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Title:
CABLE SPOOL ASSEMBLY AND METHODS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2017/182449
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A cable spool assembly includes a drum with a surrounding wall having an exterior portion and an opposite interior portion and defining an interior volume. A base member is secured to the drum. The base member has an outer periphery, a first cable channel extending from the outer periphery to the exterior portion of the surrounding wall, and a second cable channel extending from the outer periphery, under or through the drum, and into the interior volume of the drum surrounding wall. The assembly can include anchor arrangements to releasably fix a cable or cable connection to a flange along the drum. A removable cover and gasket can provide an environmental seal for the assembly between the cover and the base member.

Inventors:
COLLART STEPHANE (BE)
Application Number:
PCT/EP2017/059141
Publication Date:
October 26, 2017
Filing Date:
April 18, 2017
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
COMMSCOPE CONNECTIVITY BELGIUM BVBA (BE)
International Classes:
G02B6/44; B65H75/02
Domestic Patent References:
WO2011028111A12011-03-10
WO2015086043A12015-06-18
Foreign References:
FR2814246A12002-03-22
US6167183A2000-12-26
JPH06316379A1994-11-15
US20110311226A12011-12-22
US7264402B22007-09-04
US7744288B22010-06-29
US7762726B22010-07-27
US7744286B22010-06-29
US7942590B22011-05-17
US7959361B22011-06-14
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KEANE, David (Scotland House165-169 Scotland Street, Glasgow Strathclyde G5 8PL, GB)
Download PDF:
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A cable spool assembly (20) for a cable (26); the cable spool assembly (20) comprising:

(a) a fixed non-rotating drum (22) having a surrounding wall (24) with a radius that corresponds to at least a minimum bend radius of the cable, the surrounding wall (24) having an exterior portion (28) and an opposite interior portion (30) and defining an interior volume (32) therewithin;

(b) a base member (34) secured to the drum (22); the base member (34) having,

(i) an outer periphery (42);

(ii) a first cable channel (44) extending from the outer periphery (42) to the exterior portion (28) of the surrounding wall (24); and

(iii) a second cable channel (50) extending from the outer periphery (42), through or under the drum (22), and into the interior volume (32) of the drum surrounding wall (24).

2. The cable spool assembly (20) of claim 1 wherein:

(a) the drum (22) includes a flange (60) radially extending outwardly from the surrounding wall (24) and axially spaced from the base member (34).

3. The cable spool assembly (20) of claim 2 wherein:

(a) the flange (60) is located on an end of the surrounding wall (24) and spaced from the base member (34).

4. The cable spool assembly (20) of any one of claims 2 and 3 wherein:

(a) the drum (22) includes a plurality of spaced anchor arrangements (72)

constructed and arranged to releasably fix at least one of a cable (48, 53) or a cable connection (74) along the drum (22).

5. The cable spool assembly (20) of claim 4 wherein:

(a) the anchor arrangements (72) are circumferentially spaced along the flange (60).

6. The cable spool assembly (20) of claim 5 wherein:

(a) the anchor arrangements (72) are evenly circumferentially spaced along the flange (60).

7. The cable spool assembly (20) of any one of claims 5 and 6 wherein:

(a) the anchor arrangements (72) include through holes (76) adapted to receive a connection ring (78) that is securable to the at least one of the cable (48, 53) or cable connection (74).

8. The cable spool assembly (20) of any one of claims 5-7 wherein:

(a) the anchor arrangements (72) further include tabs (80) that extend radially outwardly from the flange (60) in circumferentially spaced positions, the tabs (80) bounding opposite circumferential sides so that the at least one of the cable (48, 53) or cable connection (74) secured to the flange (60) is circumferentially fixed on the flange (60) by respective tabs (80).

9. The cable spool assembly (20) of any one of claims 1-8 wherein:

(a) the second cable channel (50) includes a ramped section (58) in the interior volume (32) of the drum surrounding wall (24).

10. The cable spool assembly (2) of any one of claims 1-9 wherein:

(a) the first cable channel (44) includes a ramped section (59) exterior of the drum surrounding wall (24).

11. The cable spool assembly (20) of any of claims 1-9 wherein:

(a) the second cable channel (50) is narrower at the outer periphery (42) than at a remaining portion (56) of the second cable channel (50).

12. The cable spool assembly (20) of any one of claims 1-10 further including:

(a) a finger arrangement (84) projecting radially inwardly from the drum

surrounding wall (24) into the interior volume (32).

13. The cable spool assembly (20) of claim 12 wherein:

(a) the finger arrangement (84) comprises a plurality of evenly spaced

circumferential fingers (86) along the interior portion (3) of the drum surrounding wall (24) and axially spaced from the base member.

14. The cable spool assembly (20) of any one of claims 1-13 further comprising:

(a) an axially projecting boss (88) extending from the base member and centered within the interior volume (32) of the drum surrounding wall (24).

