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Thread: Mounting patch panels ...

  1. #11
    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    thanks again ...

    for power they could be what we use ... not sure about using them for patch leads, though in many ways they would be ideal, in terms of flexibility & being neat & tidy, because the cost would be too much unless it was just a few that were required, but we'll be needing more than that ...
    Last edited by chris_j_hunter; 31st August 2010 at 05:48 PM.

  2. #12
    Automated Home Legend TimH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris_j_hunter View Post
    19" racks are one way to accommodate patch-panels, but they cost & take space, and offer fairly cramped conditions for wiring-up, especially given that tights turns with Cat-5 or '6 are bad for data-rates ...

    so, by any chance, are there alternatives, that people have tried, and found to work well ... ??
    I will probably stick with 19" patch panels but mount them on a custom frame. I'm re-working my wiring cupboard at the moment and don't have much space so a conventional cabinet is "out".

    I'll either mount the patch panels on short lengths of rack strip and then on a hinged frame, ir directly onto a frame.

    You could also look at the 10" rack kit (e.g. http://www.cablemonkey.co.uk/acatalog/Panels3.html) but, IIRC, it's not as economically priced as the more common 19" stuff. There's certainly not the same second-user market, for eg.

    As another thought you could have a 2-section 19" cabinet where the patch panels are mounted to the front bit which then hinges open to reveal the terminations on the rear - might be easier in cramped conditions? (http://www.comms-express.com/categor...nted-cabinets/)

    and (I know its for fibre but its the same principle )



    HTH,

    Tim.
    Last edited by TimH; 1st September 2010 at 01:02 PM.

  3. #13
    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    Tim - many thanks ... interesting, neat idea, neat box, too, and price seems not too-bad, 'though it adds-up when all the bits & pieces, shelves etc, are included ... they'd need space to swing which, as with you, could be difficult ... can't help feeling, too, that (all) cabinets tend to be very cramped, making installation difficult & cooling sometimes an issue ...

    hmmm ... our garage wall is big & spacious, and the bigger stuff (like those cabinets) could be put above shoulder-height to keep them out of the way, it's not central, making for longer cable-runs ... but we've some landing wall-space on each floor that is more-so - an alcove at the foot of the stairs in the basement that's 1100mm wide & 500mm deep & might take a lot of the electrical stuff (left-half for power, right-half for signal, and HA bits & pieces in each), a differently-shaped alcove on the middle floor, and my mini-study on the top floor, one directly above the other ...

    ie: we could have CU(s), patch-panels, & some equipment, on each floor, radial connections to everything on that floor, and vertical interconnects between floors ...

    eg: on the top floor : a CU connected radially to everything on that floor, with a power-feed from the floor below; two patch-panels, one connected radially to everything on that floor and another providing connections to (another on) the floor below, with patch-leads joining the two going - via a network-switch on a shelf in appropriate cases ...

    'favoured approach for the basement alcove, at the moment, is to run three 4x2 timber posts vertically, stood a bit forward of the back wall, and span patch-panels & shelves & mounting boards between them ... patch-panels up-high on the right, screwed to the front-edges, & well separated (so can reach behind & later coil excess lead into the space, out-the-way); mounting boards (for CUs etc) on the left & screwed to the back-edges of the uprights; and shelves (for equipments) to left & right, mostly down low, but also at other heights - and slotting-in (so can be removable) & projecting forward (for good depth) ... and a simple panel across the front to keep dust & inquisitive fingers out ... and a cooling air-flow arrangement (dedicated MVHR bottom supply & top extract) ...

    and variations on the theme for the other two floors ...

    the idea being, obviously, to have everything accessible from the front, making replacing or adding things & re-patching in the future as easy as it can-be ...

    most of the HA modules will be distributed about the house, on a free-toplogy bus, but some will be in the CUs, some on the boards and some on the shelves ...

    patch-panels would be through-coupled, for ease of wiring in the cramped space & the ability to buy the leads ready-made (any excess length coiled into the space between panels, as above) ...

    glass for the front-panels might be good, smoked or lightly obscured, to keep things visible in a SWMBO-friendly way ...

    it's a great theory, anyway !

    as soon as the builders have finished some heavy work (it goes-on forever, it seems, but October, hopefully, so have time to check all the sizes & lengths) we'll be doing this, unless in the meantime someone has a better idea, or can see a catch ...

    NB: CableNet & Homestead seem to do OK Cat-5 & Cat-6 through-coupled patch-panels & patch-leads from short to v.long (with various options, including colours & snagless connectors, unbranded & Belkin) at prices that seem affordable :

    http://www.cablenet.co.uk/catalogue/...atch-leads.htm

    http://www.homestead.co.uk/productsl...ialoffer=False

    there could be others, too, I guess ...

