GB2482673A - Connector device support member with inclined axis - Google Patents

Connector device support member with inclined axis Download PDF

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Publication number
GB2482673A
GB2482673A GB201013303A GB201013303A GB2482673A GB 2482673 A GB2482673 A GB 2482673A GB 201013303 A GB201013303 A GB 201013303A GB 201013303 A GB201013303 A GB 201013303A GB 2482673 A GB2482673 A GB 2482673A
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GB
United Kingdom
Prior art keywords
support member
cable
support
according
arranged
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Granted
Application number
GB201013303A
Other versions
GB201013303D0 (en
GB2482673B (en
Inventor
Alan Keizer
Nicolas Blockley
Asher Raven
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
FIBREFAB Ltd
Original Assignee
Fibrefab Ltd
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Filing date
Publication date
Application filed by Fibrefab Ltd filed Critical Fibrefab Ltd
Priority to GB201013303A priority Critical patent/GB2482673B/en
Publication of GB201013303D0 publication Critical patent/GB201013303D0/en
Publication of GB2482673A publication Critical patent/GB2482673A/en
Application granted granted Critical
Publication of GB2482673B publication Critical patent/GB2482673B/en
Application status is Active legal-status Critical
Anticipated expiration legal-status Critical

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Classifications

    • GPHYSICS
    • G02OPTICS
    • G02BOPTICAL ELEMENTS, SYSTEMS, OR APPARATUS
    • G02B6/00Light guides
    • G02B6/44Mechanical structures for providing tensile strength and external protection for fibres, e.g. optical transmission cables
    • G02B6/4401Optical cables
    • G02B6/4439Auxiliary devices
    • G02B6/444Systems and boxes with surplus length
    • G02B6/4453Cassettes
    • GPHYSICS
    • G02OPTICS
    • G02BOPTICAL ELEMENTS, SYSTEMS, OR APPARATUS
    • G02B6/00Light guides
    • G02B6/44Mechanical structures for providing tensile strength and external protection for fibres, e.g. optical transmission cables
    • G02B6/4401Optical cables
    • G02B6/4439Auxiliary devices
    • G02B6/444Systems and boxes with surplus length
    • G02B6/4452Distribution frames

Abstract

A connector device support member for cable management apparatus, for example a networking unit such as a patch unit for fiber optic cables 67, wherein the support member has a longitudinal axis 55 and is arranged to receive and support cable connector devices 53 such that they are inclined to the axis of the support member. The angle α of this inclination may be between 45 and 80 degrees or preferably about 70 degrees and a locking means may be provided whereby resilient locking member 65 engages aperture 63.

Description

CONNECTOR DEVICE SUPPORT MEMBER

The present invention relates to a connector device support member for use in cable management apparatus, for example networking units such as patch units, a cable support assembly and cable management apparatus including the support member, and a method for attaching at least one cable to cable management apparatus.

Networked technologies such as telecommunications apparatus and computer equipment is usually connected together, and/or to external equipment, via fibre optic cables. For a new installation, an engineer will visit the site, observe the relative positions of the networking units and external connection points and will then calculate the number, size and type of fibre optic cables required to make the necessary connections. For existing facilities, engineers need to perform routine maintenance on the network units to ensure that networked technologies remain operational and often need to replace, or add new equipment, to upgrade the networked system.

Networking units such as patch units typically include a cabinet, or an open support frame, that supports multiple cable connectors. The connectors are typically mounted on patch panels in an organised fashion, typically in arrays, such that a first end is accessible via the front of the panel and a second end is typically attached to a cable. The front end typically provides a socket into which a complementary connector can be inserted in order to make a connection between a front cable and the rear cable. However, it can of course be the reverse arrangement if the circumstances require. Thus the patch unit provides a means of connecting and managing multiple cables in an organised manner.

A problem with fibre optic cables is that they are brittle. To some extent they are protected by sheaths such as aramid fibres and/or polymer coatings, however if a fibre optic cable is bent through too tight a radius, that is, beyond its safe working radius, greater attenuation of the optical signal occurs, thereby increasing signal losses. In some extreme cases, there is even a possibility that the fibre optic cable will fracture thus preventing signals from being transmitted through the cable. In known patch units the cable connectors are arranged substantially perpendicular to the patch panel and the cables hang downwards therefrom. Little thought is given to the way in which the cables connected to the front and rear of the patch panels are supported which increases the risk of fibre optic cables being bent beyond their safe operating radius. The cables are particularly prone to being bent beyond their safe operating radius during maintenance and when equipment is upgraded since it is not uncommon for the engineer to accidently move/load the cables in a way that bends the cable. Furthermore, conventional patch units do not include means for preventing tensile loads applied to cables being transferred through the cable to the connectors. If a large tensile load is applied it can damage the connection between the connector device and the cable, cause the cable to fracture adjacent the connector and / or cause the connector device to be disconnected from the patch panel.

