Once you have all the wiring done properly following the star typology, you might notice that the amount of cables terminating in the cabinet is enormous. I do have around 60 UTP/STP cables for the whole house there just for Loxone purposes (not talking about network cables that are heading into different rack. To keep your electrical cabinet well-arranged and tidy, one of the solution is to use terminal blocks.
Unfortunately, no one told me this secret when I started my wiring, so I spent significant time rewiring everything using these terminals. But at least I could immediately see the difference. Originally, my plan was simply to connect the necessary wires from each UTP/STP cable, leaving the unused pairs strapped using cable ties on the sides of the cabinet. That way I thought I would be able to connect additional wires form these cables, if needed. What a mistake!
I realised very soon that such approach would be complete cabling overkill. The remaining unused pairs from these cables filled completely my both side channels in the cabinet, and I ran into space issues when adding anything to it. Moreover, it was complete mess, and finding the right cable for additional connection was an investigation for a whole day.
That was a moment when I started looking for other solution. However, there were not many suitable terminal block on the market that time, that would fit for 4-pair CAT cables.
There were Krone terminal blocks, widely used on telco market already, however these are not complete match for this purpose. I am not saying these cannot be used, I personally tried one block of these, and I know installations that do use these without any problem. The problems I had with using Krone terminals for Loxone was that:
- These are designed for 10 pairs, not 8 as in typical CAT cable, so you will either need to mix multiple cables in one block, or have empty connections in each.
- The holders I had were not designed for DIN rails. So I would have to create some holders myself.
- Once there are these block installed side by side, it is difficult to maintain clean cable management. Additional space is needed for routing the cables in between these blocks.
So finally I purchased Weidmüeller’s 8 pin PRV8 and PPV8. I need to say I was a bit shocked by the price at the beginning, and I couldn’t find it cheaper elsewhere than in the Loxone shop. Looking for alternatives on AliExpress and other stores was not successful in this case.
But in the end I am very happy I did that investment (purchased three boxes for my installation). Working with these terminal block was soooo easy and fast, and the final structured look was a huge contributor to my overall mission success. Any additional connection or wiring change you need I need to make (for instance adding now sensor) is very easy and safe. This is definitely one of the key things I should have known from the very beginning.
- These terminals are very simple to use, no special tools needed
- Despite the fact that is is designed for thicker cables ( 1.5 mm2 ) it is still quite space efficient in the cabinet and can be used with UTP CAT cables without any issue,
- The fact that every cable can have dedicated terminal for all pairs of wires gives the wiring logical structure
- You can join multiple terminals in a larger block, just please remember to leave some space needed to remove these from the DIN rail. (twist to remove lock)