  4. #14
    Automated Home Legend TimH's Avatar
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    FWIW I've bought a reasonable amount (when in a previous job) from the Cablenet guys and have always found their service very good.

    Having done a lot of retrofit wiring in my own house, it's *much much* easier threading reeled cable, rather than pre-made patch leads through holes in joists and in conduit etc. The connectors end surprisingly large when you try to feed them, plus 4 other cables, through a 25-40mm diameter hole...

    The downside is the time taken to terminate the bare cables, but you do get the option to trim minor excess lengths to keep wiring tidy rather than trying to "lose" a spare meter or more of cable in the rack somewhere.

    HTH,

    Tim.

  5. #15
    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    Tim, thanks, good to know ... another source we have on our list is :

    http://www.transparent.uk.com/acatal...eSnagless.html

    'would have included them yesterday, but their server was down, so 'feared they mightn't be with us anymore ...

    >much much easier ...

    yep, can believe it ... though, with those thoughts in-mind (threading & termination), added to worries about lost data-rates due to kinked cables & too-tight radii, we've decided to go cut & cover rather than tunnelling (to use a London Tube analogy) ...

    ie: (helped by the fact our floors are not yet screeded) we'll lay the cables into the floor from above, rather than having to push them through ... this being encouraged also by the fact our floors are concrete (beam & block) so we can't drill holes in the joists (beams) ... though we can remove blocks (making threading cables between floors relatively easy, albeit we'll need to fill or enclose the hole after, to restore sound-isolation) ...

    if only we'd known about cable-trays when we started this house !
    Last edited by chris_j_hunter; 3rd September 2010 at 08:54 PM.

  6. #16
    Moderator toscal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TimH View Post
    FWIW I've bought a reasonable amount (when in a previous job) from the Cablenet guys and have always found their service very good.

    Having done a lot of retrofit wiring in my own house, it's *much much* easier threading reeled cable, rather than pre-made patch leads through holes in joists and in conduit etc. The connectors end surprisingly large when you try to feed them, plus 4 other cables, through a 25-40mm diameter hole...

    The downside is the time taken to terminate the bare cables, but you do get the option to trim minor excess lengths to keep wiring tidy rather than trying to "lose" a spare meter or more of cable in the rack somewhere.

    HTH,

    Tim.
    Agree totally here.
    I modified one of those wheel around clothes racks to take cable reels. I ended up with 2 modified clothes racks, one had a 500m wooden cable drum the other had 2 300m drums. The two lots of 300m cable was originally packed without a drum so I put it on a couple of spare drums I had lying about. I did take some photos, but can't find them at the moment.
    IF YOU CAN'T FIX IT WITH A HAMMER, YOU'VE GOT AN ELECTRICAL PROBLEM.
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  7. #17
    Automated Home Sr Member MrFluffy's Avatar
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    You can get the 10" mini patch panels to suit the 10" racks at reasonable cost.
    Ive got 5 of them mounted in my wiring closet and I think I paid 18e per panel which is ok considering theyre shielded to boot. Also you can mount with screws if you have no rail etc so you can screw them to a flat surface, krone the cables in and bing instant patching area.
    Ive put distributed tv, data, audio etc through mine already and all is fine, I cabled up with cat6 sftp cable and made all my own patch interconnects from the same with shielded plugs.

    I formed my wiring closet from some plastic ducting and the patch panels and a mini 100base 16 port own brand switch from ebuyer (about the most reliable switch Ive ever bought, and it replaced a cisco 2950 and 2800XL, although to be fair its not managed) , the adsl router lives in there etc etc , and managed it for a price well under 200e the lot.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrFluffy View Post
    You can get the 10" mini patch panels to suit the 10" racks at reasonable cost.
    Any suggestions as to suppliers (both for panels and racks)? I had a look around for them a few weeks ago and didn't find many suppliers and those I found were quite expensive.

    JD

  9. #19
    Moderator toscal's Avatar
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    Try here. Don't know if they are cheap or expensive.
    IF YOU CAN'T FIX IT WITH A HAMMER, YOU'VE GOT AN ELECTRICAL PROBLEM.
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  10. #20
    Automated Home Sr Member MrFluffy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jondye View Post
    Any suggestions as to suppliers (both for panels and racks)? I had a look around for them a few weeks ago and didn't find many suppliers and those I found were quite expensive.

    JD
    Theyre a generic part, I found 3 different brands which all came out the factory by the looks of it. Ive seen the same patch panels for sale for nearer 100e, and 18e from where I bought them depending on what whoever set the price point thought they could charge I guess, but the cheap price was a enterprise in France which is no use to you as shipping here is expensive. You'll just have to keep a eye out Im afraid.

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