Patch panels are simple pieces of equipment designed to house a large number of jacks. Typically, they are mounted onto rack or cabinets. The panels themselves are easy to install, but there are a few details to know before getting started.
Horizontally, patch panels are 19 inches (the industry standard size). Vertically, patch panels are measured in rack units (RU). Patch panels are rectangular and secured with four screws, one on each corner. A single RU is the amount of space one row of jacks will take up on a unit (1 RU = 1.75 inches). Typically, a maximum of 24 ports can be squeezed onto a single RU.
There are two main types of patch panels, pre-made
Surface mount boxes are great little alternatives to wall plates when running cables to a keystone jack. A surface mount box can be easily affixed to the wall, floor, or ceiling when setting up a keystone jack. This makes them perfect for setting up connections without having to pull cabling through the walls as well.
In the guide below, we will be attaching an ethernet keystone jack to a single port surface mount box. A video guide is available at the bottom of the article.
Step 1: Gathering the Supplies
The main item will be the surface mount box itself, which will come disassembled in a few separate pieces. Not all of these pieces will be used; some will be left over depending on how you secure the mounting box to the wall/floor/ceiling. Aside from the box, you will also
Keystone jacks are small inserts designed to snap into place on keystone wall plates, patch panels, and surface mount boxes. Equipment built for keystones will have small holes left in them instead of having jacks pre-built in. Keystone jacks snap into place in these holes, allowing users to customize what jacks are included however they see fit. Keystones are also easy to remove if anything ever needs to be repaired or replaced.