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ETHERNET CABLE: COLOR-CODE STANDARDS

The information listed here is to assist Network Administrators in the color coding of Ethernet
cables. Please be aware that modifying Ethernet cables improperly may cause loss of network
connectivity. Use this information at your own risk, and insure all connectors and cables are
modified in accordance with standards. The Internet Centre and its affiliates cannot be held liable
for the use of this information in whole or in part.

T-568A Straight-Through Ethernet Cable

The TIA/EIA 568-A standard which was ratified in 1995, was replaced by the TIA/EIA 568-B
standard in 2002 and has been updated since. Both standards define the T-568A and T-568B
pin-outs for using Unshielded Twisted Pair cable and RJ-45 connectors for Ethernet connectivity.
The standards and pin-out specification appear to be related and interchangeable, but are not the
same and should not be used interchangeably.

T-568B Straight-Through Ethernet Cable


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

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.

Ethernet Cable Instructions:

1. Pull the cable off the reel to the desired length and cut. If you are pulling cables through
holes, its easier to attach the RJ-45 plugs after the cable is pulled. The total length of wire
segments between a PC and a hub or between two PC's cannot exceed 100 Meters (328
feet) for 100BASE-TX and 300 Meters for 10BASE-T.
2. Start on one end and strip the cable jacket off (about 1") using a stripper or a knife. Be
extra careful not to nick the wires, otherwise you will need to start over.
3. 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.
4. 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 crimper.
5. 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 identical ends.


• A crossover cable has different ends.
• 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
hubs.
• 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 to crosstalk.
• 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 inducing components.

Basic Theory:

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 RJ-45 connector.

Date: 1/13/2001
The Internet Centre
This document I have inherited and do not know the author but it is useful
information and silly to re-draw, but if this is your document please contact us!

Nov 2004 - It looks like this document originally came from bluemax.net, see their
Techtips page where you can find more similar useful documents too.

The TX (transmitter) pins are connected to corresponding RX (receiver) pins, with


plus to plus and minus to minus. A cross-over cable must be used to connect units
with identical interfaces.
When straight-through cables are used to connect Ethernet devices, one of the two
units must, in effect, perform the cross-over function. This is the reason that straight
through cables work directly between hubs or switches and NIC cards.... the Hub or
Switch is designed so that their RJ45 Jacks are pre-wired with the transmit and
receive pairs already reversed.

There are two colour-code standards in common use: EIA/TIA 568A and EIA/TIA
568B. These standards derive from TELCO usage and the pairs shown correspond to
four phone lines, each with its own line pair. This same wiring was adopted for LAN
standard Ethernet RJ45 wiring as well. RJ45 receptacle wiring for both standards are
shown below:
EIA/TIA 568A EIA/TIA 568B
WIRING STANDARD WIRING STANDARD

PIN WIRE COLOUR PIN WIRE COLOUR


1 White w/Green Stripe 1 White w/Orange
2 Green w/White Stripe Stripe
2 Orange w/White
3 White w/Orange
Stripe
Stripe
3 White w/Green Stripe
4 Blue w/White Stripe
4 Blue w/White Stripe
5 White w/Blue Stripe
5 White w/Blue Stripe
6 Orange w/White
Stripe 6 Green w/White Stripe
7 White w/Brown 7 White w/Brown
Stripe Stripe
8 Brown w/White 8 Brown w/White
Stripe Stripe

Note: Only pairs 2 and 3 are used for Standard Ethernet wiring. Pairs 1 and 4 can be
used for other purposes such as telephones or even a second separate, complete
Ethernet connection.

Straight-Through Wiring Using The 586A Standard

The flat wiring diagram, above, shows the 568A colour code standard as the wiring
for the PC side of the cable and the same 568A standard for the Hub, Switch or
Router side of things (assuming that the Hubs, Switches or Routers are wired
internally to perform the cross-over function). The illustration depicts the wiring
arrangement before insertion into an RJ45 connector prior to crimping.
Cross-Over Wiring Using The 568A to 586B Standards

The flat wiring illustration, above, shows cross-over cable wiring using the 568A
colour code standard as the wiring for the PC side of things and the 568B standard
for wiring to the other PC. Note that in both cases, all eight wires are shown but only
four are actually needed.

