|Publication number||USRE41353 E1|
|Application number||US 10/992,640|
|Publication date||May 25, 2010|
|Filing date||Nov 18, 2004|
|Priority date||Mar 3, 1999|
|Also published as||CN1223206C, CN1442021A, EP1269763A2, US6766093, US6884942, US20010031124, US20040206532, WO2001074091A2, WO2001074091A3|
|Publication number||10992640, 992640, US RE41353 E1, US RE41353E1, US-E1-RE41353, USRE41353 E1, USRE41353E1|
|Inventors||Michael J. McGrath, Kevin L. Goodwin, Charles F. VanderVelde, Donald C. Wiencek|
|Original Assignee||Panduit Corp.|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (75), Non-Patent Citations (14), Referenced by (4), Classifications (13), Legal Events (1)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
Applicant claims, under 35 U.S.C. §119(e), the benefit of priority of the filing date of Mar. 28, 2000, of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/192,989, filed on the aforementioned date, the entire contents of which are incorporated herein by reference.
Application Ser. No. 09/814,621, filed on Mar. 22, 2001, is a continuation-in-part of application Ser. No. 09/261,881, filed on Mar. 3, 1999, now U.S. Pat. No. 6,437,243.
1. Field of Invention
The present invention relates generally to cable management devices for patch panel or network equipment racks, and more particularly to a cable manager for use with adjacent patch panels or network equipment on distribution racks or within cabinets, with an improved finger and cover design.
2. Description of Related Art
Cabling, such as UTP, ScTP, coax and fiber optic cabling, is being increasingly used in the telecommunications industry to provide data, voice, video, or audio information. Patch panel or network equipment enclosure and rack systems are well-known in the industry and provided to manage and organize such cables to or from equipment or cross-connect systems. These systems usually include a standard EIA 19″, 23″ or other distribution frame rack on which one or more patch panels, network equipment, fiber optic enclosures and the like are mounted. Enclosures within the rack serve various functions, including operation as slack trays, splice trays, cable organizers and patch panels. These racks also serve as inter-connect or cross-connect enclosures when interfacing with equipment, or may serve as a telecommunications closet, allowing the cables to be terminated, spliced, patched or stored at places along their length.
The rack usually is formed of a frame having mounting apertures located along vertical legs or walls of the rack. Patching equipment, such as a patch panel, is mounted on the rack so as to define generally a patching side where patch cords coming from an active device or another patch panel can be cross-connected and interconnected, and a distribution side where cables from network equipment or a work station area are terminated. Generally some form of cable management is also provided on both sides of the rack to support and route the cables. While preventing detrimental bending is always important even for copper cabling, with the increasing use of fiber optic connectors as applied to connector rack systems, proper cable management and bend radius control has become increasingly important. Many known systems are unable to provide complete bend radius control, are inefficient in use, difficult to manufacture, or have other drawbacks and thus, improvement in the cable management of network rack systems is desired.
It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide an improved cable management device.
It is a further object of the present invention to provide a cable manager for a network rack with an improved finger design that provides more effective bend radius control.
It is another object of the present invention to provide a single cable manager device that provides improved cable management to each side of a network rack.
It is still further an object of the present invention to provide an improved readily installable molded cable manager with a hinged cover for a network rack system.
Various ones of the above and other features and objects of the invention are provided by a cable manager mountable to a network rack. The cable manager includes a central section and a front cable routing section. The central section has a longitudinal width sized to fit within the network rack, a front side, a rear side, and rack mounting holes provided on opposite longitudinal ends of the central section. The front cable routing section extends from the front side of the central section and includes a plurality of spaced fingers extending transversely from the front side of the central section. Each of the plurality of spaced fingers has an arcuate surface that provides bend radius control. A slit is medially disposed along the arcuate surface and extends from a distal end of the finger towards a proximal end of the finger. At least one ear laterally extends from the distal end in a receiving space between adjacent fingers.
