What is a Fiber Optic Patch Panel?
Fiber optic patch panels are also known as fiber distribution panels. Patch panel’s function is to terminate the fiber optic cable and provide access to the cable’s individual fibers for cross connection.
Fiber patch panel can use fiber patch cables to cross-connect, connect to fiber optic communication equipment or test the individual fibers in the fiber cable.
A fiber patch panel usually is composed of two parts, the compartment that contains fiber adapters (bulkhead receptacles), and the compartment that contains fiber optic splice trays and excess fiber cables.
If you want a even neater cable management, you can also use a fiber patch cable management tray to neatly store and manage excessive fiber patch cable lengths.
Optical fibers from workstations or from other wiring closets terminate in termination boxes. The termination boxes provide a patch point for a small number of connections, but larger installations will have a separate patching location that serves all of the incoming and outgoing fiber cables.
A fiber patch panel consists of an array of duplex SC adapters, hybrid adapters, or Small Form Factor (SFF) jacks. If the entire installation, including the fiber optic hubs, repeaters, or network adapters, uses the same type of fiber optic connectors, then the array can be made of compatible adapters or jacks.
To convert between fiber connector types, you need a hybrid adapter or a conversion cable. A hybrid adapter is a passive coupler that joins two different connector types, while a conversion cable simply has one connector type on one end and the other type on the opposite end.
Fiber patch panels provide a convenient way to rearrange fiber cable connections and circuits. A simple patch panel is a metal frame containing bushings in which fiber optic cable connectors plug in on either side. One side of the panel is usually fixed, meaning that the fiber cables are not intended to be disconnected. On the other side of the panel, fiber cables can be connected and disconnected to arrange the circuits as required.