Accordingly the present invention seeks to mitigate at least one of the aforementioned problems, or at least provide an alternative to existing apparatus.

According to one aspect of the invention there is provided a connector device support member for cable management apparatus, for example a networking unit such as a patch unit, the support member having a longitudinal axis and is arranged to receive and support a plurality of cable connector devices such that at least some of the cable connector devices are inclined to the axis of the support member. By inclined it is meant that the connector devices are not arranged perpendicular to the axis. The inclined angle reduces the stresses and signal attenuation experienced by the cables attached to the cable connector devices.

This is particularly important for fibre optic cables, which are brittle and are prone to high signal degradation if the radius of curvature is too small.

Advantageously the support member is arranged to receive and support each of the inclined cable connector devices at an angle a, wherein a is the angle subtended between the axis of the support member and the axis of the cable connector device, and wherein a is less than or equal to 80 degrees. Advantageously a is greater than or equal to 45 degrees. If a is small then the packing density for the cable connector devices along the support member is low. When a is large the radius of curvature on the cable can become tighter in some circumstances. The inventors have discovered that an optimised arrangement is for a to be in the range 55 to 75 degrees, and more particularly when a is in the range 65 to 75 degrees. This provides a good compromise between packing density and obtaining an appropriate radius of curvature for the cables.

Advantageously the support member can include locking means for retaining the plurality of cable connector devices in-situ. The locking means can include a plurality of locking formations for engaging with locking formations on the cable connector devices. At least some of the locking formations can comprise female formations, wherein each female formation is arranged to receive and engage with a male formation located on one of the cable connector devices. For example, the female formation can comprise a recess or an aperture formed within the support member. The male formation can comprise a protrusion formed on the connector device. The male formation can be resilient, for example can be in the form of a resilient latch. Additionally, or alternatively, at least some of the locking formations can include male formations, wherein each male formation is arranged to engage with a female formation located on one of the cable connector devices. The support member can be constructed and arranged to receive different types of cable connector devices. There are many different types of connector devices commercially available. The support member is typically arranged to receive and support a single type of connector device, however it can be arranged to support a plurality of different types of connector devices in a single support member.

Advantageously the support member can be arranged such that the cable connector devices are insertable into the support member. Additionally, or alternatively, the connector devices can be mounted on the support member.

Advantageously the support member can include restraining means for substantially maintaining the orientation of the connector elements relative to the axis. The restraining means can include the locking means and/or restraining formations that are arranged to engage the connector devices, for example the restraining formations can include restraining members in, or on, the support member that are arranged to engage the connector devices.

Advantageously the support member can include a body. The body can be elongate and the axis can be a longitudinal axis of the body. The body can comprise a single integrated component or can comprise a plurality of components. Advantageously the body can be arranged substantially symmetrically about a central longitudinal axis so that it can be used for left and right hand configurations.

The support member can include at least one first aperture for receiving the connector devices. The connector devices can be inserted into the support member through the or each first aperture. The first aperture can be sufficiently large to receive all of the connector devices. Alternatively a plurality of first apertures can be provided each to receive at least one of the connector devices. The support member can include at least one second aperture, and preferably a plurality of second apertures, for providing access to each of the inclined cable connector devices when located in-situ. The or each second aperture is arranged substantially opposite to the or each first aperture such that cables can be connected to both ends of the connector device. That is, both ends of the connector device are accessible.

Advantageously the support member can include a plurality of recessed parts, wherein each recessed part is arranged to receive at least a part of one of the connector devices.

Advantageously the support member can include first and second elongate side members that are arranged substantially parallel and are spaced apart from each other.

Advantageously the first and second side members are spaced apart by a distance that is substantially equal to the depth of the cable connector members.

The restraining members and/or the recessed parts can be formed in at least one of the first and second elongate side members. For example, the restraining members and/or the recessed parts can be formed along one edge of the first and/or second side members.

Advantageously the restraining members are arranged alternately with the recessed parts.

For example, the arrangement can provide a substantially crenulated formation along the first and/or second side member. Advantageously the locking formations can be formed in at least one of the first and second elongate side members.

