Residential Telecommunications

Jacks and Plugs - Voice

This topic contains information for readers interested in how telephone jacks, plugs, and cables are wired.

Note: The information presented here is for illustrative purposes only. Use it at your own risk. Read and understand the Disclaimer and Terms and Conditions of Use pages before proceeding.

Connector Colours

The following table shows some common pin number to colour code assignments for connectors used in telephone circuits. For example, if a 6 position 4 conductor telephone jack has cable connection points labelled with red and green colours they will probably connect to the pins at positions 3 and 4 respectively in the jack's outlet socket.

Notes

The following notes apply to both tables on this page.

  • When no colour is shown, the position is left empty.
  • When one scheme appears it is the striped colour scheme.
  • When two colour schemes appear the top one is a striped colour scheme and the bottom one is a solid colour scheme.
  • For jacks, position numbers are assigned looking into the jack with the locking tab down and position 1 at the left.
  • For plugs, position numbers are assigned looking at the conductor side of the plug, i.e. with the locking tab on the bottom, and position 1 at the left.
  • 6-position jacks and plugs are frequently, and incorrectly, referred to as RJ11 connectors.
  • 8-position jacks and plugs are frequently, and incorrectly, referred to as RJ45 connectors (see
    Wikipedia - "RJ45" naming confusion).
Connector Colour Codes
Standard
Name
Connector Pin Configuration Notes
Total
Positions
+
Total
Conductors
Connector Position #
Pin Colour - Text
Pin Colour - Image
RJ11 6P2C 1 2 3 4 5 6
Blue White
+
Blue
/ / / /
Red Green
RJ14 6P4C
1 2 3 4 5 6
White
+
Orange
Blue White
+
Blue
Orange
/ / / /
/ / / /
Black Red Green Yellow
RJ25 6P6C 1 2 3 4 5 6
White
+
Green
White
+
Orange
Blue White
+
Blue
Orange Green
/ / / /
/ / / /
/ / / /
RJ61 8P8C 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

See Using 8 Position Jacks for Telephone Lines for important warnings.

Rarely used in residential wiring. Shown for historical reference only.

This is the official USOC standard registered by the FCC. Some older systems use a standard, unofficially called "USOC", but the assignments of pins 1 and 8 are reversed.

White
+
Brown
White
+
Green
White
+
Orange
Blue White
+
Blue
Orange Green Brown
/ / / /
/ / / /
/ / / /
/ / / /
T568A 8P8C 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

See Using 8 Position Jacks for Telephone Lines for important warnings.

White
+
Green

Green
White
+
Orange
Blue White
+
Blue
Orange White
+
Brown
Brown
/ / / /
/ / / /
/ / / /
/ / / /

Cable Connections

This table shows some common configurations for connecting the individual wires in a cable to the individual pin positions in a connector. Note the only colours shown are those for cable conductors. To match a connector pin number to a connector pin colour use the table above.

Cable to Pin Connections
Desc.

Standard
Name
Connector Connections Notes
L1=Line 1
L2=Line 2
L3=Line 3
L4=Line 4
Total
Positions
+
Total
Conductors
Connector Position #
Supply Cable Conductor Colour - Text
Supply Cable Conductor Colour - Image
Tip/Ring + Pair #

Notes

  • some modern phone equipment has a polarity guard feature to protect it from wiring where the Tip and Ring signals are accidentally reversed.
6 Position Jacks - One Telephone Line
L1

RJ11
6P2C
or
6P4C
1 2 3 4 5 6

Phone equipment sees only Line 1.

Blue White
+
Blue
/ / / /
Red Green
R1 T1
L2 6P2C
or
6P4C
1 2 3 4 5 6

Phone equipment sees only Line 2.

Orange White
+
Orange
/ / / /
Yellow Black
R2 T2
L3 6P2C
or
6P4C
1 2 3 4 5 6

Phone equipment sees only Line 3.

Green White
+
Green
/ / / /
R3 T3
L4 6P2C
or
6P4C
1 2 3 4 5 6

Phone equipment sees only Line 4.

Brown White
+
Brown
/ / / /
R4 T4
6 Position Jacks - For up to Two Phone Lines
L1+L2

RJ14
6P4C
1 2 3 4 5 6

Two Line phone equipment sees Line 1 as its primary line and Line 2 as its secondary line.

Single line phone equipment sees only Line 1. It requires an external splitter at the jack end to see only Line 2.

White
+
Orange
Blue White
+
Blue
Orange
/ / / /
/ / / /
Black Red Green Yellow
T2 R1 T1 R2
L2+L1 6P4C
1 2 3 4 5 6

Two Line phone equipment will see Line 2 as its primary line and Line 1 as its secondary line.

