How to Wire Cat5e Patch Panels?

Updated on Nov 1, 2021 by

Today, the wireless network is seemingly popular everywhere. But the explosive fast Internet is available in most homes and businesses, a wired network often can achieve speeds much closer to the promised maximum. In this case, wiring the Internet creates a large mass of incoming cables. Patch panels play a central role in network functionality by centralizing cables in one place, which makes it easy for network administrators to move, add or change complex network architecture.

There are different kinds of fiber and copper patch panels on the market. Copper patch panels are designed for both shielded and unshielded copper cables like Cat5e, Cat6, Cat6a, and Cat7. This article will mainly introduce Cat5e patch panels and show you Cat5e patch panel wiring steps.


What Do You Need to Wire Cat5e Patch Panels?

Cat5e Patch Cable

The cat5e patch cable is the basic component to connect end devices to patch panel ports and to connect the ports between two local patch panels. So when wiring the Cat5e patch panel, a big issue is the design and quality of the terminations of Cat5e patch cables. When choosing a suitable patch cable, booted and non-booted are two basic types of plug features that you need to consider. The booted cable is an ideal choice to protect the tab from breaking, and the non-booted is usually used for applications that don’t require frequent unplugging.

FS.com offers a full range of Cat5e patch cables available in a variety of length and color, including Snagless booted cable, non-booted cable, and retractable cable. Besides, FS also provides custom and OEM services for network patch cable, so you can get customized jackets, connector types, length and colors of network patch cable according to your need.


Cat5e Patch Panel

A copper patch panel is used in a local area network (LAN) as a mounted hardware assembly that contains ports to connect and manage incoming and outgoing Ethernet cables. It is compliant with TIA/EIA 568 industry specifications and features both T-568A and T-568B wiring configurations. These patch panels can maximize network performance and keep up with the growing changes in the network.

Generally, Cat5e copper patch panels can be divided into shielded and unshielded patch panels, which are required to match with cable applications. Cat5e shielded patch panels are designed for high EMI (Electro Magnetic Interference) environments, while unshielded patch panels are designed for the place where has no high power electrical wires.

Besides, there is also the difference in the configuration: punch down and feedthrough patch panel. Punch down types are available in Cat5e patch panel.

Punch-down patch panels:

  • On the front plate, RJ45 ports are used to directly connect Ethernet copper cable. All ports are numbered for easy identification.

  • In the rear, it’s patch panel module with color markings for punching down Ethernet cable. Color-coded labels are designed for T568A and T568B wiring configurations.

Feedthrough patch panels:

  • Cat5e feedthrough patch panel provides patching without punching down the wires to the ports.

  • Each feedthrough patch panel has both RJ45 ports on the front and rear side.

  • Ports on the front side are numbered for easy identification and installation.

When choosing a suitable Cat5e patch panel, the priority is to clarify all of the different types. FS offers the mentioned types of Cat5e patch panels available in 24 and 48-port sizes. The high-density panel design can be mounted to standard racks or cabinets, accommodate top, bottom or side cable entry, and also save valuable rack space. The following table shows the Cat5e patch panel from FS.

FS P/N Description
C5EP-U24FT1U 24 Ports Cat5e Unshielded Feed-Through Patch Panel, 1U Rack Mount
C5EP-S24FT1U 24 Ports Cat5e Shielded Feed-Through Patch Panel, 1U Rack Mount

Cat5e Patch Panel Wiring Technical Information

There are two wiring schemes: T568A and T568B. The difference between the two standards is only color, the way the pairs are grouped is still the same.


Cat5e Patch Panel Wiring Tools

Cable stripper

Stripping is the act of removing the protective outer jacket around network cables in preparation for installation of plugs or keystone jacks. It can help you speed up the process of performing fiber network maintenance work and avoid excessive network downtime. A stripping tool is an essential part in the process of wiring Cat5e patch panel. FS supplies a wide variety of cable strippers, including wire stripping knife tool, multifunctional network cable stripper, and diagonal cutting plier, which are all at a very competitive price to help you get the job done right.


Network cable tester

Cable tester is a tool to test whether a cable or wire is set up properly, connected to the appropriate source points, and if the communication strength between the source and destination is strong enough to serve its intended purpose. The product shown below can measure network capacity up to 10 Gig via frequency based measurements, it can also install and troubleshoot PoE devices via Switch Negotiation and PoE Load test.


110 punch down tool

Punch down tool is a small hand tool used by telecommunication and network technicians. It is used for inserting the wire into insulation-displacement connectors on the punch down blocks, patch panels, keystone modules, and surface mount boxes.


Cat5e Patch Panel Wiring Specific Steps

Step 1: Examine the 110-style punch down connectors on the back of the Cat5e patch panel.

The Cat5e patch panels should have 110 style insulation displacement connectors. It is necessary to acquire enough patch connectors on the patch panels to accommodate all of the incoming Ethernet cables.

Step 2: Remove the outer jacket from the end of each cable.

You should use the cable strippers to remove approximately 1 inch (25mm) of the outer jacket from the end of each cable, which ensures a nice clean fit into the patch panel without the risk of exposing too much cable and damaging it.


Step 3: Spread out the cable wires.

Once the outer jacket has been removed, you will see 4 twisted pairs of wires (a total of 8 wires) inside the Ethernet cable. The wires are color coded with 4 being solid colors, and 4 with a white stripe around the color. In order to successfully punch down the cables into the patch panel, you need to gently untwist the pairs and spread them out so that the 8 wires can be individually worked work with.


Step 4: Set the wires into the patch panel connectors.

Place all 8 wires into the 110 style connector of the patch panel in the patch panel outlet that is used to receive the incoming cables. You will see the color code labels on the patch panel, that indicates which wire is to be placed into which connector pin.

(Note: There are two color patterns, T568A and T568B. Make sure to terminate both sides of the cable on the same pattern used.)


Step 5: Begin terminating each wire.

Use a 110 punch down tool to firmly press down on each wire so that it is grasped by both sets of teeth of the insulation displacement connector. Punch down tool with a cutting edge, you can use it to cut the excess wire of the Ethernet cables during the pushing process.


Step 6. Mark the terminated incoming cables with a label.

This step is optional but recommended. Mark the terminated incoming cables with a label indicating where the cables are from with the room or floor numbers, which will help you locate the system problems precisely.

Step 7. Use a cable tester to assure that you correctly terminated all the wires.

Now you can plug a short patch cable from the desired port on the patch panel to the closely located hub or switch. The other end of the wire would be terminated at a wall socket.


To wire Cat5e patch panels, you need to prepare Cat5e patch cable and Cat5e patch panel, and the wiring tools in advance. This article also introduces the Cat5e patch panel wiring technical information and the specific steps. Hope you can get the information you need in the article.

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