why haven't ethernet connectors changed?

Jimmy Hess mysidia at gmail.com
Sat Dec 22 06:50:52 UTC 2012

On 12/21/12, Naslund, Steve <SNaslund at medline.com> wrote:
> I have noticed that too.  However it is not the RJ-45 connector's fault.
> It is the morons that insist on recessing connectors in places where you
> can't get your finger on the tab.  I like the patch cords that have the

Likely any connector with a latching retention mechanism requiring a
manual release will have this kind of problem in space-constrained
situations.    A small flat edge screwdriver, spudger, or similar
instrument  can work wonders,  since they are much longer than

I suppose a fancier connector would involve a more robust metal
spring, and a push-button release;   or unlock through some method
such as  push in and slide.

The terminal connectors are tiny; human hands are large  by
comparison,  so when clearances are tight, in a recessed area,  or  in
the case of  a densely populated panel with many terminal ports,
operating the retention mechanism by hand won't be fun.

It could have been avoided by    eliminating tabs in the connector
design,  and  requiring a spring-loaded mechanism  to release the
connector,   such as that  done with   USB and thunderbolt ports.

This would also get rid of the problem of   connector Tabs
accidentally getting broken off, when  the tab becomes snagged;
which "boots"   solve,  but create other problems in the process.

The ubiquity of the modular connector...  has pluses such as  low cost; no
patent owner charging a mint per unit to license the connector;
industry familiarity; device
compatibility;  (more or less)  compatibility with older Cat5 media;
10/100/1000 nics.

> kind of loop/spring thing for a tab that does not catch on everything
> and that way you don't need the boot over the tab.  Another pet peeve of
> mine is connector boots that harden up over time so it is nearly
> impossible to flex the tab to remove the cable.  Also, how about the 48

Prefab patch cables with a boot that is permanently attached to the
connector, and cannot be easily pulled off  if necessary to get at the
tab....  someone should ban those cables from the market.

Until they do... you may sometimes just have to cut off the 'nub'  on
the boot,  with angle cutters to get at the tab;   or apply
pliers/other forceful tools to the boot/connector  (at risk of
damaging the actual port).

A nice thing about the 8P8C terminal connectors is that the connectors
are cheap,  so the cabling can be reterminated,  or prefab cable
replaced with a fresh one later,  to solve
booting issues.

I would still say they make sense  and shouldn't be redesigned just for one
kind of device; wherever 8-pair UTP  cabling  is the physical media.

> Steven Naslund

More information about the NANOG mailing list