Smart Buildings

How Couplers Support Configurability: Real-World Examples

Henry Franc
Many people consider four-connector topology a rule that mustn’t be broken … or a limit that can’t be surpassed: “We can only have four connectors in a channel.”>


What it really means, however, is that, at minimum, your channel needs to allow at least four connectors for flexibility and reconfigurability without sacrificing performance.


In this topology, the four mated connectors (four mated RJ45s) refer to:


  • Two mated connectors for the cross-connect in the telecommunications room
  • One mated connector at the consolidation point in the ceiling
  • One mated connector at the outlet

REVConnect coupler construction images

  There’s nothing in the standards stating that you can’t have more than four mated connectors. In fact, sometimes it’s advantageous to use more than four connectors in a channel. 


Supporting Flexibility & Reconfigurability

REVConnect® Couplers are a great example of connectivity that can support the type of flexibility and reconfigurability the standards aim for. With almost zero crosstalk, they’re nearly invisible or transparent in terms of impact on the channel; they provide the best controlled electrical performance possible.


In addition to the four mated RJ45 connections we listed above, you could easily use up to 12 additional REVConnect Couplers in a channel without sacrificing performance. This allows you to easily support all kinds of reconfiguration options.


A great example is a modular building. These structures continue to increase in use for long-term, temporary and even permanent facilities (think construction camps, schools and classrooms, housing and industrial facilities), along with modular construction (building a facility in prefabricated pieces offsite in a controlled environment and bringing them to the jobsite).

REVConnect coupler construction images

In modular buildings (such as like shipping containers set up as offices), using couplers in combination with the four-connector topology allows you to use patch panels at one end of the container to hold couplers and then line them up as you need to while maintaining your maximum 100 m channel. Because of their plug-and-go functionality, the couplers can easily be reconfigured when needed (add a container, remove a container, etc.).


In modular/prefab construction, as workers build wall sections, installers can place a section of cable inside and “click” the walls together with a shielded or unshielded coupler when the walls arrive at the jobsite. Other uses can include modular furniture and task-oriented workplaces that can be reconfigured for each task: Consider classrooms, labs or even a video wall. The potential impact to support smart building technologies is limitless.


Pre-wired assembly lines in industrial environments are another example that calls for flexibility and reconfigurability. The cables and connectivity can be installed in while the line is initially being designed and configured. Once the assembly lines are onsite, they can be plugged together quickly and easily using couplers.


This plug-and-go approach can be applied to any type of situation that calls for high levels of adaptability: a one-time sporting event, modular command and control centers, high-volume trading desks, broadcast trailers, alternate care sites, classrooms, etc.


Reconfiguration is even crucial in today’s data centers as they become more modular in design—even down to the rack or sub-rack level.


In order to comply with TIA-942 standards, a data center needs many points of connection (six, eight or 10, for example), which can negatively impact copper performance. Because it doesn’t impact performance, the REVConnect Coupler makes this number of connections possible. Everything a data center needs can be pre-designed and connected onsite using the couplers.


The couplers also make component replacement easy. If a piece of cable needs to be replaced for whatever reason (it’s no longer needed, it’s accidentally damaged, there’s a small fire, etc.), then you don’t need to replace the entire channel; simply use a coupler and replace only the piece you need to.


Meet the REVConnect Coupler

The REVConnect Coupler is easy to install, using a single termination method; universal termination core for all Category 5e, Category 6 and Category 6A RJ45 connections; and one tool—shielded or unshielded. They support the fastest termination possible and increase density, improve flexibility and reduce costs while maintaining reliability.


Bringing zero crosstalk, they add little noise to the channel and are essentially invisible. If you’re looking for a connectivity solution that opens up a world of flexibility and reconfigurability, this may be a good option for you! Learn more here.