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A 3D-printed ethernet RJ45 clip to secure/repair/fix broken tab (2020)

myself248

Can also just buy a bag of 'em: https://www.techtoolsupply.com/RJ-45-Quick-Plug-Easy-Repair-...

I'm still working my way through the 50-count bag I bought in 2018; evidently I don't actually encounter that many broken cables, they just exert an outsized effect on my psyche when I do.

Damogran6

But then how do you justify your 3d printer?

(Kidding, I already know you justify them by printing bottlecap openers.)

PostOnce

A 3D printer has taught me mechanical engineering like my computer taught me programming

GekkePrutser

This!! It's also given me a lot of insight into industrial design. As in how do you make something strong in the right places yet not use too much material. I'd seen the result of such choices when opening up devices but the "why" never sank in.

Obviously this is not a super important thing in the scope of our world and my day job. But still, it feeds my curiosity (as does this site) and that alone is more than worth the investment to me.

Also, being able to design and manufacture a plastic part in a matter of hours any time of day or night has become a really useful tool. Only a few days ago the window latch on the front door of our apartment broke off and we've already had too many break-ins. It was too late in the day to go buy a new one but the printed one works really nicely.

GeorgeTirebiter

Although this seems to me like saying "learning BASIC has taught me Computer Science" -- yes, the principles of MechE can be learned by study + some actual 3D printed models. But to truly grok MechE, you need mastery of some CAD program (OpenSCAD is my choice, but I also use FreeCAD), and the ability to fabricate in some other materials (metals) using subtractive methods. Plus, you know, a little math here and there...

I like your reasoning tho; I got mine when it was on sale, and just before the pandemic - so I have plenty of learnings about PLA, ABS, PETG, temperatures, glue or not, surface, and most of all -- plenty of piles of material creating 'modern art' rather than my planned masterpieces. '-)

VBprogrammer

Definitely made learning a bit of CAD more interesting when you can actually apply it to real life.

MezzoDelCammin

It works the other way around too. Got some nasty scars from disassembling cheap PC cases. That told me a lot about stamped sheet metal and costs-cutting in assembly lines.

On the other hand, no better way to learn an STM32 and automatization than looking into Prusa Mini firmware github ;-)

mmaunder

Just a minor nit. Mechanical engineering ain’t additive manufacturing. And CAM isn’t mechanical engineering. Also 3D printing and CNC, which creates far stronger parts, are quite different. CNCing ferrous and non ferrous metal is quite challenging - but again, this is CAM which is more a machinists job, not a mechanical engineer.

sli

Yeah, that was my experience. Now I just model stuff in Blender and haven't printed anything in a while. I'll probably get back into printing stuff once I get a new storage solution for my filament (and install some of these upgrades I've been sitting on for a year).

GuB-42

I sometimes use my 3D printer just so I can get the thing right now. For example, I once printed a small electrical box, the kind you can find for $2 in any hardware store. Totally not worth it in normal circumstances, but it was Sunday, shops were closed, and I needed one, so I just printed it, and finished the job, didn't have to wait the next day.

And you got things wrong, 3D printers don't print bottlecap openers, they print little boats ;)

alias_neo

I had to print some little "brackets" for the blinds in my daughter's room after she broke some (she's a toddler) and we needed to close them for bed time;

Half an hour in CAD and another half an hour of printing a dozen of them, and now I can replace them any time they break.

I also printed some curtain clips for my wife rather than drive to the DIY shop or wait for Amazon to post me some; Perhaps not cost effective, but better than driving a couple of miles for £1 of plastic clips?

I have young children so I occasionally print aesthetic things, but as a rule, I reserve 3D-printing (or "printing" as my daughter knows it because she's never known printing to have fewer than 3 dimensions) for practical things.

It's funny, my wife has never been on board with my hobbies so much as she is with 3D Printing.

