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2018

This Document Is Intended To Be Viewed In PDF Format

Engineered, Built and Supported in the U.S.A.

General Public Address


and Intercom System
Design Guidelines

REV 2018-1.24
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hyperlinks to additional detailed
information, click on hyperlinked
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© 2016-2018 Valcom, Inc. Roanoke, VA www.Valcom.com Check for Updates - https://goo.gl/ipnTz7 Page 1
Founded in 1977, Valcom is the largest manufacturer of integrated public-
address systems in the world and is the product of choice for thousands of
integrators and their customers worldwide. Our products are marketed
through established, local direct distributors and integrators. Valcom offers a
wide variety of products providing the best public-address/intercom systems
and emergency mass notification solutions for manufacturing/warehouse
facilities, schools, universities, airports, hospitals and for your facility as well.

Valcom has long capitalized on the many advantages of using low voltage
cabling and distributed amplification. Both our Self Amplified One Way
analog and VoIP IP based systems offer distinct advantages over previous
technologies.

Virtually all of our products are proudly manufactured in our state-of-the-art


facilities in Roanoke, Virginia, USA. Valcom’s Engineered Systems Division
specializes in large, sophisticated school intercom, and scalable Emergency
Mass Notification Solutions. Our clients include major universities,
government entities, medical and transportation facilities.

Our product offering is extremely comprehensive. We have regional product


experts available. They are eager to discuss a solution tailored to your
specific mass communication or school intercom requirements. We
encourage you to contact us today.

In addition to this document, we encourage you to request and review our


Best Practices and General Troubleshooting Procedures guide.

We strongly encourage you to check for document updates often by


following the update link found in the footer.

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Table of Contents
INTRODUCTION .................................................................................................................................5
REQUESTS FOR PROPOSAL (RFPS).....................................................................................................................................6

CONDUCT A SITE SURVEY ................................................................................................................................................7

DEFINE THE SCOPE OF WORK ...........................................................................................................................................8

HISTORIC DESIGNATIONS.................................................................................................................................................8

GETTING STARTED .............................................................................................................................9


TECHNOLOGY CHOICES ...................................................................................................................................................9

FULL IP INTERCOM .......................................................................................................................................................10

SPEAKER CHOICES ........................................................................................................................................................13

Special Application Speakers/Horns ...................................................................................................................15


High Fidelity Speakers ........................................................................................................................................15
DESIGN BY LOCATION ...................................................................................................................................................16

DETERMINING ZONING .................................................................................................................................................16

PLAN CABLING TO SUPPORT ZONING/GRANULARITY...........................................................................................................16

SYSTEM POWER ..........................................................................................................................................................16

FEEDBACK ELIMINATION................................................................................................................................................17

VALCOM SELF AMPLIFIED SPEAKER WIRE LENGTH ..............................................................................................................18

PLAN SYSTEM ACCESS...................................................................................................................................................21

MICROPHONE VS. TELEPHONE ACCESS .............................................................................................................................22

TELEPHONE SPEAKER UTILIZATION ..................................................................................................................................23

TYPICAL SYSTEM FEATURES ............................................................................................................................................23

CLOCK CHOICES ...........................................................................................................................................................24

SPEAKER AND CLOCK ACCESSORIES AND ENHANCEMENTS ....................................................................................................27

VISUAL PAGING ...........................................................................................................................................................28

RETROFIT SYSTEMS ......................................................................................................................................................29

REUSING EXISTING EQUIPMENT ......................................................................................................................................30

INTEGRATING WITH NON-VALCOM EQUIPMENT .................................................................................................................31

PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER ............................................................................................................................................31

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BASIC PRE-CALL CHECKLIST ...........................................................................................................................................32

SYSTEM DESIGN SOFTWARE ............................................................................................................. 33


COMMON VERTICAL MARKET FEATURES .......................................................................................... 34
K-12 SCHOOLS............................................................................................................................................................35

K-12 Specific Design Questionnaire ....................................................................................................................36


K-12 Specific Design Document ..........................................................................................................................36
HIGHER EDUCATION .....................................................................................................................................................37

GOVERNMENT/MILITARY ..............................................................................................................................................38

COMMERCIAL/INDUSTRIAL ............................................................................................................................................39

HEALTHCARE...............................................................................................................................................................40

RETAIL .......................................................................................................................................................................41

GLOSSARY OF INDUSTRY TERMS....................................................................................................... 43


LET’S NOT MAKE ASSUMPTIONS....................................................................................................... 60
DISCLAIMER ..................................................................................................................................... 67
WE’D LIKE TO HEAR FROM YOU!....................................................................................................... 67

When specifying authorities base designs upon old specs, they


perpetuate old solutions.

When specifying authorities are more interested in meeting or


exceeding the needs of a facility than specifying the exact equipment
to do so, we can offer the best solution 99% of the time.

Select the speaker and clock types and quantities for each area, select
the desired access method and features - then let us provide an
amazing solution!

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Introduction
Public-address systems became increasingly popular throughout the 20th century. The
industrial revolution led to large scale manufacturing facilities with hundreds, if not
thousands, of employees. Maintaining efficiency of such large-scale operations required
the ability to locate key individuals rapidly and communicate to the masses
instantaneously. The only logical solution was a facility wide speaker system.

From those early roots has grown an industry dedicated to internal communications.
Systems have evolved from the old fashioned centrally amplified, microphone actuated
public-address systems, to multimodal telephone-based systems that utilize integrated
circuits, microprocessors and data network connectivity.

Today’s internal communication systems are comprised of both primary and secondary
communication devices. Primary devices provide instantaneous communication that
requires no action on the part or the message recipients. Even today, primary alerting is
best accomplished with a facility wide speaker system.

Secondary communication devices require the user to take some action or to be prepared
to receive the message. Examples include social media, text messaging and e-mail.

Today, both primary and secondary communication systems can work in tandem.

Modern public-address systems are designed not only for general announcements, but
for emergency notification. They often feature both one-way and two-way communication
and supervision to insure their availability in crisis situations.

Under microprocessor control, modern public-address systems allow users to


dynamically choose message destinations and feature both live voice and prerecorded
audio capabilities.

Modern public-address systems save money and lives.

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Requests for Proposal (RFPs)
We will be pleased to review any published RFQs or RFPs associated with your
opportunities, however, it’s rare that these documents provide the device types and
counts required to provide a quote.

RFPs and RFQs are often crafted from bid specifications provided by manufacturers and
written around specific products. Manufacturers write their bid specifications in such a
way that only their products may be considered. These documents often require rarely,
or never used features and functions that are specific to one manufacturer.

Occasionally, RFPs and RFQs actually represent products on which an end user has
standardized. These often disallow substitution and may, if reissued without the benefit
of oversight, perpetuate the use of old technologies.

Too often, however, RFPs and RFQs are fabricated using cut and paste from various
manufacturers’ bid specifications and cannot be met line-by-line by anyone.

Many times, strict adherence to RFPs and RFQs can limit an End User’s options in
obtaining superior state-of-the-art solutions offering all of the features that they really
need.

In most cases, what’s truly important is meeting or exceeding the intent of the
specification.

We still see newly published RFPs and RFQs that were written in the 1950s. If no one
had ever worked to modernize these, we’d all be using rotary telephones, switch bank
manual intercoms and old fashioned central amplifiers.

Remember that RFPs simply indicate a need and are a starting point towards obtaining
the best solution to satisfy that need. Providing this solution is the best service that we
can provide to the End User.

Superior results are realized when you work proactively with specifying authorities and
End Users to educate them on the best solutions available. If your company simply
responds to published RFPs and RFQs, and those RFPs specify dated technology, then
we will offer a better solution using our innovative products. It is our task, together, to
work with specifying authorities to teach them why Valcom solutions are better. We have
a great deal of marketing collateral to support this fact and we will gladly participate in
webinars, conference calls, and, when practical, live demonstrations to decision makers.

We offer great solutions; therefore, we have had remarkable success with this strategy.

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As a manufacturer, our quotes are based upon customer provided material lists. If you
provide the information required to do so, we can assist in product selection.

Every facility has different requirements for their communication systems. There
is not a “one size fits all” solution. Remember that the solution that we suggest can
only be as accurate as the information that you provide.

This document will guide you to providing the information that we need to provide a
complete and accurate equipment list for your application.

Conduct a Site Survey


Whenever possible, conduct an on-site survey of the intended jobsite. An ideal time to
visit is when the site is in full operation so that you can gather accurate noise level and
activity data from the site.

Assumptions can be costly

Site surveys can provide crucial details that RFPs alone cannot. RFPs don’t typically
advise of costly accessibility challenges like asbestos laden ceilings, heavy room
furnishings that must be moved to complete work, requiring a rented scissor lift to mount
horns, or concrete walls through which infrastructure must be routed.

1) Are prescribed equipment mounting locations appropriately sized?


2) Are dedicated power receptacles of adequate capacity located in all equipment
mounting locations?
3) Will any existing equipment require removal or relocation?
4) Does the prevailing building/fire/electrical code require:
a. that abandoned cabling be removed or that new cable be in conduit?
b. fire/plenum ratings on backboxes, cable or other equipment?
c. that backboxes or other equipment to be tethered to the facility’s structure
(i.e. seismic strapping)?
5) If existing equipment will be reused, is the equipment in working condition?
a. Does the equipment offer suitable inputs and outputs for the required
integration?
b. If existing cabling will be reused, is it in good condition, of the correct
type/gauge/conductor count for use with the new system? Are cables easily
identifiable?
c. If existing speakers will be reused, are they the correct type, in good working
order and properly located?
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d. Are existing clocks keeping accurate time and compatible with the new
system?
e. Are existing amplifiers providing clear adequate sound?
f. Is existing rack space of the correct type, adequately sized and in a suitable
location?
g. Will existing data networks and data jack locations support new IP based
equipment?
6) Is the environment slated for the new equipment environmentally controlled and
protected from water leaks, building debris and tampering (as required)?
7) Are all work areas easily accessible?

