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416 posts

Ultimate Geek


#272467 26-Jun-2020 13:42
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We're just completing a big reno and there will be a data cabinet with 20 or so Cat6 cables connected.  I assume our sparky will do a patch panel.  Why exactly is one needed, rather than just terminating the cables and plugging straight into the switch?  What are the benefits of using a patch panel?


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  #2512862 26-Jun-2020 13:50
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It’s neater, and the less likely to have connection issues if the cables are moved around a lot. Patch cables have stranded cores, which are designed to survive bending and flexing, while the in-wall cables have solid core, and are designed for fixed applications.

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  #2512864 26-Jun-2020 13:55
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Neater, you don't need to terminate every cable into the switch if it's unused.

 

Less risk of damaging a core (generally in wall is solidcore) Simple to name, List goes on.

 

 

 

for the extra 20$ a panel costs, just do it :)





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Any comments made are personal opinion and do not reflect directly on the position my current or past employers may have.

 


 
 
 
 


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  #2512869 26-Jun-2020 14:00
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If everything goes to patch panel i.e each rooms, the feed from the internet, feeds to wifi etc then its easier to later wire up with switches etc as you have a single central point to distribute from.

 

Many home routers come with wifi and 4-8 ports which you can connect each room into until you run out. But having a patch panel you can by better equipment such as switching / wifi extension gear.

 

Also a tidier and OCD sparky will do a great job and the connections will last longer.


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  #2512876 26-Jun-2020 14:08
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As above, and further, putting RJ45 plugs on is fiddly (read time consuming) and prone to fail so needing to be redone, terminating on a IDC keystone on the other hand is much easier and results in a tidier outcome and better assured connection.

 

No professional cabler will entertain doing what you want as its simply not how it should be done. If the installation was a commerical one and subject to warrenty from the cable manuafacture then it must be on a patch panel.

 

Please dont do what you are asking, especially if you want to save the cost of a patch panel, as it will bite you.

 

Cyril


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  #2512905 26-Jun-2020 14:28
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cyril7:

 

As above, and further, putting RJ45 plugs on is fiddly (read time consuming) and prone to fail so needing to be redone, terminating on a IDC keystone on the other hand is much easier and results in a tidier outcome and better assured connection.

 

No professional cabler will entertain doing what you want as its simply not how it should be done. If the installation was a commerical one and subject to warrenty from the cable manuafacture then it must be on a patch panel.

 

Please dont do what you are asking, especially if you want to save the cost of a patch panel, as it will bite you.

 

Cyril

 

 

QFT. I wanted to do some new cabling but my set-up is extremely simple and in my ignorance I did not understand the need for a patch panel. So the two (that is all) feed cables were just directly terminated into switches. It turned out to be a hell of a job, precisely for the reason mentioned above, and subsequent testing has revealed that one of the cables has a much lower maximum test speed than it should, which suggests that one of the data connections is not working. This does not present an immediate problem, but it might in the future. I wish I had followed @cyril7's advice, but I didn't understand what the purpose of the keystones was. Now I do. I was thinking in RF terms, the fewer connections the better, but that doesn't apply here. Don't skimp on the keystones. 

 

 





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Ultimate Geek


  #2512907 26-Jun-2020 14:29
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cyril7:

 

As above, and further, putting RJ45 plugs on is fiddly (read time consuming) and prone to fail so needing to be redone, terminating on a IDC keystone on the other hand is much easier and results in a tidier outcome and better assured connection.

 

No professional cabler will entertain doing what you want as its simply not how it should be done. If the installation was a commerical one and subject to warrenty from the cable manuafacture then it must be on a patch panel.

 

Please dont do what you are asking, especially if you want to save the cost of a patch panel, as it will bite you.

 

Cyril

 

 

Thanks everyone for the feedback.  Sorry, I think some may have misunderstood me.  To be clear, I wasn't considering not using a patch panel.  I was just interested in the benefits, for a self-education point of view.  And also for the (unlikely) event that our sparky wasn't going to use one.

 

I could already see the tidiness benefit.  However, there's some good points above about solid vs stranded cables and also terminating against keystone, rather than plugs (since patch leads are already pre-terminated).


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  #2512910 26-Jun-2020 14:34
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Or you could do what my co-worker's sparky did and ignore the installed patch panel and terminate the cat 6

 

 

 





 
 
 
 


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  #2512911 26-Jun-2020 14:35
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Earbanean:

 

We're just completing a big reno and there will be a data cabinet with 20 or so Cat6 cables connected.  I assume our sparky will do a patch panel.  Why exactly is one needed, rather than just terminating the cables and plugging straight into the switch? 

