The Digitrax RJ12 LocoNet Wiring Standard
Somewhere in the instruction manual, it says that "The RJ12 is the 6-pin version of the RJ11 connector with all pins loaded with conductors. This is the connector that Digitrax uses for LocoNet." At which point, your eyes start to glaze over and you go off into a trance.
Now before you go into a coma, let's back up a bit. You're familiar with your telephone set and the cables and plugs that go into the telephone set. On the previous page, we've shown you some of the Digitrax components that use these components. The LocoNet consists of the same type of wires and connectors - used in your telephone system - with one very important difference. Your telephone cables may have 2 or 4 small wires covered by that grey, black or white plastic insulation. The Digitrax LocoNet uses components that use 6 wires. Here's what this type of cable looks like. It's really not much different from the cable that goes into your telephone set.
The telephone/data communications industry calls this an "RJ12 6-wire standard". RJ12 components consist of 6-wire telephone cable, 6-wire male plugs and 6-wire female jacks. You can have many different combinations of these components.
If you have a Digitrax system, 6 wires are very important. Anything less and it won't work.
Here are the wiring standards, wire colours, functions, and pin-outs for the Digitrax RJ12 6-wire LocoNet. (If you're using Lenz, Atlas, NCE, or any other system, check your user manual.)
If you visually connect the male plug to the female jack, you'll see that the white wire of the male plug connects to the white wire of the female jack, the black wire connects to the black wire, the red to the red, the green to the green, the yellow to the yellow, the blue to the blue. This is sometimes referred to "Pin 1 to Pin 1, Pin 2 to Pin 2, Pin 3 to Pin 3, Pin 4 to Pin 4, Pin 5 to Pin 5, Pin 6 to Pin 6" wiring - or "Pin 1 to Pin 1" wiring to keep it short. It will help in troubleshooting if you always make sure that each coloured wire connects to its own colour.
Also note that
RJ Information for Those "Pickers of Nits"
(Skip this part if you aren't one of these people)
RJ stands for Registered Jack - as in telephone jack - as in registered with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) by the telephone industry when plastic modular components were developed in the 1950s/60s. Later on, as data communications technology developed, the telecommunications industry added to these standards. The RJ standards don't refer to the physical size of the male plugs or the female jack. They refer to the way the jack is to be wired and what all of this wiring is to be used for.
To confuse things even more, the RJ standards specify the number of cables (wires) going into the plug or jack and the number of positions available in the plug or jack to anchor these wires to. For example, the RJ12 LocoNet plugs and jacks we use are specified as RJ12 6p6c. That is, 6 positions are available to anchor the wires (the 6p). And 6 cables (wires) can be wired into the plug or jack (the 6c). And all of this wiring is to be used for a Local Area Network (LAN) - which we call the LocoNet.
The Bottom Line
So what does all of this mean to you and me and our Digitrax Loconet system? We have to make sure that we use a plug/jack that is about 0.375"/0.383" wide and has a 6p6c configuration - ie it takes 6-wires. The only jacks/ plugs/ components that fit the bill are the RJ12 and RJ25.