Advantageously the support member can include stop members for limiting the transverse movement of the connector devices through the support member. For example, the support member can include a plurality of members that connect the first and second elongate side members together, and which the connector devices abut when located in-situ. The stop members can be in the form a third elongate side wall arranged substantially opposite to the or each first aperture. The third elongate side wall can include the or each second aperture for providing access to each of the inclined cable connector devices when located in-situ.

Advantageously at least a portion of the support member can have a substantially U-shaped cross-section. Advantageously the cable connector devices are at least partly locatable within the substantially U-shaped support member. This arrangement is particularly suited for being pivotally attached to a networking unit, such as a patch unit.

Advantageously the support member can include a pivot connector portion. The pivot connector portion enables the support member to be pivotally attached to cable management apparatus such as a patch unit.

Advantageously the support member can include a finger grip portion. The finger grip portion is located towards one end of the support member. The finger grip portion comprises a curved member. The curved member is connected to an end wall of the support member and protrudes outwards therefrom.

According to another aspect of the invention there is provided a cable support assembly for a networking unit, such as a patch unit, including a support member having an axis, said support member being arranged to receive and support at least one cable connector device such that the cable connector device is inclined to the axis of the support member.

Advantageously the support member can be arranged according to any configuration described herein.

Advantageously the cable support assembly can include at least one cable guide device having at least one guide surface, and preferably a plurality of guide surfaces, for guiding the position of cables within the assembly. The combination of the guide device and the support member is particularly advantageous since the guide device is arranged to guide the cable along a pathway to the support member such that when the connector device is located in-situ in an inclined manner the cable either approaches the support member along the axis of the connector device or bends through a radius that is greater than the working minimum bend radius for the cable.

The guide surface can include at least one curved guide surface such as at least one substantially cylindrical part arranged for cables to be wrapped around at least a portion of the curved surface of the substantially cylindrical part. Advantageously the guide surfaces can include first and second substantially cylindrical parts arranged for cables to be wrapped around at least a portion of their curved surfaces. The or each guide surface reduces the transmission of tensile loads along cables when the cables are wrapped around at least one of the guide surfaces. Typically the cable support apparatus includes multiple cables.

Advantageously the cable support assembly can include at least one cable having a connector device attached thereto, wherein the cable extends through a cable inlet and engages at least one of the guide surfaces, the arrangement being such that the cable disengages the guide surface tangentially. For example, the cable can be wrapped around the curved surface of at least one of the substantially cylindrical parts and disengages the curved surface in a tangential manner.

Advantageously the cable support assembly can include at least one cable having a connector device attached to a first end and a second non-terminated end, to enable a second cable having a non-terminated end to be fusion spliced thereto. For example, a first cable can be arranged in the so called "pig tail" arrangement, wherein a short length of cable, typically around 1.5m, has a connector attached to a first end and has a free second end. The connector device is inserted into the support member. A free end of a second cable is fusion spliced to the free end of the first cable. The fusion spliced joint is housed in the support assembly.

The connector device can comprise an adaptor device having first and second sockets that are each arranged to receive a connector device attached to a cable. For example, when providing a "pig tail" arrangement, the adaptor device can be inserted into the support member. A first cable having a connector attached thereto can be connected to the adaptor device via one of the first and second sockets. A free end of a second cable can be fusion spliced to a free end of the first cable. A third cable having a connector attached to one end can be connected to the adaptor device by inserting the connector into the other of the first and second sockets.

Advantageously the radius of curvature of the or each guide surface is greater than or equal to the minimum safe working radius for the cable. This ensures that the cables are not bent through too tight a radius, thereby preventing high signal losses for the or each cable.

The cable support apparatus can include at least one cable support tray and a housing.

Advantageously at least one of the cable support tray, the housing and the support member can be arrange substantially symmetrically about at least one central axis. This enables the components to be used in left hand and right hand configurations. Thus only one set of tooling is required for right hand and left hand configurations.

Advantageously the support member can be pivotally attached to a support assembly mounting. This enables easy access to the rear side of the connector devices. Alternatively the support member can be fixedly attached, releasably attached, or slidably attached to the support assembly mounting.

Advantageously the cable support assembly can include a plurality of support members according to any configuration described herein. For example, a first support member can be mounted above a second support member to increase the number of rows and / or columns of connector devices. Each support member can be pivotally attached, fixedly attached, releasably attached, or slidably attached to the support assembly mounting, as required. Preferably each support member is pivotally attached to the mounting for easy access to the connector devices.

