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Old 08-14-2012, 08:53 PM   #1
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Change a Cat 5E jack from network to telephone


Despite my technical prowless when it comes to taking apart a computer and putting it back together, I am clueless (but a quick and eager learner!) when it comes to home wiring. In full disclosure, I am likely to use improper terminology here, so please bear with me...

Here's my conundrum... My home came pre-wired with two sets of these "media jacks" in each room:



The wiring for each room and these jacks, specifically, terminates in our "Harry Potter" closet:



So... let me describe what I *think* is going on in here...

* The green circuit board on the far left is our phone lines
* The two green boards with black jacks on the middle and far right are CAT 5E patchboards.
* Those CAT5E patchboards connect to two Cisco 10/100/1000 switches and then ultimately to our FiOS router. This basically turns each of the media jacks in our rooms into a wired network port.
* Slightly harder to see is a splitter for all of the coaxial cables... This basically shares our Verzon FiOS TV signal into each room so we can connect a cable box and get TV.



So what? What I am trying to accomplish is I want to turn one of the CAT5 "wired network" jacks in one of my rooms into a phone line. I can easily plug an RJ11 (phone line) cord into the RJ45/Cat 5E jacks, but there is no dial tone. In essence, how can I convert an existing CAT 5E wired network jack into a phone jack?

Here is a final photo showing the connectors behind the media jacks:


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Old 08-14-2012, 08:59 PM   #2
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Change a Cat 5E jack from network to telephone


take one of the pairs from the cat 5 (blue and blue/white are standard) and connect blue to red of the phone jack and the blue/white to the green.

your prictures didnt show at first.

the key is that the same pair is connected on one end and the other, whether you connect to traditional 4 color jack (blue/red black/yellow) or a modern jack sold at HD and other stores

the colors at the phone company interface are probably the old 4 color scheme


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Old 08-14-2012, 10:44 PM   #3
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Change a Cat 5E jack from network to telephone


You should be able to tone out the cable from the jack at the network cabinet. Move it from the network block over to the phone terminals.
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Old 08-14-2012, 10:56 PM   #4
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Change a Cat 5E jack from network to telephone


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You should be able to tone out the cable from the jack at the network cabinet. Move it from the network block over to the phone terminals.
Precisely. Check the cable jacket at the patch panel. They should me marked as to which room they serve.

Just move the wires over to the phone patch panel and change the rj45 jack to phone
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Old 08-15-2012, 12:28 AM   #5
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Change a Cat 5E jack from network to telephone


Shahrum....nice little setup you have there in the 'cupboard under the stairs'....

Do what I did.....I crimped an RJ45 jack on a phone cord.

As noted above, the 2 center wires on the typical phone jack are your T&R (tip and ring)....

If your Ethernets are wired like I typically do them....Blue and Blu/White will be the center wires....

It's a bit easier for you because you have the break out connector on the backside of the wall plate....it's going to be easy to figure out what the wires are.

Your typical phone jack is the RJ11....4pin...the two center pins are your phone....

So....take a chunk of Cat5 (or cat6) and crimp an RJ11 on one end (with blue and blu/wht on the center pins...2 & 3) and on the other end make sure they are on pins 4 & 5.
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Old 08-15-2012, 12:33 AM   #6
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Change a Cat 5E jack from network to telephone


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Shahrum....nice little setup you have there in the 'cupboard under the stairs'....

Do what I did.....I crimped an RJ45 jack on a phone cord.

As noted above, the 2 center wires on the typical phone jack are your T&R (tip and ring)....

If your Ethernets are wired like I typically do them....Blue and Blu/White will be the center wires....

It's a bit easier for you because you have the break out connector on the backside of the wall plate....it's going to be easy to figure out what the wires are.

Your typical phone jack is the RJ11....4pin...the two center pins are your phone....

So....take a chunk of Cat5 (or cat6) and crimp an RJ11 on one end (with blue and blu/wht on the center pins...2 & 3) and on the other end make sure they are on pins 4 & 5.
There's absolutely no reason to do any of that. Just plug the phone cord directly into the jack.
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Old 08-15-2012, 12:36 AM   #7
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Change a Cat 5E jack from network to telephone


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There's absolutely no reason to do any of that. Just plug the phone cord directly into the jack.
I guess you don't understand the difference between an RJ11 plug and RJ45 jack....
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Old 08-15-2012, 12:43 AM   #8
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Change a Cat 5E jack from network to telephone


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I guess you don't understand the difference between an RJ11 plug and RJ45 jack....
I understand the differences very well. Before I became a licensed electrical contractor I spent many years in the IT field, Network Engineering to be specific.

What are your qualifications?
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Old 08-15-2012, 06:22 AM   #9
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Change a Cat 5E jack from network to telephone


Venter is correct. A RJ11 plug (telephone) will plug into a RJ45 jack (network). In the connection closet, identify the network cable going to that location and connect the blue/ blue & white pair to the telephone line.
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Old 08-15-2012, 10:02 AM   #10
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Change a Cat 5E jack from network to telephone


Thank you very much for all of the quick replies!

I want to try something simple before moving an ethernet jack over... and that is, to attach a phone cord (RJ11) directly to the phone distribution block, and connect that phone cord to a telephone and verify that I have a dial tone.

I've striped the end of a phone cord.



From what I understand, I only need to be concerned with the red and green wires, especially since I only have one phone line.

I've ordered a punch down tool but in the meanwhile, how do I know which space on this block I need to punch the cables into? And if I do that, will I be able to connect the other end of the phone cord into a phone and get a dial tone? Does it matter which "block" on the distribution board that I use?



Again, I greatly appreciate all of the advise that you've given me.
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Old 08-15-2012, 12:11 PM   #11
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Change a Cat 5E jack from network to telephone


Using an RJ11 on a RJ45 will work but it's not good for the 45 connector especially if you want to use it with the proper 45 connector in the future. The plastic ends on the narrower 11 push the 45 spring contacts up higher then they were designed to go and you can never get the solid contact pressure back. Sometimes they will go so high that they exit their channel and get caught up on the top ledge. There is also enough side play that you can miss the connections and the spring contacts end up on top of the 11 plastic.
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Old 08-15-2012, 12:59 PM   #12
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Change a Cat 5E jack from network to telephone


8P8C jacks are indeed physically and electrically compatible (when the center pair is used) with RJ-11 connectors. DON'T FORGET TO RELABEL THE JACK AS TELEPHONE.

That being said, I would buy a new plate with four keystones and ADD a new 6P4C jack (RJ-11) rather than removing the ethernet. I realize this means pulling a new line and buying a few bucks of hardware, but gigabit is way faster than even the fastest Wireless-N right now, and definitely better over distance.
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Old 08-16-2012, 10:14 AM   #13
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Change a Cat 5E jack from network to telephone


I appreciate the latest feedback but I'm not quite sure that it is useful for answering my most recent question.

Specifically I am trying to connect a phone cord (RJ11 jack on one end, wires exposed on the other), directly to the phone distribution block. I'd like to know if all I need to connect is the red and green (since I only have 1 phone line) and if so, how do I know which "slot" of the block they need to be punched in to.
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Old 08-16-2012, 10:18 AM   #14
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Change a Cat 5E jack from network to telephone


Blue and white are the normal colors for the first phone number.
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Old 08-16-2012, 10:20 AM   #15
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Change a Cat 5E jack from network to telephone


No one can answer that with any surety, it depends on how it is wired. You need to open the Network Interface and see which cable and which color pairs were used.
Typically if CAT type cable is used, the first line is on the blue/ blue & white pair.

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