In recent years we've seen the introduction of the "Lightning" connector, soon followed by USB C. Both have a palindromic design -- there's no wrong way to connect it to a receptacle. The RJ connector family could be next!

The concept is simple: contacts on the top of the connector are the mirror image of contacts on the bottom of the connector. It is effectively 2X ethernet cables in 1. This new cable could be referred to as Cat10.

This proposed connector would still be compatible with all existing RJ45 receptacles... and could even have the mere traditional 8 wires found in an ethernet cable terminated to it (e.g. a "half-speed" cable). These "half-speed" ethernet cables would have both sides of the connector terminated to the same set of wires.

The concept does present a few new challenges:

  1. Latching: the delicate latch found on all RJ connectors would be absent. Instead, the proposed design features a pair of voids on each side of the connector. Latching, if necessary, would be provided by the receptacle. The connector doesn't need a latch, though. Friction is often sufficient.
  2. Crimping:
    1. All-new crimp tools would be required.
    2. The contacts in each connector would need to be shorter so no connection is made between the two sets of eight contacts. 
    3. RJ100 receptacles would not support RJ45 connectors. While the two are technically pin-compatible, an RJ100 receptacle would be shorter than an RJ45 connector.
  3. Slightly increased risk of interference.

What do you think? Print a few sample connectors if you'd like...

Next Steps:

  • Creating a fully-functional 2x RJ45 to 1x RJ100 adapter
  • Creating a fully-functional RJ100 connector
  • Creating a fully-functional Cat10 cable