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Connecting CAT6 Cabling for Analog Telephones

This is a discussion on Connecting CAT6 Cabling for Analog Telephones within the Cabling and Network Cards forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. When I bought my home in 2004 the landline telephone was still a going thing and I wanted outlets in


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Old 12-24-2016, 12:05 AM   #1
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When I bought my home in 2004 the landline telephone was still a going thing and I wanted outlets in every room. The installer obliged, using a roll of CAT5 cabling he had left over from another job. At the time I still did not have high-speed internet or even a computer with networking (I was still using an Amiga 3000), but I knew that things were moving in that direction and I had him install an ethernet connection between the room I planned to use as my office and the front bedroom.

Fast forward 12-1/4 years. The old cabling still works, but the bright blue always clashed with the white siding it was stapled to and now the sun has degraded it. The one hard wire connection proved so useful that I had another installed, from the front room to my living room entertainment area where my gateway, router, and Raspberry Pi running OpenElec/Kodi are set up. That installer educated me on the difference between indoor and outdoor rated cable jackets. Anyhow, I now have a shiny new 1000 ft box of Logico outdoor/UV resistant CAT6 UTP cable sitting in my living room.

I'm planning to rewire all of the ethernet and telephone myself this spring; I have all the requisite tools and I have since run cabling in my parents' home. I plan to work through the crawl space and attic so that I can do away with the cables stapled to the exterior siding. My question is about the telephone wiring, and specifically about the difference between a "star" topography as in an analog telephone system and the point-to-point between switches of an ethernet system.

I know that hard-wired telephones are disappearing and, frankly, I don't expect them to come back. AT&T said as much when I converted to U-verse a few years back; they said that they don't revert addresses from U-verse to analog and/or DSL. However, I have a few classic analog phones that I love, including my bright red rotary-dial "bat phone", and they work just great with my VoIP service. When I rewire the house I want to keep them functional. However, I don't want to cut my options off or limit the choices of a future homeowner.

When I run the new wiring I'm planning to run two CAT6 cables to each point where I intend to install an analog phone and then install a dual jack with RJ11 and RJ45 outlets. The other end will be terminated in my office, where I eventually plan to install a server rack for a home-based business. I will leave enough slack in the cable to be able to convert from RJ11 to RJ45 if desired in the future. My question is, how to connect the cables to the RJ11 jacks so as to allow the analog telephones to communicate without making permanent splices which would have to be undone if the lines are converted back to digital networking?

Ideally I would like to find some kind of a hub which I could connect the office end of the cables to that could be disconnected jack-by-jack as necessary to convert lines from analog to digital. I suppose I could use some patch cords and a whole bunch of tiny wire nuts, but is there a simpler and more elegant solution? Thanks for any help.
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Old 12-30-2016, 08:05 PM   #2
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Here's how I do it, and I just finished an office like this a few weeks ago. I wish I took some pictures.

1. Run all CAT5 or 6 cable from a central demarc (where your router, switch, etc go), to each office/bedroom/desk - anyplace you want a wall jack for phone or internet.
2. Wire all the runs at the demarc into a standard data patch panel using 568B wiring scheme - that's your "hub", so to speak. You connect a patch cable for any data connections from the patch panel to a network switch.
3. At the wall plates in each room, I install a blue CAT5 keystone jack for internet access (wired for 568B) and a white RJ11/RJ12 keystone jack for copper/POTS telephone. (You don't use CAT5 jacks for telephones, regardless of what some cookie cutter tells you on the internet). Using the correct jack also prevents you from sending 50 volts to a network device when the phone rings because someone mistakenly plugged a computer into a telephone line.

You can buy standard data wall plates that will accept 1 to 6 keystone jacks, so no need for any special combo jacks.
- At the wall plate, take the CAT5 run you want to use for phone and wire the RJ11/RJ12 phone jack using the blue pair of wires for line 1 and the orange pair of wires for line 2 (if you have 2 telephone lines w/a 2 line phone). Leave a foot or more of extra length of cable in the wall for future use.

Blue wire = pin 3 on RJ11 jack (-)
White/Blue wire = pin 4 on RJ11 jack (+)
Orange wire = pin 5 (-)
White/Orange = pin 2 (+)
Use this info when wiring the RJ11 phone jack and when connecting to the phone block your telco. provides.

5. Make a patch cable with an RJ45 jack on only one end and leave the other end with a few inches of the jacket removed, so your 4 pairs are exposed. Plug the RJ45 end of the cable into your patch panel for your phone line. Now you can use the blue pair of the exposed wires to connect directly to the telephone block the phone company provides. Repeat this step for each "telephone" line that comes into your patch panel.

If you wire it this way, all you need to do is cut off the RJ11 phone jack at the wall plate and replace it with a CAT5 jack and you now have a data run for an IP phone. Just remove the patch cable you made in step 5. Wiring everything to 568B at the patch panel means you never have to re-punch anything and risk disturbing the existing wiring.
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Old 01-02-2017, 09:08 AM   #3
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Or consider using rj45 jacks for both network and telephone in each room. Rj11 fits in a rj45 jack. Then its just a matter of the other end you would terminate the blues to the phone line.
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Old 01-02-2017, 10:07 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred Garvin View Post
(You don't use CAT5 jacks for telephones, regardless of what some cookie cutter tells you on the internet). Using the correct jack also prevents you from sending 50 volts to a network device when the phone rings because someone mistakenly plugged a computer into a telephone line.
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Old 01-02-2017, 03:47 PM   #5
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Where I worked our last phone system install, at a new site, had all network jacks patch panel and wall outlets. That was two years ago.
That is how low level electrical is done now by contractors.

50 volts? Telephone and network voltages haven't been a issue in 15+ years that I am aware of. Now plugging in a PoE connection... I guess anything is possible. Even then my understanding is this is detected and shunted to ground so no damage can happen.

This is also why jacks are labeled :-)

My belief you won't be seeing rj11 or cat3 for much longer in any case.
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Old 01-02-2017, 04:22 PM   #6
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Older thread popped up .....

I don't generally get into this on the web since so much can go wrong when done by those that aren't familiar with it.

I don't use the same wire for everything. I color code. Cat 5 and Cat 6 cable and jacks are available in a virtual rainbow, so there is no reason not to. RJ11 jacks for telephone are also readily available to snap into keystone type panels and faceplates. Never mix the two for general purpose use. While an RJ11 plug will fit in an RJ45 jack, they don't always go in properly and can cause problems.

Run everything to a single location, home run (star) style. Don't loop anything from one location to another, phone included. Use patch panels and patch cords so you can see what you're doing. Also makes testing easier. Patch cords are also available in colors and should be matched to the jack colors by purpose (phone or network).

Unless you know what you're doing with crimp tools, don't use them. You can make a mess. You don't need them for most keystone type jacks and patch cords are available in a wide range of lengths.


Ring voltage is still present on Telco lines and is generally 48V or greater. Due to the distance from the central office here, the 'battery' voltage on our Telco lines was around 60 volts, enough to give you a good poke if you got across both pins.

There are plenty of wire and color code charts on the web for both RJ11 and RJ45 jacks and plugs.
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Old 01-02-2017, 04:48 PM   #7
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OK, just to be clear, this isn't going to turn into a debate thread. If Ehbowen needs more info or clarification, he can post back.

Just because you Can do something doesn't mean you Should do something. Don't be lazy. Do it the right way the first time. That's my opinion as an LV contractor whose run miles of cable. I don't care how well jacks are labeled, I get calls all the time because someone has plugged into the wrong jack and can't get online.

Yes, copper telephone lines carry 50 volts, that's not something new.
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