why haven't ethernet connectors changed?

Wayne E Bouchard web at typo.org
Thu Dec 20 18:41:04 UTC 2012

There is also the factor that cat5 is the principle desktop to network
connection. That being the case, there's very strong motivation for
ensuring that construction of that cable can be done very easily by
barely trained folks. Otherwise, laying out an office or cube farm
becomes considerably more difficult and expensive. RJ45 is and always
has been a very easy termination as long as you can tell one color
from another.

How many people here have gotten good enough that they can cut a
cable and pop connectors on each end in under 3 minutes? How many have
gotten good enough that the failure rate for *hand made* cables is sub
1:1000? Show me another connector type where that will be true.

Really, it will remain that way until the bandwidth needs from the
desktop begin to push the GE threshold. Until then, why bother
changing anything? When that does happen, it'll pretty well deal with


On Thu, Dec 20, 2012 at 10:28:52AM -0800, Michael Loftis wrote:
> It's not all about density.  You *Must* have positive retention and
> alignment.  None of the USB nor firewire standards provide for positive
> retention.  eSATA does sort of in some variants but the connectors for USB
> are especially delicate and easy to break off and destroy.  There's the
> size of the Cat5/5e/6 cable to be considered too.
> Then you must consider that the standard must allow for local termination,
> the RJ45 (And it's relatives) are pretty good at this.  Fast, reliable,
> repeatable termination with a single simple tool that requires only a
> little bit of mechanical input from the user of the tool.
> On Thu, Dec 20, 2012 at 10:20 AM, Michael Thomas <mike at mtcc.com> wrote:
> > I was looking at a Raspberry Pi board and was struck with how large the
> > ethernet
> > connector is in comparison to the board as a whole. It strikes me: ethernet
> > connectors haven't changed that I'm aware in pretty much 25 years. Every
> > other
> > cable has changed several times in that time frame. I imaging that if
> > anybody
> > cared, ethernet cables could be many times smaller. Looking at wiring
> > closets,
> > etc, it seems like it might be a big win for density too.
> >
> > So why, oh why, nanog the omniscient do we still use rj45's?
> >
> > Mike
> >
> >
> -- 
> "Genius might be described as a supreme capacity for getting its possessors
> into trouble of all kinds."
> -- Samuel Butler

Wayne Bouchard
web at typo.org
Network Dude

More information about the NANOG mailing list