15. The cable spool assembly (20) of any one of claims 1-14 further comprising:

(a) a removable cover (92) sized to operably mate with the base member (34).

16. The cable spool assembly (20) of claim 15 further comprising:

(a) a gasket (94) between the cover (92) and the base member (34) forming a releasable environmental seal between the cover (92) and base member (34).

17. The cable spool assembly (20) of any one of claims 15 and 16 further comprising:

(a) a removable fastener (90) secures the cover (92) and the base member (34).

18. The cable spool assembly (20) of any one of claims 15 and 16 wherein:

(a) the cover (92) and base member (34) are rectangular.

19. The cable spool assembly (20) of any one of claims 15 wherein:

(a) the cover (92') and base member (34') are circular.

20. The cable spool assembly (20) of any one of claims 1-19 further comprising:

(a) a drop cable (48) within the first cable channel (44) and coiled around the exterior portion (28) of the surrounding wall (24) and ending with a first connector (100); and

(b) a fiber optic cable (53) within the second cable channel (50) and coiled against the interior portion (30) of the surrounding wall (24) and ending with a second connector (102); wherein the first connector (100) and the second connector (102) are secured together at a cable connection (74).

21. The cable spool assembly (20) of claim 20 wherein:

(a) the cable connection (74) is held outside of the interior volume (32) of the surrounding wall (24) and between the exterior portion (28) of the surrounding wall (24) and the outer periphery (42) of the base member (34).

22. The cable spool assembly (20) of any one of claims 20 and 21 further comprising:

(a) a connection ring (78) secured to at least one of: the drop cable (48), the fiber optic cable (53), or the cable connection (74).

23. The cable spool assembly (20) of claim 22 and any one of claims 4-8 wherein:

(a) the connection ring (78) is removably attached to one of the anchor

arrangements (72).

24. A method of deploying cable, the method comprising steps of:

(a) routing a drop cable (48) through a first cable channel (44) in a base member (34);

(b) coiling the drop cable (48) around an exterior portion (28) of a wall of a fixed non-rotatable drum (22);

(c) routing a fiber optic cable (53) through a second cable channel (50) in the base member, through or under the drum (22), and into an interior volume (32) of the wall of the drum (22);

(d) coiling the fiber optic cable (53) against an interior portion (30) of the wall of the drum (22); and

(e) connecting the drop cable (48) to the fiber optic cable (53) at a cable

connection (74).

25. The method of claim 24 further comprising steps of:

(a) mounting a connecting ring (78) to at least one of: the drop cable (48), the fiber optic cable (53), or the cable connection (74); and releasably securing the connection ring (78) at one of a plurality of anchor arrangements (72) of a flange (60) extending radially from the wall of the drum (22), the one of the plurality of anchor arrangements (72) being selected based on the circumferential location relative to the flange (60) of the at least of: the drop cable (48), the fiber optic cable (53), or the cable connection (74).

The method of any one of claims 24 and 25 further comprising:

(a) orienting a cover (92) over the base member (34);

(b) forming an environmental seal between and against the cover (92) and

base member (34) by compressing a gasket (94) therebetween; and

(c) releasably fastening the cover (92) to the base member (34).

Description:
CABLE SPOOL ASSEMBLY AND METHODS

Cross-Reference to Related Application

[0001] This application claims the benefit of U.S. Patent Application Serial No.

62/324,094, filed on April 18, 2016, the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

Background

[0002] Passive optical networks are becoming prevalent in part because service providers want to delivery high bandwidth communication capabilities to customers. Passive optical networks are a desirable choice for delivering high speed communication data because they not employ active electronic devices, such as amplifiers and repeaters, between a central office and a subscriber termination. The absence of active electronic devices may decrease network complexity and/or cost and may increase network reliability.

[0003] Fig. 1 illustrates a network 10 deploying fiber optic lines. As shown, the network 10 can include a central office 11 that connects a number of end subscribers 15 (also called end users 15) in a network. The central office 11 can additionally connect to a larger network such as the internet (not shown) and/or a public switched telephone network (PSTN). The network 10 may also include fiber distribution hubs (FDH) 13 that distribute optical signals to the end users 15. The various lines of network 10 can be aerial or housed within underground conduits.

[0004] The portion of the network 10 that is closest to the central office 11 is generally referred to as the Fl region, where Fl is the "feeder fiber" from the central office 11. The portion of the network 10 closest to the end users 15 can be referred to as an F2 portion of the network 10. The network 10 includes a plurality of breakout locations 12 at which branch cables are separated out from the main cable lines. Branch cables are often connected to drop terminals 14, for example, by way of fiber distribution hubs 13. The drop terminals 14 include connector interfaces for facilitating coupling of the fibers of the branch cables to a plurality of different subscriber locations 15.

