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

saltwater

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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

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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..
 

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saltwater

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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

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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

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while not a patch panel

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

mat200

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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.
 
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CBagz

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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

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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

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@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

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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.
 
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Holbs

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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.
 
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saltwater

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@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

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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

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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

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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

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faceplate labels? Just use portable hand held printers and use clear background/black font tape.
 
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