Construct a Patch Panel Card Favorite

Patch Panel Cards are the building blocks for Patch Panels, and thus, Patch Locations. Before building the Cards, you want to know how many ports are on each card, what kind of connector adaptors are installed (ST, SC, FC, etc.), and what the port configurations look like (12 x 1, 6 x 2, 4 x 6, etc.).

The steps below use a 24–port card, arranged in a 4 x 6 configuration.

IMPORTANT: In day to day practice, your company might not use the concept of Cards as defined collections of Ports. Perhaps all the technicians care about is the Port number on the Panel itself. That’s OK. If this describes your company, you can simply have a single “Card” for an entire Patch Panel. The Panel itself would have a single row and a single column, and then the Card would have the appropriate number of ports (with the appropriate number of rows and columns) for the entire Panel. If you are wondering if you can simply skip the Card altogether, for all intents and purposes, the answer is no. Even if your company doesn’t take advantage of the concept of Cards, they are still a component of the data model. This is especially true if your company also deploys Wavepoint, which requires the presence of Cards to function properly.

  1. In ArcMap, apply a Stored Display that includes your fiber features.
  2. Start Editing.
  3. In the Table of Contents, click the Features pane.
  4. Navigate to the folder that will contain your fiber favorites.
    1. If you do not have a favorite folder yet, right-click a desired location and choose Create Favorite Category, name it, then click OK.

  5. Right-click the favorite folder and choose Create Favorite.

  6. On the Select a Target dialog, choose PPCard, then click OK. The Create Favorite dialog opens.
    IMPORTANT: As a friendly reminder, the steps below use a 24–port card arranged in a 6 x 4 configuration. Please refer to your own equipment specifications when building your favorites.
  7. For Description, type a descriptive name such as Card 01, 24 Ports, Ports 000 — 024.

  8. Fill out as many common fields as you can for the Card.
    TIP:
    • This is a favorite that will be used over and over again. You do not want to enter information such as serial number, creation date, or any other unique identifiers, as these vary from card to card. Instead, focus on attributes that are common for these types of Cards.

    • When creating a favorite, there are many attribute fields to populate. When inside the Create Favorite dialog, press the Up and Down keys to move through the fields, and press the Enter key to activate the field.

    1. Name: The Name appears on Patch Panel Connections reports. An alphanumeric name such as Card01 is recommended.
    2. Position: Cards compose Panels, and this refers to the position on the panel. In this example, there will be 3 cards that compose the panel, and thus, the cards will be in position 1, 2, or 3.
    3. Number of Port Rows: This refers to the port configuration, and in this example, there are 4 rows.
    4. Number of Port Columns: This also refers to the port configuration, and in this example, there are 6 columns.
    5. Default Port Width: This determines the size of the port on the Patch Panel Connection report. A width of 1 is recommended.
    6. Default Port Height: This also determines the size of the port on the Patch Panel Connection report. A height of 1 is recommended.
    7. Appears On Rack Sides: A Patch Panel Connection report shows you the fiber connections on the front and back of each panel. If you wish to see both sides, type FB in this field.
    IMPORTANT: You might be wondering if you need to type in the various model names. The answer is no. These automatically populate when you bring the favorite into the ArcFM Attribute Editor > Targets tab, which occurs before you sketch the favorite on the map. In other words, given the auto-updaters assigned to these fields, the application handles the model names fields for you.
  9. Click Apply.
  10. Expand the favorite to see its child relationships.

  11. Right-click F_BACKSIDEPORT and choose Add Related Object.
  12. Fill out as many common fields as you can for the back port.
    IMPORTANT: First you populate fields that all 24 ports share, such as type and size. Then, you copy and paste the port (with the shared attributes) 23 times. Finally, you return to each one and populate the unique characteristics, such as number, position, and color (if applicable). In this manner, you save time by setting as many shared attributes first and copying those among all ports.
    1. Type: Choose the appropriate port type (ST, SC, FC, etc.).
    2. Sides of Rack Shown On: Type B so that the Back Port is only shown on the back side for the Patch Panel Connection report.
    3. Default Width: This determines the size of the port on the Patch Panel Connection report. A width of 1 is recommended.
    4. Default Height: This also determines the size of the port on the Patch Panel Connection report. A height of 1 is recommended.

  13. Click Apply.
  14. Right-click the new BackPort and choose Copy.

  15. Click F_BACKSIDEPORT once so it is highlighted in blue, then press Ctrl + V to paste. You now have two identical back ports.
  16. Repeat this click and paste process until you have 24 identical ports. Click Apply.

