June 2009 Tech Talk Online Q & A

Q: I have had several instances in which a customer or unauthorized technician has pulled out a RJ (11 or 45) plug.  Do you have any suggestions on how I could help keep this from easily happening?

A: You could always put a locked enclosure around the device (ex: RJ31X jack).  However, there is a simple trick I learned many years ago and has come in handy at keep prying fingers from undoing a RJ plugs.

Take the and carefully cut the little plastic locking finger on the top of the plug.  Cut it so that when the plug is inserted it will lock but the tab is below the surface of the jack.  To the untrained eye it will appear that the jack is locked in to the jack and cannot be removed.  You can still take a small screwdriver or carefully pry the plastic tab open. 

Q: Many times I find myself on a service call having to cut the plastic cable tie in order to get to a cable in a bundle.  Then I find that I do not have an extra tie with me and must waste time to go back to my truck for a new tywrap.  Any suggestions to save some time and money?

A: Yes, a couple.  Instead of cutting the cable tie you can often slip a very small screw driver or pin under the ratchet type plastic tab on the cable tie and slip the tie open.  You can then pull it tight again when done.

Also, I have simply taken a small piece of scrap cable and wrapped it around the bundle and applied a good square knot to hold it.  If there is not movement or flexing in the cable bundle it usually works quit nicely.  Who says high tech has to be complicated?

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