Telco Making Cable Tools

Making your own Telco Cables?

Want information on the parts to get? Go here:Cab Bus Parts

Like anything electrical, robust wiring is of upmost importance.  It is literally no different then a foundation of a house.  A poor foundation will mean the house will vibrate, tilt or worse collapse when stressed.  Stated another way, the DCC system is only as good as its weakest electrical point.  Reliable operation starts with quality construction.

The way to reliable and robust telco wiring is to: 

1) Use tools that help you build cables that are consistently done right.  

      1a) Ratcheting Telco Crimper Tool.  

      1b) Telco cable tester to test the cable.

2) Use the right materials to build a good cable correctly to start with.

       2a) Correct Telco Plug:  Solid Wire vs Stranded Wire type.

       2b) Correct Wire:  Round versus flat cable.


Modular Jack Crimper
Example shown is the Ideal 30-696 
"Ratchet Telemaster"

Why Ratcheting?

Must people, who have little or no training with crimping tools, often use to LITTLE pressure when crimping.  The quality of the crimp suffers resulting in poor performance both electrically and mechanically.  The ratchet mechanism prevent one from using to low of a crimping pressure by not releasing the tool until you have squeezed hard enough.  Hence the tool prevents you from doing a bad crimp.

The tool also includes a striper with a depth gauge to strip the case off the telco cable just the right amount to expose the individual wires.

That said, you still must take care of inserting the wires into the modular connector properly and make sure the cable cover goes in half way too.  The cable cover is part of the crimp action for its function is to allow for the creation of a mechanical "strain relief" and protect the electrical connection of the wires inside.   (The modular connector itself has a built in "mechanical cover stop" so you cannot insert the cover to far.)  Gripping the cover, typically as you insert and push the stripped end of the cable into the modular connector, the cover stretches a small bit and easily goes into the connector at the same time.  Just check before you start the crimp that it has gone in.  You will know when it did not happen when you remove the crimped connector.  The connector will be lose on the cable if the cover was not part of the crimp.  IF the happens, cut the connector off and try again.  If your unsure what it should look like, go look at a professionally crimped telco cable.  Hopefully  one type of Telco cable should have been provided for with your DCC system.

Other Ratcheting Examples:

Home Depot CE70806:
 (Shown on the left). "Commercial Electric" brand is from China. Found in the telephone and Ethernet cable section. This same tool is also sold under many names and colors such as: Intellinet 210966, TRENDnet TC-CT68, DEKcell (No P/N)

Paladin Tools 1556
Paladin Tools 1561













Cable Tester

Example Shown is the "xx-468 RJ45 + RJ11".  DO NOT LET THE TERM "RJ11" FOOL YOU.  This tester test RJ14/RJ12 cables too.  We want the RJ12! 
It comes with two model names:  
XT-468 & NS-468 which are the same.  It seems to be a generic tool made in China with no specific manufactures name.  
Regardless of the model name/number printed on the label, the key model indication on this tester is the writing that says : "RJ45 + RJ11".  
The key feature of this device is the INCLUSION of a RJ11 jack. 
 
Although it says RJ11, it can test RJ12 cables too with no incompatibility nor mechanical or electrical issues.  
The power switch has 3 positions:  OFF-ON-S  The "S" position is the slow scan position.   On the main (larger) box are a RJ45 and a RJ11 jacks along the top.  The detachable (smaller) "Remote" portion of the tester has a RJ45 jack on one end and a RJ11 on the other.  

Other Cable tester issues:

Many OTHER cable testers only have a single RJ45 jack but claim to allow testing of RJ11/12 cables.  It is true a RJ11/12 plug will physically fit into the larger RJ45 jack.  However it is not mechanically tight nor officially supported by design.  RJ11/12 Jacks are made for a reason and should be used accordingly!  Otherwise you can potentially get false indications of a bad cables when it is simply a modular plug being lose or misaligned when inserted into the RJ45 jack.

Sources of Cable Testers:  Below are list of cable testers.