Question Home Network Patch Panel

Jul 18, 2019
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Hi Tom's Hardware Forum,

Like many other users here, I'd like your help to understand how I can utilize the ethernet jacks throughout my house. Here's a snapshot of the panel:

View: https://imgur.com/a/le15cCo


I can't figure out how to setup my modem/router using the existing panel. Most patch panels I've seen have RJ45 ports opposite of the punched-down Cat5E--but here, the right side of the panel just has a series of "loops". What are the loops?

I count 8 blue Cat5E going into the panel, but only 6 sets of punched-down wires. There are 6 ethernet/phone jacks and 1 additional phone jack in the Master. Why are there 8 blue Cat5E feeding into the panel? Where are the 7th and 8th punched-down lines in the panel?

We have a Wireless CenturyLink DSL modem/router using an RJ11 connection to the jack in the living room, so I know that jack is live. Could that gray Cat5E that's daisy-chained to the panel (I believe to the blue Cat5E labeled '#1'--perhaps the ISP line?) be the line feeding the living jack?

Thank you in advance!
 
Jul 18, 2019
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That panel is wired for phones.

Before u get all excited, u ought to open one of the wall plates and verify you have a cable end with 4-pairs wires intact, wo it u won't be able to convert these to networking.
Thanks for the response, I'll take a look tonight to confirm. If the jacks are indeed wired with 4-pair, would I have to replace the panel altogether?
 
That's called a 110 punch down block, and whether u need to replace it depends if there are any slack on that cable bunch coming from above, in which case you may decide to simply cut the cables by their necks and the whole panel come off easy, no need to deal to disassembling the individual cables.

However if there are no slacks on that cable bunch, one may decide to leave it alone and EXTEND the signals to a nearby RJ45 patch panel.

So is an existing cable length issue, and physical location of components, accessibility, available mounting, all that handyman stuff, desired aesthetics, nothing to do with perfect electronics signals.

May wanna watch, DO I NEED A PATCH PANEL.
 

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