Tag bad ports in patch panels and hubs

Bad ports in patch panels and hubs are often left untagged. When bad ports aren`t labeled as such, technicians may continue to insert plugs into them, causing lost time troubleshooting a problem that has already been diagnosed.

Dec 1st, 1998
Th Cim63942 12

Danny Keller

Problem

Bad ports in patch panels and hubs are often left untagged. When bad ports aren`t labeled as such, technicians may continue to insert plugs into them, causing lost time troubleshooting a problem that has already been diagnosed.

Solution

Insert a marked 8-pin modular connector into the port, indicating it is unusable. Mark the plug by attaching a label to it with the word "Bad" clearly legible.

Procedure

1) Using whatever method you choose, create a tag for the 8-pin modular plug that reads "Bad." You can make this tag out of a label you use to mark cables, or you can use some other homemade label.

2) Crimp or mold the label to the plug so that it sticks out the back of the plug and the word "Bad" is clearly legible.

3) When you encounter a port on a patch panel or a hub that is bad, insert this labeled plug into the port and leave it there. This type of tagging will prevent technicians who use the panel or hub in the future from plugging into it.

Danny Keller is an electronics technician in the computer services department at Grinnell College (Grinnell, IA).

This tip was the grand-prize winner of the Cabling Installer Tips` Contest at Cabling Installation Expo `98, held in Atlanta, GA, last October. Look for other entries from the Cabling Installer Tips` Contest and full coverage of Expo in future issues.

Click here to enlarge image

An 8-pin modular plug like this one, with a label crimped or molded to it, can be used to identify bad ports in patch panels or hubs. Permanently labeling a port as "bad" will prevent users from trying to plug into it, saving hours of needless troubleshooting time for a problem that has already been diagnosed.

Click here to enlarge image

In a rack with several patch panels, a few ports may be bad. This drawing shows the bad ports labeled as such, while working ports house patch cords.

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