A fibre optic distribution frame is a component used to house optical fibres and to transfer fibre optic activities. It is used to fix and store optical fibres, terminate them and install fibre optic couplers, as well as to protect the fibre optic connectors from damage and is generally a protective device.
Fibre optic distribution frames are normally installed in wiring closets, but for smaller installations they may also be installed directly on the wall. If the distribution frame is for a horizontal system, it will be relatively dense. Centralised fibre-optic integrated cabling technology creates a backbone or horizontal pathway within the building, which is then created using fibre-optic cables that are pulled, interconnected or spliced from the work area to a central distributor. When used for horizontal systems or centralised cabling, the fibre can be either dual-mode or quad-mode fibre optic cable. The backbone fibre can be multimode, singlemode or mixed fibre and these are often supplemented with connectors to the network hardware.
The number and size of fibres entering the patch panel should be considered to ensure that a sufficient number of suitably sized holes are created to accommodate the optical cable sealing tubes. A 1U patch panel can accommodate up to 24 duplex connectors or 48 fibre bundles if small form factor (SFF) connectors are used. So how do we choose the right patch panel? What do we need to consider?
The first thing to consider is the amount of fibre optic cable left over: a certain amount of fibre optic cable should be retained to ensure that a film of fibre strength is created on the chassis of the patch panel. This prevents the fibres from being ripped out of the patch panel and at the same time prevents the cable from being overstressed.
Next is its protection: the fibre optic patch panel should provide sufficient protection for the connectors to prevent accidental contact.
Next to its protective properties: the fibre optic patch panel should provide sufficient protection for the connectors to prevent accidental contact.