[0005] Improvements over the prior art are desirable. Summary

[0006] Some aspects of this disclosure are directed to a cable spool assembly configured to hold a cable thereon. In some implementations, the cable spool assembly includes a base member and a drum coupled to the base member. In certain implementations, the drum does not rotate relative to the base member. In certain implementations, the drum is secured to the base member in a fixed axial position and a fixed rotational position. The base member has a first cable channel extending from an outer periphery to an exterior portion of the drum. The base member may also include a second cable channel extending from the outer periphery, through or under the drum, and into an interior volume of the drum.

[0007] In some implementations, the drum includes a surrounding wall with a radius that corresponds to at least a minimum bend radius of the cable. The surrounding wall has an exterior portion and an opposite interior portion and defines an interior volume there within. The first cable channel extends from the outer periphery of the base member to the exterior portion of the surrounding wall. The second cable channel extends from the base member outer periphery, under the drum, and into the interior volume of the drum surrounding wall.

[0008] In accordance with certain aspects of this disclosure, the drum includes a flange radially extending outwardly from the surrounding wall and axially spaced from the base member.

[0009] In one or more embodiments, the flange is located on an end of the surrounding wall and is spaced from the base member.

[0010] In some examples, the drum includes a plurality of spaced anchor arrangements constructed and arranged to releasably fix at least one of a cable or cable connection along the drum.

[0011] In some implementations, the anchor arrangements are circumferentially spaced along the flange.

[0012] In some examples, the anchor arrangements are evenly circumferentially spaced along the flange.

[0013] In one or more embodiments, the anchor arrangements include through holes adapted to receive a connection ring that is securable to the at least one of a cable or cable connection along the drum.

[0014] In some aspects, the anchor arrangements further include tabs that extend radially outwardly from the flange in circumferentially spaced positions, the tabs bounding opposite circumferential sides so that the at least one of a cable or cable connection secured to the flange is circumferentially fixed on the flange by respective tabs.

[0015] In some implementations, the second cable channel includes a ramped section in the interior volume of the drum surrounding wall.

[0016] In some implementations, the first cable channel includes a ramped section in the exterior the drum surrounding wall.

[0017] In some examples, the second cable channel is narrower at the outer periphery than at a remaining portion of the second cable channel.

[0018] In some implementations, a finger arrangement projects radially inwardly from the drum surrounding wall into the interior volume.

[0019] In embodiments that include the finger arrangement, the finger arrangement may comprise a plurality of evenly spaced circumferential fingers along the interior portion of the drum surrounding wall and axially spaced from the base member.

[0020] In some examples, the cable spool assembly also includes an axially projecting boss extending from the base member and centered within the interior volume of the drum surrounding wall.

[0021] In many implementations, the cable spool assembly also includes a removable cover sized to operably mate with the base member.

[0022] In embodiments that include a removable cover, the spool assembly may further include a gasket between the cover and the base member to form a releasable environmental seal between the cover and base member.

[0023] In some examples, the cover and base member are rectangular.

[0024] In some examples, the cover and base member are circular.

[0025] In some aspects, the cable spool assembly includes a drop cable within the first cable channel and coiled around the exterior portion of the surrounding wall and ending with a first connector. There may also include a fiber optic cable within the second cable channel and coiled against the interior portion of the surrounding wall and ending with a second connector. The first connector and second connector can be secured together at a cable connection.

[0026] In certain aspects, the cable connection may be held outside of the interior volume of the surrounding wall and between the exterior portion of the surrounding wall and the outer periphery of the base member. [0027] In embodiments that include a cable connection, there may further include a connection ring secured to at least one of the cables or the cable connection.

[0028] In some embodiments, the connection ring is removably attached to one of the anchor arrangements.

[0029] In accordance with certain aspects of this disclosure, a method of deploying cable is provided. The method can include steps of routing a drop cable through a first cable channel in a base member; coiling the drop cable around an exterior portion of a wall of a fixed non-rotatable drum; routing a fiber optic cable through a second cable channel in the base member, under the drum, and into an interior volume of the wall of the drum; coiling the fiber optic cable against an interior portion of the wall of the drum; and connecting the drop cable to the fiber optic cable at a cable connection.

[0030] In certain implementations, the method can include further steps of mounting a connection ring to at least one of the cables or the cable connection; and releasably securing the connection ring at one of a plurality of anchor arrangements of a flange extending radially from the wall of the drum, the one of the plurality of anchor arrangements being selected based on the circumferential location of the at least one cable or cable connection relative to the flange.

[0031] In one or more implementations, the method can include orienting a cover over the base member; forming an environmental seal between and against the cover and the base member by compressing a gasket there between; and releasably fastening the cover to the base member.

[0032] A variety of additional inventive aspects will be set forth in the description that follows. The inventive aspects can relate to individual features and to combinations of features. It is to be understood that both the forgoing general description and the following detailed description are exemplary and explanatory only and are not restrictive of the broad inventive concepts upon which the embodiments disclosed herein are based.

