SpeakEZ Communications Resources
NPFA | www.nfpa.org
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is a global self-funded nonprofit organization, established in 1896, devoted to eliminating death, injury, property and economic loss due to fire, electrical and related hazards. NFPA delivers information and knowledge through more than 300 consensus codes and standards, research, training, education, outreach and advocacy; and by partnering with others who share an interest in furthering our mission. Our mission is to help save lives and reduce loss with information, knowledge and passion.
IFC 510 | www.iccsafe.org
The International Code Council is a nonprofit association that provides a wide range of building safety solutions including product evaluation, accreditation, certification, codification and training. It develops model codes and standards used worldwide to construct safe, sustainable, affordable and resilient structures.
Safer Buildings Coalition | www.saferbuildings.org
The Safer Buildings Coalition is an independent, non-profit organization focused on advancing policies, ideas and technologies that ensure comprehensive in-building communications capabilities for public safety personnel and the people they serve.
IWCE | www.iwceexpo.com
For over 40 years the International Wireless Communications Expo (IWCE) has been North America’s premier critical communications event. It is the one place where critical communication technology professionals gather to evaluate, learn and network with industry leaders.
APCO | www.apcointl.org
Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials-International was founded in 1935. It is the world’s oldest and largest organization of public safety communications professionals and supports the largest U.S. membership base of any public safety association.
BICSI | www.bicsi.org
BICSI is a global professional association supporting the advancement of the information and communications technology (ICT) community. We are headquartered in Tampa, Florida, USA, BICSI members span nearly 100 countries. BICSI offers Education and Training, Conferences and Events, Credentials and Certification Programs, Standards and Best Practices, Reference Manuals, and Community and Membership.
Radio Reference | www.radioreference.com
RadioReference.com is the world’s largest radio communications data provider, featuring a complete frequency database, trunked radio system information, and FCC license data. RadioReference is also the largest broadcaster of public safety live audio communications feeds, hosting thousands of live audio broadcasts of Police, Fire, EMS, Railroad, and aircraft communications.
Glossary of Terms
Annunciator – A centralized warning panel that uses a group of lights to indicate the status of the ERRCS equipment or system. Usually, the annunciator panel includes a main warning lamp to draw the attention of operating personnel to the annunciator panel for abnormal events or conditions.
BBU – Battery Backup Unit – An auxiliary power source for head-end communication equipment required for public safety systems (IFC and NPFA compliance) and optional for cellular systems
BDA – Bi-Directional Amplifier – Sometimes referred to as a repeater or head-end, BDAs boost wireless cellular signals and are commonly used as part of over-the-air DAS systems deployed in smaller venues
Broadcast Antenna – Sometimes referred to as the “inside antenna” or “serving antenna”, is responsible for delivering RF signal to the area needing enhanced coverage
BTS – Base Transceiver Station – A high power radio-frequency station deployed by carriers to provide the source signals in an in-building DAS or outdoor DAS
Coupler – A passive device used to sample high frequency signals. It takes one signal as the input and provides two outputs – One being the regular output and the other being the coupled output. Based on the required application, the power level of the coupled signal can be varied when designing the device.
DAS – Distributed Antenna System – DAS is a network of antennas designed to provide coverage (wireless signals) to an area with little or no otherwise coverage. This could be inside a building or a small defined geographic region.
DL – Downlink – Downlink describes the direction of traffic from BTS & DAS Head-Ends to a user’s handset or portable device
Donor Antenna – Receives the RF signals from the macro networks (outside, service networks) that will be re-broadcast indoors
ERRC – Emergency Responder Radio Coverage – Generally referred to as the level of first responder 2-way radio signal inside a building. Governing bodies usually follow the NFPA and/or IFC for establishing standards for their jurisdictions. Coverage is measured as signal strength using dB (Decibels) and/or DAQ (Delivered Audio Quality) values. NFPA and IFC codes require that 90%, or more, of the inside space must meet minimum signal levels to ensure reliable communications in an emergency situation.
ERRCS – Emergency Responder Radio Communication (Coverage) System – Also called a Public Safety Distributed Antenna System (DAS), is typically an in-building, first responder radio signal enhancement system. It functions by picking up the appropriate radio signals from an outdoor antenna and re-broadcasting them inside a building.
Macro Networks – A network that provides radio coverage via high power cell sites (tower, antenna or mast). Macro network antennas are mounted on ground-based masts, rooftops and other existing structures, at a height that provides a clear view over the surrounding buildings and terrain.
NF – Noise Figure – A figure used by RF engineers to determine the degradation in the signal-to-noise ratio in a wireless network, measured in decibels (dB). Lower NF values indicate a highly performing network. This is especially true for LTE
PIM – Passive Intermodulation – PIM occurs when passive components such as diplexers and couplers are used to channel multiple wireless signals. Lower PIM ratings indicate an overall high quality network. PIM is tested and measured in dBc (decibels relative to the carrier). Measurements below -150 dBc are considered low, although some carriers now require passive components to be rated in the -160 dBc range
RRU – Remote Radio Unit – A radio node deployed as part of an in-building DAS infrastructure. RRUs are usually connected with a main unit via fiber optic cable. Each DAS Head-End can support multiple RRUs depending on the installation type
SINR – Signal to Interference plus Noise Ratio – A ratio used by wireless RF engineers to determine the quality of a wireless network. It relates a particular transmitter antenna’s signal power to the total power received by all receiver antennas in the system with the noise in the system
Small Cell – A network of radio access nodes designed to increase the density of a wireless network. Enclosures are typically no larger than 17 cubic feet, with antennas no taller than 3 feet. Range is generally from 10 to several hundred meters.
Splitter – A passive network component which divides signal power to multiple broadcast antennas
UL – Uplink – Uplink describes the direction of communication from a user’s handset to a DAS Head-End or BTS