Versatility – being able to adapt to many different situations – is often underrated. It’s hard to stop success when you excel in multiple categories, whether you’re talking sports or a chosen RJ45 connector.
If you pick a favorite basketball player – or a favorite RJ45 connector – based on just one or two performance metrics, you’ll potentially fall short in other critical areas. Magic Johnson was always one of my favorite basketball players. Not only could he score at-will against his opponents, but he was also an excellent passer, rebounder and defender. Magic Johnson is a great example of what “versatility” truly means in the world of sports. But what do we expect from an RJ45 connector when we talk about versatility?
The word isn’t used as often as it should be when it comes to RJ45 connectivity – and those who do use it often follow a narrow definition. This blog is the final post in a three-part series about the importance of termination reliability, ease of use and versatility.
When it comes to versatility in connectivity, here’s what we should expect:
Instead of having to memorize different color codes for specific connectors (Category 6 vs. Category 6A, for example), versatile connectors and connectivity systems allow for the minimum amount of color sequences. Ideally, this means that a connectivity system features a T568A color code and T568B color code, which consistently carries through Category 5e through Category 6A (and beyond!).
While all RJ45 connections require tools of some kind – at least for cable and conductor preparation – the ability to use the same tools across entire connectivity systems increases versatility.
Today, some technicians may have to use an entire collection of jacket strippers, flush cutters, punch-down tools and crimp tools for the most basic RJ45 connections. And the entire connectivity process, from wire preparation to termination, can vary for each connector. Versatile connectivity systems using common tools and processes are beneficial because they lighten your tool bag and standardize processes to reduce potential errors. When there’s one way to complete a task, the likelihood of making a mistake is lower.
Accessories can range from common optional accessories, such as dust caps, color-coded bezels and icons, to required termination aids like load bars, wire guides and stuffer caps. If each RJ45 connector you install requires a different type of accessory, your connector is not versatile.
Versatile connectivity systems ideally use a single style accessory throughout the entire line, ranging across all RJ45 connectors: Category 5e through Category 6A, shielded and unshielded.
What about versatility in the installation process? Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a better way to plan your installation to allow for greater flexibility as you work alongside other subcontractors? You’ve probably found yourself playing the waiting game before, only to be left with a few days (or hours) to terminate and test.
The most versatile connectivity systems provide greater flexibility to install on a better, more manageable timeline.
What else could possibly make an RJ45 connectivity system more versatile? While we’re really eager to share the answer with you, you’ll have to wait just a little bit longer. We’re about to reveal something truly REVolutionary.
Belden has spent the past month explaining why you need termination reliability, ways to make your terminations faster and easier, and what creates connector versatility.
Kristen is the Vice President/General Manager of Belden Industrial Cyber Security. She has previously held the role of Vice President of Marketing for the Enterprise Platform and before that worked within the product line management team and Mohawk brand. She started with Belden as a summer intern in 2010 and joined full time in 2011. In her spare time, she enjoys outdoor activities with family and two Australian Shepherds.