Q: I am about to wire a six-computer network in my home. I have already decided on Category 5 cable, T568B wiring, the location of the computers, and the "closet" in which to locate the hub (it will actually be a regular clothes/storage closet). What is the difference between using crossconnect blocks and patch panels for the network wiring?
A: The difference is in space and cost. Termination (crossconnect) blocks require less wall space and are more economical. But for a small office/home office (soho) installation, I suggest that you install whatever you are most comfortable working with. In my soho, I used wall-mounted 110 blocks with legs separated by wire managers and 110- to 8-pin modular patch cords.
Donna Ballast is a communications analyst at the University of Texas at Austin and a bicsi registered communications distribution designer (rcdd). Questions can be sent to her at Cabling Installation & Maintenance or at PO Drawer 7580, University of Texas, Austin, TX 78713; tel: (512) 471-0112, fax: (512) 471-8883, e-mail: email@example.com.