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Auto Engineers Look to an Ethernet Future

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TJ McDermott
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Re: Network Curmudgeon speaks up
TJ McDermott   7/10/2011 3:34:48 PM
There are numerous metal-shelled versions of the RJ45, but that doesn't make them an industrial connector.  It was never intended to take strain, or resist vibration, or exclude the environment.

In the uncontrolled environment that a car experiences, I'd like to see something more robust, more industrial.  Otherwise, I see flaky data connections plaguing car owners for the life of the car.

Here are two very recent "Made By Monkeys" articles pertaining to cars:

Monkeys Made the Rain Trough on My Van

Monkeys Designed My Jeep's Stereo Wiring


They show the possibilities that poor design of the physical network could bring; RJ45 connectors will not hold up to water pouring on them or being constantly flexed.


Jack Rupert, PE
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Re: Network Curmudgeon speaks up
Jack Rupert, PE   7/10/2011 3:05:09 PM
TJ - Nothing saying that we have to use the plastic RJ-45 connectors going forward.  I used to work in the off-road industry that used networks on a much larger scale but essentially the same idea mentioned here (control on one type; info on another).  We used metal RJ-45's from Siemens with the clip being a spring-like device.  If the link works, this should be a picture (found with just a google image search):



TJ McDermott
User Rank
Network Curmudgeon speaks up
TJ McDermott   7/9/2011 3:53:05 AM
Cutting down on the number of protocols is a good thing.  I love the idea of Ethernet in the car.

But are RJ45 connectors really the way of the future?  It's assuredly not industrial (how many of you are working with broken-tabbed RJ45 connectors friction-fit into your computers right now?).

Is the industrial M12 Code-D connector the way?  Or is there a happy medium between the two?

Beth Stackpole
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Re: Thumbs Up
Beth Stackpole   7/8/2011 11:51:55 AM
I have to say, I'm not a big proponent of the camera on the back. I have one on my Acura MDX and I never use it. Perhaps it's the male/female thing, but I, for one, don't trust and can't visualize pulling out without turning my head to see where I'm going. Drives my husband nuts because he can't understand why. Now the cameras for automatic parallel parking--that might be whole other story!

Rob Spiegel
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Ethernet everywhere
Rob Spiegel   7/8/2011 11:51:03 AM
Another recent deployment of Ethernet is at concerts. Paul MacCartney was an early adopter a few years ago, running the sound signals from the stage to the sound board. Now it's being used in theaters as well as at concerts. The benefit is improved network confirguration and lower installation costs.

Douglas Smock
User Rank
Thumbs Up
Douglas Smock   7/8/2011 10:10:16 AM
A camera on the back is a great idea. The first time I noticed that option was on the 2011 Kia Sorento. It's particulalry important since so many vehicles are so big. Use of the Ethernet to transmit data sounds like a good advance. Fixing wiring in cars can be a nightmare.

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