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This is new construction for a home, and I'm installing about 65 Cat 6e home runs from various points in the house to a location on the wall where a freestanding floor rack will go at the time of occupancy. The floor rack will have a patch panel, network switch(es), the router and a home server.

Since this is new construction, the work will need to pass the electrical inspection and final inspection before the equipment rack can be installed since the rack is considered "occupancy".

I'm aware that there are 12 port plats for 2 gang mud rings that can be used with QuickPort connectors, but I would probably need about 6 of these installed in the wall to accommodate all of the cables.

The other concern is that because these riser cables are fragile (they are meant for use in the wall) I would rather not have them just come out of the wall and connect at the rack's patch panel, since they would then be exposed to possible damage. It might also not be permitted by code to have a hole in the wall with a bunch of cables hanging out, even if they are low voltage.

So the question is, what is an appropriate device/box/etc to terminate the cat6 cables where they come through the drywall, that can accommodate a large number of cables, and make it easy to connect them to the rack mounted patch bay, without the risk of damage to exposed cables, or violating any codes?

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    Panduit and several other companies make cable management equipment for your situation. Wireways and cable routing equipment is available at any good electrical wholesale house. – ArchonOSX Dec 7 '17 at 11:23
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    Cat 6e? do you mean cat5e, cat6, or cat6a? – Steve Cox Dec 7 '17 at 15:36
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Riser cables are not "fragile", for one thing. 65 of them in a bundle are not even remotely fragile, as a unit, unless "hack with an axe" is your fragility standard. Rack patch panels (punchdown style) are specifically intended to terminate riser (or plenum) type solid cables without the need to put a plug onto the cable (where repeated use might flex the wires too much and break them; though this is unlikely to be an issue in the average house.)

Low voltage cables can have all sorts of things that look like "violations" if you were to do that with power wiring, and are not in low voltage.

You can simply have a low voltage cable passthough, (a pretty hole in the wall) leave the cables hanging until the rack shows up, and terminate them into a rackmount patch panel designed for the purpose. This passes code & inspections for commercial occupancies, which are generally somewhat harsher than residential.

You could also run them into a "between the studs" "structured wiring" box that had patch panel ports on the door, which seems to be the way you are thinking, but I'm not finding that as a common option so I think you'd be modifying the door for that purpose yourself. Most "media wiring boxes" appear to be oriented towards hiding it all - I suppose you could use one of those and have the door open all the time once the rack is in place.

You will probably have to get 72 ports worth of patch to (efficiently) terminate 65 cables, as 12 & 24 are the usual units for patchbays.

Resist the urge to cut everything as short as possible - well-designed cable installations will have a deliberate loop hung on the wall (or sometimes in the wall) to allow for "moves, adds and changes."

  • We recently had new cat 5 wiring done at our school. Their method was to bundle in 25's until the rack was in place. Caveats in doing this: Label. It is such a pain later to have a panel full of cables and not know which one is which. Another trick: Often when pulling cable, you pull several lines at once. It can make the labeling easier at the end if you pull from different coloured boxes. Failing this, you put the label on the end before you start, and put the other label on the box. – Sherwood Botsford Dec 7 '17 at 14:43
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    There are 10 colors of electrical tape. By using two bands of tape (or three on a HUGE installation) on each end of each wire (the same, on each end - different, on each wire), you can color-code your way to success quite easily, and then do the text labeling later (it often is not up to the rigors of being pulled through the wall and still being legible) – Ecnerwal Dec 7 '17 at 14:48

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