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Standard User joconnell
(experienced) Thu 27-Jan-11 13:28:39
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Terminating Cat5 at patch panel and faceplates


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I've yet to terminate the connections for my home network which consists of 7 dual-gang faceplates spread across the bedrooms, lounge and hallway, all leading to a "node-zero" in the garage where I've mounted a patch panel. I need to do the second-fix soon and have a few questions.

To wire up the faceplates, I want to leave plenty of cable slack just in case I need to pull another inch or so for reconnecting an RJ45 module (in case of problems in future) and there's 6 inches or so of cable sticking out from the backbox. Can I just push the slack cable back down into the hole without causing any issues? If not can I loop the slack cable in the backbox and behind the faceplate/modules (assuming of course that it'll fit)?

At the patch panel end I have cables coming down from the ceiling and up from the floor. The patch panel is installed in a hinged cabinet - actually one of these - the patch panel swings out from the right so I'll need plenty of slack in the cables attached to the back of the patch panel (otherwise I won't be able to easily swing open the patch panel). To achieve this, can I just loop the cables before terminating them at the patch panel? Or would that cause signal problems due to interference etc?

Apologies in advance for these basic "newbie" questions, just trying to complete my network so that it works and works well.

tia
Standard User camieabz
(legend) Thu 27-Jan-11 14:15:55
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Re: Terminating Cat5 at patch panel and faceplates


[re: joconnell] [link to this post]
 
I don't think looping the cables will make a massive difference. Use Cat5e/Cat6 for best results.

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Standard User MHC
(legend) Thu 27-Jan-11 15:11:32
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Re: Terminating Cat5 at patch panel and faceplates


[re: joconnell] [link to this post]
 
No real problems with those thoughts - the loop at the patch panel with them bundled together will be fine. I have 20 running through trunking all tightly bunched and no problems with achieving full speed.





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Standard User shtu
(experienced) Thu 27-Jan-11 15:55:30
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Re: Terminating Cat5 at patch panel and faceplates


[re: joconnell] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by joconnell:
there's 6 inches or so of cable sticking out from the backbox. Can I just push the slack cable back down into the hole without causing any issues?

can I just loop the cables before terminating them at the patch panel? Or would that cause signal problems due to interference etc?


If it's only six inches (fnarr), just push it back into the wall space, that'll be fine. You ideally want to avoid breaking the rules on minimum turn radius for your cable, and stuffing a coil into the backbox is more likely to give you grief. PITA to do, too.

What I would tend to do at the panel end is leave the cable straight-but-with spare length (maybe unhook the panel and work at a convenient height) , terminate them, cable-tie the buch together neatly, and then form a loop out tof the extra length you need.

You can do this by twisting the bunch - hard to describe, try it with a bit of garden hose and you'll see what I mean, Much easier than actually trying to wind a coil out of umpteen seperate cables.
Standard User joconnell
(experienced) Thu 27-Jan-11 17:01:40
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Re: Terminating Cat5 at patch panel and faceplates


[re: shtu] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by shtu:
If it's only six inches (fnarr), just push it back into the wall space, that'll be fine. You ideally want to avoid breaking the rules on minimum turn radius for your cable, and stuffing a coil into the backbox is more likely to give you grief. PITA to do, too.

I completely agree, I wasn't looking forward to coiling the slack if that's needed. what's the minimum turn radius? Is it something like 4 x the cable diameter?

In reply to a post by shtu:
What I would tend to do at the panel end is leave the cable straight-but-with spare length (maybe unhook the panel and work at a convenient height) , terminate them, cable-tie the buch together neatly, and then form a loop out tof the extra length you need.

Good suggestion. What I might do is swing out the patch panel on the hinge, terminate the cables in that position and then when I "close" the panel, carefully loop the cable-tied bunch.

For the cables running down from the ceiling, what I've done is dropped the cables behind the gap between the cabinet and wall, and at about 6" (steady) below the cabinet, looped the cable bunch back up through the entrance hole at the bottom of the cabinet - that way if those cables are terminated at the points furthest away from the hinge (i.e. port 1) then the looped bunch can move up and down below/behind the cabinet (hopefully that makes sense).

Thanks to you and the others for your feedback and advice so far.
smile
Standard User shtu
(experienced) Mon 31-Jan-11 16:52:54
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Re: Terminating Cat5 at patch panel and faceplates


[re: joconnell] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by joconnell:
what's the minimum turn radius? Is it something like 4 x the cable diameter?


Roughly. Generally, it'll lie just fine by itself unless you force it into a corner or put a kink into it, that's why I wouldn't try and coil it behind the outlet.
Standard User joconnell
(experienced) Mon 07-Feb-11 14:20:40
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Re: Terminating Cat5 at patch panel and faceplates


[re: joconnell] [link to this post]
 
I finished the second-fix yesterday - 14 connections took me almost a whole day, but I did take my time to ensure that I got it right. I haven't done a real-world test yet, I still need to plug in some network devices and PCs and check that it all works fine, but the LAN signal tester indicates that all the wiring is correct, so fingers crossed for the real world test.

At the modules/faceplates end, I ended up pushing the cable down the conduit as far as it would easily go, cut the cable so that it poked out about 30mm above the bottom of the backbox, pulled it out again and then connected the RJ45 module.

At the patch panel end, I had plenty of slack cable so I coiled each one two turns of a 9" dia. coil, offered each cable up to the rear of the patch panel and then cut the cable a few inches beyond that before terminating on the panel's IDC block.

With the cable terminated at either end, I tested with the line tester, then pushed each module back down in the backbox and then fitted the faceplate. Then retested with the line tester.

The only problem I encountered was with the twin-backbox that houses the telephone socket and one of my dual RJ45 faceplates: I found I couldn't move the cat5e cable down the conduit as the sparkie hadn't used a plastic conduit behind the backbox and the bonding cement had set around the cable, rendering it immovable. I ended up carefully coiling the cables behind the BT faceplate and the RJ45 faceplate to provide a few inches of slack.

Once I've finished setting up my network, I'll post back here with an update.

Thanks very much for all your advice and help with my various posts in this forum.
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