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Old 11-24-2003, 03:10 AM   #1
ivwshane
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Join Date: May 2000
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Default Patch panel vs. switch?

Ok I'm really surprised I don't know this

I plan on wiring my home with cat5e and I was planning to plug everything into a switch but most network setups I see use a patch panel. Why? I guess I really don't understand what a patch panel does.

Anyone care to elaborate?
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Old 11-24-2003, 06:30 AM   #2
ktwebb
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Default RE:Patch panel vs. switch?

You'll still use a switch regardless of whether you use a patch panel or not. Well, a switch or a hub. Patch panels clean your wiring closet up. Easy to lable for which port in which room. Wiring punch downs are easier if your running your own calble, then you'd use patch cables to the switch. Various reasons. They are a compliment to a switch, not a replacement.
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Old 11-24-2003, 08:38 AM   #3
BS911
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Default RE:Patch panel vs. switch?

Like KT said the patch panel is very good for cleaning up a wireing closet. Also the main reason for the patch panel is so that you don't physically damage the cable when plugging into a switch etc. When using a patch panel you use patch cables to patch from the panel to the switch and if you ever damage one all you do is replace the patch cable rather then having to recrimp or replace the original cable.
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Old 11-24-2003, 01:13 PM   #4
groovin
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Default RE:Patch panel vs. switch?

all the wiring from the ethernet drops (jacks) in the walls of a building will lead to a wiring closet... you can have all those wires have RJ-45s on the ends and plug them straight into a switch OR have those wires punch down into a patch panel and then have some shorter cat5e cables (with RJ-45 on both ends) plug between the panel and switch. as mentioned, this keeps things very organized. you can say all the drops in the accounting area of a building punch down to ports 1-45 (for example) on a panel, then have those ports plug into a switch for that area... then have human resources punch down to 46-65 and go to their own switch... this is just an example to clarify.

if youre dealing with a large number of drops, then a patch panel is a necesity. if youre only dealing with several wires, then you can probaly get by with just plugging them direclty into a switch.
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Old 11-24-2003, 06:03 PM   #5
ivwshane
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Default RE:Patch panel vs. switch?

Thanks guys! I want to keep it as neat as possible so I think I will use a patch panel as well since it's pretty inexpensive.
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Old 11-24-2003, 06:28 PM   #6
zTargeTz
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Default RE:Patch panel vs. switch?

Quote:
Originally posted by: ivwshane
Thanks guys! I want to keep it as neat as possible so I think I will use a patch panel as well since it's pretty inexpensive.
Patch pannels really are just for testing / easy reconfiguration.

i dunno if you've priced a good quality patch pannel, but they are not cheap! plus you will have to learn how to punch down the cat5 in the back (if you dont already know how) really more trouble than its worth for a home aplication

Just use ZipTies and keep your cables bundled together, they will be neat and you wont have to mess with a patchpannel & mounting it on the wall ect..
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Old 11-24-2003, 06:49 PM   #7
ivwshane
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Default RE:Patch panel vs. switch?

What makes a patch panel good? I saw some 24 port patch panels for about $60. As far as learning how to do the punch down type, that's no big deal since this is all one big learning experience anyway.
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Old 11-24-2003, 06:58 PM   #8
zTargeTz
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Default RE:Patch panel vs. switch?

Quote:
Originally posted by: ivwshane
What makes a patch panel good? I saw some 24 port patch panels for about $60. As far as learning how to do the punch down type, that's no big deal since this is all one big learning experience anyway.

Well im really used to working on a much larger scale than a home network, the last patch pannel i picked up (96 port) cost 450 odd dollars, a punch down tool (110block and 66block) is around 50, so is a RJ-45 crimper, the UTP is fairly cheap, not sure on a cost per foot, but that should be fairly inexpensive. your going to have to mount your patch pannel to the wall, not sure if your version comes with wall mounts, so think about that too.

if its a learnign experience and you've got the fundage for it, go for it, but for 8-12 drops in your house, you really dont need it. thats all i was saying
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Old 11-24-2003, 07:24 PM   #9
ivwshane
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Default RE: Patch panel vs. switch?

Thanks for the info, I'm guessing I'll be doing at least 24 drops (6-8 per room).

The other reason I was thinking of using the patch panel was because I'd like to use some of the lines for phone.
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