What is a patch panel?

The switchboard performs two main functions – provides contact between active equipment, and allows you to organize structured cabling systems. The term “patch panel” came to us from the English language and is used as professional jargon. The switching panel is included in the list of passive network equipment SCS.

A patch panel is a device that has enough RJ45 ports on the front. Network devices will be connected through these ports by means of patch cords. And on the opposite side of the patch panel are IDC connectors, each of which is connected according to the front connector. To fix the cable in the patch panel with a special tool, you must press the cores between the contacts. Experts began to call this type of tool “Driving”. This connection provides a secure fixation of the core inside the switchboard.

Telephony also uses IDC contact – in this application they are called cross. A very common mistake is when a patch panel is called a cross panel or cross panel. In modern LANs, the cross panel is rarely used. Such panels do not have an RJ45 socket and are not used in networks with frequent connection. Most often, cross-panels can be found in analog telephony.

For patch panels, there are a number of characteristics by which they are divided. Depending on the characteristics of the patch panel, their price may differ.

  • Patch panel size is a parameter that determines the width of the patch panel. The most popular standard is 19 ″ and 10 ″ inches.
  • Port type is a parameter that defines the usage environment of the panel. In our section computer or telephone panels are presented.
  • Number of ports – the most common are computer patch panels for 24, 48 ports. Telephone networks use 25 or 50 ports.
  • Composition of ports – the patch panel can consist of the same type of ports (for example RJ45, RJ12), or a possibility of installation of several types of modules. Such patch panels are called typesetting.
  • Grounding – in patch panels modules can be unshielded (UTP) and shielded (FTP). If grounding is present throughout the cable structure network, the ports must be shielded.
  • Category – the most common switching panel has category 5e. But there are also categories 6, 6a, 7,7a.

The advantages of patch panels include quick and easy switching, practicality, ease of installation and operation.