Patch panel / faceplate - cable management and identification - your preference

saltwater

Getting the hang of it
Joined
Oct 6, 2019
Messages
85
Reaction score
51
Location
Melbourne, Australia
I've never had the need to have a rack system, patch panels before but for my new house under construction, I'm wiring the hell out of it. I'm running about 15 cables for the CCTV system that will be positioned externally, between floors and 3 cables up under the eaves (double-storey) for overview shots. Internally, each wall faceplate will have 3 points and all the living rooms will have faceplates on the opposite walls, also 3 points, just in case we decide to change the furniture around. Access points will be strategically positioned (thinking UniFi ceiling type - Lite) though I do like the concept of the In-Wall Access Points. Anyway, heaps of cables, at this stage I've counted 47. It doesn't mean all cables will be active, but at least they are there. This time next week I'll be physically laying the cables, so might end up with more points.

This leads me to cable and point identification. With 47 points, I'll have 2 x 24 patch panels. I might end up with 49/50 points after next week, so that would equate to 3 x 24 patch panels. My initial thoughts are to at least group all the CCTV cables and have them next to each other in the patch panel (maybe at the end), group all the Access Points (only about 4 or 5) and then group each room by their respective faceplates (3 per faceplate - some will be 2 or 1). Not committed yet on how to label each point in the faceplate.

Any thoughts on cable management and identification? What approach would you take?
 

Kn10

Pulling my weight
Joined
Mar 27, 2020
Messages
87
Reaction score
104
Location
Australia
I use a patch panel (faceplates/keystones end up being more expensive and more work if you are running from a spool). For my cameras, I have the numbers clockwise around the house.
Port 1 is cam 1, port 2 is cam 2 etc..
 

Attachments

saltwater

Getting the hang of it
Joined
Oct 6, 2019
Messages
85
Reaction score
51
Location
Melbourne, Australia
I've been thinking more about this. Each patch panel can be referenced as A, B or C, doubt they'll be a D. At the room faceplate points, each point labelled by the patch panel and port number ie. A1, B4, C15. As you can imagine this is my anal side kicking in. At the camera points label it the same way. For the ceiling-mounted access points, they could be similarly labelled on the bracket hidden away. On top of this, I'll have a spreadsheet as well. Doing it this way the patch panels I'll use will be the punch-down types, hardwired so to speak, as opposed to the easily removable insert jack method.

If there are three patch panels, I'll group all the cameras on the third patch panel from port 24, moving down however many camera points there are. The other cable runs starting from the first patch panel moving up. I'll have spare ports in between the two groupings and probably they will never be filled.
 

mat200

IPCT Contributor
Joined
Jan 17, 2017
Messages
6,229
Reaction score
4,433
I've never had the need to have a rack system, patch panels before but for my new house under construction, I'm wiring the hell out of it. I'm running about 15 cables for the CCTV system that will be positioned externally, between floors and 3 cables up under the eaves (double-storey) for overview shots. Internally, each wall faceplate will have 3 points and all the living rooms will have faceplates on the opposite walls, also 3 points, just in case we decide to change the furniture around. Access points will be strategically positioned (thinking UniFi ceiling type - Lite) though I do like the concept of the In-Wall Access Points. Anyway, heaps of cables, at this stage I've counted 47. It doesn't mean all cables will be active, but at least they are there. This time next week I'll be physically laying the cables, so might end up with more points.

This leads me to cable and point identification. With 47 points, I'll have 2 x 24 patch panels. I might end up with 49/50 points after next week, so that would equate to 3 x 24 patch panels. My initial thoughts are to at least group all the CCTV cables and have them next to each other in the patch panel (maybe at the end), group all the Access Points (only about 4 or 5) and then group each room by their respective faceplates (3 per faceplate - some will be 2 or 1). Not committed yet on how to label each point in the faceplate.

Any thoughts on cable management and identification? What approach would you take?
this is what I typically do @saltwater

Alpha = patch plate / location
Number = port number

Thus example of port IDs

A1, A2
B1, B2
C1,C2, C3
D1, D2,D3,D4
E1, E2
 

CBagz

n3wb
Joined
Mar 6, 2018
Messages
20
Reaction score
8
while not a patch panel

around the 2:00 minute mark this guy shows his setup. Might be something to consider.
 

mat200

IPCT Contributor
Joined
Jan 17, 2017
Messages
6,229
Reaction score
4,433
while not a patch panel

around the 2:00 minute mark this guy shows his setup. Might be something to consider.
While it looks neat, I really prefer to bring everyone every line to a patch panel as:

When equipment changes / gets upgraded - often the dimensions change, and thus v1.x of this wall will start to look messy.
 