Advise the owner of any observations and concerns in your proposal.

We’ve prepared a Site Survey Form to assist you in your site survey. It is available in both
Microsoft Word and PDF formats.

Define the Scope of Work


After you conduct the site survey, an important part of a project’s initial bid process is for
you and your client to formally document a detailed scope of work. Unstated customer
expectations can quickly lead to dissatisfaction and expensive cost overruns. Detail the
customer’s expectations and where your responsibility begins and ends. Don’t firmly
commit to reusing any existing infrastructure or equipment without a caveat of “if
compatible and in good condition”. Agree to a process of change orders should the
customer expand their expectations or if site conditions are not as described in the scope
and warrant additional charges.

Site access is closely related to defining the scope of work. Agree upon times when the
contracted work can be performed. Oftentimes, the best time to work is after a site’s
regular business hours, however, work related areas may be locked at these times. Pre-
negotiate unrestricted access to all areas involved in the scope. Having your technicians
wait for a security guard or custodian to open a locked room is never a profitable situation.

Historic Designations
Be aware that jobsites in areas designated as having historic or cultural significance may
be protected by laws or rules that regulate the types of improvements that may be made.
Be aware of any such regulations before making a proposal.

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Getting Started

Technology Choices
Before integrated circuit technology, all speaker systems used old fashioned central
amplifiers and heavy gauge shielded wire. While old fashioned central amplifiers are still
used today, a more common approach allows the use of small gauge UTP and self-
amplified or IP based technology.

Self-amplified or IP based technologies allow for easy installation, functional versatility,


large scale deployment, and remote maintenance. UTP based systems are always the
best choice for large, busy facilities since they inherently support many simultaneous
announcements and/or talkback intercom conversations.

Old fashioned centrally amplified systems are restricted to one broadcast per central
amplifier at any given time.

Self-amplified speakers feature a non-blocking, independently volume controlled,


matched amplifier per speaker. They connect to the audio source and a shared dc power
supply using UTP cabling.

IP speakers communicate over a properly configured network and offer all the benefits of
self-amplified technology plus more.

IP speakers connect and are powered via PoE network switch ports (one per IP speaker),
are independently addressable and feature virtual software-based volume adjustment
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and programming. IP speaker systems easily span multiple buildings, cities, states and
countries.

Talkback, or 2-way intercom capability, is an option with any style of speaker or horn.
Speakers or horns used as talkback intercom points are typically IP, 45-ohm or old
fashioned 25-volt speakers and are often accompanied by a separately mounted
pushbutton (call button). The button allows users to ring a telephone. Once the telephone
is answered, a bidirectional connection is established with the talkback intercom point.

45-ohm talkback speakers may or may not have built-in attenuation. It’s important to
choose models that are compatible with your intercom head end equipment. There is no
difference between the 25-volt speakers used for talkback or one-way audio. Their
functionality is determined by the system to which they are connected.

Talkback is an automatically switched, hands-free connection and does not require push-
to-talk. The talkback conversation is terminated when the telephone terminates the call.

Talkback intercom points are very common in classrooms, hospital operating rooms,
elevators, building entrances, medical examination rooms and car dealership mechanic
bays. Talkback capability works best in quiet areas and is designed for 1 or 2 speakers
per talkback circuit.

Full IP Intercom
Valcom IP Mass Notification/Intercom systems differ from analog wired systems in
numerous ways.

Hosting facility systems on a LAN/WAN provides many benefits, not the least of which -
long term cost savings. Managing multiple IP based systems typically requires fewer
personnel since most adjustments and diagnostics may be performed remotely. That
means less time lost driving to sites, fewer service vehicles required, less vehicle
insurance cost, less fuel cost, and more multitasking.

Unlike analog systems, Valcom IP Mass Notification/Intercom systems do not require a


central control system. They are hosted on the LAN/WAN, therefore the physical location
of endpoints and their proximity to each other is irrelevant. Also, unlike analog systems,
system size constraints are essentially non-existent. These systems are easily deployed
on a facility, enterprise and/or global scale.

Valcom’s server-less design means that if properly configured network connectivity exists
between endpoints, they will be able to communicate. This robust, redundant strategy
coupled with inherent supervision, explains why Valcom IP Mass Notification/Intercom
systems are utilized in some of the most vital facilities in the world.

A full complement of one way or intercom PoE speakers and horns are available to suit
any area. These speakers and horns connect as network endpoints and may be selected
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in any combination conceivable for announcements to a single area, multiple areas, or
everywhere. Access may be via single line POTS type telephones, FXO ports, loop start
C.O. line ports, loop start trunk ports, SIP, microphone or analog station ports (FXS)
featuring CPD (Calling Party Disconnect).

Visual notification devices, such as LED displays, may easily be incorporated into your
design to deliver messages to high noise areas, to benefit hearing impaired individuals,
or anywhere that visual alerting is desired.

Retrofit Gateways are available in 8 channel models. They are intended for upgrading
existing analog intercoms. Each channel provides an adjustable talkback audio feed to
either one 45-ohm (VE8045) or one old fashioned 25-volt (VE8025) intercom speaker.
Two of these channels are dual mode and feature a parallel line level output for direct
connection to an amplifier line level input or to self-amplified speakers. Additionally, one
normally open call button input is available per channel. An auxiliary input is provided for
local program material.

Input/Output Gateways allow users to launch messages from panic buttons or


automatically from 3rd party monitoring devices. They also provide switch outputs to
control electric door locks, lighting or any other facility system.

Audio gateways allow the introduction of music, microphone or other external audio
sources. They may also provide audio outputs to facilitate integration of existing legacy
analog paging systems, radio systems, etc.

Although the Valcom IP Mass Notification/Intercom systems feature a server-less design,


there are Application servers available to provide desirable features.

Telephone Paging Servers allow the broadcast of system announcements through the
speakers of many existing IP telephones. This simple addition adds audio coverage to
private offices and other areas that may not be close to a system speaker.

Application Servers may be added to provide scheduled tones, music, prerecorded or live
announcements. They also provide a graphical browser interface to launch messages or
monitor call status. Application servers feature the ability to monitor data feeds such as
syslog, RSS, ATOM or CAP feeds to automatically launch one or more messages to
speakers/horns, IP telephone speakers, text to LED signs, as well as screen pop ups on
PCs. All the messaging modes may be simultaneously initiated from a single user action.

Advanced Servers allow users to launch their own emergency announcements via CAP,
RSS and/or ATOM feeds. This allows the incorporation of any system capable of
responding to such feeds.

All servers have a high availability option.

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What’s the best solution?

There is no overall best solution. It depends on the requirements of any given site. Both
self-amplified and IP systems are widely deployed and used as a standard worldwide.

While full IP deployment offers the most versatility, it’s not uncommon to use IP gateways
and Application Servers for audio distribution between local wiring closets while using
analog self-amplified or talkback speakers and horns as the actual sound points.

This is all part of the many benefits of Valcom’s technologies. There are typically multiple
options to achieve the end user’s internal communication goals.

The choice of using VoIP or analog equipment for the main control and audio distribution
is dependent upon many factors:

a) The preference of the owner


b) The size of the system
c) The number of sites included in the system
a. If properly configured network connectivity exists between the Valcom IP
gateways and endpoints, they will work together. That’s a very strong
advantage of choosing an IP solution; you can have as many "main" and
"remote" sites as are necessary. Systems installed in different geographical
areas may all act as one. Unless a single site is providing specific services,
losing network connectivity to one site does not affect the others at all. For
this reason, IP is the best choice for large installations.
d) The feature set required
e) Initial budget
f) Desire for long term cost savings
g) Expertise of the installer
h) Expertise of the owner
a. Systems that will be maintained by a facility’s IT department are typically
full IP deployments.
b. Systems maintained by facilities management are typically full IP, analog or
a hybrid of both.

We will gladly assist you in choosing one or more options for your application.

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Speaker Choices
There are many speaker styles available.

Ceiling speakers spaced at no more than twice the mounting height are the best choice
for even sound coverage in interior areas. When following this rule, coverage per speaker
is simply the square of the spacing. For example, with 8 foot ceilings,
maximum spacing between speakers would be 16 feet and each would
cover 162 or 256 square feet. If working in meters, then the units simply
change to meters and meters2. Contact us if the ceilings are over 25
feet (7.6 meters) high or if the ambient noise level is over 76 dBspl.

In critical noisy areas, like airport gate areas, space ceiling speakers at [2 x (mounting
height – 4 feet)]. Or if using meters [2 x (mounting height – 1.2 meters)].

The first and last rows of ceiling speakers should begin at half the spacing distance from
adjacent walls.

Conveniently, our example used a room with perfect dimensions for the desired spacing.
In practice, this rarely happens. If the room dimensions are not ideal for the desired
spacing, simply adjust:

Desired spacing = 16 feet (16’)

Actual room dimensions 20’ x 30’

20’ ÷ 16’ = 1.25 speakers/row – round up to 2 speakers/row

30’ ÷ 16’ = 1.87 speakers/column – round up to 2 speakers/column

To determine the new spacing:

20’ ÷ 2 = 10’ spacing between speakers. ½ that distance starting from walls (5’)

30’ ÷ 2 = 15’ spacing between speakers. ½ that distance starting from walls (7.5’)

Wall speakers should only be used in small interior areas where there will only be a single
speaker, or if the use of ceiling speakers is not an option.

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Horns are typically reserved for use in exterior environments, harsh environments or
large, loud interior locations.

As a general rule, horns and speakers providing audio to an area should be installed such
that all sound is projected in the same direction.

Audio coverage by speakers and horns is a function of mounting height and the area’s
ambient acoustic characteristics and noise level. For non-reverberant areas, refer to the
recommended spacing chart below. Note that, for horns, the chart is based upon an 18
foot (5.5 meter) mounting height. Tips for reverberant areas may be found here.

