Jig helps maintain proper untwist lengths

It is tedious to trim and dress the end of a solid unshielded twisted-pair (utp) cable for insertion into an 8-pin modular plug and to keep the conductors straight and in the proper order. Consistently maintaining the untwist length necessary to ensure consistent performance is also challenging.

Dec 1st, 1998
Th Cim63941 13

Mike McGinley, Double-M Service

Problem

It is tedious to trim and dress the end of a solid unshielded twisted-pair (utp) cable for insertion into an 8-pin modular plug and to keep the conductors straight and in the proper order. Consistently maintaining the untwist length necessary to ensure consistent performance is also challenging.

Solution

Make a jig by cutting an unused 8-pin modular plug. You can then guide the conductors through the jig each time you`re terminating a utp cable. The jig is easily made in the field and involves little time or material cost.

Procedure

1) Using a fine saw such as a razor or jeweler`s saw, cut an unused 8-pin modular plug just behind the metal wire-gripping contacts. If you do not have a razor or jeweler`s saw, you can use a hacksaw, but make sure the cut is clean. You may have to file the cut end of the plug.

2) Strip about 11/2 inches off a utp cable jacket, lay the conductors in the proper order, and insert them through the jig until the cable jacket bottoms out in the plug as it would during a normal termination.

3) Straighten the protruding conductors with your fingers and cut them straight across, leaving approximately 3/16 inch exposed. The exact length that your conductors should be exposed will vary according to how long or short you cut the jig. You will have a good idea after a few terminations.

4) Withdraw the cable from the jig. It should now be ready to insert into a new plug with the conductors laying in a flat row and exposed exactly the right amount.

5) Carefully insert the conductors into the new plug and crimp.

Mike McGinley is a cabling contractor and an electrician with Double-M Service (Chippewa Falls, WI). This tip was submitted for the Cabling Installer Tips` Contest at Cabling Installation Expo `98, held last October in Atlanta, GA.

Click here to enlarge image

Cut the 8-pin modular plug behind the metal wire-gripping contacts and discard the part with the wire grippers. The other part becomes the jig.

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