When doing RESTORE DATABASE and RECOVER DATABASE using RMAN, you may find that RMAN automagically
a) CATALOGs files (BackupPieces and even ArchiveLogs) in the FRA, if you are using an FRA
b) Reads ArchiveLogs from the destination identified by log_archive_dest_1 if you use this instead of an FRA
Knowledge of this can also be used when you are restoring to another server where you haven't created an FRA. Copy/Restore your ArchiveLogs (using non-RMAN methods) to any alternate log_archive_dest directory, designate it as log_archive_dest_1 in the parameter file of the database you are creating (i.e. pretending to restore and recover on the new server) and let RMAN identify the files.
I had just posted an example of this in this forums thread.