Imperial units of measure

Speaker & Horn Placement Guide


Mounting Height x 2 = Quiet Moderate Noisy Very Noisy
50-65 dB 65-80 dB 80-90 dB 90 dB+
Ceiling Speaker
110’ 80’ 50’ 30’
Placement 5 Watt
(12,000 ft2) (6,400 ft2) (2,500 ft2) (900 ft2)
Horns

75’ 45’
Wall Speaker Placement 15 Watt - -
(5,600 ft2) (2,000 ft2)
Spaced 20’ Apart 60’
30 Watt - - -
(3,600 ft2)
(1 per 600 ft2)
Shows space between horns and coverage per horn

Metric units of measure

Metric Speaker & Horn Placement Guide


Mounting Height x 2 = Quiet Moderate Noisy Very Noisy
50-65 dB 65-80 dB 80-90 dB 90 dB+
Ceiling Speaker
34 m 25 m 15 m 9m
Placement 5 Watt
(1,115 m²) (595 m²) (232 m²) (84 m²)
Horns

23 m 14 m
15 Watt - -
Wall Speaker Placement (520 m²) (186 m²)
Spaced 6m Apart 18 m
30 Watt - - -
(1 per 56 m²) (334 m²)
Shows space between horns and coverage per horn

If your design will include analog speakers or horns mounted in locations that will be
difficult to access after installation, or includes areas with many speakers connected in
parallel, add convenient wall mount volume controls to make future adjustment easier.

Talkback, or 2-way intercom capability, is an option with any style of speaker or horn.
Speakers or horns used as talkback intercom points are typically IP, 45-ohm or old
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fashioned 25-volt speakers and are often accompanied by a separately mounted
pushbutton (call button). The button allows users to ring a telephone. Once the telephone
is answered, a bidirectional connection is established with the talkback intercom point.

45-ohm talkback speakers may or may not have built-in attenuation. It’s important to
choose models that are compatible with your intercom head end equipment. There is no
difference between the 25-volt speakers used for talkback or one-way audio. Their
functionality is determined by the system to which they are connected.

Talkback is an automatically switched, hands-free connection and does not require push-
to-talk. The talkback conversation is terminated when the telephone terminates the call.

Talkback intercom points are very common in classrooms, hospital operating rooms,
elevators, building entrances, medical examination rooms and car dealership mechanic
bays. Talkback capability works best in quiet areas and is designed for 1 or 2 speakers
per talkback circuit.

Robust versions of talkback intercom points, known as emergency call stations or help
points, are available in many forms and include one or more call buttons. These are
commonly used in parking garages, parking lots and any public space where immediate
assistance might be required.

There are many options for emergency help points such as integrated cameras, strobes
and light beacons for easy identification.

Special Application Speakers/Horns


Valcom offers speaker and horns for specialty areas such as cleanrooms and potentially
explosive environments such a petroleum refineries and grain elevators. If your
application includes areas with unique requirements, give us a call to discuss the best
solution.

High Fidelity Speakers


Valcom interior speakers are commonly used for background music. If your application
requires higher fidelity (retail, lobby areas, etc.) then you may wish to select our Signature
Series speakers which are designed to provide higher fidelity audio.

V-1420 High-Fidelity Signature Series Ceiling Speaker


V-1422/V-1422-EC High-Fidelity Signature Series Lay-in Ceiling Speaker
V-1440 High-Fidelity Signature Series Monitor Speaker
V-1450 High-Fidelity Signature Series In-Wall Speaker

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Design by Location
When designing a public-address or intercom system for larger facilities, separate the
facility into logical subdivisions by floor and/or by function. Plan dedicated cabling and
other support products such as power supplies and network switches for each
subdivision.

Doing so will facilitate future maintenance and will logically support zoning.

Determining Zoning
A paging zone is simply a combination of speakers and horns that will receive
announcements simultaneously. Zoning is usually dictated by area functions and
commonality. Usually whole floors of multi-story facilities are considered a zone with sub
zones further dividing the floor. In other words, a zone is an area or areas into which you’d
like to be able to direct area specific announcements.

K-12 schools (Kindergarten through 12th grade) are by far the most granulized facilities
with each classroom being a zone (called a station since it will feature talkback capability),
each grade level being a zone, each floor being a zone, etc.

Properly configured individual zones can always be combined into larger groups, like all
call, in system programming.

There is no practical limit to the number of stations or zones in a modern public-


address/intercom system.

Plan Cabling to Support Zoning/Granularity


When planning the cabling for speakers/horns in a facility, connecting them all on one
looped cable pull (even if feasible) limits you to one zone of audio. All audio will go to all
speakers due to the common cabling. Conversely, if you connect each speaker on its own
cable all the way back to the main equipment, then the speakers/horns may be easily
configured in any future combination desired. In most installations, a wiring plan between
these 2 extremes is best. Loop speakers in common areas (multiple hallways, restrooms,
etc.) that will always receive common general announcements. Use dedicated cables for
speakers in areas that will likely require area specific audio or omission from general
announcements (classrooms, boardrooms, each floor, lobby, etc.)

System Power
Valcom Self Amplified Speakers and some Valcom Controllers are rated in Valcom Power
Units (VPU). Products that require power have a negative VPU rating and products that
provide power (power supplies and some controllers) have a positive VPU rating. The
resulting sum of the VPUs between power supplies and the products that they are
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powering must simply be => zero. It’s simple addition and subtraction, no complex power
formulas are required. Power supplies are independent of speaker zones, so one supply
can power speakers in many zones. VoIP speakers are PoE powered and do not require
separate power supplies. Refer to the published network requirements. In order to
minimize wiring cost and facilitate troubleshooting, it’s best to locate PoE switches and
power supplies in IDF closets within each speaker area.

Feedback Elimination
When a live page is broadcast in the same area from which it is initiated, acoustic
feedback can be an issue. Digital feedback eliminators and Application Servers record
announcements and delay their broadcast until the initiating telephone or microphone is
idle. Therefore, there can be no feedback. Valcom’s Feedback Eliminators and
Application Servers also allow page stacking so that multiple announcements can be
recorded, queued and broadcast sequentially.

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Valcom Self Amplified Speaker Wire Length
Valcom Self Amplified Speakers are connected with UTP cabling. There is a pair of wires
for the audio, and a pair of wires for -24VDC (-48VDC for 30W horns) that is used to
power the integrated amplifier. Speakers that will always receive the same audio can be
looped together with the “tip” side of all speakers connected to one wire in a twisted pair
and the “ring” side of all speakers connected to the other wire in the same twisted pair.
As with anything, there are some guidelines for how many speakers can be looped
together. This is based upon the wire size and the distance of the loop.

Power Pair Wire Run Click for info on Twisting Pairs


Number of Speakers/Horns Per Power Run Power Run Wire Length in Feet (meters)
15/30
1 VPU* 4 VPU* Flex 5 Watt 24 22 20 18
Watt
Speakers Speakers Horns Horns AWG AWG AWG AWG
Horns
1000’ 1600’ 2500’ 4000’
4 1 - - -
(304 m) (487 m) (762 m) (1219 m)
500’ 800’ 1280’ 2025’
7 2 1 1 -
(152 m) (243 m) (390 m) (617 m)
250’ 400’ 640’ 1010’
15 4 2 2 -
(76 m) (122 m) (195 m) (308 m)
125’ 200’ 320’ 500’
30 8 4 4 1
(38 m) (61 m) (98 m) (152 m)
*VPU = Valcom Power Unit

Interestingly, unlike amplifiers, a single power supply may be used to power different
loops of speakers, even if they are connected to different audio outputs.

In both IP and analog systems, in areas where analog speakers or clocks will be used, a
distribution frame should be established to centralize components common to those devices.
This may include power supplies, amplifiers, line level audio distribution points, etc.

Speakers that will always receive the same audio may be looped (connected in parallel).

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Talkback intercom speakers and single speaker zones are typically home run (use a dedicated
cable).

Be certain to observe any published wire length or maximum speakers per output guidelines.

In a purely analog design, Individual area distribution frames will all connect to a main
distribution frame. The Main Distribution Frame is where all audio and clock correction will
originate.

Power supplies, amplifiers and other analog support peripherals for each area are located in,
and distributed from, the local distribution frame.

This practice facilitates troubleshooting and reduces maintenance and cabling cost.

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In systems that utilize IP audio distribution, a Main Distribution Frame is not typically required.
All audio is distributed over the network, converted to an analog format and distributed from the
local distribution frame.

Power supplies, amplifiers and other analog support peripherals for each area are located in,
and also distributed from, the local distribution frame.

This practice facilitates troubleshooting and reduces maintenance and cabling cost.

Note: With full IP solutions (not shown), there are no power supplies or amplifiers. With full IP
systems, every speaker, horn, clock, and gateway simply connects to a properly configured
network. These devices are powered by the network switch (PoE). There are no distance
limitations or system size constraints for full IP solutions.

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Plan System Access
There are no realistic limits for access paths and number of users in a modern Public-
address/Emergency Notification system.

Access is typically accomplished through a telephone system so that any telephone user
on-site (or off-site in some cases) can be granted access. Most often, one or more FXO
(loop start trunk) ports are allocated on the telephone system, connected to the Public-
address/Emergency Notification system, and programmed as a line pool (trunk group).
This line pool allows users to connect to Public-address/Emergency Notification system
via a trunk access code or preprogrammed line key. Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) is
also a popular access method. In either case, the telephone system manages access.

You are never limited to only one access path. In a good design, you will have redundant
paths such as FXO ports on the telephone system + one or more stand-alone access
phones + microphone access, etc.

