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Alarm Interface Controller Card

The Alarm Interface Controller (AIC-I) card is an optional circuit pack that is installed in shelf Slot 9. The faceplate of the card is marked with a red diamond, corresponding to the symbol marked on the front of the ONS 15454 shelf assembly. This serves as an aid in easily identifying the correct location to install the card. For MSPP sites where the AIC-I is not required, a BLANK/FILLER is required to maintain proper airflow through the system while operating without the front door, and also to allow the system to meet Network Equipment Building Standards (NEBS), electromagnetic interference (EMI) standards, and electrostatic discharge (ESD) standards.

When is the AIC-I card required? The card provides four main capabilities to the network operator:

  • Environmental alarm connection and monitoring
  • Embedded voice-communication channels, known as orderwires
  • A-Side and B-Side power supply input voltage monitoring
  • Access to embedded user data channels

You examine each of these major functions, as well as the associated card faceplate LEDs and cabling connectors, in this section. Figure 6-6 shows the faceplate layout of the AIC-I.

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Figure 6-6 AIC-I Card Faceplate Diagram

An earlier version of the Alarm Interface Controller is called the AIC (no -I). This older version provides a more limited environmental alarm-monitoring capacity and does not provide user data channel access or input voltage monitoring. Although they may be installed in some existing systems, Cisco no longer produces the AIC version.

Similarly to all ONS 15454 common control cards, the AIC-I has a FAIL LED and ACT LED on the upper part of the card faceplate, just below the top latch. The FAIL LED is red and indicates that the card's processor is not ready for operation. This LED is normally illuminated during a card reset, and it flashes during the card boot-up process. If the FAIL LED continues to be illuminated, this is an indication that the card hardware has experienced a failure and should be replaced. The ACT (Active) LED is green and illuminates to indicate that the card is in an operational state. Unlike the XC cards and TCC cards, the ACT LED does not have a standby (STBY) state because there is no secondary or back-up card to protect the active AIC-I card. If the card fails, the system can continue to operate normally, with the exception of the functionality provided by the AIC-I.

Environmental Alarms

Environmental alarms are associated with events that affect the operation of the system and are specific to the surrounding environment and external support systems at an MSPP node location. These alarms are usually provisioned and monitored at locations other than those staffed and maintained by a carrier (for example, a central office). This can include an end-user customer's telecom equipment room or an outside plant location, such as a controlled-environment vault (CEV) or concrete hut. Some examples of these alarms include power system performance degradation or failure, hazardous condition alarms (for example, smoke, heat, rising water, and so on), and intrusion alarms (for example, unauthorized entry into a secured area). The ONS 15454 can use the alarm-monitoring capability of the AIC-I to report alarms via the SONET overhead back to the network operations center for trouble resolution or dispatch of maintenance personnel. Figure 6-7 shows an example of this application. A pair of LEDs, labeled as INPUT and OUTPUT, are included on the card faceplate, and illuminate when any input alarm or output control are active.

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Figure 6-7 Environmental Alarms Reported Using AIC-I Card Interfaces

CTC enables the user to provision several parameters related to the operation of the environmental alarms, including an assigned severity (Critical, Major, Minor, or Not Reported), an alphanumeric alarm description, and the capability to set the alarm to be raised upon detection of an "open" or "closed" condition across the alarm contacts. The AIC-I card provides 12 alarm input connections and 4 additional connections that are provisionable as either inputs or outputs. An output is used to control operation of an external device, such as an alarm-indication lamp or a water pump. The backplane of the ONS 15454 chassis has 16 wire-wrap pin pairs for connection to the external equipment to be monitored or controlled. Figure 6-8 shows these connections.

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Figure 6-8 Backplane Environmental Alarm Connections

By using an additional piece of hardware, called the Alarm Expansion Panel (AEP), the AIC-I can actually be used to provide up to 32 alarm inputs and 16 outputs, for a total of 48 connections. The AEP is a connector panel that is wired to a subset of the environmental alarm wire-wrap pins and attached to the backplane. Cables can then be installed from the AEP to an external terminal strip for connecting alarm contacts to the system.

One interesting application that involves the use of both an environmental alarm and a control is referred to as a "virtual wire." A virtual wire enables the user to consider the activation of an incoming environmental alarm as triggering the activation of a control. Figure 6-9 encourages this: One such scenario is shown in Figure 6-9, where the activation of an alarm at the remote location of Node A causes a control to activate an audible alarm at the staffed location of Node B. A virtual wire is used to associate the alarm with the control activation.

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Figure 6-9 Virtual Wire Operation

Orderwires

Orderwires allow technicians to attach a phone to the faceplate of the AIC-I card and communicate with personnel at other ONS 15454 MSPP sites. The AIC-I provides two separate orderwires, known as local and express. These can be used simultaneously, if desired. The local orderwire uses the E1 byte in the Section overhead to provide a 64-kbps voice channel between section-terminating equipment, while the express orderwire uses the E2 byte in the Line overhead to provide a channel between line-terminating equipment. Both orderwires operate as broadcast channels, which means that they essentially behave as party lines. Anyone who connects to an orderwire channel can communicate with everyone else on the channel.

Phone sets are connected to the AIC-I using the two standard RJ-11 jacks marked LOW (Local Orderwire) and EOW (Express Orderwire). A green LED labeled RING is provided for each jack. The LED lights and a buzzer/ringer sounds when the orderwire channel detects an incoming call.

Power Supply Voltage Monitoring

The AIC-I monitors the A and B power supply connections to the ONS 15454 for the presence of voltage, under-voltage, and over-voltage. Two bicolor LEDs are provided on the AIC-I faceplate for visual indication of either normal (green) or out-of-range (red) power levels. These LEDs are marked as PWR A and PWR B, and are located on the upper portion of the faceplate between the FAIL and ACT LEDs. The TCC2 and TCC2P controller cards also monitor the A and B power supplies for the chassis, and will override this feature of the AIC-I if installed in the same shelf. The TCC2/TCC2P force the power monitor LEDs on the AIC-I faceplate to match the state of their power-monitor LEDs. Because the older TCC+ controller cards do not include the power-monitoring feature, this feature of the AIC-I is more useful when installed with them.

User Data Channels

Four point-to-point data communications channels are provided for possible network operator use by the AIC-I, with two user data channels (UDC-A and UDC-B) and two data communications channels (DCC-A and DCC-B). These channels enable networking between MSPP locations over embedded overhead channels that are otherwise typically unused. The two UDCs are accessed using a pair of RJ-11 faceplate connectors; the two DCCs use a pair of RJ-45 connectors.

The UDC-A and UDC-B channels use the F1 Section overhead byte to form a pair of 64-kbps data links, each of which can be routed to an individual optical interface for connection to another node site. The DCC-A and DCC-B use the D4-D12 line-overhead bytes to form a pair of 576-kbps data links, which are also individually routed to an optical interface.

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