Fiber Optic Accessories
Why is Ultra High Density Fiber Optic Closures so Popular?
The dramatic improvements in network switching infrastructure have been made over the last 10 years due to increased streaming media demand and mobile broadband communications. This demand is expected to grow at an unprecedented rate. It is a natural instinct to use higher density fiber optic enclosures, especially since copper has been replaced by fiber for high-performance data communications.
Network switching products currently have port line cards that use over 1,000 OM3 and OM4 fibers per switch for 10G duplex fibre applications. In the future, 40/100Gb switches will use more than 4,000 fibers per frame where parallel optics is employed. High fiber count requirements require high-density cable solutions and hardware solutions to reduce the overall footprint, simplify cable management, and connect the electronics.
Fiber Optic Enclosures Overview
Fiber-optic cabling systems are similar to copper-based systems in that they have some specialized components like connectors and fiber optic enclosures.
Laser light can be dangerous so every fiber-optic cable should have its ends protected by an optical enclosure. Fiber optic enclosures not only protect people from the laser light, but also protect fibers from damage. The two main types are patch panels and wall plates. We will discuss patch panels in this article.
A fiber patch panel is what most people associate with a fiber optic enclosure. It allows for connections between devices to be made or broken at the discretion of the network administrator. A patch panel is basically a collection of fiber-optic cables that terminate in one another. To connect the cables, interconnect cables or short fiber-optic patches are used. Dust caps are placed on all fiber-optic ports to prevent dust from entering the connectors and interfering in a proper connection.
Types of Fiber Optic Closures
There are many sizes and shapes of patch panels. Some panels are mounted on a wall, and these are called surface-mount patches panels. Others can be mounted on a rack, and are known as rack mount patch panels. Each type offers its own advantages. Although surface mount panels are easier to use and cheaper, they don't have the ability to hold as many cables or ports. For smaller cabling installations (less than 50 drops), surface-mount patch panels are a good choice. Although rack-mount panels offer greater flexibility, they are also more expensive. Rack-mount patch panels are better for larger installations. Because they are very cost-effective and offer great flexibility for connecting workstations, patch panels are the most popular LAN products.
A fiber-optic installation might have one or more fiber distribution boards. These panels are similar to patch panels because they use the same cables to connect them. The connections in a distribution panel are stronger and more permanent. Distribution panels are usually equipped with a lock and key to stop end users making unapproved changes. A patch panel can be found anywhere fiber optic equipment hubs, switches and routers are located. Multifiber cables can be split into individual cables by placing distribution panels. This is an example of a 24 port patch panel.
Panel for 24 Port Patch
Wall-mounted fiber optic enclosures can hold up to 8 panels. They are equipped with routing guides that limit bend radius and improve strain-relief control. The inside fibers are protected by the 16-gauge steel housing with a corrosion-resistant black powder coat. Unloaded wall-mount is available, and can also be converted to a full-splice enclosure that includes mechanical terminations. There are many connector adapters available to suit your needs. We can pre-install different types of fiber optic pigtails within the patch panel, such as SC, FC and ST. There are a variety of inside panels that can be changed to accommodate different types of adaptor interfaces. They will fit both round and ribbon fiber optic cables.