Last edited:

CBagz

n3wb
Joined
Mar 6, 2018
Messages
20
Reaction score
8
While it looks neat, I really prefer to bring everyone myself to a patch panel as:

When equipment changes / gets upgraded - often the dimensions change, and thus v1.x of this wall will start to look messy.
Correct but for the OP maybe the first patch panel could be all the ubiquiti stuff, second panel could be all the cameras and third panel could be the miscellaneous hardwired items in the house such as tv's, desktops, so forth and so on.
 

saltwater

Getting the hang of it
Joined
Oct 6, 2019
Messages
85
Reaction score
51
Location
Melbourne, Australia
while not a patch panel

around the 2:00 minute mark this guy shows his setup. Might be something to consider.
Certainly food for thought, thanks for sharing it. It does look clean but in time I think it may not stay that way or at least a little bit more difficult to change things around.
 

CBagz

n3wb
Joined
Mar 6, 2018
Messages
20
Reaction score
8
@saltwater

Take a look at this blog I saw the other day especially about halfway down where the ubiquiti network “tree” is and each port is labeled. Might be easier than you think
 

JNDATHP

Getting comfortable
Joined
Oct 16, 2018
Messages
437
Reaction score
533
Location
USA
Our home was built in 2008 and had 1 large Lutron structured wiring can in one of the walk-in closets. All Ethernet and RG-6 is in this can along with a UniFi 16 port POE switch which is plugged into a UPS.

If I was doing it over, I’d put in a few cans to separate telephone (who has a land line anymore?), Ethernet and cable.
 
Last edited:

Holbs

Getting comfortable
Joined
May 1, 2019
Messages
575
Reaction score
665
Location
Reno, NV
As @mat200 says above, if the cable lands on 2nd patch panel at port 17, label as B17.
I've seen too many hard core folks say AP's on this patch panel, PC's on this patch panel, printers on this patch panel and using Egyptian abacus method of labeling. Looks great on the first day. You would regret it months later when you have to add to your cable count, move things around, etc.
I have 40 Cat6 cables ran thru my house. All are labeled A01 to A48. If I had over 48 cables, those would be B01-B48.
Now, you can use specific color-coded patch cords if you are wanting things to look sexy. Red patch cords for AP, blue for PC, etc.
I am a network cable puller during my day job. I do this all the time in business settings.
If running cable, some suggestions since I had to do the same thing over the last 6 months:
consider running 22/2 for alarm contact sensors, 22/4 for multiple alarm panels, PIR, glass break detectors, 16/2 audio cable for 1 channel in-ceiling speakers (or full blown whole house audio with 7.2 or whatever # they are upto nowadays for home theater). Run additional 18/2 here and there for the need of overhead IR blaster lights. You already ran co-axial. Same for me. But if you have Charter Communications, you'll just be using their Roku app anyways making co-axial redundant.
For living room, toss in 4 jacks per faceplate, not 3. I have TV, smart Denon receiver, Xbox, and 1 spare that I'll surely use for something.
And while there may be a POE electrical concern using skinny patch cords (the ones from Monoprice)... I have had no problems using them for the last 3 months. Time will tell.
 
Last edited:

saltwater

Getting the hang of it
Joined
Oct 6, 2019
Messages
85
Reaction score
51
Location
Melbourne, Australia
@saltwater

Take a look at this blog I saw the other day especially about halfway down where the ubiquiti network “tree” is and each port is labeled. Might be easier than you think
Thanks for sharing, a good read. I'm in two minds regarding the In-Wall AP's, I suppose that could be a topic of another thread.
 