Brief Description of the Drawings

[0033] The accompanying drawings which are incorporated in and constitute a part of the description, illustrate several aspects of the present disclosure. A brief description of the drawings is as follows:

[0034] FIG. 1 is a schematic diagram of an example fiber optic network; [0035] FIG. 2 is a perspective view of one embodiment of a spool assembly for a cable usable in the fiber optic network of FIG. 1;

[0036] FIG. 3 is an upper exploded perspective view of the cable spool assembly of FIG. 2;

[0037] FIG. 4 is a lower exploded perspective view of the cable spool assembly of FIG. 2;

[0038] FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the assembled cable spool assembly of FIG. 2 without the cover;

[0039] FIG. 6 is a top plan view of the assembly of FIG. 5;

[0040] FIG. 7 is a perspective view of the base member of the cable spool assembly of FIGS. 2-6;

[0041] FIG. 8 is a lower perspective view of the drum used in the cable spool assembly of FIGS. 2-6;

[0042] FIG. 9 is a perspective view of another embodiment of a cable spool assembly usable in the fiber optic network of FIG. 1; and

[0043] FIG. 10 is an exploded perspective view of the cable spool assembly of FIG. 9.

Detailed Description

[0044] Reference will now be made in detail to exemplary aspects of the present disclosure that are illustrated in the accompanying drawings. Whenever possible, the same reference numerals will be used throughout the drawings to refer to the same or like parts.

[0045] The present disclosure is directed to a cable spool assembly for holding a cable. In some implementations, the cable spool assembly includes a fixed non-rotating drum having a surrounding wall with an exterior portion and an opposite interior portion defining an interior volume there within. A base member is secured to the drum. The base member has an outer periphery; a first cable channel extending from the outer periphery to the exterior portion of the surrounding wall; and a second cable channel extending from the outer periphery, under the drum, and into the interior volume of the drum surrounding wall.

[0046] The cable spool assembly can be used as part of the network 10 illustrated in FIG. 1. The cable spool assembly can store the slack length of cables routed between network locations, for example, the central office 11, fiber distribution hubs 13, indexing terminals, drop terminals 14, and subscribers or users 15, etc. For example, a cable spool assembly can be mounted at an end user location including, for example, outside of a residence, business, multi-dwelling unit; or to a pole or other surface adjacent the same. Slack length of a network cable (for example, a drop cable) routed to the end user location can be stored in the cable spool assembly.

[0047] In some example aspects of this disclosure, the cable spool assembly provides a demarcation location within the network 10 at, for example, the end user location. For example, the cable spool assembly can provide a connection point between a drop cable routed to the end user location and a subscriber optical fiber routed from inside of a residence of the end user (e.g., the fiber routed to the optical network terminal (ONT) within the residence). The demarcation location will be environmentally sealed to protect the connection.

[0048] In certain implementations, the drop cable is ruggedized such that an end of the cable is terminated by a ruggedized connector or ruggedized adapter. As the terms are used herein, "ruggedized connectors" and "ruggedized adapters" are configured to mate together to form an environmental seal. Ruggedized connectors and/or ruggedized adapters also can include fasteners (e.g., threaded fasteners, bayonet-style fasteners, etc.) for providing robust connector-to connector mechanical connections. Ruggedized connectors can be male connectors or female connectors. Ruggedized adapters can be located on housings, cables, or other structures. Ruggedized connectors can include multi-fiber ferrules including fiber receiving arrangements defining a plurality of fiber receiving positions. In certain examples, the fiber receiving positions can be arranged in one or more rows of sequential fiber positions. Some non-limiting example ruggedized optical connector interfaces suitable for use with an indexing terminal 35 are disclosed in U.S. Patent Nos. 7264402, 7744288, 7762726, 7744286, 7942590, and 7959361, the disclosures of which are hereby incorporated herein by reference. In some implementations, the subscriber optical fiber is not ruggedized. In other implementations, the subscriber optical fiber is ruggedized.

[0049] FIGS. 2-4 illustrate a first example embodiment of a cable spool assembly 20constructed in accordance with principles of this disclosure. FIG. 2 shows the assembled cable spool assembly 20 as it may appear in use in the network 10 of FIG. 1. FIGS. 3 and 4 illustrate the cable spool assembly 20 with the parts exploded for illustration purposes. FIG. 5 illustrates the cable spool assembly 20 assembled but with a cover removed from a remaining portion of the assembly 20.

[0050] In reference now to FIGS. 3 and 8, the cable spool assembly 20 includes a drum 22. In certain implementations, the drum 22 is fixed and non-rotatable relative to a remaining portion of the cable spool assembly 20. The drum 22, in this embodiment, includes a surrounding wall 24. The surrounding wall 24 is illustrated as generally cylindrical in shape with a circular cross-section. The surrounding wall 24 is sized to have a radius that corresponds to at least a minimum bend radius of a cable 26 that is to be mounted thereon. In preferred implementations, the surrounding wall 24 has a radius that is larger than the minimum bend radius of the cable 26.

