How to Install a Patch Panel

Written by dave wilson
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How to Install a Patch Panel
Rack and wire patch panels in order to secure Category 5 cable infrastructure. (network cables image by glinn from Fotolia.com)

Network infrastructure cabling usually includes a large number of Category 5, 5E or 6 cables that are pulled from various locations throughout a building into a single wiring closet. In order to organise the cables and protect them from damage, patch panels that feature punchdown blocks for terminating the cables are used extensively in wiring closets. Connect network infrastructure cables to the back of a patch panel using a punchdown tool and wire-strippers.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • CAT5 cables for each port on patch panel
  • Wire-stripper tool
  • Patch panel with 110 punchdown blocks
  • Punchdown tool with 110 blade
  • Network equipment rack with space for patch panel

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Place the patch panel in a rack location above other racked equipment. Secure the patch panel to the rack using the four screws provided with the patch panel.

  2. 2

    Cut off 4 centimetres of plastic sheath from the end of each CAT5 cable using a wire stripper tool. Separate and straighten one inch at the end of each wire.

  3. 3

    Position each wire on the back of the patch panel in a slot on a 110 punchdown block, from left to right, according to the following pinout:

    Pin 1: White/Green wire

    Pin 2: Green wire

    Pin 3: White/Orange wire

    Pin 4: Blue wire

    Pin 5: White/Blue wire

    Pin 6: Orange wire

    Pin 7: White/Brown wire

    Pin 8: Brown wire

    Each wire will protrude past the end of the 110 punchdown block and be trimmed in the next step.

  4. 4

    Use the punchdown tool to set each wire into the punchdown block by pressing each wire into its slot. Ensure that the punchdown tool's "Cut" or "Cutter" blade is positioned toward the wires being punched down so that the tool trims the wires properly.

  5. 5

    Follow the punchdown procedure for all CAT5 cables being secured to the patch panel.

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