A group of sockets used to manually connect incoming and outgoing lines together in communications and electronic systems. Using short patch cords, one end is plugged into an "in" line and the other end to an "out" line. Wireless patch panels are also available that provide the cross connections by flipping a switch rather than plugging in wires. See wiring rack and patch cord.
A vertical panel with multiple points of termination for cables. Short patch cords are used to establish semi-permanent interconnections between the cable terminations. Multiple types of cables (e.g., coaxial and unshielded twisted pair) can terminate on a single patch panel. See also distribution frame.