I have a 4-post 19" rack with a 72-port 2U quickport patch panel where horizontal structured cabling terminates. The cables are bundled and enter the rack at the rear. From the back of the rack, they need to

  1. get near the front of the rack directly behind the patch panel,
  2. fan out to the whole width of the patch panel, and
  3. somehow have enough slack so that they can be terminated.

What is the proper way to accomplish this?

How should the bundle of cable be supported on its way from the rear to the front of the rack?

What considerations determine the ideal distance from the front of the rack to begin fan out?

How can I prevent droop in the fanned-out section directly behind the patch panel from interfering with the rack unit below?

  • Do you have a photo? Are you doing this on a 2-post telco rack or a 4-post unit? – ewwhite Aug 15 '12 at 22:08
  • It is a 19" 4-post rack. I don't have a photo handy but I could take one. What should the photo show? – alx9r Aug 15 '12 at 22:17
  • In an ideal world you avoid this problem entirely by using something like Panduit's DataPatch panels which are RJ21 on the back and RJ45 on the front -- No need to fan out or fiddle with punchdown blocks. This may not help in your situation where you already have the panel, though you can consider it for next time. – voretaq7 Aug 15 '12 at 22:18
  • @voretaq7 - The patch panel I'm using is a quickport panel not 110-style, so I don't think I'm any worse off with what I have than the panduit patch panel you suggest. Even with quickports or that panduit panel, you still have to fan-out from a bundle to individual cables. – alx9r Aug 15 '12 at 22:23
  • @user115232 With the panel I linked to you do not fan out cables - the connection is a single bundle to a single RJ21 connector and all the fanning/punching is inside the panel and already done for you at the factory. QuickPort connectors are much nicer than 110 blocks, but still require you to pull the cable apart and punch it (albeit with the connector itself doing most of the work for you). The downside to the RJ21 style panel is that a dead port means replacing the whole run, but how often do you break trunk cables? – voretaq7 Aug 15 '12 at 22:33

I like to use 1U front and rear cable management above and below my patch panels. This mostly applies to 2-post installs... As for the cabling bundle, it should be secured zip-tied and routed appropriately...

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However, a 4-post example from my past...

Size the run, bundle with slack, secure along the side of cabinet...

enter image description here

enter image description here

| improve this answer | |
  • 7
    ...velcro tied (you heathen! :-) – voretaq7 Aug 15 '12 at 22:22
  • @ewwhite - thanks for the updated answer. Did you install that side rail that you have strapped the bundle to for this purpose? The only side rails I have are riveted in place and many rack units above or below my patch panel. – alx9r Aug 15 '12 at 22:37
  • Great answer, and love the use of the pictures (especially the hard to get side view. And I agree you are a heathen for using zip ties. – mrdenny Aug 16 '12 at 0:05
  • @user115232 The side rail in that rack is structural. I understand that ever rack is different, so your path/approach may need to be modified. I generally try to avoid terminating site wiring in an enclosure because it can get very messy in the long run. – ewwhite Aug 16 '12 at 8:56
  • Love how clean you did it. I've seen so many gong shows over the past few years it's really nice to see examples of work well done. – Chef Flambe Aug 16 '12 at 21:01

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