Patch Panel Considerations For Future Network Cable Changes

If you are installing new cable lines into your computer network, you should consider whether these new lines will remain in the same equipment cabinets or perhaps be moved at a later date to a different cabinet in a nearby area.

The most common copper cables in computer networks presently utilize Cat 5e or Cat 6 punch down 110 patch panels. This involves punching down the wires on the back of the patch panels. The front of the patch panel has female RJ45 connectors to connect the jumpers to the computer equipment.

The new cables are usually brought into the equipment cabinet (holding the mounted 110 patch panels) up from under the tile floor through an opening in the bottom of the cabinet or down from the ceiling through holes in the cabinet top panel corners, to get punched down on the back of the patch panel.

If these cables have the possibility of being reconnected into another cabinet located nearby at a later date because of network reorganization, it may be preferable to use feed through patch panels that have female RJ45 connectors on both sides of the patch panel where wire punch down is not involved and the input cables are terminated in RJ45 plugs and plugged into the back of the two sided connectorized feed through patch panel.

This system allows cables to be easily disconnected from the double sided connectorized patch panel and plugged into similar or the same reused feed through patch panels in the other cabinets. This type of set up avoids the costly new labor for punching down the wires, thereby saving labor costs and extra time to make the new connections. You must plan ahead for sufficient extra slack cable on the incoming cables to allow the move, but the cost should be considerably less than the alternate solution by avoiding the extensive labor cost of disconnecting the original cable setup and punching down the original cables to the original or other 110 patch panels in the mounted new cabinets. Go here for more information on patch panel installation at Server Racks and Cable