Cable management apparatus, for example a networking unit such as a patch unit, including a cable device support member having a mounting plane, said support member being arranged to receive and support at least one cable connector device in the mounting plane such that the cable connector device is inclined to the mounting plane. The inclined angle reduces the stresses and signal attenuation experienced by the cables attached to the cable connector devices.

Advantageously the support member is arranged to receive and support a plurality of cable connector devices such that at least some of the connector devices are inclined to the mounting plane.

Advantageously the support member can be arranged according to any configuration described herein.

Advantageously the cable management apparatus can include a support frame and at least one cable support assembly according to any configuration described herein, attached to the support frame. The cable support assembly can be pivotally attached, fixedly attached, releasably attached, or slidably attached to the support frame. For example, the patch unit can include cabinet for indoor and/or outdoor use and the support assembly can be mounted therein.

Advantageously the cable management apparatus can include at least one cable support bracket. Advantageously the or each cable support bracket can be mounted adjacent the support member in order to support cables attached thereto via connector devices.

Preferably the or each support bracket is mounted onto a patch unit frame member adjacent the support member. The or each cable support bracket includes a first part for attachment to the patch unit and a second part that includes an arcuate member for supporting the cables. The cable management apparatus typically includes multiple connector devices and multiple fibre optic cables attached to the connector devices. Advantageously the or each cable support bracket can be mounted on the patch unit such that it is located on the opposite side of the support member, when in the closed position, from the guide device.

This provides cable support and guidance to both the front and the rear of the support member.

According to another aspect of the invention there is provided a method for attaching cables to cable management apparatus, for example a networking unit such as a patch unit, including providing a support member having an axis and mounting at least one cable connector device on, or in, the support member such that the cable connector device is * inclined to the axis of the support member.

The method can include providing at least one first cable having the connector device attached thereto and winding the cable around a guide surface of a guide device. The method can include inserting the first cable from a first direction of the support member.

The method can include inserting at least one second cable into the connector device from a second direction that is substantially opposite to the first direction. The second cable can include a second connector device attached thereto that is complementary to the connector device mounted on, or in, the support member, and the method can include inserting the second connector device into the connector device mounted on, or in, the support member.

An embodiment of the present invention will now be described, by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings in which: Figure 1 is an isometric view of a patch unit cable support assembly; Figure 2 is an enlarged view of detail A shown in Figure 1; Figure 3 is a front view of the assembly shown in Figure 1; Figures 4 is an enlarged view of detail B in Figure 3; Figure 5 is a plan view of the assembly of Figure 1 with a first pivoting assembly in an open position and a second pivoting assembly in a closed position and a lid mounted on top of the assembly; Figure 6 is a plan view of a support element for supporting cable connector devices; Figure 7 is a rear view of the support element of Figure 6; Figure 8 is a isometric view of the support element of Figure 6; Figure 9 is a plan view of the support element of Figure 6 with some connector elements located in-situ; Figure 10 is an enlarged view of detail C in Figure 9; Figure 11 is an enlarged view of detail D in Figure 9; Figure 12 is an isometric view of the support element of Figure 9; Figure 13 is an isometric enlarged view of detail E in Figure 12; Figure 14 is an isometric enlarged view of detail F in Figure 12; Figure 15 is an isometric view of a cable guide element; Figure 16 is a plan view of the cable guide element of Figure 15; Figure 17 is an isometric view of a cable support bracket; Figure 18 is a side view of the cable support bracket of Figure 17; Figure 19 is a plan view of the cable support bracket of Figure 17; and Figure 20 is a front view of the cable support bracket of Figure 17.

Figure 1 shows a cable support assembly 1 that is arranged to be located in a networking unit (not shown) such as a patch unit. The networking unit can include a cabinet for indoor or outdoor use, an open sided frame or any other suitable container or support structure.

The cable support assembly 1 includes a housing 3, two mounting brackets 5, an upper cable guide 7, a lower cable guide 9, an upper cable connector support element 11 and a lower cable connector support element 13.

The housing 3 is made from sheet metal that is formed to provide a base 15 and side walls 17. Several apertures 19 are formed in the base 15 to enable air to circulate through the housing 3. The housing includes a removable lid 21 (see Figure 5). The lid 21 includes apertures 23 to enable air to circulate through the housing. The housing includes concave formations 25 and 27 for receiving compression glands for securing cables to the housing 3. The formations 25,27 enable cables to be slotted in rather than having to feed entire lengths of cables through the unit.

The front 29 of the housing is open, as is the rear 31.

