I purchased a new home three years ago and I wanted to add an additional
phone jack. In my closet, there's the home "Media Center" behind a panel.
I see that there is a mainboard with 10 terminals that leads to the phone
jacks throughout the house, nine of which are in use, so I would like to tap
into the 10th set of terminals. My question is how do I attach the phone
wires to this type of terminal? Judging by the other wires already
attached, it appears you just push the insulated wire down into the slot in
which the insulation is pierced and held in place. I attempted this without
success. Below is a link to a photo I have taken of this mainboard. I've
asked around and nobody knows what I'm talking about and my home builder was
no help at all and did not include manuals for do-it-yourselfers, rather
"hire a qualified electrician." I would appreciate any help and thank you
in advance. Please Cc me via e-mail as I don't always check news. My email
Click this link to see the photo of the mainboard:
West Sacramento, CA
What you need is called a punchdown tool. You can buy one but there pretty
expensive: http://www.tecratools.com/pages/telecom/punchdown.html . If you
go to an electrical supply or Home Depot, Leviton sells a Keystone RJ-11
telephone jack, that comes with a disposable tool, which should work
Check the 10th socket is connected to all the others. Use the correct
wire and a wire insertion tool (you may find it at radio shack for
wiring wall ethernet sockets if not for telephones). It should work
unless you have passed the ringer equivalence number for your domestic
installation (the wires to the house will not support an infinite
number of live outlets). Better yet get a wireless phone with multiple
That is just a phone punch block. Basically it just connects all the blue
wires together and all the white wires together.
Same thing as if all the white wires were stripped and twisted together and
all the blue wires were stripped and twisted together.
But the punch block makes everything neater and easier to add or remove
wires. There are little sharp metal scissor like pieces where the wires are
punched (pressed) into the block. When you punch a wire into a connection,
the metal cuts through the insulation and makes the connection.
There is a little tool called a punch tool which is used to punch each wire
down. There are different "heads" on these tools for different types of
punch blocks. Get the correct tool.
Your punch block can connect together 8 wires (called 4 pair). But you only
need two wires for a phone. Only two wires are connected on each terminal of
your punch block. The other wires are wrapped around each cable in case you
would want to use them in the future and want to punch them down.
It is important that you connect the correct color the the correct terminal
on the phone jack. It you were to install the colors backwards, you would
not be able to dial out.
Sometimes when a wire is not punched down far enough, the insulation is not
broken and no connection is made. If no dial tone, try removing the wire and
punching it down again. You can also strip a little insulation off the end
of the wire, then punch it if having trouble.
If you want to get the same type of wire, look on the jacket of a cable and
it will say "CAT 5", "CAT 3", etc.
Here is some basic information on CAT 5 phone wire...
"Steven Reynolds" wrote in message
If you don't have a punch down tool metioned in the above posts, you can use
two long nose pliers to push the wires into the terminals. With a long nose
in each hand simply grab the wire with each plier spacing them about 1/16
inch apart. Then push the wire down into the terminal slot with a plier on
each side of the tab until the wire is seated. The idea is to support the
wire on both sides of the terminal tab as it is punched down so the wire
doesn't bend out of place. There is no need to pre-strip the wires as the
terminal slots displace the insulation.
You can also simply solder the wires to the terminal tabs the traditional
way. That's what I would do.
BTW, these terminals are usually set up for 24 or 26 AWG solid copper wire.
Do not use stranded wire or wire of other gauges unless soldering.
This is what I have done, not using any special tool at all and it has
worked fine. I used only one long nose pliers and pressed on the other side
of the terminal with my finger. Then I snugged down the finger side with
I used this method with two pairs of needle-nosed pliers and the wires
snapped right in place on the first try and the phone jack works great!
I'll probably never do this again, so I couldn't justify purchasing an
expensive tool I'd only use once.
I thought of that too, but I was looking for something real quick and
That's right,. That Rat Shack wire looked a little thinner than the one
that builder used, but it all worked out. I needed a phone jack in my
closet to hook up an audio InStreamer, which is hooked to my scanner that is
scanning the railroad radio band to be broadcasted to the Internet. This
new device must be plugged directly into my router and since I have DSL, I
must have a phone jack in my closet without running telephone cord under the
carpet, etc. Besides, the router/DSL modem is better out of site from
everyone. If you or anyone you know is interested in trains, my broadcast
Thank you again for the message and to everyone else who gave me great ideas
as well. I haven't posted to Usenet in many years and it has never let me
That is known as a punchboard, and as such you need a 'punchdown
tool' to press the wires in properly. Head to your local Home
Depot/Lowes/Menards/Ace and look in the electrical/phone section.
They should have everything you need. In a pinch you can use a
couple of needlenose pliers but it doesnt work as well and you run
the risk of breaking off the wire. Make sure you either coil the
ends of the wires you are not punching down like the others are, or
just go ahead and punch down all four pair.
Wow, all I can say is THANK YOU to everyone! I never thought I'd get this
many responses. I will see if I can find a punchdown tool, but maybe I'll
try using the two sets of pliers first. I only have two wires to seat and
punchdown tools are quite expensive. What I'm doing is setting up a phone
jack in my closet in order to move my DSL modem and router into the closet,
out of site from everyone. I've gotten enough "contact" from two wires to
hear a dialtone, but the wires were not seated very well and fell out
quickly, but at least I know the slot is active. I just need to get the
wires in the slots.
Thanks again for all the great posts!
GOOD GREIF!!!! IS A DOLLAR TOO MUCH??
wrote on 29 Apr 2008 in group
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.