RJ45 Troubleshooting - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 6 Old 10-03-2017, 07:05 PM - Thread Starter
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RJ45 Troubleshooting

Hello,

It looks like I may have a few dead RJ45 cables that were run throughout my house during my remodel 6 years ago. A couple of them have never been used, but I know of two others that were definitely active and working in the past. I tried using THIS, but based on the limited instructions, I'm either using it incorrectly or its not the correct tool for the job. I'm essentially trying to track down an incorrect termination or dead cable (if that's even a thing?) on a budget. If the only solution is terminating both ends again, then I'll give that a try. But was at least hoping to narrow the issue down as much as possible.

At one point last year I had an AT&T service guy in to troubleshoot my cable/internet and I ended up asking him to check a non-working cable run. In that instance, it turned out that one end needed termination again. All my CAT6 runs lead to a hallway closet where they have couplers connecting patch cables, so that my rolling equipment rack has additional slack. I don't believe its the couplers because I have them on working lines as well. I'm in South Florida and recently lost power after Hurricane Irma, so I'm not sure if these low voltage lines may have gotten damaged when power came back. I definitely had some kind of surge when power was restored because I had a couple of breakers tripped.

I'd appreciate any thoughts on how I can test/correct the lines myself as well as any preventative steps I could take to avoid any future lines getting damaged.

Thanks,
Alex

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post #2 of 6 Old 10-04-2017, 06:20 AM
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That should tell you what you want to know. I don't have that model, but you'll want to plug one end of the cable into the RJ-45 port on the sending unit and the other end of the cable into the receiver. Then set it to scan and take a look at the receiver. You should see the lights on the receiver cycling from 1 to 2 to 3 to 4, etc.

You'll typically find one of them either not terminated correctly (one of the light will be skipped), or that you have a crossed pair (the numbers will be out of order 2 then 4 then 3 then 5).
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post #3 of 6 Old 10-04-2017, 07:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Spyderturbo007 View Post
You'll typically find one of them either not terminated correctly (one of the light will be skipped), or that you have a crossed pair (the numbers will be out of order 2 then 4 then 3 then 5).
Aaaahhhhhh, I see what you're saying. Okay, I'll pay attention to that. Ideally I'll test the cable from end to end without the coupler and patch cable in between so that I can completely rule out the issues.

What do you think of my comment on "dead" cable though? Is this possible? Could the whole 30 ft run cable go bad?

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post #4 of 6 Old 10-04-2017, 07:24 AM
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I just test them as they are, so I don't have to pull them apart until I know there is an issue.

I've never seen a bad piece of cable out of the box and I've probably run close to 10,000' in the last 15 years. I have seen them damaged when being pulled by someone not paying attention, I've never seen them "go bad" sitting in the wall. Typically the jack gets damaged, or someone yanks on the end and damages the end.

You'll probably find they weren't terminated correctly.
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post #5 of 6 Old 10-12-2017, 07:06 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Spyderturbo007 View Post
I just test them as they are, so I don't have to pull them apart until I know there is an issue.

I've never seen a bad piece of cable out of the box and I've probably run close to 10,000' in the last 15 years. I have seen them damaged when being pulled by someone not paying attention, I've never seen them "go bad" sitting in the wall. Typically the jack gets damaged, or someone yanks on the end and damages the end.

You'll probably find they weren't terminated correctly.
Well I got a chance to check one line this past weekend and it was definitely the termination on one particular end. I could see the colored wire configuration and it was off. The line is running perfectly now, so I breathed a sigh of relief there. That particular line is where I wanted to move my Mac mini to, which is the backbone of my server/network, etc. Hopefully the other ones I'll look at this coming weekend are the same issue. I have a couple of aTV's around the house which work fine over wifi, but certainly run smoother when hardwired.

Thanks again for the suggestions.

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post #6 of 6 Old 10-15-2017, 09:32 PM
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Originally Posted by aggmiami View Post
Well I got a chance to check one line this past weekend and it was definitely the termination on one particular end. I could see the colored wire configuration and it was off. The line is running perfectly now, so I breathed a sigh of relief there. That particular line is where I wanted to move my Mac mini to, which is the backbone of my server/network, etc. Hopefully the other ones I'll look at this coming weekend are the same issue. I have a couple of aTV's around the house which work fine over wifi, but certainly run smoother when hardwired.

Thanks again for the suggestions.
The most common problem is termination at either end, either miswired like you found, or not fully seated. Don't rule out something as simple as the cable being pinched somewhere. Trace the cable as far back as you can at both ends and check for anything obvious or at least suspicious.


I just moved into a new house last year that was using CAT5 for all the phone jacks in the house. I swapped out the RJ11 jacks for RJ45 jacks to network the whole house. I had one jack that kept going out intermittently, even after re-terminating. I traced the cable back from the patch panel as far back as I could. I found that just a few feet away the CAT5 cable was wrapped around electrical conduit (poor man's zip tie, apparently) which was pinching the cable against the foundation. With my cable tester connected to the jack on the panel, I lifted the conduit, and watched as all the strands lit up on the tester. I had to snip the cable, unwrap it from around the conduit, zip tie it up, then re-terminate it at the patch panel. It's been fine ever since. There's always a logical explanation!


Good luck!
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