MikeKusold

Are you talking about those blue outlet boxes? If so, those provide a lot of fire safety that your 3D Print does not. You really should rip that print out of the wall.

rainbowzootsuit

I've been enjoying gridfinity to keep the print head warm on long cold nights.

https://old.reddit.com/r/gridfinity

blamazon

For the unfamiliar, gridfinity is a project kicked off by Zack Freedman, who makes awesome YouTube videos with his life partner:

https://youtu.be/ra_9zU-mnl8

(Yes, that is a monocular HUD on his face, it's his teleprompter. There are a bunch of videos on the channel chronicling the various iterations of it)

code_biologist

I've recently been printing a lot of terrain STLs for miniature games (MyMiniFactory or patreons are great) using a 0.25mm nozzle on my FDM printer, then airbrushing to paint them quickly. It's a far more satisfying justification than just printing random brackets and boxes!

ornornor

Speak for yourself! I get the most enjoyment and satisfaction out of printing spare parts to fix things I own but for which parts are unavailable or prohibitively expensive; or to design add-ons to make the things I already own work better for me.

To me it’s the opposite: printing dust-gathering figurines and other baubles with a 3D printer seems rather unappealing.

To each their own!

specproc

Yeah, this. Such a cool and interesting scene.

matthewmacleod

Obviously you use it to print 3D printer parts.

dustymcp

Is 3d printers as annoying as their 2d cousins ?

Ptchd

I justify the 3d-printer for printing prototypes.... of course they aren't ideal for production...

At less then $200, it is well worth it.

the_cat_kittles

exactly what i use it for- prototypes, one off jigs and such, spacers etc. its so useful for stuff that needs a certain awkward geometry and fairly high dimensional accuracy. i just dont see myself ever using it for production parts, though i do have a 6 ft auger i printed which has moved tons of material by now with no problems

blackoil

Don't you know of the woodworking wisdom. "Why buy, When you can build at 3x price in just 100 hours time?"

wartijn_

I like that attitude, it’s the hardware version of “why spend 5 minutes to do something manually, when you can spend 30 minutes to write a script that does the task?”

ilyt

The answer is scale! For home stuff it has been 50/50 on time investment (including one of "the hardware I automated went up in smoke"), but for work stuff not putting that bit extra work almost always turned out to be wrong call.

mmastrac

I had no idea this existed and I think I need to buy a bag.

marcosdumay

And to carry a few around at my pockets everywhere.

actionfromafar

I just had the (to others obvious I'm sure) ultimate idea endgame - we will all have a mini 3D printer in our pockets, with a library of handy things.

mcbits

It's a 1 cent item being sold for 22 cents, probably at least 30 cents with shipping. The 3D printer can't compete with the 1 cent but can compete with the 30 cents and definitely with the $15 if you really only need one clip and the "spare parts I may never use" drawer/closet/room is full.

Turing_Machine

I made some replacement wheel caps for my FIL's car. Nothing structural, just simple plastic press-fit caps that keep gunk from getting in.

They're about 4 cm in diameter and just cover the center of the wheel. They're not full hub caps. The dealer wants $20 for one cap. Yow!

I printed a couple of sets for probably less than $1.00 in filament.

capableweb

I like the design in the submission more, as it doesn't seem like it'll break as easy as the one you linked. Those you linked have that "open backside flap" that breaks so easily when you're pulling cables around and it gets stuck on something, quickly breaking off. While the submission one has both sides closed, so pulling a cable means it won't get stuck anywhere, much preferred.

btbuildem

So, you can buy a bag of fifty and have it sitting around for four years because you'll never use fifty of those things?

Sounds like an excellent argument for just printing one when you need it.

windexh8er

I'm legit confused as to why this is a thing. Crimping ends is dead simple with pass-thru style RJ-45 tools. I don't think I'd trust these "repair" connectors for anything important.

