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Minimum Patch Length?

Discussion in 'Switches, NICs and cabling' started by PinkFloydEffect, May 27, 2020.

  1. PinkFloydEffect

    PinkFloydEffect Regular Contributor

    Feb 3, 2018
    I was about to re-cable our entire patch rack with 12" cables until one of my coworkers mentioned a minimum patch cable length of 3 meters. I want to move our switches up directly below each patch panel so that I can eliminate the cable management rows with a direct shot from the patch panels to the switches.

    I was under the impression this applies to linking switches but not from the switch to a patch panel? The patch panel only terminates a patch cable to the Ethernet runs so I do not see how it would have a negative affect? We are using 48 port Cisco 3750s if that makes any difference, and my intended patch cables would be Cat6 from 12-18"

    I have seen this often done on a YouTube channel by the name of FiberNinja which is where I got the idea from.

  2. ColinTaylor

    ColinTaylor Part of the Furniture

    Mar 31, 2014
    Personally I'd never heard of a minimum length for Cat5e/6 patch cables. We must have had 100+ 1 meter cables in our patch cabinets. If it's not allowed why are all the cable suppliers selling 1, 1.5, 2 and 3 meter cables? (Although I never used anything less than 0.5 m in a cabinet).

    Looking at Google the minimum length argument seems to be a myth based on some misreading of the specs. They do need to be good quality (i.e. upto spec.) cables though.
    PinkFloydEffect and dosborne like this.
  3. dosborne

    dosborne Very Senior Member

    May 11, 2019
    Back in the day, we used 1000's of short patch cables. 8", 12" were the ideal lengths in our particular setup and came directly from the manufacturer of the equipment.

    I still have a couple 4" cables I use today.
    PinkFloydEffect likes this.
  4. MichaelCG

    MichaelCG Very Senior Member

    Jan 4, 2017
    Central US
    Man it has been waaaaaay too many years since I had to think about this....but if I am recalling correctly, this was back in the days of hubs. I don't think it really applied in the switch days anymore?? And it was between devices, not patch panels.
    PinkFloydEffect likes this.
  5. Trip

    Trip Very Senior Member

    Aug 12, 2014
    @PinkFloydEffect - Your coworker would be wrong, plain and simple. There is effectively no minimum for patch cable length, and you can find pre-made patch in as short as 6-inch lengths from almost every major vendor out there. So go ahead with 1-foot'ers, 6-inchers, whatever the use-case calls for. You'll be just fine.
    L&LD and PinkFloydEffect like this.