Various ones of the above and other features and objects of the invention are also provided by a cable manager mountable to a network rack, comprising a central section, a front cable routing section and a rear cable routing section. The central section has a longitudinal width sized to fit within the network rack, a front side, a rear side, and rack mounting holes provided on opposite longitudinal ends of the central section. The front cable routing section extends from the front side of the central section and includes a first plurality of spaced fingers extending transversely from the front side of the central section and retaining flanges extending from distal ends of multiple ones of the first plurality of spaced fingers. The rear cable routing section extends from the rear side of the central section, the rear cable routing section including a second plurality of spaced fingers extending transversely from the rear side of the central section and retaining flanges extending from distal ends of multiple ones of the second plurality of spaced fingers.
Various ones of the above and other features and objects of the invention are also provided by a network rack containing the above cable manager.
The foregoing and further objects, features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following description of preferred embodiments with reference to the accompanying drawings, wherein:
A cable manager 10 according to an exemplary embodiment of the present invention is generally shown in FIGS. 1-10 and is useful in providing horizontal cable management in a network rack.
Cable manager 10 is preferably formed by an injection molding process in which two halves, preferably identical halves, are molded and then snap fit together to form a single cable manager device that is mountable on and provides cable management to both a patching side and a distribution side of a network rack. A suitable rack is a conventional 19″ or 23″ EIA network rack that has spaced vertical rails or legs that allow mounting of various numbers of rack elements thereon. However, the invention is equally applicable to other known or subsequently developed racks. Moreover, a network rack need not be an open frame structure as in the above EIA racks, but may include mounting cabinets or enclosures having mounting features and walls defining openings that can receive and fix rack elements, such as cable manager 10, patch panels, and the like.
As can be seen from
Central section 16 has a suitable height, a longitudinal width sized to fit within a desired network rack, and a depth which approximates the depth dimension of rack legs 60 (
The central section 16 of the cable manager is preferably a passthrough section that includes one or more passthrough openings 56. The passthrough openings 56 allow installers the ability to route cables from one side of the rack to the other (i.e., from the patching side to the distribution side and the converse). The passthrough openings 56 preferably are formed with curved sidewalls that provide bend radius control to the cables routed through the passthrough openings.
The front cable routing side of the cable manager (front section 12) preferably forms the patching side where active equipment is interconnected or patch cords on a patch panel are cross-connected. As shown in
Fingers 30 are also provided with a pair of ears 34 formed near the distal end with each ear extending towards an opposing ear formed on an adjacent finger 30. The ears 34 preferably have a generally triangular configuration that provides angled surfaces which assist in the insertion and removal of cables from in between the fingers. As the formation of the fingers with an arcuate cross-section has been found to result in a relatively stiff structure, each finger 30 on the patching side also includes a slit 36 medially disposed along the arcuate surface of the finger. Slit 36 is formed to extend from the distal end towards the base approximately one-half the length of finger 30. Slit 36 provides additional flexibility to fingers 30 during routing of cables.
As best seen in
A more detailed description of hinged cover 52 will be described with respect to
The rear side of the cable manager (rear section 14) preferably forms the distribution side where cables from network equipment or a work station area can be terminated. As shown in
As shown in
Selected fingers from both sets of fingers 30, 40 also include respective retaining flanges 38, 39 formed on the distal ends to help retain routed cables 70 when a cover is not present.
While the particular embodiment of the present invention has been shown and described, it will be obvious to those skilled in the art that changes and modifications may be made without departing from the invention in its broader aspects. The matter set forth in the foregoing description and accompanying drawings is offered by way of illustration only and not as a limitation.
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|U.S. Classification||385/134, 379/327|
|International Classification||H04Q1/06, H02G3/30, H04Q1/14, H05K7/18, H02G11/00, G02B6/46|
|Cooperative Classification||H04Q1/064, H04Q1/066, H04Q1/142, H04Q1/068|