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1.21 Gigawatts

Ok, may be a slight exaggeration going on here, though I had a problem. Since my home office was refurbished, one of the LAN ports stopped working, given I’d had major surgery at the time, I left it on the back burner since the other port was working. There are five ports scattered around my office for various projects.

Over the last year I’ve been increasing my use of Raspberry Pi’s and other ethernet enabled hardware, I had a couple of choices, install a wireless router (which I may well still do) or get off my arse and fix the port.

I knew this would be a chore having to traipse from the Cellar where my 24 Port GigaSwitch, Firewall and VPN Hardware are located in their rack all the way to the third floor where my office is, and with these legs and my current health concerns, what would be a relatively quick undertaking needed planning. Putting it off was no longer an option.

My original thought was to simply work around the fault, Typically wires 1, 2, 3 and 6 are in use for RJ45/Network connections, with that in mind, the plan was to create a patch cable that bypassed the faulty cable to a known good cable, and reverse that at the other end which would make the equipment think it was connected as normal… Pulling new 100m of cable through 4 floors was not feasible option right now.

Recently I’ve ditched my old Network Testing tool for the new Preciva 97 in 1 Network Repair Kit, and what a difference having some decent kit has made.

Preciva 97 in 1 Network Repair Tools

What do you get in the repair kit? Pretty much everything you need to make repairs to a network, including LAN Tester for RJ45/RJ11, Spare Boots and RJ45 Connectors, Battery, Cable Ties, Punch Down Tools, 8P and 6P Crimping Tool, plus wire strippers. I would love the kit to have a pair of patch cables and Phillips/Flat Head screwdriver, to be fair, if you’re working with Networking kit, you’re going to have these items elsewhere.

My old network tester would cycle through each line (1-8) in order and the receiving end would show if the connection is solid or not. You needed to be at the slave end to see the fault in the cable being tested. The new Preciva Tester, shows faults on both the master and the slave unit which meant I didn’t have to go back and forth to check where the fault may lay.

I found out that pin 7 was failing, and that got my head scratching for a moment (Yes it’s been a while since I was on the data-centre side of IT). If pin 7 was failing then surely I should still be getting a connection and IP Address since you only need 1, 2, 3 and 6?

And then it struck me 🤦🏼‍♂️ I’m using gigabit equipment, not my old 10/100 switch, therefore all wires need to be connected (unless I force a slower connection speed).

T-568B Wiring Diagram

The diagram shows the different wiring usages for different network speeds. My home network was cabled with CAT6 throughout, and I stuck with the T-568B Wiring Standard throughout. Since Plan A didn’t work, it was time to investigate Plan B… Since the office update, there’s insufficient cable to pull through the back box to strip any more wire down. I’m going to be left with either a dead socket or a fixable break…

Using the new Preciva tester, it was clear (thankfully) a simple faulty connection on the RJ45 Female Module. A small strip and push through and all was solved.

All that was left was to screw everything back to the wall, remove the testing kit and re-introduce the repaired port to normal service.

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