How to Wire a CAT 5E Patch Panel

Updated April 17, 2017

Gigabit network infrastructure requires the installation of CAT5E or CAT6 (Category 5E or Category 6) cabling at a minimum in order to support high-speed data transfer. CAT5E cable is designed to meet the current CAT5 cable specification, which includes an increased number of twists per inch on each pair of wires inside the cable sheathing to prevent cross-talk interference on the network. Depending upon the location and quantity involved, CAT5E may be more cost effective than CAT6 cable and so may be a better choice for cable infrastructure. Once installed, the cable must be properly terminated to ensure optimum performance of the network. Multiple CAT5E cables can be terminated onto a patch panel for ease of cable management and cable integrity.

Use a wire stripper tool to strip off approximately two inches of the protective plastic cover from each end of a CAT5E cable. Untwist one inch of wire at the end of each twisted pair.

Place each untwisted wire in a slot on a 110 punchdown block corresponding to a single port on the back of the patch panel. Arrange the wires from left to right as shown in the following pinout:

Pin 1 - white/blue wire

Pin 2 - blue wire

Pin 3 - white/orange wire

Pin 4 - orange wire

Pin 5 - white/green wire

Pin 6 - green wire

Pin 7 - white/brown wire

Pin 8 - brown wire

Each wire should extend beyond the end of the punchdown block slot.

Press each wire into its slot using a punchdown tool with the "Cut" or "Cutter" blade positioned toward the wires being punched down. When each wire is pressed into its slot, the punchdown tool will trim the excess extending beyond from the slot.

Repeat the punchdown procedure for each CAT5E cable that will be connected to the patch panel.

Things You'll Need

  • CAT5E cables pulled to the patch panel
  • Patch panel with 110 style punchdown blocks
  • Wire stripper tool
  • Punchdown tool with 110-style blade
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About the Author

Dave Wilson has been writing technical articles since 1993, including manuals, instructional "how-to" tips and online publications with various websites. Wilson holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles and has Microsoft, Cisco, and ISC2 (CISSP) technical certifications. He also has experience with a broad range of computer platforms, embedded systems, network appliances and Linux.