Registered jack

From Academic Kids

RJ stands for registered jack. RJ-XX is a general term for electrical connector designs registered with the US Federal Communications Commission, including the RJ-11, RJ-14, RJ-25, RJ-48, RJ-61 and RJ-45 connectors.

The most familiar registered jacks are the 4-conductor and the 6-conductor connectors known variously as RJ-11, RJ-12 and RJ-14, and the 8-conductor RJ-45, all sometimes simply called RJ connectors. These are commonly used in building wiring for telephone and local area networks. They were originally invented and patented by Bell Telephone Laboratories (patent filed 6 July 1973; Template:US patent issued 14 January 1975), and replaced the hard-wired connections on most Western Electric telephones around 1976. Thus, they are also sometimes called Western jacks/plugs.

Left to right: RJ-45 plug, six-pin plug, four-pin plug the same size, four-pin handset plug, six-pin jack.
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Left to right: RJ-45 plug, six-pin plug, four-pin plug the same size, four-pin handset plug, six-pin jack.
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Naming confusion

There is much confusion over these connection standards. The six-pin plug and jack commonly used for telephone line connections may be called an RJ-11, an RJ-12 or an RJ-14, all of which properly define interfaces that use the same physical connector. The RJ-11 standard dictates a 2-wire connection, while RJ-12 and RJ-14 spell out different 4-wire configurations. These six-pin plugs are often called modular connectors to distinguish them from older telephone connectors.

Physical compatibility

There is also confusion over the physical compatibility. As designed, they are physically compatible in that a four-pin plug will fit a six- or eight-pin socket, connecting to the center four of the conductors, and a six-pin plug will fit an eight-pin socket, connecting to the center six conductors. However, plugs from different manufacturers may not have this compatibility, and some manufacturers of eight-pin jacks now explicitly warn that they are not designed to accept smaller plugs without damage.

Twisted pair

All these connectors are normally used with twisted pair wiring. Wiring conventions were designed to take full advantage of this physical compatibility, but here again there has been a problem. The original concept was that the centre two pins would be one pair, the next two out the second pair, and so on until the outer pins of an eight-pin connector would be the fourth twisted pair. Additionally, signal shielding was optimised by alternating the “live” and “earthy” pins of each pair. This standard for the eight-pin connector results in a pinout known as USOC, but the outermost pair are then too far apart to meet the electrical requirements of high-speed LAN protocols. Two variations known as TIA-568A and TIA-568B overcome this by using adjacent pairs of the outer four pins for the third and fourth pairs. The inner four pins are wired identically to TIA-568A. (See: Category 5 cable.)

External links

ja:Registered jack

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