[0051] The surrounding wall 24 defines an exterior portion 28 and an opposite interior portion 30. The surrounding wall 24 defines an interior volume 32 there within.

[0052] In accordance with principles of this disclosure, the cable spool assembly 20 further includes a base member 34. In certain implementations, the base member 34 is secured to the drum 22 such that the drum 22 is fixed and non-rotatable relative to the base member 34.

[0053] The base member 34 is constructed for orienting or positioning, for example, outside of a residence or business. In certain implementations, the base 34 defines one or more fastener apertures 35 through which fasteners can be inserted to secure the base 34 to a mounting location (e.g., a wall, a pole, etc.). In other implementations, the base 34 can be otherwise configured to be mounted (e.g., latched, strapped, etc.) at the mounting location. In certain implementations, the base 34 can have a generally flat upper surface 36 (FIG. 3) and a lower surface 38 (FIG. 4). In examples, the fastener apertures 35 extend between the upper and lower surfaces 36, 38. As can be seen in FIG. 4, the lower surface 38 can include rib structure 40 to provide strength. In some implementations, the lower surface 38 can be generally flat to mount to a wall or panel. In other implementations, the lower surface 38 can be contoured for mounting to a pole or cable. The upper surface 36 can include some indentations for accommodating fasteners and channels for routing cables, as described further below.

[0054] The base member 34 has an outer periphery 42. The base member 34 includes a first cable channel 44. The first cable channel 44 extends from the outer periphery 42 to the exterior portion 28 of the surrounding wall 24. The first cable channel 44 is sized to accommodate the cable 26. Attention is directed to FIG. 5, in which the cable 26 is shown entering through an opening 46 in the outer periphery 42 of the base member 34. The opening 46 and first cable channel 44 are sized to provide a snug fit to the cable 26. Such a snug fit may inhibit the cable 26 from being loose or falling out of the first cable channel 44. Such a snug fit also aids in sealing the interior of the cable spool assembly 20 at the entrance of the first cable channel 44. In some examples, the cable 26 accommodated in the first cable channel 44 is a drop cable 48. In some examples, the cable 26 can be a flat cable. In other examples, the cable 26 can be a round cable.

[0055] In accordance with principles of this disclosure, the base member 34 includes a second cable channel 50. The second cable channel 50 extends from the outer periphery 42 and into the interior volume 32 of the drum surrounding wall 24. In some example implementations, the second cable channel 50 extends through or under the drum 22 to extend into the interior volume 34.

[0056] The second cable channel 50 is sized to accommodate a cable 52 which can be, for example, a fiber optic cable 53 connected to, for example, an ONT of one of the end subscribers 15. In some implementations, the cable 52 is not ruggedized (e.g., the connector terminating the cable 52 is not ruggedized). In other implementations, the cable 52 is ruggedized (e.g., the connector terminating the cable 52 is ruggedized).

[0057] In FIGS. 5-7, it can be seen how the second cable channel 50 passes through the periphery 42 of the base member 34 through an opening 54 in the periphery 42 of the base member 34. In certain examples, the second cable channel 50 is narrower at the opening 54 the outer periphery 42 than at a remaining portion 56 (FIG. 7) of the second cable channel 50. This construction for the second cable channel 50 helps to accommodate the passage of a fiber optic channel 53 therein. The narrower opening 54 helps to secure the fiber optic cable 53 in place, while the wider remaining portion 56 allows for the fiber optic cable 53 to be responsive to a force, either pushing or pulling, to slide the fiber optic cable 53 along the base member 54 and into the interior volume 32 of the surrounding wall 24. The narrower opening 54 also aids in sealing the interior of the cable spool assembly 20 as will be discussed in more detail herein.

[0058] In reference again to FIG. 7, the second cable channel 50 includes a ramped section 58. The ramped section 58 is located in the interior volume 32 of the drum

surrounding wall 24 and it functions to gradually advance the fiber optic cable 53 from a lower position in the base member 34 as it enters the cable spool assembly 20 to a higher position in the interior volume 32 of the drum 22. This may help to prevent energy loss through bends in the fiber optic cable 53. The ramped section 58 also inhibits excess bending of the optical fiber.

[0059] In certain implementations, the first cable channel 44 includes a ramped section 59 (FIG. 7). The ramped section 59 is located exterior of the drum surrounding wall 24 and is part of the base member 34. The ramped section 59 transitions the drop cable 48 from a lower surface in the first cable channel 44 to a higher surface on the upper surface 36 of the base member 34 to avoid excessive bending of the cable 44. This may also help to prevent energy loss through bends in the cable 44.

