Fiber optic cable has been increasingly applied to meet the need of high speed network. In data centers, the cabling infrastructure turns to be more complicated. Under that situation, keeping good cable management is necessary since messy cabling will cause fiber optic loss and not easy for troubleshooting. Then, fiber patch panels can serve as the tools for cabling systems.
A fiber patch panel is also called fiber distribution panel. It’s used to terminate the fiber optic cable and provide connection to individual spliced fibers. Besides, fiber patch panels can create a secure environment for exposed fibers, housing connectors and splice unites.
Fiber patch panels can be divided into two types. Both types can house, organize, manage and protect fiber optic cable, splices and connectors.
One is rack mount panel. Usually the rack mount panel holds the fibers horizontally and looks like a drawer. Rack mount panel is designed in 1U, 2U, 4U sizes and can hold up to 288 or even more fibers. The rack mount enclosures include two kinds. One is the slide-out variety and the other incorporates a removable lid. The sliding design of panels gives engineer easy access to the fibers inside but it’s more expensive. The lid type is less expensive but requires the user to remove the whole enclosure from the rack to gain internal access.
The other is wall mount panel. While wall mount panel is designed for enclosed wall mounting of adapter panels or splice trays. They are fabricated from steel sheets and finished with a light textured black powder coat. These panels can be easily mounted to any wall using the internal mounting holes. They can protect fibers from dust or debris contamination and organize the cables.
A typical fiber patch panel contains four parts: enclosed chamber (rack mount or wall mount), adapter panels, connector adapters (providing low optical loss connection through mating appropriate connectors) and splice tray (organizing and securing splice modules). Adapters on a fiber patch panel are available in different shapes, such as LC, SC, MTP, etc. Most times, all adapters are of the same type in a panel. But sometimes a panel with different types of adapters is needed when more than one type of fiber optic connectors used in a network.
Fiber patch panel has two compartments. One contains the bulkhead receptacles or adapters, and the other is used for splice tray and excess fiber storage. Patch cable management trays are optional for some patch panels and make possible the neat storage of excessive patch cable lengths.
Fiber Patch Panel ports provide a place for data to enter and exit the panel. The number of these ports vary from 12, 24, 48, 64, 72, 96 to 288 and even more. Actually, there is no limit to the number of ports on a patch panel. As long as there is enough room, you can fill the enclosure without interfering with the integrity.