The end of an RJ45 Ethernet connector (left) vs. an RJ12 phone connector (right)
Ethernet and telephone cables look fairly similar and it is not uncommon to get the two mixed up. The key difference between the two is the size of the plastic connectors on the ends of the cable. Telephones use an
Anyone who has ever used a desk or wall phone knows they all have one problem in common: cords getting tangled. In the long run, it does not particularly matter how careful or gentle you are with a coiled handset cord. Eventually, the cord is going to end up as a jumbled mess. Preventing a cord from tangling in the first place is where a detangler comes in.
Phone cords do not last forever. When a cord starts to tangle, the smaller wires inside the cord
Modern telephone cords have been in use for a long time, with little change since their invention in the 1970s. Finding phone cords in the store can be tricky today; many stores have stopped carrying telephone cables since so many people only use cell phones now. This rings especially true for coiled handset cords. With these cables becoming rarer, sometimes it is better to repair rather than replace them. Other times, users may just need a cable not available in a standard length.
There is a bit of variation with different connectors available, as well as different wiring schemes (called
Crimp tools, also called crimpers, are used to crimp connectors onto bare wire when assembling a cable. There are a few different versions of crimp tools, depending on how the crimper is made and what type of cable it was designed for.
How Do Crimp Tools Work?
Using a crimp tool is fairly simple. First, a cable must be stripped to expose the metal wire inside. Then the metal wire(s) are inserted into the connector. Single conductor cables (coax) are easier to use than multi-wire cables like ethernet or phone lines (additional details below). Once the wires are inserted, put the connector inside the crimp tool and squeeze the handle. The pressure applied by the crimper will tighten the connector to keep it in place.
Manual vs. Ratchet Crimpers
Telephone cords are one of the more basic types of cables. Phone cables have remained mostly the same over the years with a few small changes here and there. There is a little terminology to know that will tell you a bit more about your phone lines, such as how they are wired and what type of plastic connector is on the end of the cable.
Phone cords come in two varieties, flat cords used to connect phones to the wall and coiled cords used for handset receivers. Flat cords will use either an RJ11 or RJ12 connector. These two connectors are the same size and look the same on the outside. On the inside, RJ11 will have four metal contacts for the internal wires inside the cable while RJ12 has six contacts. Since they are the same size, RJ12 is backwards compatible with RJ11. However, since RJ11 is the older of the two it is not compatible with RJ12.