For price comparison a pack of EZ RJ-45 (Cat6 rated) is around $20 and a pass thru crimper is about the same. Even cheaper if you go old school.

pmontra

I crimped Cat6 cables recently and found out that it's not as easy as crimping Cat5 years ago. Maybe it's the older me but I ended up with a lot of failed cables to redo. Eventually the price per working cable is not that good. Next time I bought tool less Cat6 plugs and sockets. Not only they are faster to work with but they are fool proof. Not a single faulty cable. They cost more per piece but for people like me they end up being cheaper.

kadoban

I feel like you were probably just rusty if you haven't done it for a while. I barely know what I'm doing, don't do it often enough to really get good, don't have great tools, and I still get 80-90% success rate.

myself248

Because I can keep a baggie of five of these things at the bottom of my laptop bag, it weighs less than an ounce and takes up almost no space. Could stay there for years and I'd never mind the extra baggage. Then one day, it saves the day.

Carrying around a crimper, stripper, scissors, and a baggie of ends would certainly fit my character, but realistically it's bulky and heavy enough that I'm gonna take it out when I think I won't need it. Which means I won't have it when I actually do need it.

ilyt

You can plug in cable without the tab just fine tho

It's less of "save a day" and more of "don't have to bring the replacement cable next time to fix it"

gmiller123456

Couldn't you just use WiFi, and/or carry a spare cable? It seems like an awfully specific thing to prepare for, since the solution only has one specific problem it could fix compared to all of the things that could break. Even a small roll of tape would work, and have many more use cases.

gambiting

I don't own a crimping tool or spare connectors. I do however own a 3D printer and lots of spools that sit around doing nothing. This is probably the coolest thing I've found to 3D print in a while, I'm very excited to try it.

runjake

Because recrimping is a pain, and this fix is quick and cheap and they stay secured well.

But yeah, pass-through RJ-45 is great.

ilyt

Well, (proper) cable testers are expensive and I'd imagine carrying that in "just in case" pocket is easier than whole gear to crimp and test the cable.

....you do test the cables you've crimped right ?

eurasiantiger

The connector stays the same, only the latch clip is replaced. Add a drop of elastic superglue if in doubt.

jibe

Is there a specific crimper you recommend?

tunap

Klein hand tools. Full stop.

Below is my favorite. Caveat, it takes some getting accustomed to if you're used to the standard plier style(They make those, too).

edit:plier handle style, not wrench

https://www.kleintools.com/catalog/cable-tools/ratcheting-ca...

subhro

I prefer https://www.truecable.com/products/all-in-one-crimp-and-term... and pretty much every single one of their tools.

roperj

The Klein VDV226-110

dheera

But do you want it delivered in 2 days or 30 minutes?

kotaKat

The 2 days of waiting beats the 6 hours I'll spend cursing why the 3d printer isn't printing "just right" later today to be able to wait 30 minutes for it to finally print out a handful of them.

foxylad

You need a Prusa.

I started with an Anet A8 which taught me a lot about 3D printers (and even more about how they fail!). My Prusa Mini just works, and it's rare I need to reprint anything.

fnordpiglet

Clearly not written by an engineer.

mad182

I just cut off the broken connector and put on a new one in 2 minutes...

opan

I actually thought the 2 days was for the 3d printer on first read. Are they not incredibly slow these days?

Mogzol

They're slow, but this part is also very small. 30 minutes is a pretty good estimate.

enriquto

Heh. The first thing I do with a new ethernet cable is to break the clip, laptop side. It's orders of magnitude better to have an occasional disconnection than to trip with the cable and make the laptop fall from the table.

I did not invent this. I've seen legendary graybeards do it. I see it as a rite of maturity, like cyclists who discard the caps of their presta valves.

rkangel

If you're in a situation where you might trip on the cable, surely run your cable better or just use Wifi?

There are already so many things that can go wrong when setting up a network and there's no need to deal with potentially flaky physical connections. When I find broken clips in the lab I snip the cable in half and throw it in the bin. £5 for a new cable is a lot cheaper than spending time diagnosing a network problem.

