The minimum cable length for a connection between a patch panel and a switch

Hi all,

Is there any specific minimum cable length for a connection between a patch panel and a switch? The cable would be CAT6 and I wish to use is 1ft.

Jam TimAsked:
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The shorter the better I would say.

Speed is a non issue in terms of the transit time along the cable.  However, not all cables are equal quality, and longer runs can mean that the signal fails to get to the other end, or causes lots of re-sends, which slows things down.  Not all cables are created equal - solid copper cores with more copper means better quality.  You definitely don't want CCS (Copper Coated Steel) especially if you might ever use them for PoE as the resistance is higher than pure copper, and therefore you get more heat in the cables.  I would like to see these banned in the building code myself - they seem far too risky to me.

This is an interesting assertion:

I've done some reading on many websites and forums and there are various opinions. Some say it doesn't matter, some other say such leads would be too short because the signals would not be able to gain maximum speed

Where did you find that?

Jam TimAuthor Commented:
Thanks Alan,
Unfortunately  I cannot provide the exact resources as I've read a few forums and I'm almost lost, they are just random assumptions I've found so far, That's why I was under the impression, They could be wrong . The cables won't be CCS. I'm looking for Certified CAT6 Ethernet Patch Cable, DataMax . something like the link provided below :

I checked if they support 568B  colour code and CAT6

Would you think of any other specs I need to consider?


For what its worth, they look okay to me, but I am not an expert.

My experience is that the cables in a patch panel are rarely the issue - it will be the switch(es), and the runs off to the wall sockets around the building that make most of the difference.

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Is there any 'official' minimum length for Cat6 cables for successful and no packet drop connection for this model of the switch to the patch panel?
No. Can be as short as you can create it. :)
Once I created, 2.5 cm CAT 5e cable for testing is there a minimum length (It was problem to even place 2 devices with such short cable). Cable worked without any drops for a few days. Later was replaced with CAT 6a 10cm cable (worked for a few years on WAN interface).

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Mal OsborneAlpha GeekCommented:
There is a theoretical minimum length, it is 1M. Shorter than this, and in some scenarios, there are not enough twists in the cable to common mode out electromagnetic interference. Having said that, shorter cables are very common, and work just fine.
There is no minimum length for cat 5 and 6 according to the ANSI/TIA/EIA-568-A and B rating specifications.
Jam TimAuthor Commented:
Thanks Mal,
Yes, I've read that 1M and that made me thinking, If this be a big deal to cause the network slow or probably connection drops, I would change the plan and use the longer cables, But seems it's not as important as it sounds.
David Johnson, CDRetiredCommented:
do yourself a favour buy your cable in bulk, buy your rj45 connectors, learn how to crimp cables, and use a network tester. you probably can use a cheaper one that doesn't have a time domain reflectometer (which is a very handy tool)

Too short for the signals to get up to speed... That made me laugh.. remember that authors name and file it away as someone that is ignorant.  The signal travels always at the speed of light * the velocity factor of the medium (VF is always less than 0) sometimes referred to the percentage of the speed of light.  Signals through a cable SLOW DOWN not speed up.
It's the maximum you really have to worry about, and that's clearly not even going to remotely be a topic here. I've seen 6 inch cables used, and never noticed any issues. Granted, it's very rare to see that, and I personally think a cable *that* short seems pointless unless it's part of a tester (even then I think 1 ft is better).
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Some say it doesn't matter, some other say such leads would be too short because the signals would not be able to gain maximum speed.

Do not pay attention to people who promote silly ideas. The cable can be as short as you wish. Make sure the terminations are top notch as terminations have more to do with signal degradation than cable length.
Bryant SchaperCommented:
Hold on here, so we are talking to the patch panel correct, in this case for all intended purposes it will not matter how long.  Short is fine, when you look at the standards we are talking total length 100 meters.  This is what matters.  If you have a 10m run and use two 50m patch cables, we are over the 100m (10m + 50m +50m).

Now I am not sure what you would do with a 2.5cm patch, but the shortest you can make a patch is loopback and the loopback should not have any problems transmitting at for full speed and performance.  That has to be under 2.5cm.  Go ahead go crazy and make them short.

For my two cents, just go and buy short patch cables, I have much less problems when I buy manufactured cables, than I do when I crimp them.  Then again my crimping may suck...
2.5 cm is generally useless, it was just for testing, I could not make it shorter.  :)
Someone on some other forum claimed that cable need to be minimum 50cm long... I never heard about it and since I could not find min length announced I made it as short as I could so I can test that 50 cm min cable length statement. Connecting devices with such short cable was adventure (modem power cable was problem, so modem had to be tilted).
One of the problems with crimping is that copper wire can be to thin and then there can be bad contact (or no contact at all). It happened to me that some cheap manufactured cables when I cut those I can't make all pins work even from more than 5 attempts...
Lots of good answers.
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