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RJ11 pinout + informations

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Advanced Member level 4
Aug 2, 2011
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RJ-11 (registered jack type 11) - the main usage of this connector was/is for stationary telephones, fax machines, modems. This connector was usually used as a standard in the 70's for telephone systems. A standard RJ-11 has 2 pins (2 cables) but I will show you a 6 pin one also. Besides that, a RJ-11 is very similar to a RJ-14 which has 4 pins. The main usage of this RJ's is for voice transfer. Currently, mainly RJ-45 is used and VOIP protocol (Voice Over Internet Protocol).

The RJ-11 connector has 6 pins, but basically, to connect a telephone line you will need two pins, therefore, why there are 6 pins?

  • The first pair of cables carry voice, analog signal (two way talk)
  • The second pair is for data like time delay, speaker phone, line appearance etc.
  • The last pair is used for powering the phone.

Those 6 pins are usually of the following colors, so they are easier recognized – and they are responsible for the following functions:
  1. pin – green, white bands (this pin carries no connection)
  2. pin – blue, white bands (this pin is responsible for speech and ringing)
  3. pin – orange, white bands (this pin provides ringing)
  4. pin – white, orange bands (this pin is not used)
  5. pin – white, blue bands (this pin is responsible for speech and ringing)
  6. pin – white, green bands (this pin is not involved in connection)

There is a second option where the phone uses these 3 pairs for 3 separate phone lines.

Differences between RJ11 and RJ45:
RJ11 has 6 cables, RJ45 has 8 cables
RJ11 has no certificates, RJ45 has certificates for many levels, for example CAT3, CAT5e, CAT6 etc.
RJ11 can be used in telephones or similar devices connected by phone lines, while RJ45 is most often used in computer connections
RJ11 consists of separate cables and RJ45 – 4 pairs of twisted wires

Apple used RJ11 for computer communication before RJ45 using 2 cables for voice and 2 cables for data. RJ11 went into oblivion in the early 90's, when 10baseT on RJ45 was entering the game.

OK. Let's write something about wiring RJ11 and creating a RJ11 cable.

Those two items will be useful:

  • the yellow thing is a wire cutter – very cheap but also as well useful item. If you don't have it – it is strongly recommended to buy it. Work with small cables is much more comfortable with this small device
  • and of course a universal crimping device (the big blue one)

A cable tester will be useful, too. This is a basic RJ45, RJ11 cable tester which you can buy on for example e-bay or other services for a small price of about 10$.
Another very useful item for telephonic works (but other too) is a krone/push-down blade:

Some additional information.
If you will need to choose between RJ-11 and RJ-45 while building a system, cabling a house, building, please remember that RJ-11 fits in RJ-45 ports. Therefore, you can install RJ-45 to use VOIP, computer system and if you will need to put there standard phones, they will fit.

As it was written earlier, the basic telephone wire needs only 2 wires:


The red wire is on pin number 3
The green wire is on pin number 4

"Differences between RJ11 and RJ45:
RJ11 has 6 cables, RJ45 has 8 cables"

This is incorrect. RJ11 has 4 wires, RJ12 has 6 wires, RJ45 has 8 wires.

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