The mounting brackets 5 are attached to the side walls 17 of the housing towards the front 29 thereof. The mounting brackets 5 include a first part 33 for connecting the support assembly 1 to a patch unit frame member (not shown) and a second part 35 that overhangs the housing base 15.

The upper and lower support elements 11,13 are pivotally attached to the housing 3 via a pivot pin 37. The upper and lower support elements 11,13 are separated by a first bearing 39 and the lower support element 13 is mounted on a second bearing 41, which separates the lower support element 13 from the base 3.

The upper support element 11 has a substantially U-shaped cross-section. The support element has an upper wall 43, a lower wall 45 and a rear wall 47. The front 51 of the support element 11 being substantially open along the length of the upper support element 11.

The support element 11 is elongate and is arranged to receive 24 fibre optic cable connectors 53. The connectors 53 are insertable via the open front 51. The connectors 53 are inserted into the support element 11 such that they are inclined tO a longitudinal axis 55 of the support element 11. The connectors 53 are inclined at an angle a to the longitudinal axis 55, wherein a is in the range 45-80 degrees. When a is low, typically below 45 degrees, the packing density for the connectors 53 that is achievable is significantly reduced. Therefore it is desirable to have an angle of inclination a that is greater than 45 degrees. The inventors have discovered that a good compromise between packing density and ensuring that the cable radius adjacent the connector 53 when the connector 53 is located in-situ does not fall below a minimum working radius is achieved when a is in the range 55 to 75 degrees, particularly 65 to 75 degrees and preferably at around 70 degrees.

The rear wall 47 includes 24 apertures 57. The upper and lower walls 43,45 have slots 59 cut into their front edges. The slots 59 are inclined to the longitudinal axis 55 at the angle a. The slots 59 are separated by protrusions 61, which give the front edges of the upper and lower walls 43,45 a crenulated arrangement. The upper and lower walls 43,45 include 24 apertures 63. Each aperture 63 is located adjacent a slot 59 and is arranged to receive a resilient locking member located on the connectors 53. The arrangement is such that when the connectors 53 are inserted into their respective slots 59, the resilient locking member engages the aperture 63 and secures the connector device 53 to the upper support element 11. It will be appreciated that the apertures 63 can be replaced by recesses, that is formations in the upper and lower walls 43,45 that do not extend through the walls 43,45.

In the arrangement shown in the figures, the support element 11 is arranged to accommodate 24 connectors 53. It will be appreciated by the skilled person that the length of the support element can be increased or decreased to accommodate a larger or smaller number of connectors 53. Also, the shape of the receiving slots 59 and the locations of the apertures 65 are arranged to accommodate the particular connectors 53 shown in the diagrams. In the fibre optic industry, many different types of connectors are used to connect cables together. The support element 11 can be adapted to accommodate many different types of connectors by adjusting the profile of the support element 11 and the size and shape of the connector receive parts. However, in each case, the connectors are inclined to the longitudinal axis 55 of the upper support element 11.

The connectors 53 protrude through the apertures 57 in the rear wall 47 (see Figure 11).

The rear wall 47 acts as a stop that prevents further transverse movement of the connectors 53. The apertures 57 formed in the rear wall enable additional connector devices (not shown) that are complementary to the connectors 53 to be inserted therein to front and rear connect fibre optic cables 67,69 together (see Figure 11). When the connectors 53 are located in the receiving slots 59 a raised part 71 of each connector 53 sits between a pair of protrusions 61 (see Figure 14). The protrusions 61 restrain the position of the connector 53 relative to the support element 11. The protrusions 61 maintain the orientation of the connectors 53 relative to the longitudinal axis 55 by preventing the connectors 53 from twisting relative to the support element 11. It will be appreciated that this function is also provided to some extent by the interaction of the locking members and the apertures 63.

The support element 11 includes a pivot pin engagement part 73. The pivot pin engagement part 73 is inclined to the longitudinal axis 55 of the rest of the support element. It includes two holes 75 formed in the upper and lower walls 43,45 that are arranged to receive the pivot pin 37. The support element 11 is arranged to pivot freely with respect to the pivot pin 37 however, the movement is limited by the arrangement of the mounting brackets 5 and housing 3.

The support element 11 also includes a finger grip 75, which enables a user to pivot the support element 11 about the pivot pin 37 more easily. The finger grip 75 comprises a curved member that extends from an end wall 77 through an arc of approximately 9�0* Pivoting rotation supported by the first bearing 39.

