Can some others please share some techniques on how you would punch down a 48 port patch panel? For example do you trim/label all the wires first with the wire bar on and then go back and take the wire bar off and terminate all the pairs? Do you work in a certain order which somehow makes it easier? Looking for some tips of the trade..
Unless the customer wanted the cable plant "in order", I'd put on all the wire management hardware and just start nailing cables down, regardless of station location. I'd trim cables to length after routing them over/through/under/whatever the cable management mechanism then punch them down. I took a lot of pride in making my patch panels and the wire bundle leading to them look very very clean.
Once the cable were punched down, I'd break out my DataLite and ID each cable, then label and test the whole mess.
Humm.. I would think most people would want to put them in order. If there are 40 locations some with 2 data ports some with 1. I would think that you would want 1-D1, 1-D2, 2-D1, 2-D2, 3-D1 in order on the patch panel. I guess you could just put them in any old order and label them, but I don't know if I would go for that..
Yes, I want to make it look clean too. Trying to suck the knowledge out of people who have done this longer then I have.
So, you route, trim all cables and then go through and strip, punch each one?
For me, the wire managment part (chatsworth, should of got the leviton one which mounts on the back of the patch panel) gets in the way of punching down.. So, I am planning on getting all the cables in order where they need to appear in the patch panel.. trimming them to size with the mgmt bar on.. Take the mgmt bar off and then strip, and punch down each one.. This is after they are already cut to length..
I might label them after I trim them all down but before I punch them..
Maybe it's obvious, but route & punch the near-end first. If the bundle is coming in from the left, route & punch left-to-right.
Routing & punching right after each other is usually neater because you have longer tails and only touch the cable once. But is more fiddly with more tools in play. Still, you don't disturb the routing when you lift to punch.
You betcha. 6" minimum. A foot isn't unreasonable.
Sure. Don't :) 110s and all jacks I've seen recently have the pairs punched down on adjacent IDCs. Separate the twisted pair with a small screwdriver, making a hole big enough for the IDC separator. Then punch. You have just done minimum untwist, and the cut-off ends stay together rather than flying all over the place.
No kidding. Wear leather gloves for all but the fine stuff.
It looks _way_ more professional and most owners will insist upon it.
I also don't think it's really more work. You get to pre-print the labels rather than doing chicken scratch. Two ways: Number cables during the pull. Or if not, send your helper with radio & tone gen to first or last office on the panel. Sniff out the right cable from the spagetti. Dress & punchdown while the helper waits in the next office.
I was thinking about starting to wrap my fingers (where you would untwist) in some cloth tape (like used for bandages).. But with the screwdriver trick to get the twists seperated enough shouldn't need to.. What I was doing was holding the pair by the jacket and untwisting the end to create the hole where I would put it on the IDC.
I was planning on numbering the cables with a sharpie when they are pulled and then having the labels pre-printed ready to go as I terminate. Depending on how fast you can dress and terminate, a exciting job for the helper.. :-)
Ouch! Why do people always do it the hard way? You're gonna get RSI and chew up your fingers.
When you have to untwist a pair, don't! Unwind it instead. Grab one conductor, pull it away and unwind it from the other like a maypole. Dead easy. The twists are still set in, and you can dress'em out with a screwdriver shank if needed.
I have seen people make an IDC hole in the middle of a length by grabbing the pair on 1/2" either side of where the hole needs to be and sharply untwisting. This is good if you don't want to fiddle with the screwdriver, but I find the pinching and twisting hard on my hands and wrists.
My health and time are worth _far_ more than the 5-10 cents a foot for cable. The punchdown cutoff blade doesn't charge more when it cuts off one foot rather than one inch. Cleanup is easier, just keep a recycle bag around. Long tails are your friend in many ways. You can loop wire and kink it on either side of the connector. Much surer than stabbing from one end and watching it spring. Why do you think they sell so many replacement punchblades?
When you get old, you have to get clever. Age and guile can beat youth and strength.
As a force of habit, I always trim out the far end first so I know exactly how many jacks I have, then do the patch panel layout accordingly.
I usually take the box the patch panel came in and start marking the cable plan on the box (ie 101,102,103, or 1A1 1A2, or whatever the rooms are). Then I stick the plan on the wall so I don't lose my place and get all the cables bundled down to whatever side of the panel I need to (ie left or right side). Then the cables break out of the dense side first. By that, I mean if you are bringing in the cables from the left side (usual), you terminate Jack 1,2,3,4,5,6 first. Your 7-12 fan out over the top of the bottom cables and so on.
Since most of the time we use fixed racks and screw the panel in backwards and off to the left side to terminate them, it makes a fairly tight fit, because you gain all of that slack when you turn the panel over :-).
After I'm done, I'll ty-rap or velcro tie the cables to the management bars and transfer my cardboard patch panel plan to a spreadsheet.
Maybe someone's mentioned it, or it's obvious to everyone but me. The first time I saw a pro do a neat punchdown job it was a D'oh, why didn't I think of that moment. I watched him do the 110 punches with lots of slack and when done and tested, backpull all the slop into the crawlspace and then tiewrap the bundle.
ehhe, same argument I used to get from customers. I usually killed that with a single thought. "What happens if you want to add a drop to a location that's already got one?" Your numbering scheme goes right out the window." Doesn't matter if they're in order or not. Look at the label at the jack and you know what you've got to patch in the closet. Easier to make the patch panel really clean if you can just punch 'em down how they're dressed..
Poor description on my part. I route/trim/punch each cable in succession. Dressing it all out takes a lot of time and it's not easy when you've got giant bundles of cable.
I always used the AMP patch panels and the AMP double sided cable management panels below each patch panel. Yeah, the "back" side does get in the way a bit, but you learn to work around it. Repetition of the task makes it go faster. When I 1st started, it would take me an entire day to knock out a 48 port panel. Now it's just a couple hours (including dressing the bundle down)
The few jobs I did in sequence, the cables were cut to length and then relabeled before they were punched down. It's a good idea to check each cable before it's routed/cut to make sure you don't have duplicates and that all cables are legible.
Well, I sharpee both ends of the cable and then install the cable. I drop the cable down through the outlet location, and then the other end I pull into data closet and hang all in one bundle. So I usually have to seperate them the day of termination. And I usually do it by myself, with no help. So it does take me a bit longer, but its worth it in the long run.
I number the drops myself, cause I had too many guys helping me not paying attention number the cables differently on either end..LOL
Humm.. So all the cables end up being the cut the same length at the patch panel end? I guess it really doesn't matter if some are longer then others, it all gets lost in the loop above the crawl space anyways..
I like to put a couple of 4x4 or 3x3 slotted raceways side by side vertically next to the panel. Bring the cable down one and across then into the panel. You have lots of room for extra slack you might need "later" and the end result looks neat.