Because the laser light is dangerous, and the ends of every fibre optic cable (have a small core) must be encased in some kind of enclosure. So, the fibre enclosure not only protects humans from laser light but also protects the fibre from damage. Fibre wall plates and fibre patch panels are two main types of fibre optic enclosures.
As previously mentioned, fibre optic cables have a very small core that can be easily damaged if not protected properly. Also, to be consistent with the minimum size of a fibre optic loop and not violate the critical angle, we need to have a way to keep excess fibre optic patch cables, as well as terminated building fibre, neat and protected from damage. Fibre optic wall plates and patch panels allow the cable installer to protect the delicate fibre cable from damage, while still making it usable for the network administrator.
Overview of Fibre Enclosure
A common device that is used as a fibre optic cable enclosure is called a Lightguide Interconnection Unit(LIU), as showed in Figure 1. The LIU provides a location to terminate individual fibre optic strands into a patch panel, which will be discussed in the next article. A LIU is generally made of galvanized steel that is then powder-coated to provide durability. Most major LIU manufacturers make their devices 19 inches wide so they can be installed in a normal communications rack, If the LIU is to be located in an environment where there is a risk of moisture or corrosives, the LIU can be sealed with gaskets to make it virtually waterproof. Most LIUs have swing out trays in the front and the back to provide easy access to the patch panel to ensure that all loops are a minimum diameter, so the cable will not get damaged and maximum light can traverse the cable.
Figure 1. Lightguide Interconnection Unit(LIU)
What Is Fibre Adapter Panel (FAP) and How to Use It?
Patch panels for fibre optic cables also called fibre patch panels, which are usually installed into the LIU. Because the core and cladding of two fibre optic cables that are to be joined together must match perfectly, the fibre patch panel must be manufactured to exact specifications and some standard type connector must be used to ensure a good fit. (fibre option connectors are discussed in the next section.) Another fibre patch panel issue deals with attenuation. Remember from the previous article discussed that when you splice or join a fibre optic cable, you can introduce additional light loss or attenuation. The same holds true for the fibre optic patch panel. The connectors on the patch panel should identify the total loss at various wavelengths, and these losses should be added to any other cable loss on that particular cable to ensure compliance with the standard and good operation of the fibre optic cable. Figure 2 is an LC adapter panel.
Figure 2. LC fibre adapter panel
Fibre Adapter Panel (FAP) is used for patching a fibre cable to the enclosures like fibre wall cabinets, rack mounts fibre cabinets or rack mount fibre shelf. It allows you to make quick and easy fibre patch panel connections as they can snap into the fibre optic enclosures easily. Fibre adapter panel is designed to fit fibre optic blank patch panel, rack and wall mount enclosure. To purchase this kind of fibre adapter panel, please visit www.fs.com.