A tray 79 is attached to the lower wall 45 of the support element 11. The tray 79 has a substantially larger surface area than the support element 11 when viewed in plan (see Figure 5) and includes a first part 81 that extends in front of the support element 11 and a second part 83 that extends to the rear of the support element 11. The front and rear parts 81,83 taper from the support element 11 in the frontward and rearward directions respectively such that the front and rear edges 85,87 have a smaller width than the width of the tray adjacent the support element 11. This ensures that the tray 79 does not collide with the housing 3 when the support element 11 is pivoted about the pivot pin 37. The front part of the tray 81 includes side cut away sections 89, apertures 91 and a front wall 93. The front and rear parts of the tray 8 1,83 support front and rear cables 67,69.

The cable guide device 7 is mounted on the rear part of the tray 83 and is arranged to position the cables attached to the rear part of the support element 11 in a manner such that the radius of curvature of the cables is controlled and does not fall below the minimum safe working radius of curvature.. The guide device 7 includes first and second cylindrical tube members 95,97, a base 99 having a cut away section 101, rear wall 103, side walls 105,107, said side wall 107 having an arcuate portion 109, and a front wall ill. The first and second cylindrical members 95,97 are spaced apart, and are positioned over apertures formed in the rear part of the tray 83. This enables air to flow through the assembly 1. The front wall 111 is recessed back from a leading edge 113 of the base 103. The front wall 111 includes a rearward facing arcuate portion 115 and a frontward facing arcuate portion 117. A gap 119 is provided between the front wall 111 and the arcuate section 109 of the side wall 107. Cables 69 entering the assembly 1 from the rear are inserted through the housing 3. The cables 69 enter the guide device 7 via the gap 119 and are wrapped around the first and second cylindrical members 95,97. The cables 69, disengage the second cylindrical member 97 in a tangential fashion and the cables are then inserted into the connectors 53. Cables 67 are connected to the other side of the connectors 53. The front part of the tray 83 supports the cables 67.

As well as preventing the cables 69 from being bent through a radius that is smaller than minimum safe working radius, winding the cables 69 around the guide device prevents tensile forces being transmitted through the cables 65 to the connectors 53. Preferably the guide device is made from a flexible material such as foam.

The front cables 67 are supported by a bracket 121, which can be connected to the mounting brackets 5 or to an adjacent patch unit frame member (not shown) via a connector portion 123 such that the cables 67 enter the rear of the bracket 125 and are carried by a support surface 127.

The lower support element 13 and the lower cable guide 9 are arranged similarly to the upper support element 11 and the upper cable guide 7. A lower tray 129 is connected to the lower support element 13. The lower tray is similarly arranged to the upper tray 79 and the lower cable guide 9 is mounted thereon in a similar fashion to the way in which the upper cable guide 7 is mounted on the upper tray 79.

It is apparent from the figures that the support elements 11,13, trays 79,129 and the housing 3 are arranged substantially symmetrically about at least one axis. This enables the units to be used in left and right handed configurations of the assembly.

In use, the cable support assembly 1 is attached to a patch unit, which typically includes a support frame. The patch unit may include an enclosure such as an outer cabinet, housing or other suitable container. The assembly I can be fixedly attached, releasably attached, pivotably attached, slidably attached or attached in any other suitable form to the patch unit. The support assembly 1 is typically attached such that it is substantially horizontal or substantially vertical.

If the assembly 1 is slidably mounted to the patch unit, the user withdraws the assembly 1.

The user pivots at least one of the support elements 11,13 to the open position. The connectors 53 are attached to cables 67. The cables 67 are inserted to the assembly from the front.

Each rear cable 69 is wound around one of the cable guides 7,9 and its associated connector (not shown) is inserted into its respective connector 53.

The user then pivots the support elements 11,13 to the closed position and pushes the support assembly back into the patch unit.

It will be apparent to the skilled person that modifications can be made to the above embodiments that fall within the scope of the invention, for example the support element 11 can be adapted for different types of connectors. Each support element can be arranged to support a plurality of different types of connectors.

The support element 11 can include some connectors that are arranged substantially perpendicularly to the longitudinal axis 55.

The support element can include some connectors that are inclined to the longitudinal axis at different angles from each other. Some connectors can be sloped in the opposite direction to other connectors. For example, some connectors can be inclined at -a such that some of the cables exit on the left hand side of the apparatus, while some are orientated to exit on the right hand side. The apparatus can include a plurality of the cable support brackets 121, for example one on each of the left and right sides of the assembly 1.

The support elements 11,13 are shown pivotally attached to the assembly 1. Alternatively, the support elements 11,13 can be arranged such that they are fixedly attached to the support assembly, releasably attached, or slidably attached.