Determine who will use the system. For each user, what functions will they perform?

a) Make live voice announcements


a. Through a telephone system?
i. Through one or more FXO (loop start trunk) ports?
ii. Through one or more FXS (analog station) ports?
iii. Via Session Initiation Protocol (SIP)?
b. Through a microphone?
1. PC based microphone?
2. Desktop microphone?
b) Launch pre-recorded audio
a. Through pushbuttons?
b. Through a browser?
c. Through a hyperlink?

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Microphone vs. Telephone Access
When adding dedicated page
telephones or microphones, there
are several things to consider.
Dedicated page telephones offer
the ability to dial select multiple
zones or groups in order to direct
your announcement to different
areas. They also support two-way
hands-free talkback
communication. Dedicated page
telephones are a great backup to systems that use a telephone system for primary
access. If the telephone system fails, the dedicated page telephones will still provide full
public-address/intercom system access.

Microphones are only suitable for one-way announcements.

USB microphones, when used with an Application Server, may be used to direct your
announcements to different areas.

Non-USB microphones are suitable for calling one area. They may be added to announce
to an entire facility or to a predefined section of the facility. They do not support talkback
intercom communication. One benefit of non-USB microphones is that they are easily
used by untrained individuals during crisis situations.

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Telephone Speaker Utilization
In most cases, facility telephone set speakers may be included in public-address system
broadcasts. This is a very cost effective way of supplementing audio coverage and
enhancing system effectiveness.

Typical System Features


a) Telephone paging
a. Multiple access paths. One per potential simultaneous voice page/intercom
call1. For each path:
i. You can use an FXO port from your phone system
ii. You can use a SIP identity from your VoIP phone system
iii. You can use a dedicated telephone
b) Scheduling
a. Shift change tones
b. Class change tones
c. Automated announcements
d. Music
c) WAV file storage and control
d) Clock synchronization control
e) Emergency messaging
f) Microphone access
g) Remote management

Additional advanced system features include:

a) Automatic door/gate control


b) Graphical “point and click” message delivery
c) Facebook™ posts
d) Twitter™ Posts
e) Website Posts
f) LED Sign messaging
g) Offsite access via telephone line
h) Speaker supervision
i) Text to Speech
j) Automatic Messaging from monitored CAP, RSS, ATOM feeds
k) IP Camera Integration
l) PSAP alerting/911 call alert
1
A single system can use any mix of access methods, SIP and FXO, SIP and dedicated
telephone, FXO and dedicated telephone, etc.

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Clock Choices
IP PoE Clocks Wired Clocks Wireless Clocks
It may seem odd to discuss clocks in a
document concerning public-address system
and intercom design, but it’s not odd at all.

Just as a properly designed public-address


system is essential for communicating with a
large number of people, a synchronized clock
system is essential for keeping those people
on schedule. Synchronized clocks are
multiple clocks that always display
corresponding time.

This is very important to coordinate the


activities of personnel and students. Without
a single time standard, people have no way
to know when it’s time to begin and end the
work day, attend meetings or, in the case of students, assemble for classes.

Many public-address systems offer the ability to synchronize clocks so that scheduled
audio may be broadcast when the clocks reach specified times. The use of shift or class
change tones along with synchronized clocks provides an audible notification for listeners
to keep on schedule. It’s very important that the audible notifications and clocks are
coordinated.

There are several clock correction methods that may be used:

Wireless

Wireless clock synchronization, as the name implies, is accomplished through radio


frequency transmission. The master clock or public-address system’s integrated master
clock constantly broadcasts the correct time.

A superior system will use frequency hopping technology to avoid interference and will
feature the ability for clocks to rebroadcast any valid time correction signals in order to
propagate the correction signal throughout the facility. Wireless clock systems that do not
include signal repeaters in each clock may require periodic renewal of a site FCC license
and expensive stand-alone signal repeaters.

Wireless correction is a very good choice for any facility and significantly reduces the cost
of wiring.
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Wired Clocks

Wired clocks may use old fashioned synchronous correction protocols or modern 2-wire
digital correction. New installations of wired clocks should always use modern 2-wire
digital correction as synchronous correction takes a significant amount of time to update
the clocks following time changes. 2-wire digital clock correction constantly provides
updated time information and corrects the clocks immediately when time changes or after
temporary facility power failures. 2-wire digital correction is maintenance free and uses a
single pair of Unshielded Twisted Pair wire.

Network Based/IP Clocks

Network based or IP clocks connect to a PoE network port. They are powered from, and
receive correction data from, the network switch. They obtain time from an NTP (Network
Time Protocol) server. These are a good choice for modern facilities that choose to
coordinate time between multiple networked systems with a maintenance free solution.
IP clock correction corrects the clocks quickly after time changes and, should facility
power temporarily fail, immediately upon restoration of the network.

Non-IP Clock Power

Analog display wireless clocks are available with long life battery power or may be
powered with 24vdc over a single pair of Unshielded Twisted Pair wire. Wired digital and
analog display clocks are powered with 24vdc over UTP cable.

Display types

All analog display clocks are available in 16-inch (40.6 cm) and 12 inch (30.48 cm). Digital
display clocks are available with 2.5-inch (6.35 cm) or 4.0-inch (10.16 cm) digits. Digital
display clocks may have 4 digit displays for hours and minutes or 6 digit displays for
hours, minutes and seconds. 12-inch analog display or 2.5-inch digital display clocks work
well in offices, lobbies, break rooms and other small to mid-sized areas. 16-inch display
or 4.0-inch digital display clocks have high visibility and should be used in large rooms
and open common areas.

Analog display clocks are available with custom dials incorporating corporate logos or
other facility related graphics. Custom dials with 24-hour format and/or Arabic numerals
are also available. Clock/speaker combinations units, popular in classroom environments,
are available with digital or analog clocks.

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Mounting

All clocks are available in single sided wall mounted or double-sided wall/ceiling mounted
versions.

Time Base

The time displayed on the synchronized clocks will only be as accurate as the time
provided by the master clock or public-address integrated system master clock. All
modern systems use either NTP or receive time from GPS satellites; however, if there
are readily available public NTP servers in your region of the world, there is no need to
have both in one system as this simply adds unnecessary cost. Valcom offers a variety
of Master Clocks for use in any application. Contact us for details.

Spacing/wire length guidelines

16-inch (40.6 cm) clocks may be read from as far as 140 feet (43 meters)
12-inch (30.48 cm) clocks may be read from as far as 98 feet (30 meters)
2.5-inch (6.35 cm) clocks may be read from as far as 150 feet (45 meters)
4.0-inch (10.16 cm) clocks may be read from as far as 250 feet (76 meters)
Using 24 AWG UTP for 24V Clocks Click for info on Twisting Pairs

10 Clocks 15 Clocks 20 Clocks


1 Clock per 5 Clocks per
per Wire per Wire per Wire
Wire Run Wire Run
Run Run Run
Analog 3000’/914 m 1000’/304 m 600’/183 m 400’/121 m 300’/91 m
2.5-inch
1500’/457 m 500’/152 m 250’/76 m N/A N/A
Digital
4-inch
400’/121 m 100’/30 m N/A N/A N/A
Digital

Using 20 AWG UTP for 24V Clocks Click for info on Twisting Pairs

5 Clocks 10 Clocks 15 Clocks 20 Clocks


1 Clock per
per Wire per Wire per Wire per Wire
Wire Run
Run Run Run Run
Analog 7000’/2130 m 2500’/762 m 1400’/427 m 1000’/304 m 750’/229 m
2.5-inch
3900’/1189 m 1300’/396 m 700’/213 m N/A N/A
Digital
4-inch
900’/274 m 300’/91 m N/A N/A N/A
Digital

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Speaker and Clock Accessories and Enhancements
Suggested accessories for a system cannot be determined by speaker types and counts
alone. Details of the installation are also required. Some examples are listed below:

Product Installation Detail


Round ceiling speakers may require bridges and backboxes, bridges
Round without backboxes or support rings. In some cases, they may also require
Ceiling clock speaker baffles or square surface mount enclosures. We need to
Speaker know the type of surface and environment in/on which the speaker will be
installed to assist in accessory selection.
Lay in Lay in Speakers are designed to replace a ceiling tile. They are available in
Ceiling Imperial measurements 2’ x 2’ or metric measurements 600mm x 600mm
Speaker and do not require any accessories.
Horns may require protective wire cages (guards) if they are in areas
Horns
where damage from vandalism or unintentional ball strikes are possible.
Clocks may require protective wire cages (guards) if they are in areas
where damage from vandalism or unintentional ball strikes are possible.
Clocks
They may also require clock speaker baffles or 2-sided mounting brackets
in certain applications.

If you provide the required installation details, we will happily assist you in selecting
accessories and enhancements.

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Visual Paging
Visual paging is a great option for:

1) Extremely loud areas


2) Areas frequented by hearing impaired individuals
3) Quiet zones
4) Messages that must repeat for a given period of time

Visual paging or “visual message systems” enjoy maximum effectiveness when LED
signs are used in tandem with speakers or horns. Often flashers or strobes are added to
bring attention to the fact that a message is in progress. LED signs are available both with
and without integrated speakers. Note that IP LED signs require additional equipment
(VECPU6 or Application Server).

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Retrofit Systems
It’s not uncommon for customers, especially K-12 customers, to have interest in reusing
the speakers, cabling, call buttons and clocks from their antiquated intercom/public-
address system. If this is the case, we’ll need to know:

1) The type(s) of speakers that will be reused


2) How the existing speakers and call buttons are wired
3) Quantities and tap settings of speakers in all areas
4) Clock Model Numbers, operating voltage and wiring configuration (# of wires)

Retrofits are easily accomplished using either analog or IP technology. Be aware,


however, that if the existing speakers, cabling, call buttons or clocks are not in good
operational condition, then the resulting retrofit system’s performance will suffer.

Request and review our Best Practices and General Troubleshooting Procedures for
information on assessing existing cabling. An Impedance Meter, also described in this
document, may be used to determine the wattage load of existing common area
speakers. This information is required to choose amplifiers.

