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Premises Cabling Skills Lab - Copper Cabling

Lesson 2: UTP (Unshielded Twisted Pair) Cable Termination

Objectives: From this lesson you should learn:
How to identify unshielded twisted pair (UTP) cables
How to prepare cables for  termination
How to terminate UTP cable

Tools And Components Needed
Cable cutting and jacket stripping tools
Punchdown Tools
Plug crimper
Samples of cable, punchdown blocks and connectors


It is impossible to work in premises cabling without having a good working knowledge about cables and skills in pulling, placing and preparing cables for termination. In this lesson, we will identify and examine various grades (categories) of UTP cables, then prepare them for termination and terminate in several different methods typically used with UTP cables

UTP cables

Different grades or Categories of UTP Cable. From left, POTS telephone wire (Plain Old Telephone Service, not included in structured cabling standards), Category 3 for phones, Cat 5e for speeds to 1Gb/s, Cat 6A for 10Gb/s. Notice how the twists become tighter and more consistent at the higher grades. It's the twists that make make the cable work better at higher frequencies/speeds.

For each Category of UTP cabling, there are matching components, e.g. Cat 5e cable, jacks and plugs, that must be used together to achieve the full performance of the cabling as defined in the standards. If you mismatch component categories, the final cabling will probably only match the performance of the lowest-rated component in the link.

Please Note: This is not the usual online course - it is intended to guide you as you learn new skills - the "hands-on" skills needed to install optical fiber cable plants. It involves using tools and components in a realistic manner. Some of the processes here can be hazardous, like working with sharp scraps of optical fiber and chemicals.

In Lesson 1 you should have familiarized yourself with the safety procedures - follow them all the time. Do not work with fiber without eye protection and a proper work area that is easy to clean up.  Always wear safety glasses when doing any of these exercises and dispose of all scraps properly.

Background Review
This "skills" course assumes you have a basic knowledge of cabling. If you are new to premises cabling, you should first complete the "
Fiber U Premises Cabling" course before attempting the hands-on exercises here or review the FOA Guide section on cables.

Hands-On Lab Instructions

Download the Workbook section on Cables and the VHO tutorial on Cable Preparation. Watch the videos and/or read the references on the cable types you have available for practice. The
VHO  "Virtual Hands On" Tutorials take a "step-by-step" approach to the hands-on processes covered in this self-study program and the videos will show the processes in motion. They are both a good way to teach yourself the processes here - watch the video for the overview then follow the steps in the VHO web pages.

Workbook Section (PDF)
VHO Tutorial (PDF)
Videos (YouTube)
Lesson 2: UTP Cables Lab Manual For Copper Cabling (PDF) - UTP Wiring Section UTP Cable Installation
66 Block Termination
Block Termination
UTP Jack Termination
UTP Plug Termination

UTP Tools
UTP Training Board.
UTP Cable
66 Block Punchdown
Block Punchdown
Terminating Jacks
Plugs and Patchcords

Allow plenty of time to complete the exercises without interruption, although this lesson can be broken into segments for each cable type.

Hands-On Assignments:
After reading the workbook section and VHO tutorial
and watching the videos, complete these exercises. Refer to the workbook, VHOs and videos as you do the exercise.

UTP Cabling Tools
Using the workbook, familiarize yourself with the tools used for installation of UTP cabling. If you have your own tools, become familiar with their operation.

Wiring too;s

If you are handy with woodworking tools, build yourself a training board like this to simplify your working with cabling components and make the work more realistic.

UTP training board

66 Block Punchdown
Follow directions to connect 2 Cat 3 or Cat 5 cables using a 66 punchdown block.


110 Block Punchdown
Follow directions to connect 2 Cat 5 cables using a 110 punchdown block.


Follow directions to connect a Cat 5 cable to a modular Cat 5 jack.



Follow directions to attach plugs to a Cat 5 cable on both ends creating a patchcord


In our next lesson, we'll see how to test these completed components.

As you finish each section, fill in the worksheet at the end of the Workbook section. Your completed worksheets are the records of your having successfully completed the exercises.


Test Your Comprehension - Online Quiz  

Have you completed the Workbook worksheets that are the records of your having successfully completed the exercises?

Next:  Lesson 3: UTP Cable Testing           

Return to Lesson Plan


Table of Contents: The FOA Reference Guide To Fiber Optics

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