Single line phone equipment sees only Line 2. It requires an external splitter at the jack end to see only Line 1.

White
+
Blue
Orange White
+
Orange
Blue
/ / / /
/ / / /
Green Yellow Black Red
T1 R2 T2 R1
L3+L4 6P4C
1 2 3 4 5 6

Two Line phone equipment sees Line 3 as its primary line and Line 4 as its secondary line.

Single line phone equipment sees only Line 3. It requires an external splitter at the jack end to see only Line 4.

White
+
Brown
Green White
+
Green
Brown
/ / / /
/ / / /
T4 R3 T3 R4
L4+L3 6P4C
1 2 3 4 5 6

Two Line phone equipment will see Line 4 as its primary line and Line 3 as its secondary line.

Single line phone equipment sees only Line 4. It requires an external splitter at the jack end to see only Line 3.

White
+
Green
Brown White
+
Brown
Green
/ / / /
/ / / /
T3 R4 T4 R3
6 Position Jacks - For up to Three Phone Lines
L1+L2+L3

RJ25
6P6C 1 2 3 4 5 6

Three line phone equipment sees Lines 1, 2, and 3 as its primary, secondary, and tertiary lines respectively.

Two Line phone equipment sees only Line 1 as its primary line and Line 2 as its secondary line.

Single line phone equipment sees only Line 1. It requires an external splitter at the jack end to see only Line 2 or Line 3.

White
+
Green
White
+
Orange
Blue White
+
Blue
Orange Green
/ / / /
/ / / /
/ / / /
T3 T2 R1 T1 R2 R3
8 Position Jacks - For up to Four Phone Lines (USOC)
L1+L2+L3+L4

RJ61
8P8C 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

See Using 8 Position Jacks for Telephone Lines for important warnings.

Rarely used in residential wiring. Shown for historical reference only.

White
+
Brown
White
+
Green
White
+
Orange
Blue White
+
Blue
Orange Green Brown
/ / / /
/ / / /
/ / / /
/ / / /
T4 T3 T2 R1 T1 R2 R3 R4
8 Position Jacks and Plugs - For up to Four Phone Lines
(ANSI/TIA/EIA-570-B Residential Telecommunications Cabling Standards)
T568A 8P8C 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

See Using 8 Position Jacks for Telephone Lines for important warnings.

Three line phone equipment wired for R61 will not see Line 3 on this jack.

Two Line phone equipment sees Line 1 as its primary line and Line 2 as its secondary line.

Single line phone equipment sees only Line 1. It requires an external splitter at the jack end to see only Lines 2, 3, or 4.

White
+
Green

Green
White
+
Orange
Blue White
+
Blue
Orange White
+
Brown
Brown
/ / / /
/ / / /
/ / / /
/ / / /
T3 R3 T2 R1 T1 R2 T4 R4
Telephone Line Cable - For up to Two Phone Lines
(for attaching phone equipment to wall jacks)
End 1 6P4C
1 2 3 4 5 6

Same assignments as RJ14.

Black Red Green Yellow
T2 R1 T1 R2
End 2 6P4C 1 2 3 4 5 6

Note that assignments are a mirror image of End 1 (aka "frogged").

Yellow Green Red Black
R2 T1 R1 T2
L2 to L1 Telephone Line Cable

- for attaching phone equipment to wall jacks
- acts like an L1+L2 to L2 splitter
- uses two conductor cable
- I haven't tested this configuration
- this is not something I've seen or built, theoretically it might work though
L2 End

(attaches to Jack)
6P4C
1 2 3 4 5 6

This end must plug into the wall/baseboard jack.

Each end should be clearly labelled to prevent incorrect use.

White
+
Blue
Blue
/ / / /
Green Red
T2 R2
L1 End

(attaches to Telephone)
6P4C 1 2 3 4 5 6

This end must plug into the telephone.

White
+
Blue
Blue
/ / / /
Green Red
T2 R2
Handset Cables
(for connecting telephone handsets to their base; DOES NOT APPLY TO ALL MANUFACTURERS)
End 1 4P4C 1 2 3 4

Incorrectly known as "RJ9", "RJ10", or "RJ22".

Note that colours are in the same order as RJ14.

There is no single standard for these connections. This is a sample of one configuration found on some handsets. Your phone's configuration may vary.

Black Red Green Yellow
End 2 4P4C 1 2 3 4

Note that assignments are a mirror image of End 1 (aka "frogged").

There is no single standard for these connections. This is a sample of one configuration found on some handsets. Your phone's configuration may vary.

Yellow Green Red Black



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Revision Notes

Date Category Note
2009-01-02 Revision added notes to Handset Cables