[0060] In accordance with principles of this disclosure, the drum 22 includes a flange 60. The flange 60 extends radially outwardly from the surrounding wall 24. Flange 60 is axially spaced from the base member 34. The surrounding wall 24 is between the flange 60 and the base member 34. In some example embodiments, the flange 60 is located at an end of the surrounding wall 24 opposite of the base member 34.

[0061] FIG. 8 is a perspective view of the surrounding wall 24 of the drum 22 and the flange 60. In some examples, the flange 60 may be the same part or piece of material as the surrounding wall 24. In other examples, the flange 60 may be a separate piece that is permanently secured to the surrounding wall 24.

[0062] FIG. 8 illustrates one example embodiment of how the surrounding wall 24 can be fixed and secured to the base member 34. In this example, the surrounding wall 24 includes a latch arrangement 62 for snapping in to a catch arrangement 64 in the base member 34. In other embodiments, the latch arrangement 62 may be on the base member 34, while the catch arrangement 64 is on the surrounding wall 24. In the examples shown, the latch arrangement 62 includes a plurality of latches 66 at a base member engaging end 70 of the surrounding wall 24 that engage a plurality of latch apertures 68 as part of the catch arrangement 64 protruding from the upper surface 36 of the base member 34. Many alternatives are possible.

[0063] In accordance with principles of this disclosure, one or more connection rings 78 (FIG. 5) can be provided. The connection ring 78 is usable to secure either one of the cables 48, 53 to the drum 22. The connection ring 78 is also usable to secure a cable connection 74 to the drum 22. The cable connection 74 results from connecting the cables 48, 53 together. In example implementations, the connection ring 74 is a separate part that may be added or mounted on at least one of the ends (or connectors 100, 102 discussed below) of the cables 48, 53. The connection ring 78 may be added to at least one of the connectors 100, 102 at the time of installation. Alternatively, in other implementations, the connection ring 78 may be added to at least one of the cables 48, 53 when the cable is terminated at an optical connector (e.g., an SC connector, an MPO connector, an LX.5 connector, a hardened multi-fiber optical connector, etc.). Alternatively, in other implementations, the connection ring 78 may be an integral part of the connectors 100, 102.

[0064] In accordance with the principles of the disclosure, the drum 22 further includes a plurality of spaced anchor arrangements 72. The anchor arrangements 72 are constructed and arranged to releasably fix at least one of the cables 48, 53 along or relative to the drum 22. The anchor arrangements 72 are also usable to releasably fix connection 74 to the drum, when the connection 74 is made between the cables 48, 53. An example of the connection 74 releasably fixed to the drum 22 at anchor arrangement 72 is shown in FIG. 6, in which cable connection 74 is releasably fixed along or relative to the drum 22. The cable connection 24 is, in this example, the connection between drop cable 48 and fiber optic cable 53.

[0065] Many embodiments of anchor arrangements 72 are possible. In the illustrated embodiment, the anchor arrangements 72 are circumferentially spaced along the flange 60. In the particular embodiment shown in FIG. 6, the anchor arrangements 72 are evenly circumferentially spaced along the flange 60. In certain examples, the anchor arrangements 72 are structured and configured to hold a cable at a fixed location along the circumference of the flange 60.

[0066] The anchor arrangements 72 may be embodied in many different forms. In one example illustrated, the anchor arrangements 72 include through holes 76 extending through the flange 60. The through holes 76 are adapted to receive connection structure that is securable to the cable connection 74. In the illustrated example, the connection structure includes the connection ring 78 that is securable to the cable connection 74.

[0067] In FIG. 6, the connection ring 78 is illustrated in solid lines as secured to the cable connection 74. The through hole 76' is shown as the through hole 76 that the cable connection 74 is adjacent. The through holes 76, in this example, are evenly and

circumferentially spaced about the flange 60 so that wherever the cable connection 74 happens to be positioned, there is an adjacent through hole 76 that can accommodate the connection ring 78 and fix the cable connection 74.

[0068] In phantom lines in FIG. 6, the connection rings 78 is illustrated secured to a different through hole 76". This phantom line connection ring 78 is to illustrate how the connection ring 78 can be positioned along any one of the through holes 76 in the flange 60.

[0069] In further embodiments, there may be more than one connection ring 78 used, including connection rings that operate as strain reliefs to hold additional portions of the cable 26. [0070] The anchor arrangements 72 can further include screws, locking pins, pegs, or other types of fasteners to secure the connection ring 78 to the through holes 76. In further arrangements, the anchor arrangement 72 can include pegs or other protrusions that can be received in through holes defined by the connection ring 78. In still further arrangements, the anchor arrangement 72 need not define through holes. Rather, the connection ring 78 can include a clamping structure, which mounts over an outer rim 82 of the flange 60 to squeezes the flange 60, or any other type of fastening structure to secure the cable connection 74 to the flange 60.

