When it comes to selecting a patch panel, there are two options: preloaded or traditional (a.k.a. modular). Preloaded patch panels feature pre-installed connectors; traditional (unloaded) patch panels typically have empty holes where connectors can be installed prior to or during deployment.
So when should you choose a preloaded patch panel over an unloaded one? Below, we list the top three reasons you may want to consider a preloaded patch panel for your next networking project.
Reason No. 1: One Part Number Simplifies the Bill of Materials
Whether the preloaded patch panel is made from printed circuit boards with soldered components (jacks and IDC blocks) or pre-assembled with modular jacks, the system can be ordered using just one part number. Instead of several line items showing up on a bill of materials, a single part makes ordering a complete preloaded patch panel fast and easy.
Single part numbers also reduce the possibility of human error during the ordering process. When you only have one part number to manage instead of several, it’s a lot more likely that what shows up on the jobsite is what you meant to order – and is exactly what you need.
Reason No. 2: Everything in the Box is Ready to Terminate
When you receive a preloaded patch panel, it’s ready to go with fully assembled components right out of the box. The 24-port panels come with 24 jacks, and the 48-port panels come with 48 jacks – there’s no worry about ordering the wrong number of jacks (or jacks coming up missing).
In some cases, vendors can even include cable support bars and labeling material with the preloaded patch panel. Then all you need to do is bolt the panel to the mounting rails and start terminating.
Reason No. 3: Termination Speed
Because jacks and IDC blocks come factory assembled, you don’t have to worry about assembling them onsite with preloaded patch panels. Standard intuitive color sequences (BL-OR-GR-BR) are available in some preloaded patch panels, which can help improve speed and prevent wiremapping errors.
If the preloaded patch panel allows you to use a multi-pair termination tool, then termination can be completed even faster.
There are several options available when it comes to preloaded patch panels. To help you narrow in on the right one for your application, here are a few questions to ask:
A New Preloaded Patch Panel Solution from Belden
When Belden set out to develop a preloaded patch panel, we wanted to know: What do installers and end-users really want most? So we asked – and you answered. Here’s what we heard the most:
Belden’s new REVConnect Patch Panels were designed to meet all of these requirements – and offer several other features as well. Jack housings are preloaded for faster deployment.
REVConnect Patch Panels are the only preloaded patch panels available that can be terminated in one hand using a multi-pair tool. They offer the same termination method as jacks, making training fast and easy. One termination method can be used for patch panels and workstations to simplify logistics and save time.
Cable-measuring features speed up the termination process even more, as well as optimize cable management: simply open the space over every port to organize cables, dress cables to management accessories and measure the slack needed (for front or rear termination), mark the cables and start terminating.
Multiple labeling options with the REVConnect Patch Panel allow port identification per ANSI/TIA-606 standards. Cable bars are included to support cables and ensure proper cable management. White-panel versions are also available to improve visibility in low-light environments.
To learn more about Belden’s REVConnect Patch Panel, visit www.belden.com/products/enterprise/copper/patch-panels/cat-6a.cfm. And stay tuned as we share more information in the coming months about this brand new addition the REVConnect line, which will be available in August!
In his role, Benoit Chevarie is responsible for the growth and profitability of Belden copper connectivity products. He maintains a solid knowledge base amongst Belden’s sales forces, as well as maintaining competitive pricing strategies and keeping a rich but lean product line that corresponds to a dynamic market demand. He was also certified in 2016 as a Project Management Professional (PMP).