Since retrofits use both new and existing equipment, it’s important that you and your
customer discuss, and agree upon, your scope of work upfront.

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Reusing Existing Equipment
It’s not unusual for new equipment to be interfaced with previously installed, sometimes
rather dated, equipment. Contractually defining your scope of work for the newly installed
equipment and documenting where your responsibility begins and ends is very important.

There’s always a reason why end users contract new equipment upgrades or
replacement, it’s typically because the old equipment is no longer performing
satisfactorily. However, by reutilizing parts of the old system, they potentially introduce
troubles to the new system.

1) The accuracy of failing electromechanical clocks with worn gears will not increase
because you’ve replaced the master clock.
2) Intermittent push buttons will still be intermittent when connected to new
equipment.
3) Sticking contacts from monitored equipment will still stick when connected to new
equipment.
4) Speakers with broken paper cones will not sound better when connected to new
amplifiers.
5) Intermittent cabling will still be intermittent when connected to new equipment.

The author recalls a site where relays from Valcom equipment were being utilized to
operate 40+ year old electromechanical door locks. These same locks provided a contact
closure when the door was unlocked or ajar. These contacts were connected to Valcom
equipment to provide indication that the door was unsecured.

Several of the doors would not unlock as designed. However, monitoring the relay outputs
of the Valcom equipment verified that the activation contact closures were indeed
operating as designed. Therefore, the locks were at fault. The scope of work was to
provide activation for the lock.

On this same site, several doors would intermittently indicate that they were unsecured
when they were actually closed and locked. By monitoring the inputs of the Valcom
equipment where the “door ajar” contacts were connected, it was obvious that the “door
ajar” contacts were sticking closed from time to time, thus causing the fault.

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Integrating with non-Valcom Equipment
If you plan to interface your new Valcom solution with non-Valcom equipment, you will
need to gather information concerning the desired interface. Depending upon the desired
interface, you will need to know one or both of the following.

1) What does the non-Valcom equipment require from the Valcom equipment?
2) What does the non-Valcom equipment provide to the Valcom equipment?

For audio interface, you will need to know:

1) output levels and impedances


2) input levels, sensitivities and impedances

For contact closure interface, you will need to know the contact voltage/current ratings
and operation.

For data interface, you will need details on the data format and any security credentials.

For voltage triggers, you will need to know the voltage type (ac/dc), level, and current
capacity.

Putting It All Together


With public-address/intercom systems, there are typically multiple ways to achieve the
desired end result. For very simple paging systems - typical small to medium sized office/
manufacturing areas, car dealerships or medical/dental offices, Valcom offers the “Easy
as 1-2-3” method of design.

For more complex opportunities, once you’ve selected the features you’ll need, the
number and type of clocks, speakers, horns and zones/stations you’ll need per area, a
quick call to Valcom will result in a suggested equipment list for your job. Note that the
accuracy of the suggested equipment list will only be as accurate and thorough as the
information that you provide.

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Basic Pre-Call Checklist
Are you comfortable with your understanding of how the system will be utilized?

Do you have specific information of the capabilities, Input/Outputs, tap settings of


speakers, capacity of amplifiers, etc. of any existing equipment that will be reutilized?

Have you determined an adequate zoning plan so that announcements can be


broadcast/displayed to target audiences without disrupting everyone?

Have you determined how you’d like to deploy announcements? Speakers/Horns,


Computer pop up alerts, LED signs, etc.

Have you given thought to the type of system you’d like? IP, analog, both

Have you determined the number and type of speakers, horns, clocks and LED signs
required on a per area basis? (Use the worksheet in our Site Survey Form)

Have you selected speaker/horn/clock/LED sign styles?

Do you know ceiling heights and type of ceiling for each area?

Do you know the potential mounting height for ceiling speakers in each area? This may
or may not be the same as the ceiling height.

If areas have drop ceiling, do you know the dimensions of the grid?

For round ceiling speakers, do you have requirements for mounting rings, speaker
bridges and/or backboxes?

For surface mounted speakers, do you have requirements for backboxes?

Have you identified wiring closets in each area to accommodate support products such
as power supplies and network gateways?

Have you gathered details for any non-Valcom equipment?

Have you determined how and from where the system will be accessed?

Do you have information on the available FXO ports and SIP capability of the host
phone system?

Have you determined how many users may be using the system simultaneously?

Have you determined an appropriate feature set for the facility?

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System Design Software

We offer free system design software to aid in designing large complex systems. The
software allows you choose equipment, speakers, enhancements and power supplies. It
supports defining equipment locations (MDF, IDF) that will serve specific facility areas
and, when used properly, results in a printable document featuring the complete
equipment list and a breakdown of equipment by location. Notes may be entered per area
to advise the installer of specific requirements such as the install location of clocks and
speakers.

The tool saves system designs and seamlessly supports inevitable design modifications.

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Common Vertical Market Features

As concern for crisis preparedness grows, K-12 and most other densely occupied facilities
often require both an emergency notification system and a bell/clock/intercom/public-
address system. A cost-effective approach is selecting an emergency notification system
that also offers all of the functions of a bell/clock/intercom/public-address system.

Benefits of this approach include:

1) Labor savings. Stand-alone emergency notification systems, even supervised


systems, must be tested periodically to verify operation. By utilizing the system
daily for intercom and general announcements, operational testing requires little or
no additional effort.
2) Significant cost saving:
a. Using speakers, visual messaging LED signs and core equipment for both
emergency notification and daily intercom/paging saves on equipment and
infrastructure costs
b. Installation cost to install one comprehensive system will be less than the
installation cost for 2 separate systems
3) One system results in less maintenance.
4) One system results in less training.
5) Daily use means that periodic refresher training is unnecessary.

What would it take to The incremental cost


The RFP is for an add some emergency now will be much less
intercom and notification features? than adding an
clock system.
emergency
notification system
later.

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K-12 Schools

K-12 educational facilities demand more of their intercom/public-address systems than


any other vertical market. They make extensive use of:

Grouping to target messages and bell tones to various grade levels

All call for general announcements

Scheduled tones for class changes

Feedback elimination

A system of synchronized clocks

Two-way hands-free talkback communication and call buttons per classroom

Automatic scheduled announcements

Other features of interest to K-12 facilities include:

Countdown (to next class period) clocks and clock correction

Control facility environmental systems

Lockdown and lockdown confirmation

Multi-Language systems

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Announcements over telephone speakers

Panic buttons

Retrofit systems that reuse existing speakers and cabling

Classroom sound reinforcement

Automatic music control for class change periods

District wide announcements

PSAP alerting/911 call alert

Parent/Staff/Student notifications via smartphone app

Staff/Student notifications via computer pop up alerts

District Wide Emergency Mass Notification

PC or Browser Based Administration

K-12 Specific Design Questionnaire

K-12 Specific Design Document

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Higher Education
General and emergency level zoned paging to provide information and locate
personnel

Emergency Mass Notification

Announcements over telephone speakers

A system of synchronized clocks for a single time standard

Dorm room panic buttons to alert campus police

Campus information system

Emergency IP cameras

Touchscreen incident management

Incident mapping

Incident reporting system

Parent/Staff/Student notifications via smartphone app

Staff/Student notifications via computer pop up alerts

PSAP alerting/911 call alert

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Government/Military
General and emergency level zoned paging to provide information and locate
personnel

Emergency Mass Notification

A system of synchronized clocks for a single time standard

Airport crash system/radio integration

Base wide communication

Announcements over telephone speakers

Speakers with integrated LED flashers for alerts

Visual message systems

Multi city/state systems

Secure eavesdrop-proof speakers for classified information areas/meeting rooms

Sound masking for privacy

Supervised/automatically monitored systems

Timed (scheduled) music

Staff/personnel notifications via smartphone app

Staff/personnel notifications via computer pop up alerts

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Commercial/Industrial
General and emergency level zoned paging to provide information and locate

personnel

Emergency Mass Notification

A system of synchronized clocks and shift change tones for a single time standard

Background music in lobby / common areas

Automated messaging from facility processes/machines

Automated announcements triggered from the fire alarm

Staff/personnel notifications via smartphone app

Staff/personnel notifications via computer pop up alerts

Loud ringing phone call notification over speakers and horns

Automatic volume adjustment for fluctuating ambient noise levels

OSHA compliance - Alert Tones (often required by OSHA)

Shift change tones/management

Acoustic feedback prevention

Queued announcement stacking

Loud ringer for incoming phone calls

Announcements over telephone speakers

Visual message systems

PSAP alerting/911 call alert

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Healthcare
General and emergency level zoned paging to provide information and locate
personnel

Emergency Mass Notification

A system of synchronized clocks for a single time standard

Background music in public areas

Two-way hands-free talkback intercom in operating rooms

Area of rescue assistance

Button launched pre-recorded coded announcements

6-digit countdown digital clocks used to time medical procedures

Digital signage for Information

Site wide lullaby to welcome new births

Spot sound masking for patient privacy (HIPPA compliance)

Visual message systems

Announcements over telephone speakers

Staff/personnel notifications via smartphone app

Staff/personnel notifications via computer pop up alerts

Acoustic feedback prevention

Queued announcement stacking

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Retail
General and emergency level zoned paging to provide information and locate
personnel

Emergency Mass Notification

Lost parent announcements

Background music in public areas

Area of rescue assistance

Button launched pre-recorded coded announcements

Digital signage for Information

Visual message systems

Staff/personnel notifications via smartphone app

Staff/personnel notifications via computer pop up alerts

Acoustic feedback prevention

Queued announcement stacking

Emergency Help Points in parking and public areas

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Transportation

General and emergency level zoned paging to provide information and locate
personnel

