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Why Everyone Is Talking About The RJ45

Mar 2, 2008
On the face of it the rj 45 might not sound like the sexiest piece of kit around but on deeper reflection it is, despite the ugly name, a pretty useful piece of equipment. The RJ initials in the name refer to Registered Jack. A registered jack is a way of connecting telecommunications equipment. It is a physical interface and comes in a number of configurations - not just the 45. It is also used as a standard design for wiring named rj11, rj14 and many other configurations. These connections are used primarily in the US but some of the RJ's are use in the UK in particular the RJ45. The RJ 45 has a modular physical connection.

There is confusion surrounding the naming of many of these plugs. This is the case with the RJ45s. The conventional RJ45 actually refers to an entirely different type of jack altogether. Nevertheless common usage has meant that many people refer to the eight position eight contact modular plugs as RJ45s despite the fact that strictly speaking they are not RJ45s. Nevertheless when I refer to the Rj - 45 in this article I will be talking about the plug that is used in common language usage.

The 8p8c modular plug or RJ45 is an extremely useful device for joining devices and making connections. As the initial name suggests it provides eight positions and with six positions that contain conductor. In comparison to the six p six c plug adaptor that only has six conductors all of which contain conductors.

This fundamental difference is both amazing and informative. It helps people make their connections correctly and make an informative choice about which plug one should be using. The main reason for the extra connectors that do not contain conductors is to remain prepared for future developments.

So although these connections are referred to as the RJ 45 it is not technically correct as it is wired in quite a different way to the t568a/b which is often used for Ethernet and telephones. The RJ 45 has both male and female connections. The RJ45 is best known as a connection device for Ethernet but is does work on all types of connection. Connections are being phased out as a modern cables no longer have the high maintenance requirements that they once did and there are lower currency and voltage requirements for which bulkier connectors were designed.

US telephone applications use the RJ 45 on most of their telecommunications applications. The 8p8c device has been developed to a standard size so that they can be connected universally. The Administrative Council for Terminal Attachment (ACTA) is a national authority that manages the implementation of the changing standardisation process of the8p8c modular connection device with eight connectors installed.
About the Author
Shaun Parker has been involved in the networking equipment and RJ45 industry for several years
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