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Installation of LAN Cabling for 100mb Cat5e - Page 5- Panduit Patch Panel Modules

Here we are going to talk about how to terminate the lan cable properly at the rack cabinet. For this task we are using a Panduit Modular Patch Panel. You can one at the top photo. It is basically a blank metal rackmounted 1U Panel and you snap into it individual Panduit Mini-Com modules for each lan connection. This is perhaps a more expensive way to do it that using a patch panel which has punchdown blocks at the rear but it is a very nice solution if you want to install lan connections one by one. This is because you do not have to remove the whole panel to install one connection. The panel simply stays in place and the other connections you installed before remain live as you install the next connection.


To understand how it works you have to first see one of the clever Mini-Com modules. You can see the two pieces at the left photo. The part which you do most of the work is the clear plastic one which has the colours of the wires indicated in the T568B and T568A standards. As we have used the T568B standard in the Lan sockets as discussed previously, we must use the same standard here as the cable will be what is called a "straight through" lan cable.

First we must insert the lan cable through the back of the patch panel and mark where to cut the cable to avoid having excess cable.

Then we will strip the outer sleeve from the lan cable carefully without damaging the sleeves of each individual wire. Then we untwist each of the pairs of wires and insert them through the correct holes in the clear plastic part of the module, according to the T568B specification which is indicated on both sides of the piece. It is best to straighten each wire properly and arrange them in the correct series for the holes. This is to avoid bending and forcing individual wires excessively.

Then you have to bend the wires upwards.
And then you trim the wires with a pair of electricians scissors or similar.
Then you place the clear plastic part into the main part of the module.
And finally you compress the two pieces together using a pair of slip pliers. There is actually a special Panduit tool available if you are going to be doing this kind of thing regularly but a cheap pair of slip pliers is fine. I would recommend that you put some duct tape around the sharp bits of the pliers to compress only and not damage the plastic of the module. It only requires a firm compress and not a crushing effect.

So once the module is completed you have to install it into the patch panel. Unfortunately my panel is in a position where photography is no good. So i show on the left the top of a module and indicate the notch which you hook into the panel with. Basically you are to install the module from the back of the panel (it does not work from the front) into an empty port space. So you hook the notch into the spike sticking out of the top of the panel and then you push down and the module snaps into another notch at the bottom of the port space.

It is easier than it sounds.

Later on if you want to remove the module from the patch panel you must use the panduit tool which came with your panel/modules, you must not force the modules by hand, you will split them. With the tool it is easy. You can re-terminate the modules several times but don't get crazy and when you re-terminate something get out the lan tester and check that all pairs are connected correctly.
The panduit solution is perhaps more expensive but there are benefits to be gained. Firstly they are very easy to install using the colour coded diagram on them, even a beginner can do a good job. It does however take longer in my opinion than using a patch panel with punchdown blocks, the benefits are not to be gained there. The good thing is that you can install the patch panel and then periodically install connnections without having to remove the whole panel and disturb some live cables. Secondly if your lan cables are coming in through the roof of the cabinet you could easily remove each module one by one and pass them through the roof opening while the cables are still terminated, if you needed to move the cabinet for some servicing or something. Otherwise good luck trying to get the whole patch panel through the roof opening.
LAN Installations
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