or CAT5e / 6) cable
  • Wire cutters
  • RJ45 connectors
  • RJ45 crimper

The drawing below shows you what each end of the crossover cable should look like:

Crossover Cable

The cable on the right of the drawing is the crossover end, notice that pins 1 & 3 have been crossed over, and pins 2 & 6 have also been swapped over. If you were to make a straight through cable, you obviously would make it the same both ends. In fact, it doesn’t matter which colours are used on each pin but we’re sticking to standards and good practice!

Tip: If you haven’t got the tools, but you need a quick crossover cable then cut the wire 6 inches from one of the ends, and solder the wires together ensuring you’ve swapped 1/3 and 2/6. Some may frown at this, but it works and it’s a good quick fix.

Why do you need a crossover cable?

The transmit wires (pins 1 and 2) on one computer need to be connected to the Receive wires (pins 3 and 6) on the other computer. If you use a hub/switch, it performs this ‘crossover’ automatically. Also bear in mind that if you’re connecting two hubs together you’ll also need a crossover cable. Most hubs/switches do have a small switch next to one of the ports, enabling you to use a straight through cable.

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