The assembly 1 can be mounted in the patch unit such that the front, as mentioned in the description above, is oriented towards the rear, side, top or base of the patch unit.

References to the front and rear then have to be considered in this context to refer to first and second directions.

In the figures, a 1 row by 24 column array is shown. The support elements can be arranged in any other practicable array, for example a 2 row by 24 array, a 3 row by 12 array, etc. Typically the number of rows in will be in the range 1 to 20 and the number of columns n will be in the range 1 to 50. In part this is determined by the number of connectors required, the size of the network cabinet and the size of the connectors.

Typically a patch unit will include several such support elements. For example a cabinet may include a first support element arranged for a first type of connector device and a second support element arranged for a second type of connector device wherein the first and second connector devices are different.

A patch unit can include a plurality of support assemblies 1.

A patch unit can include at least one connector support element that is arranged to support connectors in the inclined manner described above, which is separate from the support assembly 1. The support element can be fixedly attached, releasably attached, pivotably attached, slidably attached or attached in any other suitable form to the patch unit. For example, a support element can be attached directly to a patch unit frame by screws or bolts. The support element can comprise a panel.

The apertures 63 can be replaced with male formations for those connectors that include at least one locking recess. For example the male formation can comprise a protrusion, lug or latch that is arranged to engage a recess on the connector.

The support member can include a plurality of individual connector device receiving bays that are each separated by a side wall.

The connectors 53 can be inserted into the support elements 11,13 without any cables attached thereto. In this arrangement, the connectors 53 include a first socket at one end and a second socket at the other end. The first and second sockets are arranged to receive a connector that is attached to a cable, said connector being arranged complementarily to its respective socket. Thus each connector 53 effectively comprises an adaptor, or uniter, that enables the mating of at least two suitable connectors. The sockets can be similar or can be arranged to receive different connectors.

A rear cable 69 can be arranged in the so called "pig tail" arrangement, wherein a short length of cable, typically around 1.5m, has a connector attached to a first end and has a free second end. The connector is inserted into one of the first and second sockets formed in one of the connectors 53, the connector 53 being mounted in the support element 11,13. A free end of a second cable is fusion spliced to the free end of the rear cable 69. The fusion spliced joint is housed in the housing 3 in the of region of area 101 in Figure 15, with some additional components.

It will be appreciated that a front cable 67 can also be arranged in a "pig tail" arrangement, if required, and a cable can be fusion spliced thereto. Also, a cable that is directly attached to a connector 53 can be arranged in the "pig tail" arrangement.

Claims (31)

