Code Requirement for Inspection and Testing of ARC Systems
There are two main approval stages by the FDNY
- FDNY Approval for ARCS Installation & Commissioning:
After the construction and commissioning of the system on-site, the ARCS vendor – integrator will file – submit the required documentation (AS build drawings, cut sheets, ARCS ATR – Acceptance Test Reports) in hard copy and in electronic media form.
- Final FDNY ARCS Approval with LOA (Letter Of Approval)
After approval of the Install and the commissioning stage, FDNY representatives will set an inspection appointment and will come on-site to perform their final on-site inspection.Once the system is constructed and performs to their satisfaction, then the FDNY will release the LOA that provides the final confirmation for the property owner that his building is eligible for COO – Certificate of Occupancy.
One of the most important criteria for the FDNY in ARCS is that the entire system should be designed and implemented under the rule of TWO HOURS FIRE RATED. It doesn’t matter what type of the building it is, existing or new build of the structure.
The ARCS designer – planner must follow this rule from the stage of the preliminary design (sales – proposal) until the end of the construction phase of the project. The heart of the system – RAU must be installed in a 2 hours fire-rated designated room while all coax jumpers and cables must be 2 hours of fire-rated protected.
Any of the control and power cables between the RAU and the DRC must be 2 hours fire-rated protected.
Other FDNY criteria for the ARCS to pass any inspection are:
- DRC must be installed adjacent to the FACP in the building lobby area or FCC room if applicable.
- DRC must be installed adjacent to the FACP in the building lobby area or FCC room if applicable.
- All ARCS test stages must be executed by the ARCS integration company B03 (FDNY Certified ARCS personnel).
- During FDNY’s final inspection prior the providing LOA, the ARCS will be a subject to be tested by the FDNY inspectors in full or partial inspection according to FDNY’s ARCS test procedure.
ARCS Test Procedure
Dedicated Radio Console
- Console Testing – At a minimum, radio control console equipment must be tested to verify correct input and output signals and associated audio levels; Emergency Alert, ID information, display information (such as LEDs or alphanumeric display), overall fitness of the primary, and auxiliary power supply.
- Radio Console – Verify location and condition.
- Lamps and LEDs – Lamps and LEDs must be illuminated. Record result (i.e. functional, non-functional with LED description).
- Transmission and Audio Level Testing – The following testing procedure must be carried out for each of the radio channels within the ARC System:
- Select a radio channel for testing and lift the handset of the radio desk-set and depress the Push-to-Talk switch (PTT). Verify on a portable radio that Page 2 of 6 base-station/repeater is transmitting. After that, provide a five-count and determine if transmit audio can be heard on the portable radio, determine the Delivered Audio Quality (DAQ) and record level.
- Connect an audiometer to the line output of the radio desk-set. While transmitting, measure the audio level from the radio desk-set (console). Record the audio level (in dB).
- Depress the PTT on the portable radio. Verify on the radio desk-set that the transmitted audio is heard in the handset; determine the DAQ and record level.
- In the case of a simplex-type system, verify that the unit ID is displayed on the radio desk-set.
- Press the emergency button on the portable radio:
- In the case of a simplex-type system, verify that the emergency alert and corresponding unit ID is received and displayed on the radio desk-set.
- In the case of a repeater-type system, verify on a second portable radio that the emergency alert and corresponding unit ID is received and displayed.
- Place the handset back into its resting position (on-hook or hung up). Press the PTT on the portable radio. Check that audio is present on the speaker of the radio desk-set.
- Connect the audiometer to the line input of the radio desk-set. Measure the received audio from the base-station/repeater. Record the audio level (in dB).
- Perform a lamp/LED test on all components of the console where applicable.
- Repeat steps 1 – 8 for all radio channels associated with the ARC System.
Base-Station or Repeater Testing
- Power output
- Voltage Standing Wave Ratio (VSWR)
- Channel frequency
- Transmit and PL deviation
- With Continuous Tone Coded Squelch Signal (CTCSS) [where applicable]
- Without Continuous Tone Coded Squelch Signal (CTCSS) [where applicable]
- DC voltage under load
- For repeater-type ARC System, repeat for all radio channels
- Receive, measure and record the following receiver functions
- Receiver sensitivity at 12 dB SINAD (Signal + Noise and Distortion)
- Squelch release (µ volts)
- Audio output (to console) in dB under 1 kHz deviation 1 µ volt on frequency signal injected into the receiver
- For repeater-type ARC System, repeat for all radio channels.
ID and Emergency Alert Pass-Through Testing
In the case of repeater deployment for ARC System, it is necessary to test the pass-through of the Emergency Alert and Radio ID, and record the results:
- Radio ID:
- Place two portable radios designated Portable “A” and Portable “B” on the same repeater channel.
- PTT on portable radio A and verify that the proper ID is displayed on radio “B”.
- Reverse the process and PTT on radio “B” and verify that the proper ID is displayed on radio “A”.
- Emergency Alert:
- Press the Emergency Alert button on radio “A” and verify that the Emergency Alert activated radio “B”.
- Clear the Emergency Alert signal in all portable radios.
- Press the Emergency Alert button on Radio “B” and verify that the Emergency Alert activated radio “A”.
- Finally, record results.
- Repeat for all radio channels on repeaters.
System Performance Test for Repeater Systems
The test is performed to simultaneously transmit on the console to the portable one repeater channel while transmitting on a second portable radio to the console on the other repeater channel.
