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I have a 24-port gigabit switch, a couple of 1U horizontal cable management bars and a 24-port patch panel in a rack. I've made a clip-art version of my present setup below:

rack components

The gray thing in the middle is one of the cable management bars. The patch panel ports go to regular Ethernet jacks (ports 1 - 12) around the building, security cameras, HDMI/ USB of Ethernet adapters, etc.

The Ethernet switch ports 1 - 12 connect to the patch panel ports 1 - 12. Ports 13 and up on the Ethernet switch connect to other equipment in the cabinet.

My problem is the cable management. The odd ports are in the top row of the switch, while even ones are on the bottom. In this case, I've seen installers use two patch panels--one above and another below the switch. The top panel serves the odd ports while the bottom serves the even ones. They then use extremely short patch cables with no cable management bars to do the connections.

I only have a single patch panel--it wouldn't make sense for me to install another one--I just don't have that many things to connect. I suppose I could connect the bottom row on the switch to the patch panel and the top row to the equipment inside the cabinet itself. However, I kinda like having port 1 on the switch map to port 1 on the patch panel for troubleshooting.

Any advice on how I should route this? Will I need to make 12 custom length patch cables? Right now I'm using 1-foot cables and even with the cable management bar, it's a mess.

  • Since you appear to have 24 ports of patch but only 12 things connected to it (per your description) you could rewire the 12 connected things to only the even numbers on the patch panel, and maintain your switch to patch matching numbers while keeping them all on the bottom row. – Ecnerwal Dec 21 '16 at 0:44
  • @Ecnerwal. That would have been brilliant. Unfortunately I already punched-down the first 12 patch panel positions. – watkipet Dec 21 '16 at 0:54
  • Assuming standard punch down connections, you can pull them out and relocate. Might want to trim 1/2" / 1cm of wire off the end befroe punching into the new locations. – Ecnerwal Dec 21 '16 at 0:57
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To do this properly, you would use a standard cable length, usually two meters. Run one cable at a time from the switch to the patch panel. Run a cable from switch port 1, routing the cable down to the horizontal cable management, out the left end, let the cable naturally drape, then back into the horizontal cable management, and down to patch panel port 1. Repeat for the first half of the switch ports. Then start with the last switch port, do the same thing as above, except drape the cables out the right end of the horizontal cable management.

You can use velcro tie wraps to make thing even neater. Using zip ties carries some risk of warping the wire twists inside the cable sheath, as well as being inconvenient should changes be necessary, and they should be avoided.

  • So would it look something like this? – watkipet Dec 21 '16 at 0:49
  • [![enter image description here][1]][1] [1]: i.stack.imgur.com/vYlVO.png – watkipet Dec 21 '16 at 0:50
  • Please forgive the botched image URL. I don't seem to have the reputation I need to edit it. – watkipet Dec 21 '16 at 0:52
  • Yes. The velco cable ties really make it very neat (I like cake, but I like frosting on the cake). – Ron Maupin Dec 21 '16 at 0:53
  • 6ft of cable to go down 1U? I'm looking around trying to learn, myself, and I know you want slack, but 6ft? – Sinaesthetic Apr 7 at 22:21

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