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I have a 48 port patch panel in my basement, which I've wired almost all of them to various rooms around the house. Many are not actually being used at the moment, but pretty much all of them are wired to somewhere.

As of recent, I've put in an HTPC in my media closet (different room), and I'm finding I need a lot more RJ45 plugs to this area.

I have 4 drops here, and adding a switch will not solve my problems. I'm using the cabling for other things such as IR and Serial devices, not just Ethernet.

What I'm hoping to do is add an 8 port panel in that media closet, and tie those into an 8 port panel on my rack next to the 48 port...

What I don't want to do is pull 8 separate cables one by one from one area to the other unless someone has a technique that will allow me to do that quickly, and painlessly.

Do they make cables with more conductors specifically for this purpose? Or patch panels that are designed for a special cable essentially just extending ports from one room to another?

UPDATE:

I ran one cable and pulled it back to get its length. I then made 8 cables the same length, and bundled them together using a this lacing technique:

enter image description here

I pulled them all at once and terminated them on small patch panel in each closet. Overall I ran many more cables than I need, but it'll save some time in the future I'm sure.

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+1 for the link to lacing technique. Neat!! –  Torben Gundtofte-Bruun Aug 6 '10 at 7:40
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3 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Not knowing how far the run is, this is how I would do it:

Measure the length of the run and using bulk cable, cut eight pieces the length of the run plus enought extra for routing and connection. Group the cables together and pull at one time. GET HELP if possible as it will be a bit unwieldly.

Another option would be to cut nine lengths and use one of the existing runs to pull the new runs into place. Once again, get help.

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Looks like I'll just bite the bullet and pull cables. I was really hoping somewhere existed a pair of patch panels that used a single connector to connect all the ports at once using a special cable. –  zimmer62 May 18 '10 at 14:30
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They do make bundled cable where the bundle consists of multiple CAT5 or better cables wrapped and jacketed into one very thick unit, some of the more common include (2) CAT5, (2) RJ6, (2) fiber, (2) speaker... You can ask a local supply house if they have it in stock.

Seriously though, maybe you might be better off going fiber optic.

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Cable is available with lots of pair configurations. I believe 25, 50, and 100 pair cable is standard in telephony. Any company doing cabling should be able to supply you which a length of cable that meets your needs.

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I've since seen a few indications that there might be an easier way than 8 individual cables. I was looking for patch panels and some of them have a single connector on the back designed for some sort bundled cable, probably hard to find and hard to terminate, but none the less my initial quest was to find something super easy. I'm uprating your answer, if anyone know more information about these patch panels that have a single connector instead of punchdown it would be good to know. –  zimmer62 Jun 10 '10 at 12:34
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