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Turbine Configuration - AlphaCom mode

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AlphaCom Intercom System

This article describes the configuration required for a Turbine Station to operate with an ICX or AlphaCom server. The Turbine Stations are configured through their web interface. The server is configured using the PC tool AlphaPro.

Quick getting started guide

To make a Turbine station operational there are essentially four parameters to set in the station web interface. Log In to the station, go to Station Main > Main Settings, and:

  1. Set Station Mode = "Use AlphaCom"
  2. Configure the IP Settings (IP address) of the station
  3. Enter the AlphaCom IP-address
  4. Enter Station Directory Number


The Directory Number must also be defined in the AlphaCom Server using the AlphaPro configuration tool.

The station web interface

Note icon The menus and parameters displayed may vary depending on the Turbine station type (e.g. Compact, Industrial or Ex).


Station Main tab

Station Information

  • Log In to the station
  • The Station Information page will now be displayed, showing the IP station configuration and status.
The Station Information page


Main Settings

  • Click Station Main > Main Settings to access the page for configuring station mode and IP parameters.
AC-MainSettings.PNG


Station Mode: Select the Use Alphacom radio-button.

Product Model And Accessory: Depending on the type of Turbine hardware, there are different Product models and accessories to choose from. Find your model here: Turbine Station Models

Registration Settings:

  • AlphaCom IP-address: Enter the IP address of the AlphaCom server to which the IP station is to be registered
  • Directory Number: Enter the directory number of the station. This must match the directory number defined in the AlphaCom server
- If a directory number is not entered, the station will register with its MAC address. The MAC address is found on the Station Information page and needs to be entered in the AlphaCom server using the AlphaPro PC tool

IP Settings:

  • DHCP – Select this option if the IP station shall receive IP Settings from a DHCP server.
  • Static IP – Select this option if the IP station shall use a static IP address. Enter values for:
- IP-address
- Subnet-mask
- Gateway
- DNS Server 1 (option for network administration, not used in AlphaCom/ICX mode)
- DNS Server 2 (option for network administration, not used in AlphaCom/ICX mode)
- Hostname (option for network administration)
  • Read IP Address: Check the Read IP Address box to enable an unregistered station to speak the IP address when the call button is pressed. "Read IP Address" is default enabled.
  • Enable RSTP (for Industrial & Ex stations): Check the Enable RSTP box to enable RSTP. RSTP is only required when using redundant networking
  • Ethernet Speed 10 Mbits/s: Default Ethernet speed is 100 Mbit/s unless switch is configured to 10 Mbit/s


Click Save followed by Apply to apply the new configuration settings.

Station Administration tab

Reboot

  • Reboot system: Perform a full Linux reboot. No configuration is lost
  • Reboot main application: Perform a restart of the intercom application. No configuration is lost
  • Factory reset: Set all parameters to Factory Default values. The station will get static IP Address 169.254.1.100.
  • Factory reset with DHCP: Set all parameters to Factory Default values. The station will get IP Address from DHCP server. If no DHCP server in the network, it will get a random 169.254.x.x IP address.
  • Clear local ZAP profile: For special purpose
  • Delete ZAP data.lua: For special purpose

Logging

From the web interface of the station it is possible to activate logging, which can be useful for debugging and troubleshooting purposes. See Logging - IP Stations for more information.

Change Password

The password for web access and for accessing the display setup menus can be changed, see Password (IP Stations).

Backup and Restore

From the web interface of the station it is possible to backup and restore the configuration data. See Backup and Restore for more information.

Manual Upgrade

The software of the station can be upgraded via the web interface. see Turbine_Software_Upgrade for details.


Advanced AlphaCom tab

Audio

To configure audio settings select Advanced Alphacom > Audio from the menu

  • Volume Override Level: This setting determines the volume to be used in the station when receving audio and the Volume Override feature is activated, see Volume Override for more details. Select the Volume Override Level in the range 0 to 8, default setting is 8.
  • Microphone Sensitivity: Select the sensitivity level in the range 0 to 7 from the drop-down box. The default setting is 5. If used as a local PA panel, a setting in the 1 to 3 range will reduce the chance of acoustic feedback (howling)
  • Digital/Analog Mic Switch [Turbine v. 4.9.3.2]: Switch from Digital to Analog Microphone based on settings
    • Always Digital (default). The digital mic is always active
    • Always Analog: The analog mic is always active
    • Analog I/O Pin: When I/O Pin is triggered, Analog Mic is used, when not Digital Mic is used
    • Analog I/O Pin Call End: Analog Mic is switched On (Digital Off) by first I/O Pin trigger in call and used until call end.
  • Digital/Analog Mic Switch Pin [Turbine v. 4.9.3.2]: Input/Output Pin for Digital/Analog Mic switching. This doesn't affect other I/O pin configured functionality. NOTE: Pin must be configured as Input.
  • Mute speaker while analog mic [Turbine v. 4.9.3.2]: Mute speaker while Analog Mic is used.
  • Voice Engine Mode: Default is "Voice". Use "HD-Audio" only on devices that handle high quality music streaming/playback, typically IP loudspeakers and Turbine kits used as PA interface.
    • Voice: Regular audio quality
    • HD-Audio: Play audio in PCM L16/48kHz format
  • Volume Control Ch1 [Turbine Compact only]: Audio Channel 1 Offset Gain (default routed to Amplifier/Speaker). Valid range: [-62..+24] dB.
  • Volume Control Ch2: Audio Channel 2 Offset Gain. (default routed to Line Out Amplifier). Valid range: [-62..+24] dB.
    • Note: in standard Turbine ch2 is same signal as ch1.
Note icon This volume settings must be used with caution as incorrect settings may severely degrade the performance of the echo-cancelling algorithm.