A system of synchronized clocks for a single time standard

Ruggedized help points/panic buttons at bus stops and train platforms

Access control with two-way hands-free talkback intercom

Staff/public notifications via smartphone app

Staff notifications via computer pop up alerts

Automatic emergency information/weather/terrorist act monitor

Emergency Mass Notification

Two-way hands-free talkback intercom to dock drivers/gates

Automated pre-recorded announcements

Visual message systems/Visual strobe notification

Acoustic feedback prevention

Queued announcement stacking

Background music in public areas

Scheduled and manual arrival/departure announcements

Announcements over telephone speakers

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Glossary of Industry Terms

110 Block systems, alert tones bring attention


to the impending message.
A terminal block used for the
compact interconnection of All Call
Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP)
A feature of a zone public-address
wiring. 110 blocks are superior for
system which allows the user to a
maintaining the integrity of the twist
dial a specific code and by doing
in UTP but require special tools for
so, access all the speakers
troubleshooting.
associated with that system. If the
66 Block zone public-address system
features a talkback capability, the
A terminal block used for the talkback signal is inhibited during
interconnection of UTP wiring. Also all call access.
known as a “punch down block” or
“split block”. Ambient Noise

Air Plenum Background noise in an area


measured in dBspl.
Air space above drop ceiling tiles
used for air return. Usually requires Amphenol
special wiring or conduit to meet
A 50-connection point conductor
local fire code specifications.
connector commonly used for
telephone equipment and
Alert Tone
overhead public-address systems.
Alert tone which may precede a
Amplifier
voice announcement from a paging
zone. Alert tones are used in An electronic device used to
talkback intercom systems to increase a signal’s power or
discourage unannounced amplitude.
monitoring of zones. In one-way

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Atom Feed Backbox

Atom Syndication Format (ATOM Speaker housing or enclosure


Feed) is an XML language used for designed to provide coverage for
web feeds. the rear of a ceiling speaker. This
Attenuation coverage may be required by local
building codes for air plenum type
Reduction in magnitude of any ceilings or may be used in other
electrical parameter of a signal, on type ceilings to protect the speaker
passing along any transmission from dust and debris accumulation.
path. In public-address systems, Commonly used in conjunction with
this is typically used to describe the a bridge.
reduction of audio level.
Bandwidth
Audible Frequency
The range of signal frequencies
Frequencies detected by the (Hertz) that a circuit or network will
human ear, usually between 20 effectively reproduce or pass.
and 20,000Hz.
Battery Backup
Automatic Gain
An alternate power source that is
A device for holding the output used in the event of a loss of a
volume of an audio source system’s primary power.
consistent despite variations in the
input signal. Battery Feed (BF)

Automatic Volume Control DC voltage present on POTS


(Antiblast Control) telephone lines used for signaling
and for powering plain old
An automatic potentiometer. This telephones.
device monitors the ambient noise
level and adjusts the audio output BGM
of public-address speakers or An abbreviation for Background
horns accordingly. (a.k.a. Music. BGM is subliminally
Automatic Volume Control). broadcast music within a facility.

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Bridge communication from the talkback
speaker location. The conversation
An optional hardware device is initiated when the recipient
utilized for ceiling speaker support. device answers the call.
It is generally placed in a drop type
ceiling so that the frame of the Calling Party Control (CPC)
bridge rest on the support grid
system thereby alleviating any A signal sent from a phone system,
stress to the ceiling tile. or a telephone service provider, to
the telephone subscriber's
Bridging Clips equipment to indicate that the
calling party has hung up. This is
Metallic clips used for connecting
the two halves of a split punch typically accomplished via an Open
down block. Loop Disconnect where the battery
feed voltage is momentarily
Browser Based Server removed from the trunk.
A network server that is accessed Central Office (C.O.)
via a web browser thus making it
accessible from any device The switching equipment that
capable of accessing websites.
provides local exchange telephone
Butt Set (Lineman’s Handset) service for a given geographical
area. The main distribution center
A self-contained test telephone for telephone service to a particular
primarily used for telephone area. In addition to basic telephone
installation troubleshooting. Used switching, C.O.s may also provide
to listen to audio signals and Centrex or Essx service and direct
provide telephone access to public- inward dial (DID) service.
address systems.
C.O. Line Port (Loop Start)
Call Button
A key system or PBX (PABX) C.O.
A momentary switch used with line circuit which can be used to
talkback speakers to notify a access most Valcom Page Control
recipient device (telephone) that a Interface Units. C.O. line ports
user is requesting two-way connect to dial tone sources.

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Centrally Amplified System critical warnings over data
networks. CAP allows a consistent
An old-fashioned type of public- warning message to be
address system which utilizes
central amplifiers. disseminated simultaneously over
many different warning systems,
Centrex (Hosted Telephone thus increasing warning
Service) effectiveness while simplifying the
warning task.
Service provided through the C.O.,
which provides the end user with
Common Battery
many or all of the features of a PBX
without the expense or upkeep of a
A system of supplying direct
private switch. The service is
purchased from the C.O. and current for the telephone set from
requires no “on premises” the C.O. (a.k.a. Talk Battery)
equipment.
Contact Closure
Closed Loop
A relay (electromechanical switch)
DC load applied across tip & ring or pushbutton, which provides a
which completes the circuit and short circuit upon activation.
allows loop current to flow. This Closures are used to activate
state indicates a request for service various features on page controls
from the control unit, station port or as well as to activate certain
central office. controllers during page port
access.
Combination Paging
Control Unit
A public-address system in which a
talkback capable page control unit With respect to analog public-
is used in conjunction with both address systems, a control unit
talkback and One-Way speakers. provides the interface to the
(a.k.a. mixed paging) telephone system and may also
provide various features.
Common Alert Protocol
CPC
The Common Alerting Protocol
(CAP) is a simple, general format See Calling Party Control
for sending emergency alerts and

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Cross-Connect dBspl

A connecting device facilitating the Sound pressures described in


termination of cables and their terms of dB (decibels)
interconnection, and/or cross Dial Tone
connection, typically by means of a
patch cord or jumper. The tone that is heard by the caller
when a multi-zone page control is
Cross Connection first accessed.
(Interconnect)
Dispersion Angle
Methods of using cross-connect (either
with or without a patch cord or jumper). With regard to speakers and horns,
this is the entire angle off axis at
Crosstalk which the sound pressure
diminished by 6 dBspl.
An undesired voice-band audio
transfer from one circuit or Dynamic Host Configuration
conductor to another (usually Protocol (DHCP)
adjacent).
DHCP allows network endpoints to
Daisy Chaining Cable dynamically request an IP address
when they are starting up. With
Wiring multiple devices on one DHCP, if an endpoint is moved
continuous looped wire run. from place to place, it will be
Compare: Home Run assigned a new address in each
location. When relying upon
dB (Decibel) DHCP, it’s important to provide
battery backup for the DHCP
The decibel (dB) is a logarithmic server and any switches and
unit used to express the ratio of two routers so that network endpoints
values of a physical quantity, do not self-assign a static address
often power or intensity. One of following power failures.
these values is often a standard
reference value, in which case the Distributed Self-Amplified
decibel is used to express System
the level of the other value relative
to this reference. The modern way to integrate
analog public-address
announcements with a telephone

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system in which each speaker has network connected equipment. In
a built-in amplifier and volume general, the term endpoint is used
control, (a.k.a. the Valcom to describe devices that provide
System). Compare: Centrally
information to users without any
Amplified System
interaction on the user’s part
Dry Contact Closure (speakers, horns, LED signs)
where gateway is the term used to
A switchable set of contacts with no interface to support equipment
potential difference between them (audio sources, telephones, relays,
or to any other reference point. etc.)
Dual-Tone Multi-Frequency Equalizer (EQ)
(DTMF)
A device that modifies an audio
Use of two simultaneous voice signal through the use of multiple
band tones for signaling or dialing adjustable filters.
on a telephone keypad.
Explosion-Proof
Eavesdropping
Explosion-proof equipment is
The act of monitoring an area designed such that, should ignition
without knowledge or consent of of an explosive gas occur within the
the occupants. device, the device will contain the
explosion.
Ethernet Distribution Point
(EDP) Extension Port
A physical location where Ethernet A port on a telephone system that
distributed audio is returned to an is intended for connection to a
analog signal. system telephone or station level
paging adapters. See Station Port.
Electric Strike plate
Federal Communications
An electro-mechanical door lock.
Commission (FCC)
Endpoint
A U.S. government agency that
In Valcom VoIP systems, the terms regulates/monitors the domestic
use of electromagnetic spectrum
endpoint and gateway are used to for communications.
describe the actual Valcom
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Feedback amplifies a specified audible range
with equal amplitude or intensity.
The process of returning a fraction
of the output energy of an energy FXO Port
converting device to the input. The
circuit that transmits the feedback Foreign Exchange Office - See
signal to the input is the beta circuit; C.O. Line Port
the circuit containing the active
device, which generates the output FXS Port
signal, is the mu circuit. In audio
amplification systems, feedback Foreign Exchange Subscriber - see
results in an undesirable system also Extension Port, Station Port
wide squeal.
Gateway
Feedback Elimination
In Valcom VoIP systems, the terms
A method of digitally delaying live endpoint and gateway are used to
PA system announcements until describe the actual Valcom
the originating device is returned to network connected equipment. In
an idle state. This breaks the general, the term endpoint is used
feedback loop by delaying the to describe devices that provide
announcement. information to users without any
interaction on the user’s part
Frequency (speakers, horns, LED signs)
where gateway is the term used to
The rate in hertz (cycles per interface to support equipment
second) at which a signal pattern is (audio sources, telephones, relays,
repeated. etc.)

