What Is Patch Panel & Patch Cords ? What Are Patch Panel Types ?

patch panels


As we all knows type of delivery services are increasing time to time for our subscribers. We were delivering limited tv channels via analog headend then digital headend came and we delivered more number of tv channels then radio services , VOD services , Telephone Services and internet services etc.

By increasing type of delivery services will increase the complexity in the server or headend. Because a single headend is providing so much services simultaneously it will increase the number of cables in the headend.

So a server engineer or headend engineer always needs to reduce the complexity of cables in the server. A patch panel system enable us to do so.

What Is Patch Panel

A Patch Panel is a passive device used in different Complex Networks to reduce the complexity of networks by using patch cords. Patch Cords are small sized cables connected between two different ports.

Patch panel is installed in the center of network where various cables are terminated and routed to different ports.

It reduces the complexity of headend also reduces the downtime as well as physical work for a Headend Engineer. Patch panels can have different ports like 12 port , 24 port and 48 ports patch panels

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Patch Panel Types

Although there are various kind of patch panels available but for understanding patch panels ,  we have divided them in three categories broadly,

Video Cable Patch Panels

Ethernet Cable Patch Panels

Fiber Cable Patch Panels

Video Cable Patch Panels

video patch panels

Video Patch Panels can be used in between SDI decoder and Encoder in Digital Headend. All the outputs of the decoders will go into the patch panels as input. We need to use different patch cords to connect inputs from decoders to the output ports of patch panels.

Now these output ports of the patch panels are connected with encoders via video cables.

So we send any outputs from decoders to any input of encoders by changing patch cords positions in patch panels.

Ethernet Cable Patch Panels

ethernet cable patch panels

Patch panels are designed different for different cable types like CAT 5E , CAT 6 and CAT 7 cables. So there are different patch panels for UTP and STP. Where UTP stands for Un-shielded Twisted Pair and STP for Shielded Twisted Pair.

In Ethernet Cable Patch Panels different cables coming from different sides are punched in rear panel of this patch panel at different ports.  The front panel of this patch panel is having RJ 45 Jacks.  In this patch panel we use Ethernet cable, connecting both sides with RJ45 connector.

So the front panel of this patch panel is connected with network switch by using patch cords. So the output of network switch goes into the patch panels as input and then patch panel send output to the different locations which are connected to different rear ports of this patch panel.

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Fiber Cable Patch Panels

fiber cable patch panels

In Fiber Cable Patch Panels we use fiber patch cords. For example a 24 pair fiber cable is terminated into this patch panels at different ports.

Now these ports are connected to other output ports by using different fiber patch cords. Now by changing these patch cords we can route the signal.

Thus working of Fiber Cable Patch Panels is same as above explained for others.


Patch panels are passive devices used to reduce the complexity and downtime of network by using patch cords.

Different kinds of patch-panels are used for different networks like fiber network , Ethernet network and video cable network. Patch panels have different ports like 12 port patch panels and 24 ports patch panels etc.

Know More About    What Is RS 232 Port DB9

image credit : canford

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