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So I have a wallplate with just an RJ11 port on it. I have wired an ethernet connection and now want to swap the wall plate out for a 2 port keystone wall plate and leave the RJ11 connection undisturbed.

The old RJ11 is daisy-chained, like so, but actually with 3 connections (this photo is of a similar type of connection, specifically, one with screws on the back, making it easy to connect 1, 2, 3, or, I imagine, 5 wires if you really wanted to:

enter image description here

I now have an RJ11 keystone port like so:

enter image description here

and everything I can find says that you cannot just punch down multiple wires into such a port. As a note, I tried it before looking it up, and it didn't work. At best the top wire (3rd on one) wasn't held in well. At worst, it wasn't held in at all. I could strip back the wires and connect them further down the line, then terminate (punch down) one into the port, but that seems hackish and I believe would cause higher resistance and thus heat on the single wire that goes to the port?

Surely I am not the first to run into this but I can not find Anything referencing replacing daisy-chained connections (via the screw-down type of wall plate) with keystone ports, so I am at a loss.

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    Heating should not be an issue on telephone wiring....
    – Ecnerwal
    Sep 11, 2021 at 18:19

3 Answers 3

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Don't punch more than one wire onto the new jacks. Your old jack had screw terminals that could also serve as splicers. Your new jacks do not, so just use something else inside the wall box to splice things and pigtail onto the new RJ11s with one wire.

A terminal block, or one or more splice connectors will do it. I suggest a terminal block as it's easiest to use with 5 wires and easiest to debug and maintain.

Whatever you choose, try to find parts that are designed to splice #26 or whatever wires you have in your ethernet cables, and pay close attention to whether the splices are good. Most of these kinds of connectors are meant for bigger wires and may not work well with ethernet ones.

A terminal block A butt splice connector A splice connector

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  • Let's add that the third kind, the Scotch doesn't work for its intended use, either. It's a disaster, really... :-)
    – Gábor
    Sep 10, 2021 at 17:45
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    @Gábor if you use them with the correct size wire, and the correct pressure, and it is a full moon on Wednesday, they work pretty well. :). But that's another reason I like the screw-down terminal blocks --- you don't need much practice to become good with them, it's easy to detect and easy to fix when a wire is loose.
    – jay613
    Sep 10, 2021 at 18:16
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The specific RJ11 jacks you are showing are not designed to handle more than one wire in them. But a method that is often used is to carefully remove the insulation in the middle of a length of the wire and then punch that down into the jack.

It's tricky to do and it's easy to damage the wire in the process so I don't recommend this at all.

The correct approach is to use a "STAR" configuration where all wires run back to a central location where there is a proper punch down panel.

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TBH, if you are not in a position to re-wire in a star, (as suggested by jwh20), I'd go with your idea of connecting them all then punching a single wire. If you solder the bunch, it will minimize resistance. I wouldn't worry about increased heating over the single wire - the current draw is most likely milliamps.

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    Resistance should not be an issue. But you want to make a good solid connection, not just twist the wires together. Otherwise 10 years from now when your connections have corroded, you'll waste a lot of time figuring out why things no longer work well.
    – AndyB
    Sep 11, 2021 at 17:45
  • @AndyB agreed. The problem with just twisting them together will be high contact resistance.
    – SiHa
    Sep 13, 2021 at 6:25

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