Frequency Response Graphical User Interface (GUI)

A measure of the effectiveness A visually displayed method of


with which a circuit, device or allowing users to control a system
system transmits the different or systems.
frequencies applied to it. The way
in which an electronic device (mic, Granularity
amp or speaker) responds to
signals having a varying frequency. The extent to which a system can
This is a measurement of how well be subdivided. In analog systems
an amplifier reproduces and this is dictated by the number of

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audio outputs of the control Head End Equipment
equipment and the system cabling.
The portion of a public-address or
Ground telephone installation at which all of
the system components originate.
An electrical connection to the
earth or to a common conductor Hertz (Hz)
which is at a reference potential
that serves as a reference point for A unit of measurement used to
all other potentials in the circuit. indicate the frequency of sound or
an electrical waveform.
Ground Start
Home Run
With ground start signaling, a
telephone immediately upon Providing a dedicated wire pair to
entering an off-hook state, each speaker in a PA system.
requests service from the C.O. by Compare: Daisy Chaining Cable.
applying a ground to the ring lead
of the tip and ring pair. The C.O.
responds and indicates reparation Hosted PBX
to receive digits, by placing a
ground on the tip lead of the tip and A VoIP based telephone system
ring pair. with no “on premise” telephone
switch. Hosted PBXs are operated
Group and maintained by a Voice-over-IP
(VoIP) service provider.
A combination of zones or LED
signs within a multi-zone public- Impedance
address system used to direct
announcements to a target A measure of the response of an
audience without disrupting other electric circuit to an alternating
areas. current. The current is opposed by
the capacitance and inductance of
Half-Duplex the circuit in addition to the
resistance.
A circuit that carries information in
both directions, but only in one Inhibit
direction at a time.
A feature on certain page controls
which cancels or inhibits the public-
address speaker audio whenever

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two phones are off-hook on the ignition in an explosive
page control’s tip and ring. This environment. In general terms,
feature is activated when each of intrinsically safe equipment
the telephones provided an “A consumes <= 300 mA from a <=
lead” ground to 10k resistors which 29-volt source. A simpler view is to
are common to the inhibit terminal. say that power must be less than
1.3 W.

Insertion Loss I/O

Insertion loss is the ratio of output A system input or output.


power to input power, expressed in Connection points where a system
dB, resulting from the insertion of a integrates with other equipment.
device in a transmission
line or optical fiber. A device that Line Level Audio
that produces 0.8 watt of power
A pre-amplified, industry specific,
when 1 watt of power is applied to
audio signal level. Usually
the input would have 0.968 dB
described in terms of dB or volts.
insertion loss.
Loop Start
Intermediate Distribution Frame
(IDF) The usual method of signaling an
off-hook or line seizure, where one
An extension of the main
end closes the loop and the
distribution frame (MDF). The IDF,
resulting current flow is detected by
usually at some distance from the
a switch at the other end. With loop
MDF, is the location where sub
start, the telephone upon entering
elements of the telephone
an off-hook state, draws loop
or public-address system are
current from the C.O. thereby
distributed to a particular area of an
signaling that service is being
installation.
requested.
Intrinsically Safe
Loss
Intrinsically safe equipment does
Undesired (typically) attenuation of
not have the potential to cause
a signal from any cause.

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Main Distribution Frame (MDF) or a peripheral common audible
ringing device. Night ringing
The location in a telephone or provides a signal, usually over the
public-address installation where public-address system, to indicate
all of the elements which comprise that a telephone line is in a ringing
state.
that system originate and/or
interface with the public telephone Noise
network.
Any undesired audio signal.
Meet Me Page
Non-Polarized
A feature where following a general
page, the paged party may dial a Not sensitive to the applied signal’s
code at an extension telephone polarity.
and by doing so, secure a private
talkpath to the paging party and NTP Server (Network Time
subsequently, free the page path Protocol Server)
for additional use.
A server, local or remote, that is
Multicast defined to provide time to other
In networking, a method of network endpoints and servers,
addressing Ethernet packets so NTP servers provide a single
that they are received by multiple enterprise-wide time standard for
network endpoints. Primarily used networked equipment.
as a method of bandwidth
conservation. Off-Hook
Multimodal Emergency Mass The condition that indicates the
Notification
active state of a customer
An emergency alerting system telephone circuit. This refers to the
capable of disseminating early days of telephony in which the
information in many modes like telephone receive was removed
voice, text, social media, email, etc. from an actual hook/switch in order
to place a call.
Night Ring (loud Ringing)

A feature which provide either by a


telephone system, a page control

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Off Premise Extension (OPX) Page Control Lead (PC)

A phone extension located in a An output terminal on select page


different building from common control units that is connected
internally through a N.O. relay to
equipment.
system ground. Whenever the
page control is accessed, the page
control terminal is switched to
One-Way Paging ground potential. This terminal is
useful for providing ground to
Public-address announcement external relays.
without the benefit of hearing
response from the paged area. Paging System
On-Hook See Public-address System
The state in which a telephone PABX or PBX
inactive. This refers to the early
days of telephony in which the A private (automatic) branch
telephone receive was returned to exchange is a telephone system
an actual hook/switch at the that provides telephone switching
conclusion of the call. services within business or private
establishment. PBX’s provide 2 or
Open Loop Disconnect 3-digit access from station to
station as well as many other
See Calling Party Control features. The telephone terminals
used with a PBX are generally of
Override Tip & Ring
the industry standard type.
This feature is usually accessed
Page Port
through a separate tip and ring
input and allows any audio input An audio output provided by a
from this tip and ring to override all telephone system. Usually the
other pages in progress. Override page port is accessed by dialing a
tip and ring does not necessarily code or selecting a dedicated line
provide automatic access to an all key.
call.
Parallel Connection
Line Pool
Connection of system elements
See Trunk Group (typically speakers or horns) such

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that like connection points are Power Over Ethernet (PoE)
common.
A method of powering network
Phantom Zone endpoints through the same cable
used to provide network traffic.
This term is used to describe a PoE eliminates the need for
“non-background music” zone separate power cabling and
output on a single zone page simplifies system installations.
control. Single zone page controls,
which provide a phantom zone, will Potentiometer
always have dual speaker outputs,
one with BGM and one without This is a variable resistor. A
BGM. movable sliding contact is used to
vary the potentiometer’s
Pinout resistance.

The physical pattern of connection Public-address System


points for a device.
A voice amplification system used
Plain Old Telephone Service to provide audible information
(POTS) throughout a facility or enterprise.

Single line residential rotary dial Relay


service. Quite often a 500 (rotary
desk) or 2500 (touch tone desk) An electromechanical device
telephone may be referred to as a comprised of a coil and various
“POTS telephone”. sets of contacts (determined by the
relay selected). When a voltage is
Port Mirroring
applied to the coil, a magnetic field
Also known as SPAN is induced around the coil. The
(Switched Port Analyzer), is a magnetic field attracts metallic,
method of monitoring network movable contacts and creates
traffic. With port mirroring enabled, either a closed contact or an open
the switch sends a copy of all
contact or various combinations.
network packets seen on
one port (or an entire VLAN) to Relay coils are rated in acceptable
another port, where the packet can levels of activation voltage and
be analyzed. current. Relay contacts are rated in
the maximum voltage and current
that they can switch. Often, low
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rated relays are used to actuate Ring
higher powered relays (a.k.a. slave
relays) in order to control power The alerting signal to the
intensive loads. Relay contacts that subscriber or terminal equipment.
Also, the name of the one
are open in an idle state (relay coil conductor of a telephone wire pair,
not energized) are referred to as designated by R. Also, One side of
Normally Open (N.O.). Relay a line level audio pair.
contacts that are connected
(shorted) in an idle state (relay coil Ring Cadence
not energized) are referred to as
The pattern of ringing a telephone
Normally Closed (N.C.).
terminal.
Repeat Alert Tone
Ring Voltage
A tone heard through a talkback
Voltage that is applied to a POTS
speaker every 15 seconds to
telephone or telephone system in
prevent eavesdropping.
order to signal an incoming
Remote Intermediate telephone call.
Distribution Frame (RIDF)
Ring back Tone (RBT)
A physical location where the In telephony, it is a progress tone
Ethernet extension of a Valcom heard by the calling party, which
Class Connection ES system’s indicates that signaling (ringing) is
ribbon cable terminates. A remote being provided to the called party.
VERCA or VECPU6-EXP card
Ringer
location.
A device that produces audible
Return Loss signaling in response to ring
voltage or contact closure.
Return loss is the amount of power,
expressed in dB that is reflected RSS Feed
back to a transmission source often
Really Simple Syndication Format
caused by an impedance (RSS Feed) is an XML language
mismatch. used for web feeds.

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Scalability Endpoints defined as SIP Stations
must periodically register with the
The ability for a system to increase phone system. Gateways defined
or decrease in proportion to a
facility’s needs. as SIP Trunks do not require
registration however; do require
Sensitivity route programming in the phone
system.
The level of audio signal into an
amplifier required to achieve rated Sound Reinforcement
amplifier output.
Amplification of a line of site
Series Connection speaker’s voice such as used in
auditoriums, classrooms and
Multiple circuit elements that are lectures halls.
connected so that the same current Stand Alone System
flows through each of them.
A system that does not require the
Side Tone support of subsequent system(s).
The portion of the talker’s voice Splash Tone
which is fed back to his receiver
intended to discourage the talker A tone that immediately precedes a
from speaking too loudly or too voice announcement on hands-
softly. free talkback systems (prevents
eavesdropping).
SIP (Session Initiation Protocol)
Station (Intercom)
Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) is
a communications protocol for A talkback speaker and call button
signaling and controlling combination allowing users to
communication sessions. SIP request assistance from the
telephones, Valcom IP speakers speaker location.
and many Valcom IP gateways
may be used with IP telephone Station Level Access
systems that support SIP.
Station Level Access is a way of
accessing public-address

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equipment via an incoming phone Switch
line or station port, rather than
through a KSU or PBX page port or A generic term for a KSU or PBX.
trunk port. Users must dial an In networking, a device which
extension number or telephone connects endpoints to the network.
number in order to execute a page.
Talk Battery
Station level access requires
appropriate disconnect signaling to DC voltage applied through a trunk
indicate that the origination used to power a POTS telephone.
telephone has returned to an idle
(on-hook) state. Talkback

Station Port A type of public-address system in


which individuals in the paged area
An output on a telephone system can respond through the public-
where a POTS telephone terminal address speakers of horns.
is connected. Talkback speakers are speakers
designed to be used with talkback
Strike plate
controllers and are typically 25-volt
See Electric Strike plate. or 45 ohms.

