This is what the patch panel in the RF-container now looks like. It is half-filled, as we are only deploying 48 tiles as part of the initial HBA installation. A further 49 tiles could be put in place for a second phase. These would then go into the top part of the panel (so, positions 00 to 48 are left free). The reason why 49 pairs have been left is because one of the existing HBA tile positions is not part of the international station layout. Therefore, there will be 49 new positions. It is certainly easier to put in a new cable set than to move one.
The team did a pretty neat job — arguably the second neatest of all LOFAR stations (as no-one can beat Dave King's work, of course). ;-)
The cabling starts from the bottom to make the deployment easier. By leaving the top cables free, this will greatly aid the installation of the second phase. However, to avoid confusion, we have re-labelled the part of the back panel that has been used.
This will help the ASTRON engineers who will complete the next part of the installation, which is cabling from the back of the patch panel to the digital signal processing electronics.