Use patch panels to organise ports in a computer network. A patch panel allows you to centralise all network connections in a local or wide area network in one place. Through the patch panel, you can make all connections to the Internet or another network. Connect patch panels to switches, outside connections or internal connections to easily manage your network connections in one place. Ethernet cables can be rearranged to quickly change the circuits on your network.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Patch cables
- Punch tool
- Wire stripper
- Switch panel
Mount your patch panel in a rack as stated with your patch panel installation instructions. These vary based on your patch panel. Racks are typically placed in a closet or other small area to prevent tampering. You can install multiple patch panels and networking equipment on a single rack.
Connect the patch panel's power cable to a power source.
Run your network or patch cables through the walls or ceilings to the patch panel's room. These can be run from switches, wall connections or from a single device.
Strip approximately 1/2 inch from the end of the cable you want to connect to the patch panel.
Insert the coloured wires into an available patch panel connector. The connector is colour-coded. Patch panel connectors are typically white, with eight slots for each individual wire.
Use a punch tool to insert the wires into the patch panel connector.
Connect patch cables or Ethernet cables from a port on the patch panel to a port on the switch panel.
Tips and warnings
- Typically each wire connects a single room or area to the network.
- Label the patch panel based on device, room or area to easily troubleshoot connection issues.
- You can create your own patch cables to save money (see Resources).
- Do not cut or damage patch cables or Ethernet cables as you run them into the patch panel room.
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