Bob Dolph Answers Questions on Crimping, Fiber-Optic Connections
Q: Just call me all thumbs, but I have a real tough time getting Cat-5 wires tight and straight, and correct, when crimping into a standard RJ45 plug. I eventually get the crimp correct but it can often take more time and extra parts than I would like. Any suggestions to make my life easier?
A: Boy, have a got a deal for you. If you don’t work with these connectors on a daily basis, I can share in your frustration. Also, making very close and tight connections is getting more critical as the data speeds of these connection increases.
Every once in a while, I run across what I call a truly innovative device. I can easily state this for the EZ-RJ45 connector. The connector looks like a standard RJ-45, but on closer examination you will notice a slot at both ends of the plug. This allows you to strip back the cable, arrange the conductors and slip them in the plug as normal.
However, you can push the cable in tight and any excess conductor length will just push out the other side of the plug. Then you will either crimp and cut of the excess conductors with a special crimper/cutter made for the EZ-RJ45 plugs, or you can crimp as normal and trim with some sharp cutters.
(HINT: Make sure the trim cut is tight against the edge of the plug as it might not fit in the female part of the connection.)
Q: I have been having a lot of trouble installing a good fiber-optic connection. Any suggestions on what I might be doing wrong?
A: The biggest problem area is making sure you have a clean surface on your splice. A 9-micrometer speck is too small to see without a microscope, but it could completely block the fiber core.
Be careful when trying to clean the splice with a cleaning solution such as alcohol. Wet solutions can leave a residue when the dry slowly, which can be more difficult to remove than dust particles.
A good lint-free (clean-room quality) cloth is recommended. If you do need to use a wet cleaning process, don’t let it air dry. Wipe it clean with a good lint-fee cloth.
(HINT: Careful working in an area with high air flow or directly under a heat/AC register. There is a lot of dirt floating around in this area. You may not be able to see it, but it can create trouble with you fiber splice.)
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