Technical Bulletin 21-001

Simply45® Technical Bulletin 21-001:
The Importance of Using TIA-1096-A Compliant Pass-Through RJ45 Modular Plugs

05/03/2021

In an effort to bring industry awareness to non-compliant TIA-1096-A pass-through/feed-through RJ45 modular plugs being sold on the market by some competitor brand(s), Simply45 is publishing this Technical Bulletin.

In our opinion, pass-through RJ45 plugs without a front plug nose do not comply with TIA-1096-A physical requirements and can potentially lead to electrical shorting in device sockets, and we do not recommend their use with any HDBaseT® or PoE applications. These non-compliant brand(s) of pass-through RJ45 are widely distributed and being erroneously marketed as FCC and industry compliant RJ45 solutions.

According to TIA 1096-A, 8P8C Modular Plugs (RJ45) are required to meet certain mechanical specifications that allow for interchangeability between networking jacks or sockets. TIA 1096-A sets the basic standards that all 8P8C RJ45 modular plugs and jacks must have to facilitate this interoperability.

The TIA-1096-A diagrams Figures 4-10 and 4-11 below illustrate the mechanical specifications for 8P8C modular plugs.

One of the required physical features illustrated in both Figs. 4-10 and 4-11 above is called the front plug nose for which the following directive is given:

“To obtain maximum plug guidance in jacks, the front plug nose should be extended to the 2.3368mm (0.092in) maximum.”

TIA-1096-A, Section 4 – Physical Requirements, page 16, paragraph 4.

The front plug nose provides guidance in the jack so that the contacts between the plug and jack are properly aligned and it also keeps the plug contacts a prescribed distance from the back wall of the jack.

With pass-through RJ45 modular plugs, this front plug nose serves an even more important function as it provides a physical stopping point for the plug inside the jack. This front nose helps keep the exposed front wire ends; on properly terminated pass-through RJ45 plugs; from inadvertent touching the back wall of the RJ45 jack, thereby preventing electrical shorting due to exposed wire ends.

Conversely, at least one widely marketed competitor brand of pass-through RJ45 modular plugs has a termination process that involves the complete shearing off the front end of the plug, producing a completely flat plug front without the protective front plug nose. Not only is the absence of the front plug nose noncompliant with TIA-1096-A, but in our opinion, increases the likelihood of inadvertent electrical shorting in the RJ45 socket.

S45 Pic 1 – Example of a terminated pass-through connector on left, by a competitor brand, demonstrating sheared off RJ45 with no protective front plug nose. Unprotected wire ends are exposed. Simply45® terminated connector, on right, shows pass-through connector with front plug nose, thereby preventing wire ends from inadvertently touching the back wall of the female jack/receptacle.

This problem is described in a competitor’s U.S. patent no. 10,116,082 B2, which notes the concern of electrical shorting with crimped and sheared RJ45 plugs with no front plug nose. That patent states as follows:

“As shown in FIG. 10, removal of the Stiffener 100 has left the bare front wall 128 in which the bared ends of the insulated wires are clearly visible. The wire ends do not and must not protrude, or there would be risk of electrical engagement with the female connector. To accomplish the appropriate electrical function of the connector, that must not be tolerated.”

U.S. Patent no. 10,116,082 B2, Col. 6, lines 46-52.
FIG. 9 and FIG. 10 from competitor U.S. patent 10,573,990 B2. Fig. 9 illustrates the shearing of the RJ45 front. No front plug nose. Fig.10 illustrates the flat front of the plug with the exposed wire ends.
FIG. 9, above, of the patent shows a side view of the competitor’s connector after crimping, showing that the complete front of the plug is sheared off, and that there is no front plug nose. To illustrate this further, the photographs below also show the competitor’s RJ45 connector which has no protective front plug nose after shearing off the front of the connector. This exposes the wire ends on the face of the connector and creates a potential risk of electrical engagement “that must not be tolerated” according to the competitor, as expressed in its patent.
Notice in both images to the left how the terminated competitor RJ45 with sheared front face and no protective front plug nose still has exposed wire ends protruding out the front of the plug. Far left image shows, in background next to competitor plug, Simply45 pass-through RJ45 with front plug nose extending out in front of plug.
Pass-Through RJ45 Modular Plugs Have a History of Performance Problems

The history of pass-through RJ45 modular plugs is well documented with examples of electrical shorting in the RJ45 ports on networking devices that used the original pass-through RJ45 brand modular plugs. This led several AV device manufacturers to forbid the use of these connectors with their HDBaseT® devices because of damages being reported in the field.

