IPVMU Certified | 11/07/15 07:55pm
If your access to the panel is tight, you can do "unloaded" patch panels. Basically these are 24 or 48 keystone style cutouts in a row. You just terminate a regular wall jack and snap it in. I use Leviton jacks and a Fluke Jackrapid tool for this.
Cost for a fully loaded panel are slightly more than a traditional loaded panel, but if you have less than 24 terminations it becomes much cheaper since you can leave the unused spaces empty. The other advantage is that you can color code your panel since keystone jacks come in different colors.
ICC is the low end of what I'd consider acceptable quality. Years ago they were considered junk, but they have stuck around and quality seems to have improved and they offer a warranty program. I'd still prefer something else, but they seem to work.
Hubbell is priced around normal for this sort of thing. Leviton, Ortronics, and other will generally be in that price range. But you'll find some more expensive, as well.
Most of the difference in cheap stuff versus "expensive" is in the quality of the contacts and the ease of use. I've tried cheap gear where the IDC contacts don't hold and punched down wires simply pull out. Or pins in the RJ45 connectors/panels don't last, get stuck and don't spring back, or at worst, simply fall out. After a couple instances of that, the more expensive stuff starts to feel pretty worthwhile.
As far as strain: Are you leaving a slack loop? There should be more than enough slack so that you don't have strain on cables. I typically left 6-10', depending on the install, and then coiled it up and velcro'd it neatly in the back of the rack. So you just punch things down with the panel reversed, flip the panel, then coil slack.
Also, how are you dressing cables into the panel? The old-school tendency is to bring them from the sides and cut them all to length, like this:
Most manufacturers (in my recollection) actually recommend this, though, as it takes strain off cables and allows a little bit of slack for retermination if needed. It also removes less cable jacket and maintains twists better:
Personally, we use Legrand, which I'm quite content with. I've heard good stories about Panduit as well.
Big fan of Panduit mini-com series. We use it almost exclusively. Jacks are a little more expensive, but it will cut your labor hours once your guys get used to them.
I'm a novice camera guy, In real life I put in Cabling, lots of cabling
I am a big fan of ICC - both panels and jacks, its all I use
They are a breeze to terminate and the tool for terminating the jack makes it very fast
I have put in literally thousands of them and have yet to get a bad one
When I use ICC jacks and ICC panels I typically get a reading of between 7.5 and 9 DB of headroom (Fluke Certification tester) and have yet to have a problem with a POE phone or access point coming up.
I use the old school method and have a service loop to the floor plus a couple feet so I can sit down, get comfortable and go to work
I also like the fact that they come in a 25 pack so there is no trash to deal with
I get mine at ADI at a pretty reasonable price
Hope this helps