ShowMeCables Custom Cable Builder Guide
Here at ShowMeCables, we carry thousands of different standard cables from ethernet to fiber to coax and more. While these stock options cover a multitude of different scenarios, sometimes users find themselves in a situation where a more specialized solution is required. Whether that means a cable in an unusual size or something with off-beat connectors, ShowMeCables likely has a solution for you.
To get started with custom cables, click the button that says Shop Custom Cables in the blue bar going across our web page. This is visible on every page of our website and will land users on the Cable Builder itself, which opens with two different options for users in Step 1.
Step 1: Select Cable Builder Tool
For this first step, users will need to select one of two different buttons. The left button is labeled Design Custom Cables & Order Online. This button will lead to Step 2 and onwards, which is what the majority of this article covers. The cable builder viewable in Step 2 covers most common types of cables. If you are looking for a type of cable or connector not listed there, select the Send Us Specifications button on the right instead.
This second button will take you to a new page, our Custom Cable Request form. This page features text boxes users can use to describe any custom cable not covered in the Cable Builder. After filling out the form, a message will be sent to our Sales Team who will review the request and be in touch within 1 business day.
Step 2: Select Usage
After clicking the Design Custom Cables & Order Online button, Step 1 will disappear and Step 2 appears in its place. This step is fairly simple, allowing users to select what type of custom cable they will be building. There are eight different categories: Ethernet, Coaxial, Fiber, Video, Audio, Phone, Telco, and Serial. After you pick a category, the name of Step 2 will change from Select Usage to Usage Selected: [Category]. In this guide, we will be using Ethernet for our examples so Step 2 will read Usage Selected: Ethernet.
Step 3: Design Cable
Step 3 will involve a few different mini-steps to completely put the cable together. It starts out mostly blank with three buttons: Select Connector A, Select Cable Type, Select Connector B.
There will also be a box labeled Special Instructions. Do NOT list anything that would be a special modification in this box. If there is a special request for the cable, such as using a non-standard pinout or making the cable using parts from a specific brand, use the Send Us Specifications from Step 1 instead. The Cable Builder was designed with standard cables built using standard components in mind. It uses an automated algorithm that does not take price differences caused by factors such as non-standard components or extra labor into consideration.
Start with Select Cable Type, since this is the body of the cable. For ethernet there are two options, Cat5e and Cat6. If a different type of cable was selected in Step 2, there will be different options on this screen. For example, selecting audio cables would show options such as mono and stereo cable.
Ethernet is a bit different from the other options in the cable builder. Clicking Cat5e or Cat6 will extend that menu to show different types of ethernet (stranded, solid, shielded, etc.) as well as the various colors available for each type. The other custom cable categories display all their options on one screen since there are fewer choices to pick from.
Once the cable has been selected, some new options will appear on the Step 3 screen you started on. Text boxes for selected the Cable Length will now be visible, with one box for feet and another for inches. Cables with multiple pins, such as ethernet and serial cables, will also have a Pinout drop-down box. If you need a non-standard pinout, use the Send Us Specifications from Step 1.
After selecting the type of cable, the connectors that will go onto the ends of the cable are next. The Select Connector A and Select Connector B options function the same; there is just one for each end of the cable.
After selecting a connector, a text box titled Connector Label will appear for that connector. Anything typed into this box will be put on a label that will be added to that end of the custom cable. For ethernet cables, there is also a drop-down box where a boot can be added. Once all this is complete, click the Next Step button to proceed to Step 4.
Step 4: Review Cable
The final step allows users to look over the custom cable. Under the picture of the cable, there will be an SKU (part number) generated automatically. Typing that part number into the search bar on our website will pull the custom cable back up if you need to close the page and come back later.
The left-hand side of the screen features a bulleted list displaying the Connectors, Boots, Labels, Cable Type, Pinout, and Cable Length selected in the previous steps. On the right-hand side, there will be a Quantity Discount Pricing chart. This is the same type of chart used for our regular stock items. Below the chart is an Add To Cart button that can be used to put the custom cable in your Cart and purchase it on the spot.
Before placing the order, there are a few things to know about our custom cables. The average lead time on custom cables is 3-5 business days. ShowMeCables makes custom cables in the order the requests come in. The lead time will largely depend on how many other custom orders happen to be ahead of yours at the time and there are no line jumps.
Additionally, custom cables are non-returnable on account of being custom. As any custom cable is a non-stock item, it would be incredibly difficult if not impossible to put that on the shelf with the stock items. For full details regarding this policy, please see our Terms & Conditions page.