(if I don't snip it in half, on occasion people extract the 'perfectly good' ethernet cable out of the bin)

liotier

Send DM - I have a carton of broken RJ-45 cables to sell you !

hollerith

There are no DMs on this site.

Firmwarrior

you just hunt the guy down IRL based on his writing patterns or any personally identifiable info he let slip over the years, then leave a scrap of paper with the DM in his real-life mailbox

aulin

what's this thing about presta caps? cyclist for 10+ years, never heard about it

ruiseal

The caps on presta valves aren't necessary as there's no way for dirt to get into the valve stem (unlike Schrader valves which can get clogged). The caps are useful for transporting the tube though to prevent the valve from puncturing anything.

Wheel reflectors are also pretty useless so you can remove those too. Plus you save some weight.

ornornor

> Wheel reflectors are also pretty useless

Never understood that. More visibility = potentially slightly less likely to get hit by a distracted driver so why remove the shiny reflectors spinning on your wheels?

And what’s a 20g saving per wheel when we carry so much more extra weight on our bodies.

askvictor

Interesting. Though I'd argue that if the valve gets dirt on it, then eventually, when you unscrew it, some of that dirt will get deeper (particularly if you're completely flat and there's no pressure to push it out), and perhaps stop if from sealing perfectly. But I try to keep gear running for a very long time; this approach might be from cyclist who replace things a lot more often?

And yes, wheel reflectors are utterly useless.

ilikejam

These...

https://reflectivesupplies.co.uk/products/salzmann-3m-scotch...

are better than plastic plate reflectors in every way.

dev_tty01

Assuming it has air left, always let out some air to blow out the gunk before adding air.

phyzome

I can't relate to this at all! If I have a broken clip, I can't get the plug to stay in for more than about 5 minutes. And I never route the ethernet cord somewhere where I'll trip on it...

renewiltord

The valve cap thing is really funny. It's funny. I upgraded to a nice aero bike with Dura Ace everything, and then promptly got in an unrelated motorcycle accident and gained 25 lbs.

My weight gain is some multiple of how much I saved. Those Zipps have been outdone by my own gluttony. But one day I shall make the valve caps matter!

adrianmonk

Seems like laptop ethernet jacks should be built to do this.

Grip the tab, but lightly, so that a small force will pull it out.

bluedino

Lenovo does this on some machines, you have to use a micro-usb-like Ethernet adapter to use a cable

djmips

magnets!

VincentEvans

What are those for? My laptop has internet, but I don’t need to plug it anywhere for it to work. Is this for computers like they had in the really old movies like Back to the Future?

mig39

This is the best troll comment ever :-) Look at the replies taking you seriously :-) Including me.

When you have a lot of wireless devices, for every one you take off wireless, you have less radio traffic, less interference, and everyone else has a better connection :-)

In my network, unless something has to be wireless, I run a cable :-)

Smoosh

Same with me re wired whenever possible.

Especially for things like streaming boxes which want a good connection and use high bandwidth.

I save the wifi for things that really need it, and they should be faster as a result.

consumer451

> In my network, unless something has to be wireless, I run a cable :-)

i would argue that being seemingly extreme here is worthwhile. If possible, run it inside rigid conduit. Some more cost now, but conduit makes it a much more maintainable system. Solid yet upgradable digital infrastructure, for the home or small office.

I once did this for a small office space which I had the freedom and budget to do as I wished. After that, everything was rock solid for years. Floods, critters, insane humidity... survived it all. If somehow a cable went bad, it could be used to pull through its replacement.

If in 10-20 years fiber became the new LAN cable, then just pull it through yourself without an electrician. If you need to hire an electrician who has the clbest tools for termination, their billable hours will be much lower.

Rigid conduit every room, maybe even two walls per room since you are already paying a pro to be under/over there already.

