Optical Distribution Frame (ODF) – Why is It an Indispensable Part of Wiring Equipment?

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(Last Updated On: April 24, 2023)

With the development of information, the current fiber optic usually has hundreds of thousands of cores. The traditional fiber distribution frame can no longer keep up with the trend of the times, so the optical distribution frame (ODF) appeared.


What is ODF?

ODF is the abbreviation of Optical Distribution Frame, which is used for the termination and wiring of backbone optical cables in fiber optic communication systems. It facilitates the connection, wiring, and scheduling of optical fiber lines. It can be assembled into a fiber optic distribution frame or combined with a cabinet’s digital and audio distribution frame.

The Main Features of ODF:

① Fully modular design, fully frontal operation;

② Integrate welding and wiring into one, maximizing high density;

③ It can be installed on a 19’’ standard rack mount;

④ Suitable for ribbon and non-ribbon cables;

⑤ Various adapters such as FC, SC, ST, and LC can be installed by snap-in;

⑥ The adapter and the device are installed at 30°, ensuring the patch cable’s bending radius and avoiding laser burns to the human eye. It is easy to operate and perfect for protection;

⑦ Both optical cable and pigtail have a disk storage space of more than 2m.


The Main Function of ODF:

  1. Fixation and Protection of Optical Cables: With optical cable introduction, fixing, and protection devices. The optical cable can be introduced and fixed on the rack to protect the fiber optic cable and the fiber core in the cable from damage. Install ground wire protection components and perform end protection treatment to protect fiber optics.
  2. Fiber Optic Connection Function: With an optical fiber termination device, it is convenient for the operation, construction, installation, and maintenance of optical fiber core and pigtail connection. Protect the connector is straight and free of displacement, avoiding the influence of external force, and ensuring that the fiber core and pigtail in the tray are not damaged.
  3. Scheduling Function: The tail cable and optical equipment can be connected through the connector to realize an optical path connection. It can efficiently schedule the core number in the optical cable and change the route sequence of the optical transmission system. The optical path can be adjusted and tested freely.
  4. Fiber Optic Storage Function: Provide storage for various cross-connected optical cables between racks so they can be placed neatly and orderly. There should be a proper space and method in the fiber optic distribution frame so that the routing of this part of the optical connection line is clear, easy to adjust, and can meet the minimum bending radius requirements.

What are the Advantages of ODF?

The need to manage cabling infrastructure and ensure network longevity can best be fulfilled with the help of ODF, which can perform fiber splicing work and store fiber terminations securely in a tightly locked space. Used in conjunction with a switch and mounted in a cabinet.

  1. The traditional method of testing subscriber lines should be done manually. After adopting the centralized online mode, the existing automatic test system can be used to test the remote office lines to achieve the purpose of unattended or less on-duty personnel.
  2. The microcomputer operation with centralized online mode can be combined with the computer-integrated management system to realize automatic operation.
  3. Centralized online can choose the shortest path to the nearest patch cord, which only needs 2-3m, saving many patch cords. The jumper wire of the traditional method is usually more than ten meters, even tens of meters.
  4. Transfer machine, change number, and reverse engineering, the traditional method needs to remove a large number of jumpers, the work is heavy, and the contact points of the distribution frame card are connected several times, which will cause the card to loosen. The centralized online method can only be completed by microcomputer operation, thereby reducing the wear and tear of the card joint, prolonging the life of the distribution frame, and reducing the occurrence of obstacles.
  5. ODF avoids the confusion caused by multiple irregular jumpers in the traditional method, making the distribution frame look beautiful and tidy.
  6. Made of materials with high mechanical strength and strong corrosion resistance, it has excellent waterproof ability and provides adequate protection for wiring infrastructure in extreme environments.

Types of ODF:

According to different structures, it can be divided into wall-mounted and rack-mounted.

  1. Wall-mounted ODF: It can be directly fixed on the wall, usually in a box structure, suitable for places with a small number of fiber optics and fiber optic cores.
  1. Rack-mounted ODF: Usually has a modular design and a solid structure. It can be flexibly installed on the rack according to the number and specifications of optical cables. This light distribution system is more convenient and can provide more possibilities for future changes. Most rack mount ODFs are 19 inches, ensuring they fit perfectly into commonly used standard transfer racks.

The rack-mounted distribution frame is divided into two types:

①one is a fixed-configuration distribution frame, and the fiber optic coupler is directly fixed on the chassis;


②The other adopts a modular design, and users can select corresponding modules according to the number and specifications of optical cables, which is convenient for network adjustment and expansion.



High-density ODF is a trend in the telecom industry, which can reduce costs and increase the reliability and flexibility of fiber optic networks during deployment and maintenance.

So, the choice of ODF is both important and complex, requiring comprehensive consideration, including application and management. Factors like construction, fiber count, and protection are just the basics. Without sacrificing cable management or density, an ODF that meets current requirements, future growth challenges, and ease of expansion can only be selected through repeated comparisons and due consideration.

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