[0071] In certain implementations, the anchor arrangements 72 may further include tabs 80. The tabs 80 are illustrated as extending radially outwardly from the flange 60 in circumferentially spaced positions. In the illustrated example, the tabs 80 are evenly spaced about the circumference of the flange 60. In this example embodiment, there is one tab 80 on each side of one of the through holes 76 so that the through holes 76 alternate with the tabs 80.

[0072] In certain examples, the tabs 80 are positioned to be boundaries on opposite circumferential sides of the connection rings 78 so that the cable connection 74 secured to the flange 60 is circumferentially fixed on the flange 60 by the respective tabs 80. Many embodiments are possible. In this arrangement, the combination of the tabs 80 projecting from an outer rim 82 of the flange 60 in combination with the releasable attachment to the through holes 76 helps to provide a convenient and secure attachment of at least one of the cables 48, 53, or, the cable connection 74 (if it has been made) to the drum 22.

[0073] In reference again to FIGS. 5, 6, and 8, in some example embodiments, the spool assembly 20 further includes a finger arrangement 84. The finger arrangement 84 is provided to project radially inwardly from the drum surrounding wall 24 and into the interior volume 32. The finger arrangement 84 helps to contain the cable 52 that is stored in the interior volume 32.

[0074] In the embodiments shown, the finger arrangement 84 includes a plurality of evenly spaced circumferential fingers 86 along the interior portion 30 of the drum

surrounding wall 24 and axially spaced from the base member 34. In this embodiment, the interior portion 30 of the surrounding wall 24 extends between the fingers 86 and the upper surface 36 of the base member 34. The fingers 86 can be embodied in many different forms. In the one shown, the fingers 86 are generally U-shaped with outwardly expanding walls. There are spaces or gaps between the fingers 86 to allow for passage of the cable 52 from the interior volume 32 of the drum 22 to connect with the cable 48 at the cable connection 74.

[0075] In accordance with principles of this disclosure, the cable spool assembly 20 further includes an axially projecting protuberance or boss 88 extending from the upper surface 36 of the base member 34. In the embodiment shown, the boss 88 is centered within the interior volume 32 of the drum surrounding wall 24. Of course, in other embodiments, the boss 88 need not be within the drum 22 and it need not be centered within the interior volume 32 of the drum surrounding wall 24. This particular arrangement is convenient, but alternatives are possible. The boss 88 can accommodate one or more fasteners 90 (FIGS. 2- 4) for accommodating the removable attachment of a cover 92.

[0076] In accordance with principles of this disclosure, the cable spool assembly 20 further includes a removable cover 92 (FIGS. 2 and 3). The removable cover 92 is sized to operably mate with the base member 34. In FIG. 2, the cover 92 is shown in operable position mated with the base member 34 to cover and protect all of the internal components of the cable spool assembly 20. The fastener 90 can be used to removably attach the cover 92 to the base member 34 by securing the cover 92 to the boss 88.

[0077] In some implementations, the cable spool assembly 20 further includes a gasket 94 (FIGS. 3 and 4). The gasket 94 is between the cover 92 and the base member 34 to form a releasable environmental seal between the cover 92 and the base member 34. In the example embodiment shown, the gasket 94 is positioned or oriented along the outer periphery 42 of the base member 34. When the cover 92 is pressed against the base member 34, rim 96 of the cover 92 presses against the gasket 94 to form releasable environmental seal between and against the cover 92 and the base member 34. The gasket 94 can be made of rubber, polyurethane, polyurethane foam, and the like. In certain implementations, the gasket 94 extends across the openings to the channels 44, 50. In certain examples, the base 34 or cover 92 may include a separate gasket to cooperate with the gasket 94 to seal around the cables 48, 52 routed into the channels 44, 50. In other implementations, a sealing enclosure can be provided locally around the cable termination or connection held at the anchor location 72. In certain such implementations, the cover 92 need not seal to the base 34. In some such implementations, a cover 92 is not needed. In other such implementations, the cover 92 is provided for aesthetic use, to generally maintain cleanliness of the interior, to inhibit tampering, or for other reasons. [0078] In FIG. 2, it can be seen how, in this embodiment, the cover 92 can be reinforced with strengthening ribs 98 along the interior portion of the cover 92.

[0079] In the embodiment of FIGS. 2-8, the cable spool assembly 20 uses a rectangular shaped cover 92 and a rectangular shaped base member 34. It should be appreciated that other shapes are usable. For example, FIGS. 9 and 10 illustrate another example embodiment of cable spool assembly at reference numeral 20'. The only difference between the cable spool assembly 20' of FIGS. 9 and 10 and the cable spool assembly 20 of FIGS. 1-8 is the shape of the cover and base member. In FIGS. 9 and 10, the cover 92' is round, and the base member 34' is round. It should also be appreciated that even though the embodiment of FIGS. 2-8 shows a rectangular cover 92 with a rectangular base member 34, and FIGS. 9 and 10 show a round cover 92' with a round base member 34', shapes can be mixed as well. For example, there can be a cable spool assembly that utilizes a round cover with a rectangular base member, or a rectangular cover with a round base member.

