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Old 10-14-2010, 09:53 AM   #1
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66B Punchdown Block


My home was built a couple years ago and the electrician installed a 66B punchdown block. I'm currently in the process of finishing off my lower level and am starting to connect all coax, speaker, camera wires to an enclosure. What I'm somewhat confused about is the phone connection into the enclosure. I would like to remove the punchdown block and have something more versatile making it easier for me to either switch the wiring to allow a wired ethernet connection in the bedrooms or testing the connection. I currently only need one phone line connected in the standard RJ11 jack configuration as the rest of the phones work off the base unit. Someone talked to me about a patch panel? Would that be something to consider? Could anyone give me a brief rundown on how to use the patch panel? I've tried looking at "how-to's" on the web and haven't found anything quite useful yet.

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Old 10-14-2010, 06:06 PM   #2
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66B Punchdown Block


Depending on the type of wire that was ran, you can punch those down into a patch panel. The benefit of that is that you can then use those connections for data (again, depending on the type of cable used originally and the jacks on the wall plate). Then you could use something like Leviton's phone patch panel to patch over the telephone:

http://www.leviton.com/OA_HTML/ibeCC...minisite=10027

What type of enclosure are you using?

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Old 10-14-2010, 06:27 PM   #3
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66B Punchdown Block


I haven't picked up the enclosure yet, however I was looking at a 42" Leviton hinged enclosure. Any other recommendations? The type of wire ran was Cat5e. I've mainly been focusing on Leviton products even though I know there are others out there like On-Q Legrand etc...
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Old 10-14-2010, 07:02 PM   #4
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66B Punchdown Block


I went with the 42" Leviton as well, mainly because I wanted something that looked neat and hidden behind a door. I've had no problems with Leviton products, other than the price of course. Like you, I looked at the other products out there from places like On-Q, but Leviton seemed to be the most supported, so I went with them. I ran cat 6 and used the patch panel in the link below:

http://www.leviton.com/OA_HTML/ibeCC...minisite=10027

I bought most of my stuff from www.tselectronic.com and www.monoprice.com. Tselectonic was great. They actually called me to correct an order I made when I bought my coax cable. I had ordered the wrong connector types for the cable I bought, and they called me to make sure that's what I wanted.

Back on topic though, there are a dozen different ways you can patch your phones together, but the way I chose was to run cat 6 to all locations, and then use that telephone distribution panel to wire the phones to the wall jacks I wanted phone service. Hope that helps!
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Old 10-14-2010, 07:46 PM   #5
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66B Punchdown Block


That most definitely helps! I've been searching forever on some sites and books about structured wiring pertaining to the phones. Again, I only actually have one phone hooked up as the rest of them work off the receiver. In hindsight, I wish I would've ran Cat6 or at least more than 1 Cat5e wire to each wall plate. Yes, Leviton is a bit more pricey, but I wanted to keep a standard with everything inside the enclosure and Leviton was the only company I could see easily doing that. Thanks again for the patch panel info. An IT guy at work initially suggested it to me and showed the room with all patch bays inside as well as how easy it is to maintain.
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Old 10-14-2010, 09:04 PM   #6
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66B Punchdown Block


I also forgot, thanks for the links. I found out about Monoprice when I was ordering cables, wall plates etc for the movie theater and other rooms. And of all the products I've checked over, I haven't come across the twist and mount patch panel. Thanks again for making it so easy!
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Old 10-15-2010, 01:02 PM   #7
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66B Punchdown Block


Remove each cat 5 cable off the 66 block. Notice the wires. white/blue, white/orange, white/green, white/brown. Now that those 4 pairs are out, put them on the patch panel. Your patch panel should tell you what wire goes where. You'll need a 110 punch down tool to terminate the wires. Just match the colors and your done. Well almost. Now you need to make sure that the other end is terminated with an 8p8c jack.
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Old 10-15-2010, 07:40 PM   #8
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66B Punchdown Block


I was wondering if you've tried or seen it done with splitting the Cat5e wire to hook up one phone and one wire jack. My understanding is there's a risk of reduced effectiveness such as speed surfing the net, but one article I found, the guy stated he's had success with it. Otherwise I was just thinking of taking one of the phone jacks and leaving it as phone while taking the other and making it a data only. I just wished I knew more about this when the house was built, then I would've just made two runs to each location.
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Old 10-15-2010, 08:23 PM   #9
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66B Punchdown Block


I have split a cat 5 cable before. You can hook two phone lines and one data up to a single cat 5 cable. I think you use the orange and green pairs for data, and can use the other two pairs for phones. You'll probably be fine running at 100 meg speeds, but I don't think you'll be able to do gigabit using that arrangement (I could be wrong). But then again, gigabit at the moment isn't something everyone is concerned with, so it shouldn't be an issue if that's what you wanted to do. My router at home only does 100 meg, for example.

You'll have to strip back a lot of shielding though at your patch panel to make that happen. You'll have to punch the the two pair down at your patch panel for the data, and then route the other two bare lines over to your phone block. As long as you keep the pairs twisted and don't run them too close to motors or electrical sources, it shouldn't affect the phone call quality.

I would also recommend getting a punch tool, something like this:

http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...seq=1&format=2

You'll need the 66 blade for that tool if you want to keep your 66 block:

http://www.buy.com/prod/paladin-tool...203322936.html

Those links were just quick ones I found, by the way. You might could find better deals.

Just curious, did you need more than one phone line at the location you're wanting to do this at? If you take all of your 66 block connections and put them on an ethernet patch panel, and then purchase something like that phone distribution module, you can then use standard patch cords to simply plug up the wall ports you want to be phones and then use patch cords to plug up the wall ports you want to be data by plugging those into a switch or router. There are cheaper options than that twist and mount Leviton model, too. I just posted a quick link.

Oh, how does your phone service enter your house? If you do choose to use that distribution module, you'll have to run that cable over to it and punch it down there so it makes all the other ports live and usable.

Anyway, does all that make sense? I'm easily confused.
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Old 10-16-2010, 07:41 AM   #10
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66B Punchdown Block


Yeah, I only have DSL service right now b/c I'm in a rural area so 100mb speed is fine. Even with gigabit speeds, these locations are just for hardwired connections and I still use wireless. Thanks for the punchdown tool links. I'd rather not keep the 66b block. I only have one phone line and will most likely keep it that way since we all have cell phones for a "2nd" line. Right now the phone line enters the home via standard Cat5 cable coming from an NID outside and connecting to the 66b block. Since having dsl, I had problems with my connection, even with filters at every phone location so I spliced cat5 down there and set one up to straight to my router and other to phones so I wouldn't need all of those filters. Since then, I haven't had a problem.

I do like the patch panel way. The twist and pair isn't too expensive and is actually neat. My main focus is to try and create both phone and hard-wired internet connections in each room. There's two locations for each room too. And instead of the 66 block, something a little easier to diagnose and replace if needed, later on.
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Old 10-16-2010, 08:01 AM   #11
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66B Punchdown Block


You should be fine with running voice and data on 1 cat 5 cable. It will work for 100 meg, but not for gig. While this is not an industry standard practice, I've seen it done and it should work. I suggest using the brown pair for voice. However the correct way to do things is to have 1 cable for voice and 1 for data.
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Old 10-16-2010, 11:16 PM   #12
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66B Punchdown Block


I totally agree with two cables per run. Just like friends told me when I built my home, there will always be stuff you'll see in hindsight you wish you would've done. I just wish I knew more about structured wiring when I built. Thanks for all the help.

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