Various enclosures, cabinets, racks and panels are used to protect and organise splice and termination points. The network designer should know the type of network, support systems and the routes to be taken. Then the connection/splice locations can be determined and the hardware planned.
There are lots of rules to follow, of course (the EIA/TIA 569 has something to say about all this).
Here are some examples of fiber optic hardware:
- Breakout kits – allow you to separate and protect individual fibres in a loose tube cable so it can be terminated
- Splice enclosures – for long cable runs outside, the point where cables are spliced, sealed up and buried in the ground, put in a vault of some kind or hung off a pole
- Splice panels – connect individual fibres from cables to pigtails
- Patch panels – provides a centralised location for patching fibers, testing, monitoring and restoring cables
- Racks and cabinets – enclosures for patch panels and splice panels. Usually these also include cable management – without this the cables start looking like spaghetti!