Flush modular face
- CAT 5 modular jack
Example of assembled
modular plate with
CAT 5 twisted-pair cable
has become very popular.
North American wire manufacturers have made available for
structured wiring cabling with 2-pair, 3-pair and 4-pair packs
of wires. No matter how many phone lines you plan to have, no
matter how you want to distribute them around your home, there is one thing you will never
want to do: run one multi-wire cable (4 pairs or more) throughout all the rooms and open
the cable at each location to tap into one pair of wire.
this inconvenient method in buildings and townhomes, probably to cut costs. Never use it yourself and
stop any of your possible contractors from using it! You can't expand, it will be a
complete hassle for anyone later on to find the line(s) headend points. It's no good.
Others use straight daisy-chaining, which is very common
(running cables from one point to the next, to the next, to the
next...). Better than the previous but no better than home-run,
which is the best method by all standards: running all cables
from one headend point in a utility room into each individual
The first issue
you want to consider is how many (analog) phone lines you plan to have. If you are
planning for a maximum of two phone lines in the future, it is safe to run a 3-pair cable
throughout and use modular outlets with 6-conductor jacks. Do not run one two-pair cable,
even though two-pair cables are just what your two separate phone lines will need. Now,
because Category 5 4-pair cables are so cost-effective, you will probably find it to your
advantage to use a CAT 5 4-pair cable in most cases, even if you are wiring for two telco
Running 4-pair cables, you can purchase 4-line phone equipments with RJ-45
(8-conductor) jacks, a phone system that can handle up to 4 telco lines or a telephone
intercom system that only handles one line. Wiring with 4 pairs covers you for all cases
and cost-effectively too. You could certainly use other alternatives such as running a
2-pair or a 3-pair cable from each room to a central distribution point and one 4-pair
cable from the telco demarcation point to your central distribution point. Everything
considered however (cost and ease of implementation), it is definitely simpler for you to
run a CAT 5 4-pair cable from your rooms to the central distribution point also.
Everything 4-pair. In this scenario, you will most probably be wiring
also for data
networking with a CAT 5 4-pair cable, for 10BaseT networking (if
you want something more reliable and secure than wireless, that is!). So why not use 2 CAT5 4-pair cables throughout
and keep it simple? You'll end up with excess wire pairs, but it is recommended that you
keep spare pairs of wire anyway. Chances are that you are planning to have more than one
phone line, at least one voice line and one internet line. In this case your resulting
spare pairs would be no overkill. Most do-it-yourselfers
apparently tend to prefer this solution that makes it all fairly less complicated, even
though they have to take care of a couple of excess pairs throughout the wiring.
Note that the two extra pairs may help you take care of wholehouse
music distribution based on
multimedia speakers as implemented by
this one system.
- If you are going to dedicate all 4 lines to voice traffic and you are going to use
4-line telephone intercoms, you will need to terminate your extension wires with 8-wire
modular jacks at the wall outlets.
- If you are going to use a PBX phone system or a telephone intercom system, whether you
have 4 telco lines or less, you will want to terminate your extension wires with 6-wire
modular jacks at the wall outlets.
You will want to install modular outlets in which you can
attach different kinds of plugs. In one outlet, you may want to be able to plug your phone
and your computer network cable. You will also want to be able to plug your computer modem in
a dedicated separate line jack, available at every outlet for your portable to plug in
anywhere, at a minimum. Additionally, you will want your CCTV signal (video cable:
antenna, satellite, cable modem, surveillance camera...) to be available at multiple
outlets. Therefore your outlets must be modular outlets, giving you the
plug in whatever you want. What is going to be available at each specific outlet you will
have to define yourself. It requires from you a little bit of planning to select the
right modular outlet for each location of your home. Modular outlets are available for 2,
3, 4 and 6 jacks (openings usually designated as ports) to fit in. Use a
to seal ports that are not used in a modular outlet. Also designation labels are
available to identify each port at an outlet in both an attractive and removable manner.
This page reflects the best of our knowledge of structured wiring and holds no value other
than suggestions to potential users. It may change to offer suggestions that best fit
usage and new wiring methods. You are under no obligation to follow these
advice. Quantometrix, Inc. cannot be held liable
for any damage of any nature resulting from the use of the information published on this