FireFold Blog

How to Wire a Patch Panel

Internet connections are required in areas with large populations such as business settings and work environments. In such areas where employees are spread across various offices and floors, the computers are oftentimes connected to central servers. It is so simple to wire the internet to the server, but obviously creates a large build-up of cables around the server area, which must be routed and terminated with absolute care. Because it is barely possible to hardwire each Ethernet cable, the solution is to terminate the incoming cables at a patch panel. This makes it easy to connect the server to the patch panel with the help of short cables, which can as well be moved easily when there is a need to. To achieve this kind of wiring, consider the following guide on how to wire a patch panel:

Buy a patch panel

When buying the patch panel, ensure it has 110 style insulation displacement connectors. Similarly, make sure that there are enough patch connectors that can fit the Ethernet cables. Be sure to conduct a little research so that you can buy the right patch panel.

Design a cable map

This will be the only guide indicating to which panel connector a particular incoming cable is connected. Remember, there could be a need for system upgrades changes in future, so prepare the right map and label the patch panels accurately for this as well as problem diagnosis.

Remove cable jackets from incoming Ethernet cables

Cable jackets must be removed from the incoming Ethernet cables, and this is best done with the help of wire strippers. Cut the jacket approximately 1.5 inches from the cable, remove and discard it. Wire strippers are also available in hardware and electrical stores.

Remove internal plastic jackets (if any)

Sometimes you will be handling Cat6 type incoming Ethernet cables. These often come with an internal plastic jacket, which too should be removed. Use wire cutters in this operation and exercise absolute care. If you are using Cat5e incoming cables, however, you will not be required to undertake this step.

Untwist and spread the cable wires

Inside the Ethernet cables, you will find four pairs of twisted wires. Unwind these wires, but be careful not to mix them up. Four of the wires have solid colors while the rest have a strip of white alongside the solid color.

Set your wires to the panel connector

Each of the wires should then be set to the patch panel. The connector pins are fitted with labels containing color codes, which should guide you in selecting the type of wire that goes to a particular connector.

Complete your connections

Using a patch panel punch down tool, press each of the wires down firmly. This ensures that the wire is held in place by the insulation connector teeth. If this tool has a cutting edge, place it over the cut end of your Ethernet cables to cut off any extra wire while pressing. If it lacks the cutting edge, on the other hand, use your wire cutter to remove the excess wires that are spread over the edges of your connector.