As reported in its patent, a competitor brand of pass-through RJ45 modular plugs acknowledged problems and complaints with their original connectors:

“The field experience and complaints with my EZ-RJ45 connector system have shown a need for improved performance. The operation of the shearing and crimping tool 50, 70, often tends to cause distortion in the plastic housing 20, so that the wires and contacts are not maintained precisely in their desired dimensionally stable positions. There are several different forces that contribute to this result:

  1. Sliding contact force overcoming friction for seating blades 36;
  2. Insulation displacement force IDC. This is the force it takes to push the gold connector contact blades 36 into the wire insulation plastic coating and mate with the copper wires.
  3. Cut wire force – the shearing force needed to cut the wires 2-7;
  4. Any dullness of the cutting blade exacerbates the problem.
  5. Since the blade 60 as shown in my prior patents is free-floating, any misalignment of the blade also exacerbates the problem.
All of these forces tend to push, twist, and deform the connector housing in an undesired manner. This may lead to an FCC non-compliant connector that has to be discarded, causing loss of time and money.”
U.S. Patent no. 10,116,082 B2, Background of Present Invention, Column 3, line 22-46.

In this competitor’s attempt to solve the problems exhibited by their original pass-through connector, a new pass-through termination system was introduced, as described in the competitor’s U.S. Patent no. 10,116,082 B2. However, that new design apparently involves the front of the RJ45 modular plug being sheared off during the crimping / termination process. That shearing-off leaves exposed bare wire ends on the front of the plug, but now with potentially more electrical risk, as there would be no “front plug nose” to prevent inadvertent touching of the back wall of the female jack.

In our opinion, for commercial installations, certified systems, and/or installations intending to use PoE/PoH, pass-through RJ45 plugs with no front plug nose introduces unnecessary electrical risks into a network system. It is our further, strong opinion, that a pass-through connector with no front plug nose and with exposed wire ends creates more electrical shorting risk, not less. Network engineers, device manufacturers, and installers need to be aware of the increased electrical risks associated with use of these types of pass-through RJ45 modular plugs.

Simply45 Solution – Cap45™

Pass-Through RJ45 modular plugs offer convenience, ease of use and more reliable terminations. These features, however, should not be at the expense of adding electrical risks to a network.

Simply45® the industry leading brand for RJ45 modular plug innovation and performance solutions, is proud to introduce our patented ProSeries Pass-Through RJ45 product line. The Simply45® ProSeries have the most innovative and groundbreaking improvements to RJ45 design and performance since the introduction of the original pass-through RJ45. The Simply45® ProSeries Pass-Through RJ45 modular plugs are specially designed to provide greater electrical conductivity, improved cross talk performance, and the best PoE/PoH performance of any pass-through RJ45; all critical to supporting today’s network applications.

One of the exclusive and innovative features of our ProSeries RJ45 plugs is the patented Cap45™. U.S. Patent no. 10,811,831. Cap45™ is an isolation cap/bar that easily snaps onto the front of the pass-through RJ45 plug after termination covering the exposed wire ends. Cap45™ prevents the risk of electrical shorting in the RJ45 mod socket due to exposed wire ends. The patented Cap45™ is featured on all unshielded and shielded Simply45® ProSeries Pass-Through RJ45 modular plugs. Now you can have all the benefits of using pass-through RJ45’s without the associated electrical risks.

S45 Pic 2 – Shielded Pass-Through RJ45 plug with Cap45 covering wire ends on front of plug.
For all the foregoing reasons, Simply45® ProSeries Pass-Through RJ45 Modular Plugs featuring Cap45™ are the recommended pass-through plugs for commercial applications, HDBaseT®, PoE, and all commercial & residential certified systems.

To learn more about Simply45’s patented and industry leading RJ45 solutions, please visit our website www.simply45.com or email us at sales@simply45.com