After our recent DataCenter tours several have asked about the LED Patch panels we installed for our Telecom Rack.
These patch panels have a little LED above the RJ45 jack used to identify the port . You plug a little device into the patch cable then into the wall jack and the LED on the Patch Panel lights up to identify the port. No need to disconnect from a switch, the LED is green if not connected or red if connected to a switch. The little signal transmitter is $20.00 and runs on AA batteries.
We purchased these from a company called FireFold.com in North Carolina. We frequently purchase random network ‘stuff’ including bulk cat5e or cat6 from FireFold because historically their prices are really hard to beat. And when you do find a place that is less expensive on an item you normally are guaranteed the lowest price with with the “Lowest Price Guarantee” program on applicable products. FireFold.com will not match the price of any competitor they will beat it by 5%! So after finding a lower price and the price guarantee we paid $4 per patch panel over the normal patch panel price…
Now one note: These patch panels are intended for Data wiring not telco wiring because the LED requires 2 pair to work. So from the wall jack to the patch panel they don’t illuminate the LED on phone wiring. But the value for us, is the ability to trace wiring from the PBX to the Patch Panel without having to go thru almost 200 extension’s patch cables.
Another cool tool firefold sells that I might buy if i knew worked as advertised and might be worth its weight in gold is the Magnepull – Model: 800A-KC. Its a magnetic fish-tape… The claims even say you can fish wire under carpet with it. If you buy it let me know if it works.