Networking 101: Utilizing a Toolless Keystone Jack

Author: Sabrina Williams, Firefold

When setting up a home network, aesthetics are important to any installer. This is particularly true if that network happens to be located in your own home. For clean, attractive terminations, one option is to install wall plates that utilize keystone jacks for Ethernet connections. For small projects that only require a few jacks, an easy option is a toolless keystone jack. These do not require the use of a punch down tool like the 110 style keystone jacks.

Connecting the cable to the jack is simple. The first step is to use a jacket stripper to cut approximately one inch of the outer jacket from a CAT5e or CAT6 cable, exposing the wires. The stripper should be rotated clockwise around the cable until the jacket is fully detached. Remove the cut piece and separate the wires.

Each toolless keystone jack comes color-coded to match the individual wires to the proper connection points. There are two configurations or schemes for Ethernet wiring: “A” and “B”. All terminations should follow the “B” pin/pair assignments, as “B” is the latest standard. The color progression should be: solid orange, orange/white, green/white, blue/white, solid blue, solid green, solid brown, and brown/white.

The jack will also come with a black clamp that can be used to hold down up to four wires while you insert the remaining wires into place.

Once all wires are inserted into their matching slots, remove the black clamp and snap the cover into place. A white clamp should also be included. This clamp is inserted into the middle slot on top of the jack, locking the cables into place. The black clamp can be discarded.

That’s it! The keystone jack is now complete and can be inserted into a keystone wall plate. To view a variety of colors and options on both keystone jacks and wall plates, visit www.FireFold.com.

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