Patch panels - which type

saltwater

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I've been looking at Patch Panels and it seems like there are two types:

1. Cat6 hardwired to the back of the patch panel, basically fixed and in place, and
2. Cat6 terminated, then clicked into the back of the patch panel, making for easier removal and plugging into another port of the patch panel.

Is there a preferred method? Thoughts?

Here are my thoughts.

The hardwired approach seems to be the more stable approach in that once the ports are assigned, the cables are fixed and not easily moved. The ports can be labelled accordingly.

Thinking about the second method, if the cables can easily be removed and re-positioned that potentially could play havoc with cable identification. I think as a backup, each cable behind the patch panel should be physically tagged/labelled just in case the cables come apart from the patch panel.
 

c hris527

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I've been looking at Patch Panels and it seems like there are two types:

1. Cat6 hardwired to the back of the patch panel, basically fixed and in place, and
2. Cat6 terminated, then clicked into the back of the patch panel, making for easier removal and plugging into another port of the patch panel.

Is there a preferred method? Thoughts?

Here are my thoughts.

The hardwired approach seems to be the more stable approach in that once the ports are assigned, the cables are fixed and not easily moved. The ports can be labelled accordingly.

Thinking about the second method, if the cables can easily be removed and re-positioned that potentially could play havoc with cable identification. I think as a backup, each cable behind the patch panel should be physically tagged/labelled just in case the cables come apart from the patch panel.
I have used/done both, I hate doing them but that is just myself, Once they are in either way I have NEVER had to go back and move or remove them. Very little chance of that unless you suffer from ADD and or for some reason the next run you put in has to go in between them(Unlikely). Unless I was in somebody else's closet with the same color cable's I never had a need to tag cables themselves on top of labeling the patch panel. My M.O was to order purple cable in a crowded closet to make ID easy for myself or the next guy that might have to Chase them down.
 

curmudgeon

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With the removable keystone 8p8c jack inserts, you also get to use the appropriate connector. You might have cat 3, 5e and 6 wiring, and being able to designate just the needed slots to each type instead of wasting a whole row is great. Or keystones for 22 vs 23 gauge wiring. Shielded/unshielded. There are also keystone covers for HDMI cables, USB and a bunch of other stuff. And blanks.

Agreed that it's rare for wiring to change, but it does happen.

(1) some port that passed testing initially now fails. It's much easier to just pop out a single jack, cut it and put on a new connector instead of carefully pulling down an entire rackfull, and praying that you don't accidentally mess something up by flexing too much, etc.

(2) A room needs another drop because you want to physically separate some traffic, or it's on some other wall. You could rearrange they keystones if you wanted to and keep them together instead of having them far away. No one will remember (or think to look) that the other drop for that room is at the end of the rack.

Whatever you do, have enough slack behind the panel, and keep the wires gently arranged. Don't go crazy with zipties and pull everything so tight it's impossible to trace or adjust. :)
 

JonW

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This style is my preference. Uses keystone jacks but also gives a spot on the back to secure the cable with a zip tie. This helps reduce the possibility of causing problems when moving the patch panel to add wires or to troubleshoot another connection. The only thing to watch out for with this style is that you get keystone jacks that are narrow. These usually have to be punched down. The tool-less keystone jacks are usually too wide to use with a panel like this.

1590755640592.png

 

Holbs

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Go for the patch panel that uses jacks to click in place. When it comes time to run networking cable, it makes life so much easier to terminate the cable and then insert into the holes instead of trying to lay cable down on the backside to terminate. This matters especially if you have a networking cabinet where you have to stand in the rear and reach forward to lay down the cable to terminate (pain in butt cause awkward reach, low light, etc). Also, once you run your 14 cables (for example) and screw the patch panel to the bracing, sometimes folks put equipment above or below the patch panel making future terminations even more of a pain in butt to get there. At work, our goto patch panels are the 19" wide 48 port keystone jack patch panels which use what we call "skinny" jacks, as compared to the normal 19" wide 24 port keystone jack patch panels seen above that use the standard wide body jacks. And use velcro to help organize cable bundles, not tie wraps. Monoprice 48 Port High Density Blank Keystone UTP Patch Panel, 1U, with Wire Support Bar - Monoprice.com
354221.jpg
 
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saltwater

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Thanks for the comments. I ended up going with what you guys suggested, unloaded patch panels. I purchased three of the same style type as per the photo in @JonW post above. They are sitting in my study along with an 18RU wall-mounted rack (sitting on the floor). Can't really do anything with it at the moment until I move into my new house.

@Holbs
 

saltwater

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In my post above I hit 'Enter' by mistake and I couldn't find an edit mode. I was going to continue and say,

@Holbs I never came across a 48 port 1RU patch panel, I would have purchased that style, so would have ended up only taking 2 RU as opposed to 3 patch panels. Anyway, I should have more than enough room in an 18RU rack for home use.
 