Pins 4, 5, 7, and 8 and the blue and brown pairs are not used in either standard.
Contrary to common tech-lore and what you may have read elsewhere, these pins
and wires are not used or required to implement 100BASE-TX duplexing. In fact, they
can be used for other purposes such as a single line phones or even operating two
separate Ethernet channels, provided care is taken to assure that these wire pairs
are isolated from the other wires.

In practice, making actual RJ45 Patch cables is not physically that simple. The
connections of the pairs to the pins in the RJ45 jack isn't wire pair by wire pair.
Instead, the orange pair of wires are not adjacent and the blue pair is upside-down.
If fact...flattening out the cables in the correct order for insertion into the RJ45 jack
before crimping is by far the most complex part of the job of making twisted pair
Ethernet patch cables.

One cannot use flat-untwisted telephone cable for a network cable that runs any
appreciable distance. One must use a pair of twisted wires to connect a set of
transmitter pins to their corresponding receiver pins. One cannot use a wire from one
pair and another wire from a different pair.
Cabling Your Network
There are two main ways of connecting PCs together to form a network. There are others, but for now, we
will consider only the Ethernet alternatives:

• Coaxial Ethernet

Coaxial ethernet is really a fading concept. Two types are available, Thick-wire and Thin-wire.
Thick-wire is very unlikely to be found on modern networking equipment but thin-wire is fairly
common. Thin-wire ethernet consists of lengths of 50ohm coax cable that are terminated in BNC
bayonet connectors. Thin-wire compatible equipment sport a round barrel that the coax is plugged
into. Unfortunately, connecting thin-wire is not always so simple. It is important that a thin-wire
cable is correctly terminated and not all thin-net NICs are able to automatically terminate a cable. In
this case, it is necessary to use a t-piece c/w a terminator so that a cable impedance of 50ohm is
maintained. Failure to observe this will result in communication problems between the network
devices.

Note: Thin-wire ethernet is also known by it's technical notation of 10base2.

• TP Ethernet

TP, or Twisted Pair Ethernet is the modern equivalent of 10base2 cable systems. Far more flexible,
neater and less prone to network faults, TP appears on a myriad of networking and
communications equipment. If you have your single PC already connected to your CM then you are
already using RJ45 TP cabling and it will almost probably feature in your network. CAT5 cable
consists of 4 pairs of wires, with each pair being two insulated copper wires twisted together. These
'twisted-pairs' are then sheathed in a plastic outer sleeve that come in a variety of colours, although
'computer' beige is probably the most common;-). The standards for ethernet over Cat5 cabling
define a maximum length of 100 metres for operation at 10MBps, but in practice it is perfectly
possible to extend this maximum by 20 or 30 metres without detriment to network communication.

RJ45 refers to the connector that is crimped onto the end of the CAT 5 cable. The connector is
rectangular in shape and has a tab at the top. The cable is inserted so that the tab latches onto a
small recess in the socket, rather like the side latch on the ubiquitos BT telephone plug.

Almost all of the network set-ups featured on this site use RJ45 cabling exclusively, with each cable being of
the 'straight' type. Where necessary, x-over cables are also employed. The following diagrams show how
the two types of ethernet detailed above can be used in a network, with straight RJ45 cables depicted by
BLUE lines and cross-overs in RED. Thinwire Co-ax cable is shown in grey.

Connecting a Single PC to a CM connected PC

• With Thinwire
For this set-up a single piece of thinwire co-ax is used to connect two PCs, with each end of the
cable physically connected to a T-piece, with the 'spare' connector capped with a terminator to
maintain the cable impedance.

It is important to use the correct cable type for thinwire so that the impedance is correct. The official
designation is RG58.

• With RJ45

Where two PCs are connected using an RJ45 cable, a cross-over cable needs to be used. An RJ45
cross-over cable actually crosses the transmit and receive pairs in the cable so that one NICs
transmit connects to the other NICs receive, and vice versa.

