FAQ - PerfectPatch

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  1. How does using the PerfectPatch stop my system from turning into a rat's nest? When utilizing the PerfectPatch in your management system, you will be required to remove your patch cord (eliminating entanglements) to make an adjustment. Then upon completion of the adjustment of the patch cord by the PerfectPatch to make the cord fit the exact length of the required patch (eliminating all slack), you will be performing the maintenance of your management system at the same time in only the seconds it takes to apply the PerfectPatch, thus making your system of patch-cord management self-maintaining each time you move, add, or change a patch cord. This makes the PerfectPatch the only product in the market that turns the chore of having to deal with the rat's nest obsolete forever. PerfectPatch is the only product that takes management down to cord level. This is a necessary requirement to achieve a self-maintaining management system.
  2. Does it take long to install the PerfectPatch? No. Typically it takes 30 seconds per patch cord.
  3. Is the PerfectPatch reusable? Yes. It has been tested more than 2,500 times for durability and reusability.
  4. Why would I want to buy the PerfectPatch when I can just make my own patch cords in the field to fit-to-length? First of all it takes longer. Second, the reliability and quality assurance from manufactured patch cords is better. Third, an extensive industry study on patch-cord management shows that this method does not solve the problem in real life. An industry study featured in Cabling Installation and Maintenance (February 1997) said,
    "Ironically, hand-made cords generally had the same amount of slack as manufactured patch cords. At the time of the first use they may have been cut to exact length, but over time these cords were moved around and so the advantage of custom fit was lost." (Click here for more details on "Other findings".)
  5. How much training is needed to show my staff how to keep the patch panel system neat? It only takes the few minutes that it takes you to show your staff how to use the PerfectPatch. Training and maintenance, all-in-one, no product offers so much for so little of a price.
  6. How does the PerfectPatch make it easy for me to buy patch cords? It takes the guess work out of patch cord purchasing by allowing you to have a 60% (over half) margin for error. Plus, you have built-in versatility in your patch cord because you will not have to purchase new patch cords for future moves, adds, and changes because cords are too short.

FAQ - Patch-Cord Management

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  1. How can the aesthetics of a patch-cord management system have an impact on my network? If it takes longer to identify and rectify a fault in your network because of the "rat's nest" of your patch-cord management system. (See System Functional Performance Level.)
  2. Is there any documentation to follow that demonstrates how to design a proper patch-cord management system? PerfectPatch, Inc., has developed the "Simple Patch-Cord Management Guidelines" is a document that instructs people involved with the structured-cabling industry how to design, install, and maintain a patch-cord management system. These guidelines were developed no matter what manufactured components are being utilized. They show real life principles that are common to management systems being employed today. They can be printed out from our web site and work in conjunction with our web site for more detailed information.
  3. What makes PerfectPatch, Inc., an expert in patch-cord management? PerfectPatch, Inc., has looked to PerfectSite Corporation (a structured cabling consulting firm) which performed the world's most extensive study ever on patch-cord management in our industry today. As you read excerpts of this study-"The Reality of Patch-Cord Management," Cabling Installation & Maintenance, February 1997, you will notice the striking similarities in what has been reported and what you have experienced in patch-cord management.
  4. I am in charge of the department that controls the patch-cord management systems in our building, but our management systems are a real "rat's nest." I have explained numerous times to my techs in the field the need to keep it neat? First of all, this was found to be a universal problem in our industry, everyone's interpretation of neat is different. "Neat" to your tech could mean a mess to you. Second, patch cords are typically purchased longer than what is needed by adding to the accumulation of slack in the system. This is the #1 problem in patch-cord management. Third, patch cords are rarely pulled out completely on a change order, but run atop other cords, causing an entangling effect. Fourth, "until now" there has been no documentation from manufacturers on this subject of controlling the effects of patch cords in a management system. This is why PerfectPatch, Inc., has developed a document called The Simple Patch-Cord Management Guidelines for designing a proper management system and The Management Performance Level Matrix for controlling the system. The Management Performance Level Matrix takes patch-cord slack, the #1 problem, and patch-cord entanglements, the #2 problem, and puts it into an easily understandable format for the individual charged with patch-cord management. This provides objective, measurable performance - not someone's subjective interpretation of "neatness." These documents can be used independent of whatever manufactured components are utilized in the patch-cord management system.
  5. What is the most important factor to incorporating horizontal and vertical managers into a high-density patch field ? The size of the managers. The bigger the managers, the better. This prompts faster identification, better control, and less snagging of patch cords. (for details see Patch-Cord Management).
  6. I am having a hard time finding out how much space all my electronic equipment, patch panels, and patch-cord managers, etc, are going to take up in my standard 7' rack. Is there a method to use for this? Yes, you would look in the manufacturer's catalog or call the equipment manufacturer and ask for the size (height and width). All items should fit the standard 19" rack. Then convert the height dimension into Rack Mount Spaces (RMS). Remember, there are 45 RMS in a standard 7' (2.13m) EIA rack. Each RMS equals 1.75" (4.45 cm) which are three-hole slots on a rack. (For details see Racks.)
  7. How do I know what length patch cords to purchase? Without showing bias to the PerfectPatch, this is very difficult task (if not impossible) to perform. It is a "guesstimate" that winds up with having to purchase longer cords than needed, creating an accumulation of slack from each patch cord, that no management system or design methods can resolve. In the industry study this accumulation of slack for 187 patch cords equated to 312 ft., (96m) over a football field long. This has devastating results to the management of the patch field. By not having the ability to adjust your patch cords, the only suggestion we can give is to review The Simple Patch-Cord Management Guidelines.
  8. How big of a role do aesthetics play in a patch-cord management system? Besides impacting the time it takes to identify and rectify faults, it impacts the emotional level of the people who have to work with it and see it. In the industry study, the question was asked of the techs who work with the "rat's nest" daily: "How did it get like this?" The response: "It was made by 'someone else.' " Also, there was a reluctance to resolve issues involving the patch-cord management system-no one wanted to deal with the "rat's nest." So, tickets that were to be resolved would take longer because the techs knew what was ahead for them when they had to perform a MAC. They could possibly even create a new problem. Management staff at these locations would show signs of embarrassment when asked questions about these systems. They would even have cabling contractors come in once or twice a year to help clean up the mess. We caught one cabling contractor cleaning up the patch-cord management system because she was bringing potential customers over to show them what their work looked like and did not want them to see the "rat's nest" (for which the contractor was not responsible). She told us that she strategically picked out one closet to show because there was no way to clean up all the closets (for details see BICSI NEWS, "Year of Aesthetics," January 1997).
  9. Why is it that I do not have the same problems with aesthetics and management of my PBX cross-connect field as I do with my LAN patch-cord field ? Because in a cross-connect field you cut each connection to length, eliminating slack. In a patch-cord field, cords are already made in certain lengths, so you can not eliminate all slack. You just try your best at routing and hiding the slack. This method typically turns your patch-cord management system into a "rat's nest."
  10. How do you suggest we maintain our patch-cord management system at 10, the highest aesthetic performance level? Explain and post the Aesthetic Performance Level Matrix at each patch-cord management system and follow the Two Golden Rules for Success Patch-Cord Management:
    Rule #1: Eliminate slack in each patch cord, and
    Rule #2: Eliminate entanglements in each patch cord. If you manage a department and/or contractors, perform spot checks to see if this task is being done correctly. Remember, with the assistance of the Management Performance Level Matrix, you are dealing with measurable performance levels, not someone's interpretation of neatness. (For details see the Management Performance Level Matrix.)

    Have a problem, suggestion, or comment? Please email PerfectPatch Technical Support.

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