Filler Panel Guidelines

Filler panels are used in a chassis to cover an unused card slot. Filler panels are always blank and have no cut-outs. Filler panels mount directly to the chassis card cage and have no mounting hardware for card mounting [like Front Panels]. The standard height is 3U, 6U, or 9U, and the standard width is from 1 to 21 slots for euro-card formats. A Filler Panels is used for a number of reasons;
1. A Filler panel fills the blank slot of a card cage [a slot with no card installed].
2. A Filler panel stops forced air from escaping out the front of the card cage [by closing the gap in the empty slot].
3. A Filler panel provides EMI protection from other components within the chassis [if the panel has EMI fingers].
Also refer to Slot Bypass Cards for air flow management and EMI protection [within an equipment chassis].
However a Slot-bypass card is a filler card and not a front panel.

Filler Panel Manufacturers

Dawn VME Products
{Filler Panels for VME, VME64x, cPCI, 1101.10}

Gompf Brackets
{ISA Face-plates}

Keystone Electronics Corp.
{PC Card Filler Panels, EISA/ISA, PCI}

Phillips Components,Inc
{VME Front Panels, PMC Bezel Panels, PCI Brackets}

Pixus Technologies
{Anodized Filler Panels for AdvancedTCA, cPCU, VME}

Equipment Rack Filler Panel Slot Types
Rack Filler Panel Slot Detail

A Filler panel stops forced air from escaping out the front of the card cage. A Slot Bypass Card goes one step further by forcing air to either card slot next to it, so the adjacent cards see more air flow. A Slot By-Pass card has a front panel to stop air from leaving out the front of the card cage and also has a metal component that replaces the missing card in the card cage. This moves air to either side of the slot, forcing it next to each adjacent card in the card cage.
A filler Panel make the chassis or card cage look professional, a slot by-pass card completes the design.

Of course filler panels can also perform other functions in addition to covering an empty card slot. Informational LEDs could be attached to the blank panels to provide status not shown on another card panel. The filler panel could have a connector attached to it allowing more I/O to route through the front of the chassis. Cable management hardware could be affixed to either the inside or front side of the panel to aid in cable routing, and so on.

Next Topic Chassis Handle Concerns within a chassis

How To Specify Equipment Chassis Requirements; Section Index

Editor note: the graphics show rack filler panels and not chassis or card cage blank panels. Blank Rack panels would of course be a related topic in equipment chassis design. Refer to the related topic of Equipment Chassis Rack Mounting

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