mat200

IPCT Contributor
Joined
Jan 17, 2017
Messages
6,229
Reaction score
4,433
Thanks for sharing, a good read. I'm in two minds regarding the In-Wall AP's, I suppose that could be a topic of another thread.
Indeed, I prefer my access points higher up than the electrical plugs! ( ceiling, high up on the wall perhaps )
 

ctgoldwing

Getting comfortable
Joined
Nov 8, 2019
Messages
308
Reaction score
513
Location
Connecticut
Thanks for sharing, a good read. I'm in two minds regarding the In-Wall AP's, I suppose that could be a topic of another thread.
fwiw I just installed a Ubiquiti in-wall ap in my basement workshop just above bench height. I needed a couple of ethernet connections there and rather than use a switch the in-wall serves double duty. It's pretty interesting to look at the Unifi software and see how the various clients move between the ap's in the house. As to 'higher', I saw a major improvement when I moved the ap from my study desk (behind 2 monitors) to sitting on the top of my bookcase (about 7'). For some reason my wife's iphone got really marginal service from this ap - raising it made a mega difference.
 

saltwater

Getting the hang of it
Joined
Oct 6, 2019
Messages
85
Reaction score
51
Location
Melbourne, Australia
As a follow-up, all my wiring is now complete. My builder reckons it's overkill, but then he's not going to live in the house. Is it overkill, maybe a tad. My five-pack UniFi Access Points Lite arrived last week. I decided to run with an unpopulated patch panel system, 3 of them., they arrived this week. The first two patch panels (A & B) are earmarked for all the room points and access points, with a few spare ports, even allowing for my spare and unused runs to the roof (I think you guys refer to as the attic). The third patch panel (C) will be solely used for my cameras starting from port 24 moving down. Patch panel C and cameras, purely co-incidental but nice from an anal point of view.

Now to purchase a rack system, I'm eyeing off 15RU, maybe 18RU, wall-mounted system.

When I said wiring complete, I meant the cabling laid, I still need to terminate all points and that will be in a few weeks time. In the mean-time, I've been practising punching down RJ45 jacks and connectors, as well as coax terminating. When the time arrives, I know it's not going to be a 5-min job to terminate all points.

I assume, I'm hoping, there is software available, in order to print out small faceplate port labels?
 

Holbs

Getting comfortable
Joined
May 1, 2019
Messages
575
Reaction score
665
Location
Reno, NV
faceplate labels? Just use portable hand held printers and use clear background/black font tape.
 

saltwater

Getting the hang of it
Joined
Oct 6, 2019
Messages
85
Reaction score
51
Location
Melbourne, Australia
As a follow-up, this is how I went about identifying cables and faceplate points. Initially, each cable was labelled both at the endpoint and start point. This was also recorded on the plan of the house, marking the cable numbers (2 or 3 of them) at the relevant socket point at the wall (or external camera location). Each cable was labelled 1 through to n, some were labelled Acc1, Acc2, Acc5 and C1, C2 - C15. The slight difference in label referencing occurred due to me not completely dictating terms, but I wasn't overly concerned as we knew where every cable landed, due to the markings on the plan.

I transferred this information to a spreadsheet that is in path panel order. Three 24-port patch panels to be used. All the room, wireless access points and camera locations begin from the first patch panel "A" port 2 (I'll reserve A1 for the WAN or not). At this point, I then went about naming or referencing each wall socket in the house, simply 1, 2, 3, etc and renamed and re-labelled each cable, at both ends, Socket Number-Cable Number ie. 1-01, 1-02, 1--3, 2-01, 2-02 etc. I'm not going to physically label the data points at the sockets, but I know that the top left data point is n-01, then to the right is n-02, then next row is n-03 etc. So, it's like reading a book. Now this information is another column on the spreadsheet, and I know that 6-01, 6-02- and 6-03 is the faceplate/socket in my study and they are grouped together at the patch panel locations A20, A21 and A22. There is no real need to label the patch panel ports, which I won't.

I'm still configuring the server rack as we haven't yet moved into the house, but my intention is that I'll have a print-out of the spreadsheet in the rack for easy reference.
 

tigerwillow1

Known around here
Joined
Jul 18, 2016
Messages
1,508
Reaction score
1,414
While it looks neat, I really prefer to bring everyone every line to a patch panel as:

When equipment changes / gets upgraded - often the dimensions change, and thus v1.x of this wall will start to look messy.
The flip side of that is the patch panel introduces two more connectors, i.e. potential failure points, into each cable run. Just a decision to be made based on priorities and tradeoffs.
 
Top