As a key component of copper cabling system, copper patch panel is popular with people. And there are Cat5e patch panels and Cat6 patch panels available on the market. It is not difficult to understand that Cat5e patch panel is used with Cat5e patch cable, while Cat6 patch panel is used with Cat6 patch cable jointly. But can I use Cat5e patch cable with Cat6 patch panel or Cat6 patch cable with Cat5e patch panel? This article will tell you the answer.
First, let’s have a brief overview of Cat5e patch panel and Cat6 patch panel. Cat5e patch panel is compliant with TIA/EIA 568 industry specifications and is used for high speed LAN transmission. In addition, Cat5e patch panels are available in 6-port and 8-port module groupings, in 8, 12, 24, and 48-port sizes. The high density panel design can be mounted to standard racks or cabinets, accommodate top, bottom or side cable entry, and also save rack space. While Cat6 patch panel is specially designed for 1G Ethernet applications. It also meets the TIA/EIA 568 industry specification and each patch panel terminates with standard 110 termination tools on the rear, which allows quick installations. Cat6 patch panel on the market covers 12, 24, 48, and 96-port configurations.
In fact, there isn’t much difference between these two types of patch panels. What matters is the difference of wire gauge specified between Cat5e and Cat6 patch cables. It’s well known that both Cat5e and Cat6 patch cable contain four twisted pairs of copper wires, but Cat6 patch cable is thicker than Cat5e. This is because there is a longitudinal separator inside Cat6 patch cable which isolates each of the four pairs of twisted wire from the others, reducing crosstalk and allowing for better signal. And another reason is that Cat6 patch cable utilizes copper conductor which has larger diameter than that of Cat5e patch cable. So you may ask, if I use Cat5e patch cable with Cat6 patch panel, will it be too loose? Slightly Yes, but electrically it will still make contact and work well.
Sometimes you may also encounter the situation where you want to use Cat6 pacth cable with Cat5e patch panel. The content above has mentioned that Cat6 patch cable is thicker than Cat5e patch cable. In spite of the size difference between them, the fact is that Cat6 patch cable is backward compatible with Cat5e patch cable. Therefore, you can feel free to use Cat6 patch cable with Cat5e patch panel.
When plugging Cat5e patch cable on a Cat6 patch panel, the Cat5e patch cable is small enough that it is possible to get what looks like a good connection. However, the contact is not actually good or the plug is not in the right place. While plugging Cat6 patch cable on a Cat5e patch panel, the larger wire may end up bending or even breaking the port. Therefore, in both cases, it is necessary to install and test each connection carefully to make system work fine.
In theory, doing like these is not recommended. Using Cat5e patch cable with Cat5e patch panel or Cat6 patch cable with Cat6 patch panel will get the best performance. FS.COM provides both high-density Cat5e patch panels for Fast Ethernet applications and Cat6 patch panels for 1G/10G Ethernet applications, such as 24 port Cat5e patch panel, 48 port Cat5e patch panel, 24 port Cat6 patch panel, 48 port Cat6 patch panel, etc. In addition, Cat5e shielded patch panel, Cat5e unshielded patch panel, Cat6 shielded patch panel and Cat6 unshielded patch panel are available.