RJ (Registered Jack)

A registered jack (RJ) is a standardized telecommunication network interface for connecting voice and data equipment to a service provided by a local exchange carrier or long distance carrier. Registration interfaces were first defined in the Universal Service Ordering Code (USOC) system of the Bell System in the United States for complying with the registration program for customer-supplied telephone equipment mandated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the 1970s. They were subsequently codified in title 47 of the Code of Federal Regulations Part 68.

The specification includes physical construction, wiring, and signal semantics. Accordingly, registered jacks are primarily named by the letters RJ, followed by two digits that express the type. Additionally, letter suffixes indicate minor variations.

For example, RJ11, RJ14, and RJ25 are the most commonly used interfaces for telephone connections for one-, two-, and three-line service, respectively. Although these standards are legal definitions in the United States, some interfaces are used worldwide.

The connectors used for registered jack installations are primarily the modular connector and the 50-pin miniature ribbon connector. For example, RJ11 uses a six-position two-conductor connector (6P2C), RJ14 uses a six-position four-conductor (6P4C) modular jack, while RJ21 uses a 25-pair (50-pin) miniature ribbon connector.

The RJ45S, a standard jack once specified for modem or data interfaces, uses a mechanically-keyed variation of the 8P8C body with an extra tab that prevents it from mating with other connectors; the visual difference from the more-common 8P8C is subtle. The original RJ45S keyed 8P2C modular connector had pins 5 and 4 wired for tip and ring of a single telephone line, and pins 7 and 8 shorting a programming resistor, but is obsolete today.

The RJ45S jack must not be confused with the 8P8C eight-pin modular connector. The latter is often incorrectly called RJ45 connector in several fields such as telecommunications and computer networking but it lacks the extra tab. Besides, its pin-out involves some particular schematics as just mentioned.

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