Fiber Optic Cabinets, Cables, Pedestals and Terminals

The importance of a well-designed communications cabling pathway cannot be overstated in today’s bandwidth-hungry environment. Lost connections and subsequent downtime are simply not tolerated. Unfortunately, consideration of the communications cabling pathways tends to be overshadowed by the more glamorous selection and layout of the active gear. Specifically, I am talking about fiber jumper pathways. The pathways can get overlooked in all the excitement installing the latest switch…until it’s time to start running fiber jumpers. Since a fiber jumper is small, typically 2 or 3 mm OD, minimal planning is made for their proliferation in your data center, headend or central office. I lived it as a telecom engineer, walking into a building and observing my fiber trough overflowing with fiber jumpers.

What can you do? Some tips to keep in mind for planning your fiber jumper pathway:

  1. Know the fiber capacity of your active gear. When you’re stacking 1RU switches, the 48+ duplex LC fibers per unit add up fast. One large layer 2 switch could require 576 or more duplex jumpers. Suddenly, you’re dealing with 1200+ fibers per rack needing a safe route to the fiber distribution line-up.
  2. Size your pathway to minimize the cable pile. Why? Because it is critical to NOT exceed 2 inches of jumper pile anywhere in the fiber jumper route path. Preventing excessive cable pile reduces the chance of a microbend or macrobend along the route, which translates to fewer outages. Below are the numbers you need to know to help with sizing your fiber trough:

Clearfield’s FieldSmart® family of fiber frames, panels, and troughs are designed purposefully to protect your fiber jumpers and help control fiber jumper piling and provide safe bend radius…all while allowing you to grow your network, 12 fibers at a time.

If you want to know more, please reach out to Clearfield. We’re happy to help.

By Marty Adkins

Marty Adkins, Clearfield Application Engineer, is a BICSI RCDD and Telcordia GR1275-certified professional. With over 20 years in the telecommunications industry, Marty has extensive Data/Com experience in designing and constructing optical fiber infrastructure supporting multiple communications platforms, in addition to a background in network capacity planning and management. He presents on fiber optics topics at BICSI regional events and for various Clearfield customers.