 

 

Don't assume a sparky will do anything logical with data cables....

 

Make sure they know what they are doing and that they know what is expected of them...


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  #2512914 26-Jun-2020 14:44
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Suggest reading my thread on this at https://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?forumid=66&topicid=245055   and what happened. Make sure you get someone EXPEREINCED, and ask to see photos of previous work to see how tidy their work is.


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  #2513011 26-Jun-2020 15:42
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Rikkitic:

 

QFT. I wanted to do some new cabling but my set-up is extremely simple and in my ignorance I did not understand the need for a patch panel. So the two (that is all) feed cables were just directly terminated into switches. It turned out to be a hell of a job, precisely for the reason mentioned above, and subsequent testing has revealed that one of the cables has a much lower maximum test speed than it should, which suggests that one of the data connections is not working. This does not present an immediate problem, but it might in the future. I wish I had followed @cyril7's advice, but I didn't understand what the purpose of the keystones was. Now I do. I was thinking in RF terms, the fewer connections the better, but that doesn't apply here. Don't skimp on the keystones.

 

Quantum Field Theory (QFT) So are you saying that a patch panel can achieve Warp Speed ? 😎





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  #2513012 26-Jun-2020 15:43
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I think Chorus were just going for Hyper speed for now

 

Cyril


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  #2513033 26-Jun-2020 16:18
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wellygary:

 

Earbanean:

 

We're just completing a big reno and there will be a data cabinet with 20 or so Cat6 cables connected.  I assume our sparky will do a patch panel.  Why exactly is one needed, rather than just terminating the cables and plugging straight into the switch? 

 

 

Don't assume a sparky will do anything logical with data cables....

 

Make sure they know what they are doing and that they know what is expected of them...

 

 

Most of the phone and comms technicians I know all say never trust a sparky with a cable. Unless the sparky you are using is actually certified for running data they will do things like hand crimp an RJ45 connector on to the end of a CAT5 cable for your in wall cabling. They seem to love CAT5 because it is cheaper and easier to work with.


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  #2513090 26-Jun-2020 16:43
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blackjack17:

 

Or you could do what my co-worker's sparky did and ignore the installed patch panel and terminate the cat 6

 

 

 

Friends don't let friends get "electricians" to do data cabling


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  #2513102 26-Jun-2020 17:02
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Make sure it's nailed down as to what you're after.

 

 

 

Plenty of sparkies can and will do a great job with data.

 

 

 

More can do a great job, but will do an OK job because they don't carry the parts, don't want the hassle, and they bid for low cost. This is where you'll mostly find the plugs and the Cat5e.

 

 

 

Some just don't have a clue.

 

 

 

It's also worth noting that they do make fully certified plugs for solid cable that are reliable, e.g. this from Belden. But they're bulky and expensive. The manufacturers are saying people are starting to use them for things like IP cameras, WAPs etc. where the device is fixed and it doesn't really make sense to have a box and faceplate next to it or in the ceiling. You also see them used for industrial ethernet.


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  #2513176 26-Jun-2020 17:39
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SomeoneSomewhere:

 

Make sure it's nailed down as to what you're after.

 

 

 

Plenty of sparkies can and will do a great job with data.

 

 

 

More can do a great job, but will do an OK job because they don't carry the parts, don't want the hassle, and they bid for low cost. This is where you'll mostly find the plugs and the Cat5e.

 

 

 

Some just don't have a clue.

 

 

 

It's also worth noting that they do make fully certified plugs for solid cable that are reliable, e.g. this from Belden. But they're bulky and expensive. The manufacturers are saying people are starting to use them for things like IP cameras, WAPs etc. where the device is fixed and it doesn't really make sense to have a box and faceplate next to it or in the ceiling. You also see them used for industrial ethernet.

 

 

This is interesting product to know about.

 

We had a network installer come and do some repair work on the one above install. There are two cables terminated with site installed clear plastic RJ45 plugs going into the cabinet for exterior cameras. The installer didn't install the cables onto the patch panel, because there weren't any remaining ports on the patch panel.  So there are RJ45 plugs on each end of the cable.  After the network installer tested the previous installers work, he discovered that 1 out of the 4 RJ45 plugs was wiring incorrectly. The network guy said it was an easy mistake to make, because the wires can cross when they are installed. But it showed that the original installer didn't test their work.

 

I would also make sure they fully test the network with a continuity tester at each end of the plug, and also make sure thy label them all correctly. We still have one port on the patch panel, which is wired up, but where we don't know exactly where the other end of the cable goes.

 

Next time I am going to do much of it myself so I can then  be sure it is all done properly.


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