Patch panel in small business?

Discussion in 'Wireless Internet' started by John E., Oct 12, 2007.

  1. John E.

    John E. Guest

    Is there any advantage to using a patch panel in a gigabit ethernet network?
    I'm pulling all new cables for less than 24 stations in a small business. The
    owner is questioning the need for the panel and wants RJ-45 plugs crimped
    right to the cables which will be plugged into the (cheap) Linksys SR2024
    switch.

    He's arguing that the fewer connections the better the reliability. I have to
    agree, but is there any reason I'm missing to use a patch panel in this
    situation?

    Thanks,
     
    John E., Oct 12, 2007
    #1
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  2. John E.

    John E. Guest

    I believe plugs crimped to solid wire cable are enough less reliable to
    About $40, retail, local. But it's not the cost, so much as the reliability
    issue (110 punch down plus the patch cable's connections, vs. crimped plugs
    into the switch).

    You're of the opinion that made-for-solid wire RJ-45 plugs crimped to solid
    cat5e cable is not reliable? I was not aware of this...
     
    John E., Oct 12, 2007
    #2
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  3. John E.

    Jim Prescott Guest

    I'll be interested in hearing what others say on this but one
    important point if you go this way is that there are different plugs
    for solid and stranded cable. Make sure you use the right kind.

    If the installation is small enough that you don't have plenum issues
    to contend with you might be able to get away with just buying long
    patch cables and not have to make anything.
    True, but better connections are also better for reliability. A crimp
    usually a worse connection.
     
    Jim Prescott, Oct 12, 2007
    #3
  4. John E.

    Adair Winter Guest

    I work for a communications company and I deal with stuff like this daily
    and personally I would go with a patch panel having that many connections.
    If it were less than 6 i might not worry about it however in this case to
    keep the wiring nice and neat plus add flexibility I would keep the patch
    panel.
    Also if you terminate the cable correctly you will likely never know there
    is a termination (at the patch panel), so be sure to keep the pairs twised
    right up the pins on the 110. Another thing to think about is that you can
    use patch cables that are premade and tested. if you crimp your own you risk
    them not being as good as a professional cable. I make my own cables daily
    but I know how to do it correctly if you do too then fine.. but the
    flexibility of a nicely wired patch panel is worth alot more than the cost
    of it.
    Ask him this, if patch panels are no good why do the biggest datacenters in
    the world use them?

    Adair
     
    Adair Winter, Oct 12, 2007
    #4
  5. John E.

    Adair Winter Guest

    It sounds like the cable is already in place.

    I agree. A patch cable with good strain releaf is a much better way to go.
     
    Adair Winter, Oct 12, 2007
    #5
  6. I believe plugs crimped to solid wire cable are enough less reliable to
    offset the other points of failure. That doesn't mean I wouldn't do it,
    though. How much does the patch panel cost?

    -- glen
     
    glen herrmannsfeldt, Oct 12, 2007
    #6
  7. John E.

    John E. Guest

    It sounds like the cable is already in place.

    No, not yet.
    Seems to be the consensus.
     
    John E., Oct 12, 2007
    #7
  8. John E.

    John E. Guest

    I'll be interested in hearing what others say on this but one
    Fully aware of the difference and need for the former (solid) type, in this
    case.
    What are "plenum issues"? You mean running between floors and such? No such
    thing in this small, 1-story building.
    50-60 foot patch cables??
    Ah, good information to know.
     
    John E., Oct 12, 2007
    #8
  9. John E.

    George Guest


    Its never appropriate to use solid conductor cable as patch cable which
    is effectively what you are doing by crimping a plug onto the solid
    conductor cable.

    Sounds like you are just dealing with someone who wants a cheap job and
    wants to tell you what to do even if it isn't standard practice.
     
    George, Oct 12, 2007
    #9
  10. John E.

    George Guest


    Actually you could very well need plenum rated cable in a 1 story building.
     
    George, Oct 12, 2007
    #10
  11. John E.

    John E. Guest

    Its never appropriate to use solid conductor cable as patch cable which
    So you're of the opinion that solid cable / RJ-45 crimps are never good? (I'm
    taking a poll...)
    He writes the checks...
     
