How to Set Up a Patch Panel

Written by jedadiah casey
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How to Set Up a Patch Panel
An Ethernet patch panel makes wiring management easier. (ethernet connections image by TekinT from

An IEEE-802.3 based Category 5 Ethernet patch panel is typically installed in wiring closets in office environments as a central location for Ethernet wiring to terminate. With all the Ethernet cable runs terminating at a patch panel, it makes it easier to manage and upgrade the Ethernet network as necessary. For example, if a new faster switch is upgraded, it is easier to connect the shorter Ethernet cables to a patch panel than to manage each individual cable run.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Ethernet punchdown tool

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  1. 1

    Remove approximately 2 inches of the outer shield of each Ethernet cable to connect to the patch panel.

  2. 2

    For each Ethernet cable, untwist and straighten all the inner coloured wires.

  3. 3

    Place each colour coded wire into the matching colour coded spot on the back of the patch panel.

  4. 4

    Secure the colour coded wires to the patch panel with the punchdown tool.

  5. 5

    Use wire cutters to trim the ends off the punched-down wires if the punchdown tool does not do this when the wires are punched down.

Tips and warnings

  • Most patch panels have colour coded wiring for two different wiring schemes. Choose the "B" scheme for traditional Ethernet networks.

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