- The system must be operated with portable radios handsets simultaneously.
- Voice quality and clarity must be verified.
- As part of the system performance testing, audio testing from the console to the portable radio and audio testing from the portable radio to the console is necessary. The results must be recorded in DAQ and the reverse test should be performed.
Base-station/Repeater Failure Monitoring Testing
Functional testing for the base-station/repeater consists of the following tests:
Note: record all results.
Low Transmit Power
- Simulate low transmit power from the base-station/repeater
- Key the base-station/repeater
- Verify that the low transmit power alarm is activated
- Simulate over temperature at the base-station/repeater (a procedure dependent on manufacturer)
- Verify that the over-temperature alarm is activated
- Un-terminate the antenna from the base-station/repeater
- Key the base-station/repeater
- Verify that the high VSWR alarm is activated
Loss of primary power source
- Disconnect AC power or other primary power sources on the base station /repeater
- Verify that the AC power or primary power source alarm has been activated
Low Battery Capacity
- Disconnect battery from base-station/repeater
- Simulate a low battery capacity condition
- Verify that the low battery capacity alarm has been activated
- Simulate an antenna failure within the system
- Verify the antenna failure alarm has been activated
- Simulate a signal amplification failure
- Verify the signal amplification alarm has been activated
- Secure the base-station/repeater cabinet door (or other access panels)
- Verify that no tamper switch alarm is active
- Open the base-station/repeater cabinet door (or other access panels)
- Verify that the tamper switch alarm is active
Power Supplies Primary (Power) Supply Testing
All primary (main) power supplies must be disconnected and the occurrence of required trouble indication for loss of primary power must be verified.
- The system’s standby and alarm current demand must be measured or verified, and, using manufacturer’s data, the ability of batteries to meet standby and alarm requirements shall be verified.
- The system must be operated for a minimum of 15 minutes. The primary (main) power supply must be reconnected at the end of the test.
Secondary (Standby) Power Supply Testing
- All secondary (standby) power must be disconnected and tested under maximum load, including all active components requiring a simultaneous operation.
- All secondary (standby) power must be reconnected at the end of the test. For redundant power supplies, each power supply must be tested separately.
Engine-driven generator Testing
In qualifying buildings, if an engine-driven generator dedicated to the system is used as a required power source, operation of the generator must be verified under the NFPA 110, Standard for Emergency and Standby Power Systems, by the building owner.
Batteries (UPS – Uninterrupted Power Supply)
General – Batteries must be replaced under the recommendations of the equipment manufacturer or when the recharged battery voltage or current falls below the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Batteries must be inspected for corrosion or leakage. The tightness of connections shall be checked and ensured. If necessary, battery terminals or connections must be cleaned and coated. The electrolyte level in lead-acid batteries must be visually inspected.
Charger Test – The operation of the battery charger must be checked in accordance with the charger test for the specific type of battery.
Discharge Test – With the battery charger disconnected, the batteries must be load tested following the manufacturer’s recommendations. The voltage level must not fall below the levels specified. (Exception: An artificial load equal to the full system load connected to the battery must be permitted to be used in conducting this test.)
Load Voltage Test – With the battery charger disconnected, the terminal voltage must be measured while supplying the maximum load required by its application. The voltage level must not fall below the levels specified for the specific type of battery.
If the voltage falls below the level specified, corrective action must be taken and the batteries must be retested. (Exception: An artificial load equal to the full system load connected to the battery must be permitted to be used in conducting this test.)
Batteries – Specific
Primary battery load voltage test
The maximum load for a No. 6 primary battery must not be more than 2 amperes per cell. An individual (1.5 volts) cell must be replaced when a load of 1 ohm reduces the voltage below 1 volt. A 6 volt assembly shall be replaced when a test load of 4 ohms reduces the voltage below 4 volts.
Lead Acid type
- Charger Test – With the batteries fully charged and connected to the charger, the voltage across the batteries must be measured with a voltmeter. The voltage must be 2.30 volts per cell ±0.02 volts at 77°F (25°C) or as specified by the equipment manufacturer.
- Load voltage test – Under load, the battery must not fall below 2.05 volts per cell.
- Specific gravity – The specific gravity of the liquid in the pilot cell or all of the cells must be measured as required. The specific gravity must be within the range specified by the manufacturer.
Although the specified specific gravity varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, a range of 1.205-1.220 is typical for regular lead-acid batteries, while 1.240-1.260 is typical for high-performance batteries.
A hydrometer that shows only a pass or fail condition of the battery and does not indicate the specific gravity shall not be used, because such a reading does not give a true indication of the battery condition.
- Charger test – With the batteries fully charged and connected to the charger, an ampere meter shall be placed in series with the battery undercharge.The charging current must be in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations for the type of battery used. In the absence of specific information, 1/20 to 1/25 of the battery rating must be used.
- Load voltage test – Under load, the float voltage for the entire battery shall be 1.42 volts per cell, nominal. If possible, cells must be measured individually.
Sealed lead-acid type
- Charger test – With the batteries fully charged and connected to the charger, the voltage across the batteries must be measured with a voltmeter. The voltage shall be 2.30 volts per cell ±0.02 volts at 77°C (25°C) or as specified by the equipment manufacturer.
- Load voltage test – Under load, the battery must perform in accordance with the battery manufacturer’s specifications.
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