If it's a retrofit then maybe it's too late, but a renovation or new build... I would always spend that extra money if at all possible.

AdamTReineke

I'm convinced that a wired connection is better for video calls. Just like headphones. I'm my opinion, those two things are table stakes for a good remote work experience for your coworkers.

Mogzol

I was convinced of that until I was forced to stop using a wired connection (moved to a room that didn't have ethernet). I'm on wifi now and notice literally no difference compared to when I was on ethernet. As long as you've got a decent router/AP, modern wifi is really not bad. I get a consistent 400-500 Mb/s up and down with no hiccups. On my wifi 6 devices I get closer to a Gb/s.

bombcar

Yep my wired is 10Gb and it is better than wireless.

newaccount74

Ethernet has more bandwidth and lower ping than Wifi. And is mostly immune to interference. If you have a lot of devices on Wifi, it helps to put your main devices on Ethernet.

pletnes

Often true, but since many a corporation now prioritizes wifi or stops deploying ethernet to avoid the cost, AND wifi keeps getting better, the lines have crossed for me. Oh and I need a USB-C to ethernet dongle. Oh, and a cable. TL;DR for me, wifi now beats ethernet at work.

Firmwarrior

Cables are so that you don't lag in the middle of an important boss encounter at work or play when someone turns on the microwave

bornfreddy

Off topic, but if your microwave does that, it is time to either fix or retire it.

rkagerer

It's a kind of safety line to keep your packets from wandering off and getting lost on their way to the cloud. Helps reduce the "401 not found" pages you sometimes encounter.

Is this for computers like they had in the really old movies like Back to the Future?

Yep, exactly that. We used the 1.21 Gigawatts standard, which was only half as groovy as today's 2.4 Ghz WiFi.

russdill

There's a large number of reasons, reliability, bandwidth, latency, security, but really with the rise of thunderbolt and USB c docks there's no longer a need to plug a laptop directly into Ethernet.

comboy

Guys, VincentEvans has almost 10 years old account, I doubt he needs these explanations. I've never seen such joke being misinterpreted on HN. Heartwarming patience for youngsters though.

TacticalCoder

> but really with the rise of thunderbolt and USB c docks there's no longer a need to plug a laptop directly into Ethernet.

Especially when the laptop does not have an Ethernet port. For me it's USB-C to Ethernet adapter when my laptop is in my office room, and pathetic WiFi elsewhere.

I take it I should try one of these USB-C to USB-C magnetic things (a la Magsafe): don't know if they're any good.

null

[deleted]

funhatch

What’s a laptop, grandad? I can code on my tablet /s

dmd

I learned recently that most high school students around here (fairly affluent Boston suburb) write papers - even long 10+ page ones - on their phones.

munk-a

What's a tablet grandpa? I code in Roblox /s

somat

So the 8 pin modular connector(rj-45) may not be the best connector in the world(the 8088 sas connector is a serious contender for that honor), but it does one thing better than any most connectors, it is designed to be field terminated, and as such is easy to fix. the crimping dies are ubiquitous, the process is simple. because of this single fact, I think it is better than just about any other connector in widespread use. because you can fix the infernal thing.

As such the article left me a bit confused, why not just cut off the end and putting a new plug on? with an 8 pin connector this is very easy. But I am in the industry and tend to have a crimper close to hand. perhaps some are not as fortunate.

chrisdalke

Your comment is right above someone saying RJ-45 may be the worst connector! That’s just the internet I guess.

I think both opinions are right. If you’re a professional working in the field, RJ-45/8P8C is awesome because you can do large runs of cable and crimp on connectors after which is a lifesaver. The longevity of the connector is less important than ease of installation/replacement. I’ve done a little work with marine ethernet and CAN which uses M8/M12 circular connectors and those are pretty painful in contrast.

