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#32189 06/12/05 05:43 AM
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chazrc Offline OP
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I have a customer who has a FXT that insists that when they move, the FXT's Ports be on patch panels so they can patch the phones around easily. Most likely the data guy will be doing this. My problem with this is:

1. This site is subject to rapid growth, in which I will eventually install FX-II cabinetry. The tails will change in length.


2.The FXT is on the FXT shelf currently and is very easy to access the boards. This will not be true if it is on shelf on a rack.

66 Blocks and jumper wire, if installed and maintained properly, looks the best in my opinion.

What are your thoughts on this? Remember, they are near capacity on the T, and will move to multiple FX-II cab's soon. But not soon enough to upgrade them to new cab's on the move date. Also, the are wanting the FXT on one of the data racks as well. They are terminating all voice and data cables on patch panels.

Thanks for your opinions.

Chaz

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Many customers have no preference on how things are installed, leaving all the engineering up to the installing company. In your case, the customer has given you some guidelines. You are obligated to perform under those guidelines. If ease of maintenance is a concern, express your concerns with tact and respect. You already have the job! Give the customer what they want.

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We have been asked to do this a number of times now. Not necessarily putting the FXT on a rack, but doing the patch panel thing. Most of the time when they ask us to do this, they still don't end up doing their own moves because the person who would be responsible for doing that is too chicken, or doesn't want to take the time to understand the layout of the patch panel. This means that we end up having to come in and do the move, and it's that much harder, either because the patch cord is too short, or they want the cable split, or something like that. In this case I would have much rather had a simple cross-connect. I think it would be easier to show them how to use a punch-down tool and jumper wire than go to this trouble, but JWooten is right: you gotta do what the customer wants.

A little bit of advice based on past experience.

1. For the FXT (I have 1 on a rack), try and position the rack or FXT so that you can still access both sides of the cabinet. You may want to leave the plastic door off. WIDE vertical wire management on the rack will leave you a little more room on the side of the cabinet.

2. If all of your station cabling (IW) is terminated on patch panels (especially if all 4 pair are terminated on a single patch panel port, as in the case of all Cat 5), I HIGHLY recommend running your tails from the switch over to some blocks. Then have a cable that runs from the backboard to another patch panel, terminating 4 pair per patch panel port. This will act as your flexible transition patch panel. This allows you to determine what device is on which pair, and allows you to double up on cables without the need for screwing up the back of your patch panel or pulling more cable. Customers frequently want Cat 5e because they've "heard good things about it", but then want you to split out the jack-end because the phone is only using one pair. We have run into this a number of times, and it's much easier if you can decide what is feeding where on the panel. Most of the time we just connect one extension per patch panel port, which leaves a lot of wasted pairs, but when you do end up needing it, it's worth it. It also allows more flexibility for adding or changing cards on the switch. It also allows you to be more flexible with what goes to the patch panel, and what bypasses the panel altogether (if there is something that you don't want to have taking up a port, and simply be a "permanent" cross-connect. If they don't want to allow you to use a backboard, get some rack mounted blocks (110 or 66, but 110 will require less space), and mount them on the back side of the rack. If you can find a hinged solution, where it will allow you to get between the blocks and the patch panels, that would be even better.

All in all it's more work, but if you insist on doing it this way to meet the customer's requirements, you will both be happier in the long run, and the rack will be a little easier to manage. If you bid all of this going into it, they may reconsider. If they don't reconsider, they will have a pretty good solution.

Good luck!

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chazrc Offline OP
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This is exactly what I was thinking. They are not opposed to anything. I am going to run my 25 pair tails from the rack and then terminate on 66 blocks on the board. Then hand the ports off to their cable techs. This they like. Makes no difference how I install it, just as long as they get the ports on the patch panel. I was looking for feedback from other installers. Thanks for your input.


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