  1. CLAIMS1. A connector device support member for cable management apparatus, the support member having an axis, and is arranged to receive and support a plurality of cable connector devices such that at least some of the cable connector devices are inclined to the axis of the support member.
  2. 2. A support member according to claim 1, wherein the support member is arranged to receive and support each of the inclined cable connector devices at an angle a, wherein a is the angle subtended between the axis of the support member and the axis of the cable connector device, and wherein a is less than or equal to 80 degrees.
  3. 3. A support member according to claim I or 2, wherein the support member is arranged to receive and support each of the inclined cable connector devices at an angle a, wherein a is the angle subtended between the axis of the support member and the axis of the cable connector device, and wherein a is greater than or equal to degrees.
  4. 4. A support member according to any one of the preceding claims, including locking means for retaining the plurality of cable connector devices in-situ.
  5. 5. A support member according to claim 4, wherein the locking means includes a plurality of locking formations for engaging with locking formations on the cable connector devices.
  6. 6. A support member according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the support member is arranged such that the cable connector devices are insertable into the support member.
  7. 7. A support device according to any one of the preceding claims, including restraining means for substantially maintaining the orientation of the connector elements relative to the axis.
  8. 8. A support member according to claim 7, wherein the support member includes restraining members for orienting the cable connector devices.
  9. 9. A support member according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the support member includes an elongate body.
  10. 10. A support member according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the support member includes at least one first aperture for receiving the connector devices.
  11. 11. A support member according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the support member includes at least one second aperture for providing access to each of the inclined cable connector devices when located in-situ.
  12. 12. A support member according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the support member includes stop members for limiting the transverse movement of the connector devices through the support member.
  13. 13. A support member according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the support member includes a plurality of recessed parts, wherein each recessed part is arranged to receive at least a part of one of the connector devices.
  14. 14. A support member according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the support member includes first and second elongate side members that are arranged substantially parallel and are spaced apart from each other.
  15. 15. A support member according to claim 14, when dependent on any one of claims 7, 8 and 13, wherein the restraining members and/or the recessed parts are formed in at least one of the first and second elongate side members.
  16. 16. A support member according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein at least a portion of the support member includes a substantially U-shaped cross-section.
  17. 17. A support member according to any one of the preceding claims, including a finger grip portion.
  18. 18. A support member according to any one of the preceding claims, including a pivot connector portion.
  19. 19. A cable support assembly for a networking unit, including a support member having an axis, said support member being arranged to receive and support at least one cable connector device such that the cable connector device is inclined to the axis of the support member.
  20. 20. A cable support assembly according to claim 19, including at least one cable guide device having at least one guide surface for guiding the position of cables within the apparatus.
  21. 21. A cable support assembly according to claim 20, wherein the at least one guide surface includes at least one curved guide surface.
  22. 22. A cable support assembly according to claim 21, wherein the at least one curved guide surface includes at least one substantially cylindrical part arranged for cables to be wrapped around at least a portion of the curved surface.
  23. 23. A cable support assembly according to claim 21 or 22, including at least one cable having a connector device attached to one end, entering the guide device at a cable inlet, said cable engaging with at least one of the guide surfaces, and exiting the guide device such that it disengages the curved guide surface tangentially.
  24. 24. A cable support assembly according to any one of claims 21 to 23, including at least one first cable having a first end with a connector device attached thereto and a second non-terminated end, wherein a non-terminated end of a second cable is fusion spliced to the non-terminated end of the first cable.
  25. 25. A cable support assembly according to any one of claims 20 to 24, wherein the support member is pivotally attached to the support assembly.
  26. 26. A cable support assembly according to any one of claims 20 to 25, the support member is arranged according to any one of claims 2 to 18, and optionally including at least one further support member according to any one of claims 1 to 18.
  27. 27. Cable management apparatus, including a cable connector device support member having a mounting plane, said support member being arranged to receive and support at least one cable connector device in the mounting plane such that the cable connector device is inclined to the mounting plane.
  28. 28. Cable management apparatus according to claim 27, wherein the support member is arranged according to any one of claims 2 to 18.
  29. 29. Cable management apparatus according to claim 28, including a cable support apparatus according to any one of claims 19 to 26.
  30. 30. Cable management apparatus according to any one of claims 27 to 29, including at least one cable support bracket.
  31. 31. A method for attaching at least one cable to cable management apparatus, including providing a support member having an axis and mounting a cable connector device on, or in, the support member such that the cable connector device is inclined to the axis of the support member.
GB201013303A 2010-08-09 2010-08-09 Cable support assembly for a networking unit Active GB2482673B (en)

Priority Applications (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
GB201013303A GB2482673B (en) 2010-08-09 2010-08-09 Cable support assembly for a networking unit

Applications Claiming Priority (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
GB201013303A GB2482673B (en) 2010-08-09 2010-08-09 Cable support assembly for a networking unit

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GB201013303D0 GB201013303D0 (en) 2010-09-22
GB2482673A true GB2482673A (en) 2012-02-15
GB2482673B GB2482673B (en) 2015-03-18

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CN104393498A (en) * 2014-11-10 2015-03-04 重庆市易博数字技术有限公司 Electric cabinet wiring terminal fixing device
WO2016042017A1 (en) * 2014-09-16 2016-03-24 Tyco Electronics Raychem Bvba Telecommunications tray with offset patch panel

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US20090238533A1 (en) * 2008-02-22 2009-09-24 James Stansbury High density telecommunications chassis with cable management structure

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US5446822A (en) * 1993-05-28 1995-08-29 Minnesota Mining And Manufacturing Company Connector clip for fiber optic housing
WO1996026563A1 (en) * 1995-02-21 1996-08-29 The Whitaker Corporation Low profile mixed media information outlet
WO2000028363A1 (en) * 1998-11-07 2000-05-18 Tyco Electronics Raychem Nv A panel for supporting a plurality of fibre optic connectors
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Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
WO2016042017A1 (en) * 2014-09-16 2016-03-24 Tyco Electronics Raychem Bvba Telecommunications tray with offset patch panel
CN104393498A (en) * 2014-11-10 2015-03-04 重庆市易博数字技术有限公司 Electric cabinet wiring terminal fixing device
CN104393498B (en) * 2014-11-10 2019-01-18 重庆市易博数字技术有限公司 Electrical cabinet connection terminal fixing device

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Publication number Publication date
GB2482673B (en) 2015-03-18
GB201013303D0 (en) 2010-09-22

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