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Modular connector is the name given to a family of electrical connectors originally used in telephone wiring. Even though they are still used for that purpose they are used for a variety of other things as well. A modular connector's advantage over many other kinds include small size and ease of plugging and unplugging. However the plastic retaining spring clip tends to get broken off when cables are pulled from storage for use. If that happens, the plug can easily fall out of the wall jack. Many uses that originally used a bulkier connector have migrated to modular connectors. Probably the most well known applications of modular connectors is for telephone jacks and for Ethernet jacks, which are nearly always modular connectors.

Modular connectors are used in the Registered Jack system, so some uses are precisely described by the Registered Jack specifications to specify how the connectors are wired for practical use in telecommunications. A notable exception that has no RJ specification is a 4P4C terminated telephone handset cable. The Registered Jack specifications define the wiring patterns of the jacks, not the physical dimensions or geometry of the connectors of either sex. Instead, these are covered by ISO standard 8877, first used in ISDN systems.

It is important to note that connector plugs are made for solid or stranded wire, especially when using 8P8C ethernet cable connectors. A plug for one wire type (especially stranded) might not make reliable contact when crimped to a cable with wires of the other type (See below).


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