Datacom: Feed-through Connectors and Crimp Tools

Installing cabling for data connectivity means dealing with evolving 
technologies. In commercial and industrial installations, that normally 
means running and terminating Cat5e and Cat6 cabling.<br><br>When installing patch panels and working in Datacom rooms, it appears the maze of cabling gets ever more complex. IDEAL Industries

Steve Maurer, IME

Installing cabling for data connectivity means dealing with evolving technologies. In commercial and industrial installations, that normally means running and terminating Cat5e and Cat6 cabling.

When installing patch panels and working in Datacom rooms, it appears the maze of cabling gets ever more complex. Telephone installations were bad enough. But, now that VoIP phone meshes with data, the need to ensure clean and neat cabling termination and cable management is a must.

Consistently making up 568A and 568B connections in RJ45 8P8C modular plugs used to drive me crazy. I'm a bit of a perfectionist. And, certainly getting the wires separated, arranged, cut straight, and pushed evenly into the jack is crucial for long-term use.

A little too short, and a single wire can pull loose over time, causing a nightmare troubleshooting scenario!

Honestly, my old fingers aren't quite as nimble as they used to be. And dealing with the tiny wires in Cat5e and Cat6 cables is not just time-consuming, it's downright tedious.

Seems like some terminal and tool manufacturers are taking that into account. I recently found some products that kind of excite me.

Feed-through modular plugs help solve that problem. And, they make installation easier, faster, and more efficient.

You still need to separate the pairs and line up the correct configuration. But, instead of cutting off to fit the plug depth, you merely push the conductors through the plug, leaving a little "tail" on the front end.

You can tug the exposed ends, ensuring that the jacketing is seated far enough into the jack to make a good crimp connection.

To install these plugs, you'll need a crimper that's specially designed for them. A cutting blade snips off the exposed conductor when you crimp the plug. This provides a smooth snag-free end on the modular plug.

I find I can make terminations more quickly, with less frustration. You need to specify whether you're running Cat 5e or Cat6 when ordering. The plug is designed to ensure a clean, snug fit for the specified conductors.

To ensure a good looking, longer lasting termination, make sure to include a boot for the plug. These are also designed to be cable specific.


Photo courtesy of IDEAL Industries