For consumers, it’s exactly the opposite. They’re unlikely to have the tools to crimp connectors. Most cables off Amazon come with lots of plastic that makes the cables rigid so it’s a pain to route and use in a home.

anordal

Yes, field termination is mostly for permanent installations, but luckily, there are also proper "industrial" connectors that are field terminable. Such as Harting's PreLink M12 connector: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=35DKv6bhadI

When I say "industrial", I mean for home use, of course. There is obviously a lot of potential for a more robust yet cost effective and practical connector for home use. Field termination being no excuse. First off, even metal 8P8C connectors have plastic tabs. If single-pair ethernet ever takes off, the "industrial" M8 push-pull connector seems a good one.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethernet_over_twisted_pair#Con...

puffoflogic

The pictured cable has that built-up end which is supposed to prevent cable strain; re-terminating requires discarding it.

somat

I am not sure how important the strain relief is, I never bother, but if you really want strain relief there are connectors with it. sometimes they have a metal band you have to crimp around the cable.

akira2501

The strain relief is for machine made cables where they glue or melt the relief into the plastic plug. Almost all manual crimp connectors have a strain relief built into them that's meant to grab the jacket and hold the cable right at the entry to the plug.

All my RJ45 and RJ45-EZ connectors in my bag have this locking strain relief tab at the back.

Smoosh

> the best connector in the world(the 8088 sas connector is a serious contender for that honor)

Overly complex. BNC bayonet FTW! It's main fault is the lack of good strain relief.

venj

you can probably 3D print one

gibspaulding

It also gets points for being the only connector that I can pretty reliably plug into the back of a PC by feel!

ilyt

I can plug usb without flipping it 2 times

ilyt

> the 8088 sas connector is a serious contender for that honor

No connector with tiny springy bit in the socket instead of in cable is worth being called "good". But I do like the big pull tab

JoBrad

The adapter actually looks easier to use than the tab on some Ethernet cables.

VBprogrammer

I've just remembered that while having our second child the nurse couldn't get the monitoring in the nursing station due to one of these clips. The ethernet socket was quite high up the wall so the weight of the cable was handing from the slightly broken clip. Thankfully even in my frazzled state I was able to suggest turning the cable around end for end so that the one with a good tab was plugged into the wall.

Waterluvian

There’s a joke on Instagram of a lady in the delivery room giving her partner (an electrician) a stern look because he’s testing the outlets for compliance and discussing why some are inverted with the ground up.

I’m picturing you and your partner having a similar scenario and it’s rather amusing. :)

mastax

I don't have problems with RJ45 tabs breaking off. I do have two problems with the connectors:

1. Sometimes the connectors don't latch properly in the port and fall right out. I try to bend the tab out further to help it latch but it never stays.

2. Some patch cables have rubber over moulding that covers the latch that's so stiff that I have trouble getting it to release. Who even wants the latches to be covered? One of my cables has a thin rubber tab over the clip that stops it from snagging on things, I guess, but doesn't inhibit unlatching. But it seems that the most popular over moulding is the terrible one.

foxylad

Imagine twenty ethernet cables plugged into a switch, and you need to remove one. You unplug it, pull it slightly to see which it is below the bundle, grab it there and pull.

You will then discover that an uncovered clip magically catches on EVERY SINGLE other cable on the way through. It will also catch on the rack, any other devices within reach, and somehow the power switch for the entire installation.

In fact if you ever lose your car keys down a drain, simply poke an ethernet cable with an uncovered RJ45 plug through the grate. Your keys will be firmly attached to the tab, along with five other sets of lost keys, several rodents and the grate itself.

asddubs

well, clearly the latches are covered so it doesn't break off because something gets caught behind it

SturgeonsLaw

On many of those cables you can slide the sheath away from the plug so it's easier to push down the latch

travisporter

To counter your experience tho, the clip helps with cable from coming out of my router, the rubber helps with the tab breaking when it caches on another cable.

moffkalast

That's fantastic, just about every one of these cables I have eventually ends up tabless. They're just built so flimsily that breaking them is a complete inevitability if you need to plug them in more than once, they're like a 5 time use cable.