  17. This has been a good amount of work so far, and it would be wise to save at this point. To save:
    1. Click Create.
    2. Click Close.
    3. On the Editor toolbar, click Editor > Save Edits. Click Yes when prompted to save the changes made to your feature favorites.
  18. To get back into the Favorite editor, in the Table of Contents > Features pane, right-click your Card favorite and choose Edit Favorite.
  19. Now it is time to make each back port unique by adding a number, name, port position, and color (if necessary). To start, click the top-most BackPort once so it is highlighted in blue.

  20. Update the Description to BackPort001
  21. Fill out the unique fields for this first port.
    1. Num: This is a numeric field tracking the port number. For this first port, type 1.
    2. Name: This is an alphanumeric field for port name, which is usually the same as the number. For this first port, type 01.
      TIP: Why 01 instead of just 1? Functionally, there is no difference. However, stylistically having the same number of digits for all ports looks cleaner on the Patch Panel Connection report. In this case, the highest port number is 96, which is 2 digits. So, using 01 instead of 1 matches the number of digits for the highest port number.

      When you use the same number of digits, the report looks like this:

      If you do not match the digits, it looks like this:

    3. Port Position on Card: Type 1
    4. Pigtail Color: This depends on the connection type, but most commonly the pigtail colors follow the standard order of fiber colors. Because this is the first port, the pigtail color would most likely be Blue.

  22. Click Apply.
  23. Click the second BackPort once so it is highlighted in blue.
  24. Update the Description to BackPort002
  25. Fill out the unique fields for this second port.
    1. Num: This is a numeric field tracking the port number. For this second port, type 2.
    2. Name: This is an alphanumeric field for port name, which is usually the same as the number. For this second port, type 02.
    3. Port Position on Card: Type 2
    4. Pigtail Color: This depends on the connection type, but most commonly the pigtail colors follow the standard order of fiber colors. Because this is the first port, the pigtail color would most likely be Orange.
  26. Click Apply.
  27. Continue this procedure for all remaining back ports.
    1. Keep incrementing numbers by 1, and keep moving through the standard color order for fibers.
      TIP: Typing in numbers is easy, but how do you remember which color equates to which number? Activate the Pig Tail Color field, and then press the down arrow the same number as the port number. For example, Back Port 009 is yellow, and after activating the Pig Tail Color field, pressing down 9 times arrives at the color yellow.
    2. Click Apply each time you finish populating fields for a port.
    3. Save often.
  28. After completing all 24 ports (and saving!), perform a final click though of all ports to verify attributes.

  29. It is time to shift to the front ports. To start, right-click F_FRONTSIDEPORT and choose Add Related Object.

  30. Fill out as many common fields as you can for the front port.

    IMPORTANT: This is the same process you completed with the back ports. First you populate fields that all 24 ports share, such as type and size. Then, you copy and paste the port (with the shared attributes) 23 times. Finally, you return to each one and populate the unique characteristics, such as number, position, and color (if applicable). In this manner, you save time by setting as many shared attributes first and copying those among all ports.
  31. Click Apply.
  32. Right-click the new FrontPort and choose Copy.
  33. Click F_FRONTSIDEPORT once so it is highlighted in blue, then press Ctrl + V to paste. You now have two identical back ports.
  34. Repeat this click and paste process until you have 24 identical ports. Click Apply.
  35. Now it is time to make each front port unique by adding a number, name, port position, and color (if necessary). To start, click the top-most FrontPort once so it is highlighted in blue.
  36. Update the Description to FrontPort001
  37. Fill out the unique fields for this first port.
    1. Num: This is a numeric field tracking the port number. For this first port, type 1.
    2. Name: This is an alphanumeric field for port name, which is usually the same as the number. For this first port, type 01.
    3. Position: Type 1
    4. Demarcation Indicator: Demarcation is typically used to signify a change in ownership. You can either leave the field empty for now and update it when the card is actually installed, or if you know that your ports will most commonly not mark a change in ownership, you can set this to No and only update when needed.
    5. Attenuator Loss: Loss will vary by connection type, and loss ranges are typically found in the hardware documentation or calculated with the help of an OTDR trace. If your responsibility for the fiber network ends at the port itself (and what is plugged into the front is of no consequence to you) you can type 0.

  38. Click Apply.
  39. Continue this procedure for all remaining front ports, just like you did for the back ports.
    1. Keep incrementing numbers by 1.
    2. Click Apply each time you finish populating fields for a port.
    3. Save often.
  40. After completing all 24 ports, perform a final click though of all ports to verify attributes.

    IMPORTANT: You might be wondering if you need to relate all the front ports to the back ports manually. The answer is no. Front ports and back ports are assumed to be connected as a unit in real life, and thus, the application assumes they are related. There is no need to drag and drop each back port onto the front port relationship.
  41. Save the Card favorite.
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