Patch panels

Patch panels

Structured wiring/cabling is a better way to run your network at home or work. Cable management gets away from a messy bunch of wires bunched up in a corner or ceiling panel. At good starting point is network patch panels. They come in shelf or rack mount. For this article the latter is shown. The panels are available in several sizes ranging from 8-port to 48-port, possibly even more. The Author choose the 24-port for a couple reasons. The smaller panel is easier to install, should it fail only the 24 cables would have to be re-terminated. The 24-port takes up one RU (Rack Unit). The 48-port takes up the equivalent of two RUs and is about 2% less cost (when you consider two 24-port panels). Perhaps in large commercial systems you may consider the larger panels, however for small, residential system the cost difference is not significant. Another advantage of the panel each port can be reassign at any time. For example you can have one panel for the "home run" drops at the building. Another panel can be for a POTS line (analog). A third could be for audio or other control/alarm wiring and control units. Then its just a matter of using (short) patch cables to connect any drop to various functions. Patch cables are available and low cost. Even to a point its not worth your time to make up your own.

The rear side has convenient labeling for either 568 A or B. Note that the colors of the plastic guides/tabs indicate the B standard, which appears to be the more popular method. A works fine, too, just that you need to pay attention more carefully on the change of the orange and green pairs. Obviously the blue and brown pairs normally are not used, and thusly are not affected by either standard. However you should complete installing those two pairs as well for possible changes in structure wiring standards. For example, the brown (forth pair) may be used for power over eithernet (POE). On the right image shows keeping the twist of each pair close to the 110 termination point. This maintains the CAT rating, in this case 5e




To take a closer view of these images click on the center to enlarge.

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