A "rack mount CAT-5 patch panel" makes a great wiring block for telephone service distribution. The phone cables are terminated in the wiring closet with RJ-45 connectors and are pluged into the front of the panel.


The back of the panel has jumpers distributing the different phone lines to each panel jack. The example shown is a typical 24-port patch panel, rotated 90 degrees so the top is to the right. Click on the panel controls to show the different jumper wires.

An obvious advantage to using a CAT-5 patch panel instead of a regular punch-down wiring block is the ability to easily plug and unplug cables. Another advantage is it makes for very clean and easy-to-decipher wiring in the back. Using a rack mount panel lets you put the phone distribution right next to the network distribution if you use a rack mount hub. They are also a heckuvalot more aesthetically pleasing.

How you wire the back of the panel depends on how you wire your jacks. If you are consistent with what wires you use for line 1, line 2, etc. you can wire every port on the panel the same. You have more than two phone lines (or plan to in the future), you might want to wire some ports differently than the rest.

The telephone service cable should plugged into the last port on panel. When wiring a jumper, try to make the connection to the service port in the middle of the jumper. In the example shown, the service plugs in to port 24. Each jumper connects to port 24 in it's middle, running to other ports in both directions.

All contents and scripts copyright 2000, WiringWizard.com