Connecting Multiple PCs to a CM connected PC

• With Thinwire
To add additional clients to the network, remove one of the t-pieces and connect another thinwire
coax cable to the vacant connector and replace the terminator at the t-piece of the last device.

Note that some network cards have an on-board termination setting.

• With RJ45

In an RJ45 cabled network, adding additonal clients requires the use of an intermediary device
such as a hub or a switch. PCs connect to the hub/switch using straight cables and these are, in
turn, connected internally within the hub or switch.

In this environment, there is no requirement for RJ45 cross-over cables.

Straight v. X-over Cables

The requirement for RJ45 cross-over, or x-over, cables is dictated by the type of devices that are
being connected. There are two interface types associated with networking equipment, DTE (Data
Terminating Equipment) and DCE (Data Communications Equipment). DTE devices mainly consist
of PC NICs and Routers. When connecting a DTE device to a DCE device, e.g., a PC to a Hub, a
straight cable is required. When the two connecting devices have the same interface type, i.e., both
DCE or both DTE, then a x-over cable is necessary.

Device I/F Type Device I/F Type Cable Type


PC DTE Hub Port DCE Straight
PC DTE Cable Modem DCE Straight
PC DTE PC DTE X-Over
Hub Port DCE Hub Port DCE X-over

Unfortunately, these examples do not constitute hard and fast rules. Some Cable Modems,
especially those integrated in Set-Top Boxes, have DTE interfaces, so any PC or Router that
connects to it will need a x-over cable. Also, when connecting two hubs together a x-over cable
may not be necessary if one of the hubs has an uplink port. An uplink port will have a DTE type
interface, so a straight cable can be used to connect to another DCE port, such as a hub port. On
many hubs, one of the ports may have a port that is switchable between DCE and DTE. This
function can be manual, so a switch has to be activated, or an interface can auto-detect what type
of interface it needs to be.

The following diagram shows the necessary cabling required for both straight and x-over CAT5
cables. Each of the four pairs in a cable are colour coded for easy identification, although the
colours may vary between different cables.
The Tx and Rx refer to Transmit and Receive respectively, with the + and - symbols refering to the
polarity of the signals. A DTE device will transmit data using cables 1 and 2, whilst a DCE device
will transmit on Pins 3 and 6. The transmit cables at one end must be connected to the receive
cables at the other end for the connection to work. When constructing cables, it is important that
the polarities are maintained so that the cable is not affected by interference.

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All Copyrights and Trademarks ACK'd. Not to do so would be a SYN!

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Network color coding is very
important thing in doing a network cable connections. Network Color coding are
used to specify the kind of connection are you going to do or what devices are
going to connect. There are three common Network connections that are using a
color coding in order to connect those Hardware and Devices. These are the
connections from PC to another PC, the connections from PC to HUB, And the
connections from Router to any Devices. These three connections are using
different types of color settings of a network cable according to its standard cable
color settings of the devices that are going to connect.

In doing the Network Cable Color Coding you must have these Equipments:

• Cat5 Network Cable - These is a network wire cable with eight


different colors inside the shield of the cable. It is used to connect those
devices.

• RG45 - it is attached in the both ends of the network cable wire and it
is the used to connect the two devices with both RG45 ports. Example, from
PC to PC with both LAN Cards.

• Crimping tools - Used to Cut the cable wire and to compress the
RJ45 so the Cat5 wire will attached to the RG45

• Local Area Network (LAN) Tester - It is used to test the network
cable wire connectivity speed and in order you to know that your crimped
cable wire is working.

Network Cable Color Codings:


PC to HUB
(Straight Thru)

Straight Thru - this type of color


coding used in cable connection from Personal Computer (PC) to the HUb. Straight
Thru has two type of color codings the 568A and the 568B, they has different color
settings but they are both used in PC to HUB cable connection. It depends on you if
what type are you going to used.

PC to PC

(Cross-over)

Cross-over - this type of color coding used to the cable connections from Personal
Computer (PC) to another Personal Computer (PC).
Router to Any Devices

(Roll-Over)

Roll-over - this type of nerwork


color coding are used in the network cable connection from Router to any devices.

NETWORK CABLE COLOR CODING, NETWORKING GUIDE, PC MAIN |