[0080] FIG. 5 shows the cable spool assembly 20 in use, but with the cover 92 removed for purposes of illustration of the internal components. In FIG. 5, it can be seen how the cable 26, in this example drop cable 48, is located within the first cable channel 44 and coiled around the exterior portion 28 of the surrounding wall 24 and ending with first connector 100. Cable 52, in this example a fiber optic cable 53, is located within the second cable channel 50 and is coiled against the interior portion 30 of the surrounding wall 24 of the drum 22 and ends with second connector 102. The first connector 100 and the second connector 102 are connected or secured together at the cable connection 74. The cable connection 74 is illustrated as being held outside of the interior volume 32 of the surrounding wall 24 and between the exterior portion 28 of the surrounding wall 24 and the outer periphery 42 of the base member 34.

[0081] FIGS. 5 and 6 illustrate the connection ring 78 being secured to the cable connection 74 and being removably attached to one of the anchor arrangements 72.

[0082] In accordance with principles of this disclosure, the cable spool assembly 20 is usable as part of a method of deploying cable. The method can include a step of routing drop cable 48 through first cable channel 44 in the base member 34. In some examples, the drop cable 48 can be manually pushed through the channel 44 from an exterior of the channel 44. In other examples, the drop cable 48 can be laid into the channel 44 through an open top of the channel 44. [0083] Next, there can be the step of coiling the drop cable 48 around the exterior portion 28 of the surrounding wall 24 of the fixed, non-rotatable drum 22. In certain examples, the drop cable 48 is manually wound by hand around the surrounding wall 24.

[0084] Next, there can be a step of securing an end of the drop cable 48 at a fixed location relative to the drum 22. This step can be accomplished by using connection ring 78 and releasably securing the connection ring 78 at one of a plurality of anchor arrangements 72 of the flange 60 extending radially from the wall 24 of the drum 22, the one of the plurality of anchor arrangements 72 being selected based on the circumferential location of the end of the cable 48 relative to the flange 60.

[0085] The method may further include the step of routing fiber optic cable 53 through the second cable channel 50 in the base member 34, under the drum 22, and into the interior volume 32 of the drum 22. This step can be performed during initial installation of the cable spool assembly 20, or at a later time. For example, a connectorized end of the fiber optic cable 53 can be laid into the channel 50 through an open top of the channel 50. The fiber optic cable 53 can be manually pushed through the channel 50 from an exterior of the channel 50. In other examples, the fiber optic cable 53 can be pulled through the channel 50.

[0086] The method may further include the step of coiling the fiber optic cable 53 against an interior portion 30 of the wall 24 of the drum 22. In certain examples, the fiber optic cable 53 is coiled beneath the fingers 86.

[0087] The method can further include a step of connecting the drop cable 48 to the fiber optic cable 53 at cable connection 74.

[0088] The cable connection 74 can then be releasably secured to one of the anchor arrangements 72. If the connection ring 78 holding drop cable 48 has already been secured to the flange 60, then by connecting the drop cable 48 and fiber optic 53 together, the cable connection 74 is releasable secured to the flange 60.

[0089] The method may further include a step of orienting the cover 92, 92' over the base member 34, 34'. There may be a step of forming an environmental seal between and against the cover 92, 92' and the base member 34, 34' by compressing gasket 94 there between. The method can further include releasably fastening the cover 92, 92' to the base member 34, 34'.

[0090] Having described example aspects and implementations of the present disclosure, modifications and equivalence of the disclosed concepts may readily occur to one skilled in the art. Many embodiments can be made utilizing the principles of this disclosure. Parts List

10 network

11 central office

12 breakout locations

13 fiber distribution hubs (FDH)

14 drop terminals

15 end subscribers or end Users

20 cable spool assembly

22 drum

24 drum surrounding wall

26 cable

28 exterior portion

30 interior portion

32 interior volume

34 rectangular base member

34' round base member

35 fastener apertures

36 upper surface

38 lower surface

40 rib structure

42 outer periphery

44 first cable channel

46 opening

48 drop cable

50 second cable channel

52 cable

53 fiber optic cable

54 opening

56 remaining portion

58 ramped section - second cable channel

59 ramped section - first cable channel

60 flange

62 latch arrangement catch arrangement

plurality of latches

latch apertures

engaging end

anchor arrangement cable connection

through hole

connection ring

tab

outer rim

finger arrangement

fingers

boss or projecting protuberance fastener

rectangular cover

round cover

gasket

rim of cover

ribs

first connector

second connector