Home data wiring: Punchdown tools

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Home data wiring: Punchdown tools

We've already covered another common data wiring mistake - using standard RG12 connectors with Cat5/6 sockets. Another is the use of screwdrivers for cable terminations.

When terminating a cable, a  special punchdown tool is used to press each piece of cable into the connector and cut off the excess. Using the wrong tool or a screwdriver to do this can ruin the connection.

We spoke to James Frost of Sydney Electrical & Data: “It will split apart the actual terminal block, and it means once the cable does fit in, the connectors might not meet correctly. Which will mean corrosion can get in and you might have losses on the line, or faults on the line due to the bad termination.”
 
Mixing up punchdown tools is a basic mistake. As Dani Kersh from 4Cabling explains, jacks will take either a 110 type tool or a Krone tool (generally the packaging should tell you which), "Very different tools for very different jacks, but it's a common mistake."
 
Shown: a Krone punchdown tool
 
Shown: a 110 type punchdown tool
 
It's possible to damage the connection by pushing using a screwdriver instead of a crimping tool.
 
As we've explained here, home wiring rules mean that in many cases a licensed professional is actually supposed to do the job - not all of you are happy about it either, judging by the comments.
 
We've put the full list of tips like these in the current issue of PC & Tech Authority magazine, which is on sale at newsagencies. As well as a wiring 101, we've looked at NBN compatible hardware and how to get ready to make the most of increasing broadband speeds. Here's the magazine rundown.
 
Also read:    

Common home wiring mistakes: using the wrong cable in the wrong socket

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