    John E., Oct 12, 2007
    #11
  12. John E.

    George Guest

    That should never be a consideration for not doing work according to
    standard and accepted practice.

    A business needing twenty four runs isn't some guy selling stuff on ebay
    from his basement.

    He is pushing to see how cheap of a job he can get. If the guy wants a
    Mickey Mouse job then let him find someone else to do it. Do you want
    your name and reputation associated with crappy work?

    What would say your body shop do if you were having work done and you
    said "don't bother with the primer just slap the finish paint on because
    I want to cheap out"?
     
    George, Oct 13, 2007
    #12
  13. John E.

    Pen Guest

    After many years in varying electronics related careers I learned that
    solid wire anything is a disaster eventually when used in any situation
    where it can flex. The telephone, broadcast and recording industries
    learned this long before the computer pros came to the same conclusion.
     
    Pen, Oct 13, 2007
    #13
  14. John E.

    atec77 Guest

    You really should run the panel for the mechanical benefits ,
    remember solid core with a plug and some motion will fail , now he
    seems to be kinda cheep so do you really want to have your name on the
    cert ? , use the panel and good quality patches as plugs and solid mix
    badly
     
    atec77, Oct 13, 2007
    #14
  15. John E.

    Rick Merrill Guest

    Not true with RF, but you have to follow the 3" radius(?) rule.
     
    Rick Merrill, Oct 13, 2007
    #15
  16. John E.

    Jim Prescott Guest

    Fire code may require that special plenum rated cable be used in plenums.
    If you are running above a drop ceiling or inside of walls you probably
    need to use plenum rated cable. Wiki has some info
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plenum_cable
    www.cyberguys.com cat5e patch cables, 50ft 9.91, 100ft $18.99
     
    Jim Prescott, Oct 13, 2007
    #16
  17. John E.

    DLR Guest

    I agree. You want the solid wire to not flex or over time it will fail. And putting plugs on it and connecting that to a switch means it will be moving. Way more than anyone thinks. Things will change and things will need to be moved, upgraded, etc...

    If you go to a patch panel you're basically putting the hard to replace cable into a static situation. And the failure points are now in the $3 to $15 patch cables which can be tossed and replaced easily. Heck even if you don't plan ahead and keep spares lying about, you can run to Wal-Mart these days at 3 am Sunday if needed to get a Cat-5e patch cable. :)

    As to plenum needs, the number of stories and size of the space has nothing to do with it. It is based on how and where air flows and the local building codes. Some places now require all "permanent" cables to be plenum rated.

    David
     
    DLR, Oct 13, 2007
    #17
  18. John E.

    Wayne R. Guest

    From this thread I hear these items:

    Crimping a plug is really hard to get right but punching a jack is
    easy.

    Terminating cables to one device is inherently better than terminating
    cables to another.

    No cable management devices/hardware/concepts required.

    So a simple direct termination to a switch, with simple cable
    management (to avoid mechanical issues) is tossed as inexpensive &
    viable in favor of terminating to a patch panel and adding more
    connections that are allowed to flop around as needed?

    When astronauts needed to write in space we spent millions coming up
    with space pens. Cosmonauts used pencils.
     
    Wayne R., Oct 13, 2007
    #18
  19. John E.

    Al Dykes Guest


    Have you tried to crimp RJ45 jacks in the real world and tried 110
    punchdowns? I get no sense from your post that you've ever done
    either. Until you've tried the jacks, don't underestimate how much of
    a PITA they can be.

    For a simple network, use surface mount 110-RJ45 blocks close to each
    end of any cable that runs between rooms.

    For a high-density location, use a wall-mount patch panel like
    this. They are available sized from 8 jacks and up.

    http://www.pacificcable.com/Picture_Page.asp?DataName=PL1
     
    Al Dykes, Oct 13, 2007
    #19
  20. John E.

    Adair Winter Guest

    Depending on your enviroment you may need plenum rated cable. (more
    expensive)
    Does the building have ducted return air? If not and the return air travel
    in the above drop ceiling space you need to use plenum cable.
    PVC puts of a nasty costic smoke when it get's hot and burns.


    Adair
     
    Adair Winter, Oct 13, 2007
    #20
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