Comparing it to other types of connectors, RJ45 is probably one of the worst ones out there (at least VGA has screws that don't break), but it's also as prevalent as USB-A so I wonder if anything will ever replace it.

3np

The worst in my book is micro-HDMI. So many broken connectors, adapters, and cables...

Even before USB-C became an option, mini-HDMI is just a different league of reliable without being that much bigger.

A broken RJ-45 is still usable and fixable. A broken micro-HDMI makes you feel lucky it was the cable and not the device that goes in the bin this time. But only after hours wasted on fiddling with it because the closest shop carrying them wouldn't arrive until after the weekend.

bbarnett

They're just built so flimsily that breaking them is a complete inevitability if you need to plug them in more than once, they're like a 5 time use cable.

Erm? You must be exaggerating a bit, I use cables/connectors hundreds of times with zero isses.

Misuse / mistakes happen, yes. But?

moffkalast

Naturally it's an exaggeration, but it really depends on how careful you are, quality of the cable, and quality of the port. Laptops, especially, I've found absolutely eat the tabs since you move them around and often have collapsible ports.

markandrewj

The best option is probably re-crimping the cable, but in a pinch you can make an extra clip with spare zip ties also.

https://www.cabletiesplus.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/0...

jccalhoun

If modern laptops even have ether net ports, they seem to the kind with the little spring loaded flap because the laptop is too thin for a normal ether net port. So I'm surprised they haven't made a slim lightning connector type ether net port.

ilyt

If you already need a dongle might as well just have usb dongle tbh.

There were some thin ones with retractable ethernet socket (via clever mechanics) but apparently pretty fragile

jccalhoun

I thought about that and nearly didn't make the post but I still think it would be worth it.

rnhmjoj

I had the same thought some time ago and went looking for alternatives to the 5P5C connector. It turns out they exist and are used in industrial applications, like the "ix Industrial" [1], precisely because how fragile the standard connector is. Unfortunately there's no standard and the designs are proprietary.

[1]: https://softei.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Hirose_10-03-2...

meling

This made me think, why do we still have RJ45? Yeah of course it won’t disappear anytime soon, but couldn’t USB C replace it? Are there USB C switches (hubs) with say RJ45 input (from Internet) and USB C output ports for connecting local machines? I’m thinking about a small home network with say 8 ports. Ideally, it could also deliver power to smaller units, such as a set-top-box and wifi base station. Larger devices such as TVs could also deliver power to its connected boxes. What if we had an Apple TV with a single cable… it could receive both power and network traffic via the TV and deliver the TV signal back over the same cable.

ehnto

Someone else mentioned it, it can be terminated in the field. It is a very serviceable connector which fortunately the commercial world still values. You don't want to be replacing a 100m run of USB C cable when the connector breaks.

If you are a consumer who tries to buy right, buy once, commercial products are a great place to look for this reason too. Industry often requires serviceability and robustness.

CivBase

USB C relies entirely on friction to keep it secured. Seems like a pretty big issue for most RJ45 applications.

Doxin

USB-C has a mechanical detent. There's a metal spring in the male connector, and the center tab in the female connector has an indent on either side for that to snap into.

jameshart

Looks like a poor match for FDM printing. There's no orientation where the layers won't leave some part of this component very weak. In any orientation, it requires support material; in the suggested print orientation, it requires internal support material, which will leave rough surfaces on areas of the part that have to interface and fit with the ethernet jack.

Essentially doesn't really look like a 3D-printing project so much as an injection moulded part design.

dekhn

This print would work fine. The forces cables are subjected to are far lower than the break point of the Z-axis layers. I would print in another orientation that had less interior fill.

jameshart

The comments on thingiverse are full of people saying they printed multiples and all of them broke when used.