Holbs

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I always wish for 1 or 2 more "U" :) For those who do not know...spacing in a two or four post rack or even a network cabinet is based on "U". A single "U" is 3 holes, enough for 1 (U) unit device. Something at takes up 2 "U" (such as a large wire manager from Panduit) takes up 6 holes. I just wanted to toss it out there for folks who are wiring a new house between 24-48 cables that a single "U" 48 port patch panel does exist.
 
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sdkid

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Thanks for the comments. I ended up going with what you guys suggested, unloaded patch panels. I purchased three of the same style type as per the photo in @JonW post above. They are sitting in my study along with an 18RU wall-mounted rack (sitting on the floor). Can't really do anything with it at the moment until I move into my new house.

@Holbs
I bought the same one--- just started plugging wire in. I am using "coupler" keystones for wires I have terminated in an rj45 now (they were in that TP-Link POE switch). I will punch down new wires into regular keystone jacks for everything else...
The hardcore network wiring guys and anal cable-organizers will get sweaty looking at this..... LOL just getting started---- nowhere near done yet.

My patch panel is just loose right now--- I can pull it out to plug new keystones in as I complete my wiring. My first really cheap patch-panel (never filled it or used it.) is on the wall at the top.

1591132262660.png

I had BI web interface running on my laptop, and as I unplugged from my old TP-Link switch, I saw which came went down. I put them in a certain order on the patch panel, and the panel port goes to the same switch port....

---OT---
My HP Procurve switch (Ebay for $40) is running 4 of my cameras now. The interface on it is pretty cool-- telling me wattage used on each port:
1591132393245.png
 

reflection

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Great deal for $40 for the HP switch!

What is the weight capacity for that rack? I'm thinking about getting one.
 

sdkid

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Great deal for $40 for the HP switch!

What is the weight capacity for that rack? I'm thinking about getting one.
The managed switch has 12 POE / 12 non-POE 10/100 ports. it has 2 gigabit ports also. That suits my needs just fine. :)

here is the rack on Amazon. Comments say it will hold 50 pounds. I honestly felt like I could put 3 times that on it or more....

 

spencnor

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The managed switch has 12 POE / 12 non-POE 10/100 ports. it has 2 gigabit ports also. That suits my needs just fine. :)

That’s a very nice setup!

I have the same Procurve PoE switch, but haven’t gotten into the configuration. I know just enough about networking to screw something up . I started to read the manual and I know I need to connect to the console port with a serial connection cable. I like your screenshot of the ports power usage. Was this difficult to do?
 

sdkid

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That’s a very nice setup!

I have the same Procurve PoE switch, but haven’t gotten into the configuration. I know just enough about networking to screw something up . I started to read the manual and I know I need to connect to the console port with a serial connection cable. I like your screenshot of the ports power usage. Was this difficult to do?
There are many total pros with networking here-- so mine is a real amateur job so far. I do love the switch though.
I have never had a managed switch-- so I was really "nerding out" going through the web interface. I ordered a console-to-USB serial connection cable, because there is a lot you can't do via the web interface. If you go to your router, you should find the IP of the switch that it pulled by DHCP. I set mine static after I got in-- then I went through and did an army of firmware upgrades. The last few to the most recent fw updates changed the web interface to a much more modern and functional look. I have already made use of the wattage to troubleshoot a camera that crapped out on me last night. Really useful!!
So-- with the console cable, I will set up date and time on the switch. I was surprised that you can't do that via web interface, and the logs are pretty useless without an accurate timestamp... These were last night while troubleshooting... I need to point it to a SNTP time server.
1591294079743.png
 

spencnor

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There are many total pros with networking here-- so mine is a real amateur job so far. I do love the switch though.
I have never had a managed switch-- so I was really "nerding out" going through the web interface. I ordered a console-to-USB serial connection cable, because there is a lot you can't do via the web interface. If you go to your router, you should find the IP of the switch that it pulled by DHCP. I set mine static after I got in-- then I went through and did an army of firmware upgrades. The last few to the most recent fw updates changed the web interface to a much more modern and functional look. I have already made use of the wattage to troubleshoot a camera that crapped out on me last night. Really useful!!
So-- with the console cable, I will set up date and time on the switch. I was surprised that you can't do that via web interface, and the logs are pretty useless without an accurate timestamp... These were last night while troubleshooting... I need to point it to a SNTP time server.
View attachment 63156
:goodpost:Thank you for your insight. I've already set the switch to a static IP. I need to order the USB to serial cable and I will trudge on and venture into the unknown :lol:
 

reflection

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Thanks guys. I'm inspired to clean up my wiring. I used have a punch-down type 48-port patch panel, but it got too cumbersome because I "mess around" with my network a little too often. I got rid of the patch panel years ago so might as well start fresh. I'm looking at the keystone patch panels. Since I've terminated all my wires already, I'm thinking of just using a coupler keystone jack. Would save me having to re-terminate a bunch of cables. Seems like it is skinny enough to fit these patch panels.
 
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