The Purpose of Patch Panels
Whether you are trying to set up a computer network at home or office, a recording studio, or home theater system, you will have to deal with a variety of input and output cables that need to be connected to various devices. Moreover, every time you want to change the configuration of the network or cabling to introduce more devices or something similar, you need to hunt around at the back of the devices for the right cables, unplug them and connect them to the new device. This can be cumbersome and also damage the input jacks and the devices themselves.
Containing Multiple Ports
One way to reduce all of these problems is to use patch panels to help connect your devices – computers, audio and video equipment, or other electronic devices – elegantly and without the clutter of cables is to use patch panels. Patch panels are panels with multiple ports for input and output jacks. Each set of input and output jack ports is connected internally with a short cable.
This makes connecting your electrical and electronic devices a breeze since you need to just work with the easily accessible patch panel that can be mounted on the wall using patch panel brackets. This also reduces the wear and tear to the jacks and devices, reduces the time taken to reconfigure the network, and makes sure that the cabling is contained and does not clutter the entire area.
There are various types of patch panels available. Some of them accommodate only a few jacks and can be used for smaller networks such as a home theater or home computer network. On the other hand a professional audio or video studio, or a computer network in an office will require a panel patch that can hold many jacks.
Properly Communicating with Cat 5
Before you purchase a patch panel, you also need to ensure that the jacks it can accommodate are compatible with the jacks of the equipment you plan to connect using it. For instance, if you are using Cat 5 cables, you need to ensure that the patch panel is compatible with Cat 5. Otherwise you will experience noise and distortion during the transmission of signals.
Apart from patch panels you need path panel wall brackets and cable management systems to ensure that the entire cabling is done elegantly and securely. When you purchase a patch panel, you also need a wall bracket that can hold the panel securely to the wall. Moreover, you might also need to install a cable management unit below the patch panel to hold each cable separately and securely as you insert it into the patch panel. This will ensure that the cables do not become entangled and are easy to sort when you are reconfiguring the network.
Sometimes, a network manager or a home entertainment system organizer is unable to decide in advance which type of cables will be used to connect the devices. This can also be because fast changing technology makes it necessary to have a patch panel that provides flexibility in the type of jacks that can be accommodated. This can be ensured by using a blank keystone patch panel.
While patch panels are a great way to reduce cable clutter and manage ease of connectivity between devices within a network and connectivity of a LAN with a Wan, the network manager has to take care to ensure that the right patch panels are obtained.
Number of Devices
Before you decide to pick up a patch panel for your home or office network or studio, take an inventory of the devices you will be connecting. This will offer you a fair idea of the number of jacks the patch panel should be able to accommodate as well as the specifications of the jack.
Another issue that you need to keep in mind is the future plans for the network or studio. For instance if you are planning to upgrade the network with higher capacity cables or increase the number of devices in the network, the patch panel you select should be able to take these factors into account. If even after planning, you find that you need more capacity, you can simply add another patch panel to the wall and connect some of the other devices using this.
Even with the advent of wireless connectivity, many electrical and electronic devices function best when connected using cables. Moreover, the changes in technology means that a home entertainment unit now needs to connect a greater number of devices. For instance, many home theaters now have connectivity to a set top box, DVD player, DSLR camera, audio player, computer or tablet, and so on.
There are various devices that can provide audio and video signals to the TV screen and all of these need to be connected to it in various configurations depending on the use. Instead of constantly trying to unplug and plug in various jacks and juggling with all the cables that these devices can need, you can install a patch panel using a wall mounted patch panel hinged bracket. This will enable you to easily reconfigure the way the various devices are connected and ensure that you make the best use of the devices.
Simplicity Designed for You
Similarly, a computer network at work or even at home now involves having a LAN and a WAN connectivity. This can help keep some communications more secure. However, connecting all of these computers to a network can be cumbersome unless you use a patch panel that will ensure that you can leave most of the cabling alone and just deal with the jacks. As long as you label each cable as you first bring it to the patch panel, you will be able to complete future reconfigurations with ease. Moreover, this system will enable you to trouble shoot and isolate problems more quickly and effectively since the entire network can be controlled at the patch panel.
The power of today’s electrical and electronic devices comes from their ability to connect to each other. This can be simplified using a patch panel.