When starting a fiber optic project, a fundamental step is the proper selection of the ODF’s or fiber optic connection panels, because important aspects such as modularity, space inside the rack and distribution of the connectors must be considered.
Welink, manufacturer and global leader of fiber optic products, and of which it is a direct and authorized distributor, Cable Servicios S.A., has various fiber optic panel solutions that adjust to the needs of each project; according to the types of optic couplers (SC Simplex, duplex LC, E2000, circular type ST or FC, SC duplex, LC Quad, LGX boards and MPO / MTP solutions).
For a simple and quick identification of the ODF that meets the needs of each project, we identified four groups of panels that structure its great variety, with common characteristics among them such as its removable fronts, inputs for front plates and multiple inputs on the back for all types of cables such as Tight Buffer, Loose Tube, Loose Tube Armed and ADSS cables, among others.
All ODF's can be designed from the moment of their manufacture with the adapters that each project requires (personalized production) including the kit for their maintenance or supplied with the pre-connectorized cables that the development demands.
Group One: Fiber Optic Panels for SC Simplex, LC Duplex, and E2000 Couplers
The main feature of Welink fiber optic panels is their modularity, allowing the management and connection of each port independently, allowing for the inclusion of mixed optic couplers. The 24-port models, for example, can support up to 48 optic fibers (depending on the type of adapter that is incorporated).
2. Features of ODF Patch Panel
This significant feature is due to the fact that the SC simplex module, E2000 simplex and duplex LC occupy the same physical space. In other words, if SC simplex modules are used, and since the panel has 24 connection positions, up to 24 fibers could be connected (one optic fiber for each SC simplex module).
Additionally, if duplex LC modules are used, the panel connection capacity doubles to 48 fiber optic connections in a single rack unit, because two fibers can terminate per module (LCs are duplex).
Sometimes, experts recommend the acquisition of ODF's with their empty ports, without couplers, to add them according to the need and instance of each project, since the panel ports are modular and the couplers can be added according to each need.
The versatility of So3 panels with 24 ports, for example, allows the three types of couplers to be connected simultaneously in a single panel, SC, LC and E2000 as long as the total sum does not exceed 24 positions.
For example, 12 ports with SC simplex couplers, 10 ports with duplex LC, and 4 ports with E2000 can be combined, regardless of whether each module is APC, PC / UPC, MonoMode, or MultiMode terminated.
This option can also be exploited in small installations where, for example, they have a SingleMode input cable and another internal MultiMode distribution cable, and both cables are connected within the same panel, each with its splice system (the couplers are they differ with colors: blue or green for MonoMode fibers, beige or navy for MultiMode fibers).
Second group: Fiber optic panels for circular couplers type ST and FC, in this case, and due to the characteristics of their couplers, it is possible to terminate one fiber for each module, therefore, the number of modules is equal to the number of fibers.
Some examples of products within this group with different coupler configurations: For our example we take the S01 panel family that has 24 connection ports in 1 rack unit.
S01XXX00: The tray comes empty, indicating that it only brings the external chassis without any coupler
S01STM12: The part number identifies the S01 family tray, which contains multi-mode ST couplers (represented by the letter M) loaded with 12 couplers inside (as the tray has 24 positions and there are only 12 couplers, the remaining positions are empty for future use).
S01FCA24: In this case the part number identifies the S01 family tray, which contains FC APC couplers (represented by the letter A) loaded with 24 couplers, so there are no empty spaces.
S01STS02: Also belongs to the S01 family, which contains ST SingleMode couplers (represented by the letter S) loaded with 2 couplers inside (as the tray has 24 positions and there are only 2 couplers, the remaining 22 positions are empty for future use ).
Third group: 19inch rack mount Fiber optic panels for duplex SC and LC Quad couplers are similar to group one, with the exception that the quantities of optic fibers that can be connected in the panel are doubled. In other words, a duplex SC coupler or LC Quad coupler (four fibers terminated in the same coupler) can be housed in the same physical space. Being able to connect, in case of LC Quad couplers, up to 96 fiber optic wires in a single rack unit, in these cases the use of pre-assembled input cables is recommended to simplify the internal distribution of the connectors and couplers.
Fourth group: Fiber optic panels for LGX boards and MPO / MTP solutions. In this case the panel becomes much more modular, since each LGX or MTP board can have different couplers, it is a case widely used in data centers or high-density distribution centers, since it allows the combination of any type of couplers in the same panel.
Modular panels can be ordered in 1, 2, 3 and 4 units according to each need. LGX and MPO / MTP modules are interchangeable between all panels in the same group.
All the modules inside the panels that share the same group are interchangeable and modular. They can be combined independently in each case port by port. The same happens if a panel of only two couplers is needed, in that case only two ports are used and the remaining 22 are available for future extensions.
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3. Different types of rack mount patch panel
To facilitate structured data center cabling, intermediate link connections are generally adopted on patch panels to accommodate reconfigurations. In structured cabling, all switches, servers, and storage in the data center are represented by individual ports on the front of the patch panels in a centralized connection location called the main distribution area (MDA). The two-port connection is made using a simple patch cord on the front of the patch panels in MDA, allowing instant device-to-device connectivity.
Common fiber patch panels used in data centers
Structured cabling is the key to the cable plant that is easy to install, manage, and grow with the current and future demands of data center connections. The three most widely used fiber patch panels in structured cabling are LC adapter panels, MTP to LC cassettes, and MTP adapter panels.
● LC Adapter Panels - This type of patch panel module is also known as the LC-LC module and supports connecting trunk cables with an LC connector. The LC adapter panel offers the lowest connector loss than other patch panels.
● MTP-LC Module - This patch panel module is also called the MTP-to-LC cassette and it converts the trunk cables from MTP to LC. This type of module has LC connectors on the front and MTP connectors on the back.
● MTP Adapter Panel - This patch panel module supports MTP trunk cables and each MTP connector supports 8–12 fibers. The MTP adapter panel can easily support 12 MTP connectors and 144 fibers.
4. Fiber patch panel connections in data centers
In the 1 Rack Unit (1RU) patch panel drawn in the figure below, the use of the LC adapter panel, MTP-LC module, and MTP adapter panel is supported.These three types of patch panels support trunk cables terminated with MPO or LC connectors.Trunk cables connect to the back of patch panels, and cables with LC or MPO connectors connect to the front of the panel.This modular panel architecture allows for easy installation and scales well.With standard LC interfaces, this panel architecture supports 36 LC connectors in a 1U panel.A 42RU rack with these patch panel modules can support over a thousand fiber optic ports (42X36 = 1,512 LC ports).
5. Sliding patch panel applications in data centers
Data centers generally use four patch panel links that have two trunk cables that radiate from the patch panels into the MDA (shown in the figure below).In this case, each end of the trunk cable ends in a patch panel, so four patch panels are associated with a link that has two trunk cables.Two of the patch panels are located on the MDA to connect any port to any other port.An interconnect cable is required in the MDA to connect the two trunk cables and another interconnect cable at each end of the link to connect them to the optic modules.This four-fiber patch panel coupling has two trunk cables, three patch cables, and four patch panels.
Fiber optic cables are used to connect thousands of ports in massive data centers. Most data center links use MMFs and support links with two trunk cables and four patch panels. In large deployments, more connections are also needed in more connection panels on a link, and insertion loss and link length must be managed. Like the three most widely used patch panels in data centers, LC adapter panels, MTP-to-LC cassettes, and MTP adapter panels play a crucial role in the deployment of structured cabling. All these three patch panels are provided at SZWELINK.CN with high quality and low price.