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RJ45 (which stands for Registered Jack-45) is a standardized network interface for physically connecting computers. It’s most commonly referred to on Ethernet-based local area networks (LANs). RJ46, however, doesn’t really exist as a standard. There is no consensus or agreement on what RJ46 actually is. Several possibilities exist when searching for information about an RJ46 connector, but they typically fall into two categories:

Demystifying RJ45 and the Mythical RJ46

What is RJ45?

RJ45 is a type of connector. We commonly use it for Ethernet networking. You’ll find it on the ends of Ethernet cables that plug into computers, routers, and switches. It has eight pins and a modular design. This design allows for easy insertion and removal.

The Mysterious RJ46

RJ46 doesn’t exist. You might see some products or tutorials referencing RJ46. But, it’s likely a misunderstanding or a mistake. The official list of registered jacks only goes up to RJ48. If you see RJ46, it’s likely referring to RJ45.

RJ46 Most Commonly Refers To

1. Non-standard connectors:
  • Misidentified RJ45:
    • Some sources may mistakenly use “RJ46” when referring to the standard RJ45 connector used for Ethernet cables.
    • This is likely due to confusion or misinformation online.
  • Proprietary or niche connectors:
    • Some manufacturers may have created their own custom connector using the RJ46 name.
    • These connectors would have no standardized features or compatibility with other systems.
    • Without specific information about the manufacturer or context, it’s impossible to determine the purpose or characteristics of such a connector.
2. Alternative names for existing connectors:
  • In some rare cases, “RJ46” might be an alternative name for another standardized connector, such as the RJ11 (used for telephone lines) or the RJ12 (used for some data connections).
  • However, again, without specific context, it’s difficult to determine the exact connector being referred to.

Why the Confusion?

The confusion may stem from a few factors.

  • Similar Appearance: Both RJ45 and other modular connectors look alike. It’s easy to mistake one for another.
  • Incorrect Labeling: Some manufacturers might mislabel RJ45 connectors as RJ46.
  • Industry Jargon: Some people in the tech industry might use “RJ46” as slang for a specific type of RJ45 wiring or configuration. But, this is not a standard term.

Key Differences Between RJ45 and RJ46

ExistenceStandardized and widely usedDoes not exist officially
ApplicationsEthernet networking, telecommunicationsN/A
Number of pins8N/A
DesignModular, with a locking tabN/A

What to Do If You Encounter “RJ46”

  • Double Check: Verify if it’s a typo or a mislabeling.
  • Consult the Manual: Refer to the product’s documentation for the correct connector type.
  • Seek Clarification: If unsure, ask a knowledgeable professional or contact the manufacturer.

Key Takeaways

  • Comparing RJ45 and RJ46: RJ45 is an existing standard. RJ46 is not.
  • Real-World Applications: Exploring how these connectors impact everyday technology use.
  • Technical Insights: Looking into the specifications that define RJ45 and comparing to the standard-less RJ46.

List Of Registered Jack Types

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Registered_jack#Types

RJA1X225A adapterConnector for a modular plug to a four-prong jack
RJA2X267A adapterConnector for splitting one modular jack to two modular jacks
RJA3X224A adapterConnector for adapting a modular plug to a 12-prong jack
RJ2MB50-pin2–12 telephone lines with make-busy arrangement
RJ11(C/W)6P2CEstablishes a bridged connection for one telephone line (6P4C if power on second pair)
RJ12(C/W)6P6CEstablishes a bridged connection for one telephone line with key telephone system control ahead of line circuit
RJ13(C/W)6P4CSimilar to RJ12, but behind the line circuit
RJ14(C/W)6P4CFor two telephone lines (6P6C if power on third pair)
RJ15C3-pin weatherproofFor one telephone line for boats in marinas
RJ18(C/W)6P6CFor one telephone line with make-busy arrangement
RJ21X50-pinMultiple (up to 25) line bridged T/R configuration
RJ25(C/W)6P6CFor three telephone lines
RJ26X50-pinFor multiple data lines, universal
RJ27X50-pinFor multiple data lines, programmed
RJ31X8P8CAllows an alarm system to seize the telephone line to make an outgoing call during an alarm. Jack is placed closer to the network interface than all other equipment. Only 4 conductors are used.
RJ32X8P8CLike RJ31X, this wiring provides a series tip and ring connection through the connecting block, but is used when the customer premises equipment is connected in series with a single station, such as an automatic dialer.
RJ33X8P8CThis wiring provides a series tip and ring connection of a KTS line ahead of the line circuit because the registered equipment requires CO/PBX ringing and a bridged connection of the A and A1 lead from behind the line circuit. Tip and ring are the only leads opened when the CPE plug is inserted. Typical usage is for customer-provided automatic dialers and call restrictors.
RJ34X8P8CSimilar to RJ33X, but all leads are connected behind the line circuit.
RJ35X8P8CThis arrangement provides a series tip and ring connection to whatever line has been selected in a key telephone set plus a bridged A and A1 lead.
RJ38X8P4CSimilar to RJ31X, with a continuity circuit. If the plug is disconnected from the jack, shorting bars allow the phone circuit to continue to the site phones. Only 4 conductors are used.
RJ41S8P8C, keyedFor one data line, universal (fixed loop loss and programmed)
RJ45S8P8C, keyedFor one data line, with programming resistor
RJ48C8P4CFor four-wire data line (DSX-1)
RJ48S8P4C, keyedFor four-wire data line (DDS)
RJ48X8P4C with shorting barFor four-wire data line (DS1)
RJ61X8P8CFor four telephone lines
RJ71C50-pin12-line series connection using 50-pin connector (with bridging adapter) ahead of customer equipment. Mostly used for call sequencer equipment.

Many of the basic names have suffixes that indicate subtypes:

  • C: flush-mount or surface mount
  • F: flex-mount
  • W: wall-mount
  • L: lamp-mount
  • S: single-line
  • M: multi-line
  • X: complex jack

For example, RJ11 comes in two forms: RJ11W is a jack from which a wall telephone can be hung, while RJ11C is a jack designed to have a cord plugged into it. A cord can be plugged into an RJ11W as well.

Understanding RJ45 Connectors


Physical Characteristics

RJ45 connectors typically have a long and rectangular physical appearance. RJ45 is widely used for Ethernet connections, is typically made of rigid PVC, allowing visibility of wire connections.

RJ45 Configuration

RJ45 features an 8P8C (8 position 8 contact) configuration but generally uses only half of these connections at any given time.

RJ45 Applications

RJ45 is a staple in computer networking, particularly suited for linking Ethernet cables to routers.

So What Is RJ46 Exactly?

RJ46 as a standard doesn’t exist. However, different companies will use the term to mean different things. In most cases RJ46 will be the word companies use to refer to a modified (non-standard) RJ45 implementation.

Other times they may use it to incorrectly refer to an RJ11 connector (4 connection / 6 position – 6p4c) which when you take the “4” from the number of connections and the “6” from positions you could draw the conclusion that it is somehow RJ-46.

The bottom line is to remember that there really is no such thing as an “RJ-46” cable as it relates to the Registered Jack standards. So if someone ever refers to an RJ46 cable it’s important to follow-up with them and try to get a better understanding of what they’re actually referring to.

Tables: Quick Facts and Comparisons

FeatureRJ45 ConnectorRJ46 Connector
UsageEthernet ConnectionsNon-Standard Applications
Configuration8P8C (4 used typically)No Set Configuration
MaterialRigid PVCNo Set Material
NotesEstablishedNo Standard Exists

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