Copper Cable Termination Practices

  • Always follow the manufacturer’s recommended termination practices, which should be included with the products and/or be available for download from their website.
  • When removing the cable sheath always use a special tool such as a ‘Cyclops’ cutter to avoid potential damage to the cable shields or wire insulation.
  • Avoid removing excess lengths of sheathing and only remove sufficient sheath to enable termination.

           UTP cables with sheaths removed

  • For cables that utilise a central pair separator such as an extruded plastic cross this should be cut back as close as possible to the point from which it leaves the cable sheath.
  • The cable sheath should be maintained as close as possible to the terminations.

         ​Cable presented to Easy Punch Patch Panel

  • Wires should be dressed in to the appropriately coloured termination slot, taking care to ensure that the same wiring configuration (TIA 568A or 568B) is used at both ends of the cable. It does not matter which wiring configuration is used but, as a general rule, TIA 568B is the configuration most widely used in the UK.
  • Pair twists should be maintained as close as possible to the point of termination, with a maximum of 12mm untwist for Cat 5e and a maximum of 6mm untwist for Cat 6. If in doubt it is generally preferable to put half a twist in than to take half a twist out when getting wires to line up with their termination slots.

        ​Wires dressed on to Easy Punch Patch Panel

  • Only suitable tools specified by the manufacturer of the cabling system should be used to terminate the wires. Never use a screwdriver, knife blade or other unsuitable tools for terminating cables in to Insulation Displacement Contact (IDC) blocks. Replace tools/blades regularly in order to ensure better quality and faster terminations.

       Wire termination on Easy Punch Patch Panel

  • Where present shields should always be terminated using the facility provided on the outlet or patch panel. Always aim for as large a surface area as possible of the cable shield to be in contact with the shield termination as this will ensure a lower impedance path to earth. A drain wire should only provide a secondary shield termination and should not be the primary/only method of shield termination.

      Terminated Cat 6A Shielded Keystone Jack

  • When using cables with foil screened pairs, e.g. U/FTP, the foils should be maintained as close as possible to the point of termination in order to minimise the risk of Near End Crosstalk (NEXT).

       U/FTP cable terminated on to Cat 6A PCB Patch Panel

  • Secure cables to the terminated product using the strain relief facility provided by the manufacturer. Avoid overtightening of cable ties.

         Terminated UTP Patch Panel