Patch Panel Testing & Termination services – What is the purpose of patch panel in networking

By and large in computer networking, television, radio, or in radio studios Patch panel is being used. The patch panel is also known as jack field, patch bay, patch field and so forth. The “Patch” terminology belongs to the use of substitute that reserved to support the failed services temporarily on telephony and radio stations at early ages. Over that early phase patch cords or patch panels had been used as reconnection tool as like the cord-type telephone switchboard’s jack field.     

Patch Panel is a device that has a number of same or similar kinds of jacks; the purpose of the jacks are connecting and routing circuits to interconnect monitor and test the circuits so that it can be ensured that the circuits are working in flexible and user-friendly manner.

how to install a patch panel

While checking out all the real life patch panel wiring diagram examples several common steps have usually been followed. The steps that are mentioned underneath will provide light in the process of how to install a patch panel and switch. The steps are-

  • Acquisition of Patch Panels- Patch panel is easily available in electrical parts stores or supply stores of electronic items. Purchasing appropriate patch panels are most important since if patch panel contains sufficient connectors then it will be able to accommodate all the incoming Ethernet cables.
  • Formulation of Cabling Map- To diagnose the infrastructure problem and proper maintenance of further up gradation formulation of cabling map is necessary. From cabling map system administrator will get the accurate indication which inward cables are terminated to which patch panel connectors.
  • Removing cable jacket from every inward Ethernet Cable- It is suggested to cut off, remove and discard the cable jacket about 1.5 inches from every cable end by using the wire strippers.
  • Removing internal tubing- In the case of Cat6 type incoming Ethernet cable; it is mandatory to remove the internal plastic jacket under the outer cable carefully by using wire cutters.
  • Spreading out of Cable wire- In the inside of the Ethernet cable. There are 4 twisted pairs of wires; each of the wire needs to be untwisted and spread them out. It must be noted here that patch panel wiring color codes must be kept in mind since the wires are color coded by solid colors, and rest of the four with a white stripe around the color.
  • Setting up the wires in patch panel connector- In this phase placement of eight wires is done with the patch panel of 110 style connector that has been chosen to receive cable. According to the color-coded label, wires will be placed with the connector pins. It must be ensured that every wire extent both sets of teeth of the insulation displacement connector.
  • Connection construction-By using a patch panel push tool tightly press down on each of the wire hence it is clutched by both sets of teeth of the insulation displacement connector.
  • Patch panel ethernet.

patch panel ethernet

In the case of cat6 patch panel termination, the process is remarkably different. Therefore some special instructions are suggested to be followed while going through the patch panel termination diagram. The steps are discussed below- 

  • Band the cable about 3–6 inches of its protective outside jacket from the end. Here cabling scissors will be used to put pressure by rotating the scissors around the cable. It will be easy to pull the jacket off from easily leaving exposed wires once the cable jacket has been punctured.
  • Cut and strip the cable to expose about 6 more inches of fresh wires. Most of the twisted pair like Cat5, Cat5e and Cat6 cables contain a small string inside the cable to assist with this process.
  • Make strip cut in the jacket of the cable; If cable contains the small string, by keeping the untouched condition of every relevant wire use the string to pull towards the fresh end of the cable exposing about 6 inches of the particular cable then Cut the string after getting enough exposed cable.
  • In case of cable does not contain the small string, make a strip in the jacket as mentioned above and smoothly pull all of the wires together by one hand and pull the jacket in the by another hand in opposite direction. All Cat6 cables pursue a standard color pattern for the individual wires that are Green, Blue, Orange, and Brown. Per color contains two wires for instance- White/Blue and Blue, White/Green and Green, White/Orange and Orange, White/Brown and Brown. By looking at the back side of the patch panel, one will get the corresponding colors where the cable will terminate.
  • After finding out the accurate guide, a decision must be taken to choose the port on the patch panel where the cable will be connected. Usually, in practice, the practice is to terminate in ascending order so start at the lowest number of instance-First cable should be terminated to the 1st port and so forth.
  • From the jacket make the wires untwisted absolutely and put the wires into the appropriate color slot on the patch panel as tightly as possible in the slots considering the jacket. Little or no exposure and untwisted wire It is desirable for keeping the signal strength higher.
  • Terminate every exposed wire. After placing and verifying all the wires are in the accurate position it must be ensured that sure as little amount of exposed wires will be left. To ensure that it is prescribed to use the punch down tool with the 110 blade and terminate each wire separately.
  • With a Zip tie secure the cable to the patch panel if slot for a zip tie is available
  • In the finishing; to assure correct termination of all the wires it is prescribed to use a cable tester.

VIDEO: What is a Patch Panel? Do You Need One?

Patch panel punches down tool or krone tool, refers to a tool that has been used to join telecommunications and network wires to a patch panel, punch down the block, keystone module, or surface mount box. The part of the name “punch down” belongs to the design of punching a wire into location by using an impact action.

Most of the punches down tools are impact types that consist of an internal spring mechanism, a handle, along with a removable slotted blade. For using the Patch panel punch down tool

  • On a punch block, a wire is pre-positioned into a slotted position
  • The punch down tool is pushed down on top of the wire, over the position
  • After reaching the required pressure, an internal spring is triggered, and the blade presses on the wire into the slot, at the same time cut the insulation and secure the wire. 

By and large, the punch down tool blade used to cut off excess wire; if this cutoff feature is heavily used then the tool blade must be re-sharpened or replaced after a certain period of time. Without the sharp edge, tool blades are also available and these are used for continuing a wire through a slotted position to make links with another slotted position. For the purpose of light-duty usage, less-expensive punch down tools with fixed blades and no impact mechanism are available as well but these low-cost tools are more time-consuming for making consistent links, and can consequences muscle fatigue while using for huge numbers of links.

Krone blocks require different blades to accommodate different connector types for instance- 66, 110, BIX  Removable blades for 66 or 110 seems to double-ended usually. To trim the wire krone blades require a separate scissor-like device.

Some example of Patch panel punch down tools are- ADC-CommScope QB-2 QCP Impact Punchdown Tool for QPC II ProPatch Panels, ADC-CommScope QB-4 Punch Down Tool for QPC IV ProPatch Panels, Bittree SBCTLKT01 Bittree E3 Connector Toolkit, TRS 1/4 Inch Patch Bay Burnishing Tool and so forth. 

While installing patch panel, how to install patch panel on the rack can be a major query to ask from the installer. To install in desired locations prescribed and well-established patch panel installation guide must be followed.

  • Placement of the patch panel on an equipment rack or corresponding wall-mount hardware.
  • Route cables from the backside of the patch panel and loosely attach them with cable ties to the wire managing device.
  • Building up a stern wire manager behind the patch panel. The preferable location could be close to its top.
  • Remove only the necessary cable jacket to terminate the conductors.
  • Frame the conductors into the retention slots on the connecting blocks. In this phase, one should be careful enough not to untwist the cable pairs more than one-half inch for Category 5 cables. Proper inspection is a must before the termination of the wires.
  • Automatic impact tool or corresponding tools must be used while terminating the conductors. This particular function will accommodate the conductors one at a time and cut off the excess wire respectively.
  • After termination of all of the cables and snapping all the couplers into the panel, gear the cable slack behind the panel and tighten the cable ties.

At the end, in a nutshell, it can be said that a patch panel in a local area network (LAN) contains ports used to link and control incoming and outgoing LAN cables. Patch panel permits LANs with the facility to connect to wide area networks or to the Internet. Therefore proper knowledge regarding Patch Panel Testing services & Patch Panel Termination services is important to optimize the performance of this particular device.