Smart Building

RJ45 Termination: Who Needs Reliability?          (Hint: You Do!)

Kristen Poulos

Sometimes good cables go bad – and poor termination might be to blame. This blog serves as the first in a three-part series of posts about the importance of RJ45 termination reliability, ease and versatility.

Imagine walking into a dark room and flipping the light switch – but five times out of every 100 (5% of the time), the light doesn’t turn on. You’d be left fumbling in the dark for the nearest phone to call an electrician! Of course, no one puts up with this kind of failure rate for their lighting, security or heating and cooling systems – so why do they put up with it when it comes to RJ45 connectivity?


Without reliable RJ45 connectivity – the most-used interface in data communications – your networking infrastructure lacks quick, secure communication between devices.


Common RJ45 Termination Problems

In a recent voice-of-the-customer (VoC) study conducted by Belden, we discovered that nearly 5% of Category 6A jacks in the industry fail to meet the standard after the first termination. This means that installers must undo the termination and either replace the connector or attempt to re-terminate it.


No matter which method they choose to solve the problem, this termination failure equates to a significant amount of additional time spent fixing the problem. And additional time means additional cost and lost productivity.


Replacing RJ45 Connectors

If the connector needs to be replaced, it often comes at a significant cost. And even more challenging can be the termination of a field-crimpable plug. It involves a long, complex crimping process with expensive tools, and often requires rework and testing. Potential damage to the device is also possible, causing more unexpected costs. (Read more about the pitfalls of this termination here.)


Termination reliability is the measure of the first pass yield (FPY). For example, if 100 units enter a process (the termination process, for example), with 99 finished to specification (one failed and one was thrown out), and two require rework, then the FPY is 97% [(99-2) / 100 = 0.97].


High-performing connectors typically offer a high level of reliability, achieving margins well beyond TIA standards. But they often involve complex termination procedures to ensure that critical electrical parameters, such as alien crosstalk, are avoided.


Inexpensive connectors may offer a simpler termination process than high-performance connectors, but they’re often riddled with FPY issues, slowing down the performance of installers and wasting time.


Making the Right Choice

light-bulb-lightSo which do you choose? An RJ45 connector that offers simple, fast termination – and that may require you to terminate a few times to get right? Or a complicated, lengthy termination process that gobbles up labor costs?


This choice is one that most professionals don’t want to have to make – and, for that reason, Belden is excited to offer a new connectivity platform that will completely change the way you view RJ45 connectors. You’ve spoken out, demanding a more reliable connector. Coming very soon, we’ll introduce you to one that is truly REVolutionary.


Find out more about Belden connectivity solutions here. And make sure to sign up for our blog so you don’t miss a thing – stay tuned for two upcoming posts on RJ45 termination ease and versatility!