Subscriber Telephone Terminal

A telephone service customer. Another term for telephone.


Telephone terminals may be
Supervision (speaker or system proprietary to a particular system or
supervision) may be designed to work with
many telephone systems.
This is an automatic method of
monitoring a public-address or Telephony
emergency mass notification
system and reporting potential Products and services related to
faults. Notification may be via e- the telephone industry.
mail, audible or visual alert or both.

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Time Clock Tone Trunk Port

A single tone broadcast through See C.O. Line Port.


the public-address system when a
Unicast
time clock controlled dry contact
closure is applied to an appropriate In networking, this is a method of
signaling device. addressing Ethernet packets so
that they are received by one
Tip network endpoint.

One conductor of a telephone wire UPS


pair, designated by T; usually the
Uninterruptible Power Supply. A
more positive of the two. One side system of providing system power
of a line level audio pair. should facility ac power fail.

Tip & Ring UTP

The terms used to identify single Unshielded twisted pair cabling.


pair telephone station wiring. The Often referred to as CAT 3/5/6.
tip conductor usually has a positive UTP offers many advantages over
other types of infrastructure.
potential with respect to the ring
conductor. In analog public- Valcom Power Unit (VPU)
address systems, a line level audio
pair. One Valcom power unit is equal to
and defined as, 50mA @ negative
Trunk 24 volts dc. Valcom power units
were devised to aid in the
A transmission channel that determination of total system
connects two switching machines. power required when configuring a
Valcom public-address system.
In telephony a trunk is a POTS
The use of negative voltage is a
telephone line. nod to the world of telephony which
also uses negative voltage.
Trunk Group Negative and positive voltages are
equally effective and simply use
Two or more trunk ports that different reference points. Valcom
serving the same special purpose products are rarely polarity
for inbound or outbound calls. sensitive.

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Voice-grade Line standard for storing an audio bit
stream on PCs. WAV files are
A local loop or trunk, having a recorded in various bitrates and
bandpass of approximately 300 – formats.
3,000Hz.
XLR Connector
Voice Operated Switching (VOX)
A connector usually utilized for the
Provides the ability to activate a connection of a microphone to its
device simply by the presence of a associated cable. The pin count of
specific level of audio signal. an XLR connector may vary from
three to seven pins.
VoIP (Voice Over IP)
Zone
A modern-day approach to
distributing audio via a data One or more speakers or horns,
network. VoIP systems have many typically sharing common wiring,
advantages over analog systems that always receive the same
and provide long term cost saving audio.
and inherent supervision.

Voltage

A measure of the electrical force


that causes current flow in a circuit.

VSP

Valcom System Practice. Term


used for some Valcom installation
manuals.

WAV File

Waveform Audio File (WAV) is a


Microsoft & IBM audio file format

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Let’s Not Make Assumptions

We want to provide you with an accurate equipment list and design.

With minimal information, we have to make assumptions. Assumptions can cost you
money. For example, it you only tell us that you need a 4 zone IP based system with 3
horns and 6 wall speakers, look at 3 possible designs that result.

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4 Zones with 3 horns and 6 wall speakers

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MDF Speakers MDF Speakers
MDF Speakers

Area A Area A
Area A

IDF 1 Speakers IDF 1 Speakers


IDF 1 Speakers

IDF 2 Speakers IDF 2 Speakers


IDF 2 Speakers

IDF 3 Speakers IDF 3 Speakers


IDF 3 Speakers

Area B Area B
Area B

IDF 4 Speakers IDF 4 Speakers


IDF 4 Speakers

IDF 5 Speakers IDF 5 Speakers


IDF 5 Speakers

IDF 6 Speakers IDF 6 Speakers


IDF 6 Speakers

Area C Area C
Area C

Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 3

When designing a public address/intercom system with limited information such as speaker & clock counts, speaker & clock
types and the total number of zones for each area, you have to make assumptions. Assuming that all of the control equipment
will be physically located in one location (MDF) will typically result in a less than ideal design.

The diagrams above represent designs with one zone, two zones and six zones respectively with all of the control equipment
located in the MDF. Determining the equipment lists for these would be very simple, however, since all speakers and clocks
are being powered from the MDF, your installation costs would increase due to the need for more, and often heavier gauge,
cabling.
MDF Speakers MDF Speakers MDF Speakers
Power Supplies Power Supplies Power Supplies

Area A Area A Area A

IDF 1 Speakers IDF 1 Speakers IDF 1 Speakers


Power Supplies Power Supplies Power Supplies

IDF 2 Speakers IDF 2 Speakers IDF 2 Speakers


Power Supplies Power Supplies Power Supplies

IDF 3 Speakers IDF 3 Speakers IDF 3 Speakers


Power Supplies Power Supplies Power Supplies

Area B Area B Area B

IDF 4 Speakers IDF 4 Speakers IDF 4 Speakers


Power Supplies Power Supplies Power Supplies

IDF 5 Speakers IDF 5 Speakers IDF 5 Speakers


Power Supplies Power Supplies Power Supplies

IDF 6 Speakers IDF 6 Speakers IDF 6 Speakers


Power Supplies Power Supplies Power Supplies

Area C Area C Area C

Figure 4 Figure 5 Figure 6

A better design would involve knowledge of each IDF’s required speaker & clock quantity, speaker & clock type and zone count.
This way, it’s possible to design so that control & support equipment may be selected on a “per IDF” basis.

This reduces cost by minimizing required cable gauge and the number of MDF distribution cables.

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VoIP VoIP
MDF Speakers MDF Speakers
LAN Adapter
Power Supplies LAN Adapter
Power Supplies

Area A Area A

Multi-zone Power Supplies


VoIP VoIP IDF 1 Zone 1 Speakers
IDF 1 Speakers Adapter
Adapter Power Supplies
Zone 2 Speakers
VoIP Speakers
IDF 2
LAN Adapter Power Supplies LAN Zone 1 Speakers
Multi-zone
VoIP Speakers VoIP IDF 2 Zone 2 Speakers
Adapter
IDF 3 Adapter
Power Supplies Power Supplies

Area B Area B

Multi-zone Power Supplies


VoIP VoIP IDF 1 Zone 1 Speakers
IDF 4 Speakers Adapter
Adapter Power Supplies
Zone 2 Speakers
VoIP Speakers
IDF 5
LAN Adapter Power Supplies LAN Zone 1 Speakers
Multi-zone
VoIP
IDF 6 Speakers VoIP IDF 2 Zone 2 Speakers
Adapter Adapter Power Supplies
Power Supplies

Area C Area C

Figure 7 Figure 8
Sometimes analog designs involve using Ethernet to distribute audio. This may be accomplished by using VERCA cards, VECPU6-
EXP cards, VoIP audio gateways, and/or IP speakers. If the design has only one zone per IDF, as shown in Figure 7, then we’ll
need to know how many IDFs will be involved, and the quantity and types of speakers & clocks that will be connected to each.

If the design involves multiple zones per IDF, as shown in Figure 8, then you will need to know how many IDFs will be involved, the
quantity and types of speakers that will be connected to each and how many zones each IDF will serve.

It’s common to have both single


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and VA www.Valcom.com
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design. Page 64
VoIP
IDF Speakers
LAN Adapter
Power Supplies

Area A

VoIP IDF 1 Speakers


Adapter Power Supplies

VoIP Speakers
IDF 2
LAN Adapter Power Supplies

VoIP Speakers
Adapter
IDF 3
Power Supplies

Area B

VoIP IDF 4 Speakers


Adapter Power Supplies

VoIP Speakers
IDF 5
LAN Adapter Power Supplies

VoIP Speakers
Adapter
IDF 6
Power Supplies

Area C

Figure 9

If a design is fully IP based, meaning every speaker and horn is an endpoint on the network, then you just need total speaker
counts per type. Full IP systems are, by far, the easiest type to design and implement.

If a design is IP based, but involves audio gateways to analog speakers, then the same questions will apply:

If the design has only one zone per IDF, as shown in Figure 9, then you need to know how many IDFs will be involved, and the
© 2016-2018 Valcom, Inc. Roanoke, VA www.Valcom.com Check for Updates - https://goo.gl/ipnTz7 Page 65
quantity and types of speakers that will be connected to each.
VoIP
IDF Speakers
LAN Adapter
Power Supplies

Area A

Multi-zone Power Supplies


VoIP IDF 1 Zone 1 Speakers
Adapter

Zone 2 Speakers
LAN Zone 1 Speakers
Multi-zone
VoIP IDF 2 Zone 2 Speakers
Adapter Power Supplies

Area B

Multi-zone Power Supplies


VoIP IDF 1 Zone 1 Speakers
Adapter

Zone 2 Speakers
LAN Zone 1 Speakers
Multi-zone
VoIP IDF 2 Zone 2 Speakers
Adapter Power Supplies

Area C

Figure 10

If the design involves multiple zones per IDF, as shown in Figure 10, then you simply need to know how many IDFs will be involved,
and the quantity and types of speakers that will be connected to each and how many zones each IDF will serve.

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Disclaimer

Note that any applicable standards by official regulatory agencies or ANSI/TIA/EIA/IEEE


should always be observed. In the case of conflicting information, these standards shall
prevail.

The suggestions provided may or may not be suitable for your intended application.
Please consider this information carefully before incorporating it into your system design.
Valcom disclaims any responsibility for accuracy or completeness.

Valcom is not responsible for the content found via hyperlinks within this document.
Content was evaluated and found appropriate and relevant at the time of publication.

This document supersedes all previous versions. Please check for updates at the
following URL - https://goo.gl/ipnTz7

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