How to Choose the Correct Keystone Jack

They are female connectors used in data communication, usually for LAN wiring. Generally, the jack is set up in a patch panel or wall plate. There is a matching male connector which is a keystone plug, attached to the end of a cord or cable.

The name ‘keystone’ itself comes from the features of the jack. It resembles the standard RJ-11 wall jack that connects telephone sets, dial-up, fax machines to conventional telephone lines.

Where are they used?

The keystone jack is an important accessory for any high-end entertainment system, high-tech computer unit or any data-heavy communication unit in a busy office. Keystone jack and plug come in a snap-in package in various designs that you can use to mount any type of cable or cord. This setting will also include conductors attached to the electrical devices.

If you are looking to buy keystone jacks for any use, it is important to know the correct type for your use.

Here are the major types you can refer to:

  • Shielded Jacks
  • Flush Mount Jacks
  • Mini Jacks
  • 8P8C modular jacks for computer networking
  • 6P6C RJ11 modular jacks
  • Optical fiber connectors
  • Banana connectors
  • F connector for TV antenna, satellite, or cable
  • HDMI Jacks

Additional Information Required

These small-sized keystone jacks are integral parts of any home system. These are available in various designs and every variation is suitable for different applications. Hence, choosing the right jack can benefit you with versatility. Knowing about specific types of keystone jacks with applications will help you make an informed decision.

So, to further help you, we’ve listed out the most frequently used keystone jacks and their usage.

RJ-11 and RJ-12

When you want to extend your phone, modem, phone connection to any room, there are the ideal connectors to look for. They are available in “toolless” varieties which means you can install the wires without using a screwdriver or any soldering device.

If you are new to this, there is a plastic clamp hinge at the back of the unit which you can pull up. This is where you insert wires and then pull it down to secure the wires firmly into the sockets. They display various telecom colors. Two lines, one long and one short indicate the color of the wire which goes in a specific slot. The long patch of color indicates the primary color, while the shorter one indicates the stripe color present on a wire. Hence, it is important to make sure that you buy one that provides secure locking and shows the colors on the slots.

Cat5e Keystone Jacks

They are suitable in Cat5e cabling scenarios for both commercial and domestics settings. Its construction style is popular because you will not have to replace blades when you switch from keystone jacks to patch panels. Additionally, termination contacts made of the phosphor bronze of some high-quality Cat5e keystone jacks add plenty of robustness to the unit and allow it to withstand punch-downs without falling apart.

When looking for buying Cat5e keystone jack, you need to ensure that it meets the relevant standards - TIA/EIA 568-B code. When you commit to buying the accepted standard, it ensures that your unit is durable, long-lasting and provides superior performance. You also need to ensure that the jack you buy has both wiring color codes labeled properly.

Cat6 Keystone Jacks

One of the most sophisticated and known for outstanding performance in both domestic and business settings is Cat6 Keystone jack. And the most important part, you can buy these jacks without making a hole in your pocket. You can use them for home entertainment systems and complex data communication systems in offices.

Some of the high-grade varieties of this keystone jack contain phosphor bronze contacts with strain relief caps. These contacts spread the physical pressure which enables the jack to absorb punch-downs without breaking. Moreover, the contacts securely locks the cords and cables connected to the keystone making sure that there is no disruption in signal transmission.

This termination contacts, in some models of Cat6 keystone jacks, may also be gold plated to provide an additional degree of sturdiness and increased conductivity. You can use these jacks with unloaded keystone wall plates and patch panels, angled multimedia wall plates, surface boxes and more.

These jacks are available in a variety of colors to suit any particular housing requirement. When you consider buying such jacks, it is important to ensure that the ports on the unit contain color codes to guide you when inserting wires. Also, ensure that there is a secure locking mechanism for the wires.

An Overall Digest

While buying such keystone jacks or any other type, it is important that it has a compact company casing that fits into a standard-sized face plate, panel, or outlet box without any efforts from your end. Apart from it, it is also important to make sure that the device fulfills all the required standards. They are not expensive but checking for these parameters will give you an assurance that you don’t have to be satisfied with the less-than-optimal performance or other issues. It will benefit your business in more than many ways.

SF Cable offers all kinds of jacks under the sun, in varying lengths. You can browse them here.