Patch panels are switchboard look-alikes that house cable connections. In a typical setup, the connection consists of a shorter cable plugged into the front side of the patch panel and a longer cable plugged into the back. In this way, patch panels can take the place of otherwise expensive switching equipment.
We’ve all seen examples of patch panels in old movies. The telephone switchboards of old are the progenitors of today’s patch panels. Even today, patch panels are used for telephone connections. Patch panels are also used for data transfers, however, and for audio and video applications.
In addition to having different lengths of cable connecting to the front and back, patch panels can have different types of electrical connectors as well. One example of this is a breakout box, which has individual connectors on the front leading to a compound connector on the back, into which all of the individual cables plug. Breakout boxes usually have an even number of individual connectors, but this is not always the case.
Why use patch panel:
Patch panels are also used in computer networks. Local Area Networks (LANs) incorporate patch panels by using them to connect the computers of a network to one another and to the Internet. Another network use of patch panels is to connect a LAN to a Wide Area Network(WAN)
A patch panel pr.comovides a convenient place to terminate all of the cable runs coming from different rooms into the wiring closet. Of course, one could skip the patch panel and just connect all RJ-45 connectors directly into the hub, but one may miss the following advantages:
You can label the patch panel so you know which room the cable run goes to. Putting the labels on the cables is tougher to read than labels on a patch panel and also there is risk of having the cable labels fall off. A patch panel is a step up from a punch-down block. It usually has a 110 style connectors on the back for the cable to run to the stations. Each of those connectors is wired to an RJ-45 on the front. The RJ-45 on the front provides a spot to plug in a patch cable that goes to the hub. The Type 110-style connectors are usually color-coded with 568A or 568B to match the color of the cable pairs.It is always essential that the style (568A or 568B ) on the patch panel matches the style of the wall plate.