Doxin

Material used is rather important. PLA, which is probably the most common 3d printing material, is very prone to stress fractures. ABS on the other hand would probably do alright in this application.

stevenhuang

> Printing the tab from the base to the tip in X-Y axis makes it stronger and more flexible since its printed in one continued string.

The component won't be undergoing any stress at all, and for a continual print like above it will be plenty strong for the application.

jameshart

> The component won't be undergoing any stress at all

It has a compliant clip that bends to clip and release; its entire purpose is to retain cables against being pulled out of sockets; and it is designed to press-fit around the body of an ethernet connector which, if it is not too loose or a perfect fit, will subject it to a continual stress.

Are you looking at a different object than me?

stevenhuang

Just printed one and it works perfect with PETG. PLA was more brittle and I can see it would break easier for people.

travisporter

What about sla?

longtimelistnr

Sla should be fine. However I do believe this part can be redesigned to become fdm friendly

stevenhuang

FDM prints are usually stronger than SLA prints.

Not sure why you think an FDM printer can't print this component with sufficient strength, it'll be plenty strong enough.

iLoveOncall

I have printed this very model and it wasn't compatible with any of the cables I tried. It's also extremely weak and will break very easily (they all broke within a minute of trying to install them).

It's less than 10 min of print time so it's worth trying, but expect it to fail.

dekhn

if you need more strength in a print, increase the vertical and horizontal perimeters (not the infill).

madaxe_again

I mean, sure, but reterminating with a new, not broken RJ45 only takes 30 seconds, and they cost peanuts.

pxx

30 seconds? I can hardly even get the wires in the right order in that amount of time and don't get me started on shielded connectors...

CodeWriter23

I hardly think this add-on clip is an appropriate fix for applications requiring shielded connectors.

pantalaimon

Eh maybe if you are used to doing it. I always fail miserably and the cable gets ever shorter.

justsomehnguy

I mean, sure, but reterminating with a new, not broken patch cable only takes 30 seconds, and they cost peanuts.

But sarcasm aside, you don't want to reterminate a pre-made patch cable. Under a very strange Universe fluctuations where you don't have a spare patch cord, spare 8p8c jack with a crimper but you do have a 3D printer with a plastic loaded and ready to print....

michael1999

How do you re-terminate stranded cable? I struggle to terminate solid-core in less that 5 minutes.

silversmith

Not much to it. Every individual wire is wrapped up, and stays that way. You just need the stranded cable caps with teeth that pierce through the individual wire wrapping when you crimp down on them. Keystones are a pain tho, nobody seems to make them for stranded cable. But you can terminate the cable coming out the wall with a standard cap, and shove a connector where a keystone would go in the socket.

All those things I learned after accidentally buying tons of stranded cable for re-wiring my house :)

dekhn

What do you mean stranded? If you mean standard ethernet cable, it's 8 solid wires. Putting a keystone block takes about 1-2 minutes (with a tool). I spend more time figuring out which wire goes where than the actual retermination.

wrigby

Cable bought on long spools to install permanently is usually solid, while patch cables are usually stranded. Most of the time, you'll end up buying pre-terminated stranded cable, and all the cable you terminate yourself will be solid.

danuker

Stranded as in each wire being made up of smaller wires.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wire#Stranded

These are typical in pre-capped wires. While they allow more flexibility of the wire, their ends are hard (if not impossible) to change.

somat

The trick is the jack, you need the plug for stranded cable. and don't try to use stranded plugs on solid core, as I found out the hard way it is nothing but pain.

klyrs

It's quite a process, apparently. Amusingly, their "all-in-one" tool doesn't do it all.

https://www.truecable.com/blogs/cable-academy/how-to-termina...

supermatt

OH MY! Pass-through RJ45... Why havent I seen these before. Arghhh. Im going to have to order some now.

Mikealcl

Easier than you think but one of those things easier to show than do. Muscle memory skill.

CodeWriter23

You have to use an RJ-45 for stranded cable, not solid.