I host small LANs (16-20 guests) and would like to make setup a bit easier next time around by providing 6 port patch panels at each table, all connected to the main 24 port switch.
I have seen a number of 12+ port patch panels, but have not been able to find smaller ones. I am wondering if I can simply create my own patch panels using keystone connectors or something?
I am not well versed in the physical layer, so I am wondering if anyone can help me out and provide a little shopping list of items I would need to purchase for this project. Right now I am thinking all I would need is a bunch of punch-down keystone jacks, some sort of faceplate to mount them, an enclosure, and of course the actual cat6 cable.
A patch pannel will cost you around $20 with the jacks built in. Buying the Jacks sepatately and putting that all together will probably end up costing you about the same and look a hell of a lot better! If you already have the 24 port switch, the "proper" thing to do is install a 24 port patch pannel and use up as many ports as you need. This will give you the option and ability to upgrade in the future without any more problems or cost.
It's worth a thought...