I'm an electrician by trade, but ive done some low voltage work before, anyway I'm trying to figure out patch panels and am having some trouble. If I have an office space with say 4 ports on each data plate, one data, one voice, one fax and one spare port. If for each of these I ran a cat 5e homerun back to the telcom room CAN I tie all 4 of these into the patch panel or MUST the voice/fax get a seperate punchdown block? and can I put an RJ45 connector on them to the front of the patch panel or do they get punched down internally like a 110 block? and if not what exactly would be plugged into the front of the patch panel? like where does the incomming feed get tied into? sorry if theres a lot of questions but I dont want to sub this type of thing out when I know I'd be able to do it myself, any help for these questions or anything else you guys think I should know to install a patch panel would be greatly appreciated, thanks.
Study Guides for VDV / Structured Cabling Installers
In general, only cables used for data are terminated on patch panels. The other cables are usually terminated on 66 or 110 blocks. Phone technicians really don't like it when patch panels are used for voice circuits since most phone systems don't use plug-cord connections. They would have to make an unneccessary transition from hard-wired terminations to plug-ended cables; just something else that can fail or cause more work.
Now, if you are sure that a VOIP phone system is being installed, then you probably should terminate the voice cables on patch panels as well. You'll need to find this out from the customer before you begin. Regardless, cables for fax or other uses still should be terminated on 66 or 110 blocks.
Typical patch panels (unless you order them differently) are equipped with built-in 110 blocks on the back side. The data cables are simply punched down on them directly.