Terminating cables routed in the wall / drop ceiling - just RJ45 connectors or patch panel? Pros / Cons of each?
Posted on 2006-07-04
This is (I think) one of those questions where there's no real right or wrong answer. I think I know some answers, and I want to hear from experts what they think about these (and any other answers I might have not thought of). I'll give points to all that share their thoughts!
In a small office, I'll pull, a few drops (3 - 7?) of solid cat5e data cable from each PC location to a corner of an office / closet where the 'server' (typically a win xp pro machine), cable or DSL modem and unmanaged switch / router would be. At the PCs, I'd terminate the cables to cat 5 keystone jacks in wall mounted faceplates (although, even here, why?) and use a stranded cat5e data cable from that wall mounted faceplate / jack to the PC.
At the closet end, how to terminate them?
2 ways in general?:
A. crimp a cat5e plug on the end and insert it into the switch and be done with it?
B. punch it down into a patch panel and then use a cat 5e stranded jumper cable to go from the patch panel to the switch / router.
some people say that A is more subject to failure - the solid cables can't take as much flexing as stranded. But in a closet, they will see 0 to no cable movement? And if you do have to cut back the cable, you may not have enough?
But this way, there is only 1 connector.
In method B, this is more expensive, this has the patch panel receptacle, jumper plug, jumper plug on the other end and then the switch receptacle. Several more places for corrosion / a bad connection to fail. each end of the jumper cable and the patch panel is a cable / connector junction to potentially fail. The cable is secured to the patch panel so it won't move around and fail
being a small business / just a few drops, the need to change things (like in a bigger company closet) is minimal so that isn't a valid argument for a patch panel arrangement like in a bigger company (you aren't doing add / move changes)...
So A is simpler, cheaper, but B looks better typically with higher costs and more connection points?