  • Conversation Mode: For this parameter, there are five options:
    • Full Open Duplex: Normal mode with echo cancellation.
    • Robust Duplex: Option used when open duplex fails due to excessive speaker loudness, microphone overload or very high nonlinear distortions, causing echo in the station.
    • Half Duplex Switching: Switches speech direction depending on who speaks the loudest.
    • Push-To-Talk: Half-duplex communication. Initially the microphone is shut off. Push the M-button to open the microphone, and release to listen. (Only applicable to stations with M-key)
    • Open: Full Open Duplex without echo cancellation
  • Audio Profile: See Turbine Audio Profiles for more details.
    • Normal
    • Noisy Environment
    • Very Noisy Environment
    • Advanced. Note!: Advanced options are for experienced users only! Incorrect settings may severely degrade the acoustic performance and intelligibility. Use with care!
  • Hardware DRC: Enables Dynamic Range Compression.
  • Automatic Gain Control (AGC): [from Turbine 4.11] If speech level and environmental noise are very unstable it may be turned on.
    • AGC Speed: 0..3 selects different attack/release times. Lesser values means faster attack and slower release time.
    • AGC Volume: 0..7 corresponds to -20..0 dBm
  • Audio Out Source: Select which audio source to send to the loudspeaker output
    • Voice Audio: Play audio from VoIP signal.
    • LineIn Idle: Play audio from the Line In input when the station is in idle. During a call, play audio from the VoIP signal.
    • LineIn Idle+GPIO-6: If input 6 is activated while the station is in idle, play audio from the Line In input. Else play audio from the VoIP signal.
  • Audio Input Source [Turbine Extended only]: Select which audio source to use as input source
  • Line Out Source: Line out can play audio either from the VoIP signal or directly from the microphone input.
    • Audio Ch2: Play audio from the VoIP signal
    • Microphone before AEC:
      • The analog and digital (only 4.7 SW) microphone signal is sent to Line Out. The speaker signal is picked up by the microphone through the air, and also sent to the Line Out.
      • There is no signal processing done.
    • Microphone after AEC:
      • Station is in Open Mode:
        • The microphone signal is sent to Line Out. The speaker signal is picked up by the microphone through the air, and also sent to the Line Out
          • Echo canceling is not working, but Noise reduction works
        • Audio from mic should be heard all the time on Line Out, audio from other party should be heard only when PTT is pressed by other party
      • Station is in Full Duplex Mode:
        • The microphone signal is sent to Line Out.
  • Add number of "Mixer Channels": Select the number of mixer channels when the station is used for audio mixing in the Alphacom MultiConference feature. Each mixer channel will register to the AlphaCom server with its own directory number.
  • Automatic Volume Control (AVC): Check this box to automatically adjust the volume according to the background noise level
  • AVC Debug: Check the box to show adjusted total gain with offset adjust in parentheses on OLED display (for TCIS-4/TCIS-5/TCIS-6). Total gain is referenced to 0 dB as “standard maximum gain” (level 7), and volume override levels (level not supporting open-duplex voice) as positive gain values.
  • AVC Advanced: Check to open for more advanced AVC settings
    • AVC Lower Threshold: Threshold level for AVC start working. Valid range: [-92..0] dBm0
    • AVC Upper Threshold: Threshold level for AVC stop working. Valid range: [-92..0] dBm0
    • AVC Attack Rate: How fast gain is raised when ambient noise level is increasing. Valid range: [0..100] 1/10th db/sec ([0.1..10] dB/sec)
    • AVC Decay Rate: How fast gain is reduced when ambient noise level is falling. Valid range: [0..100] 1/10th db/sec ([0.1..10] dB/sec)
    • AVC Hysteresis: Required mic-signal change level before new gain adjusted. This is applied when change in gain directions. Valid range: [1..10] db
    • AVC Lockout Time: Time for successive frames after AVC lock, due to far-end avtive or optional high near-end signal, before commencing AVC adjustments. A negative sign locks AVC if signal above upper threshold. Valid range: [1..10] db
  • Far-End Audio Squelch: Enable Audio Squelch on Far-End Signal (suppress audio on low signal levels).
  • Squelch threshold: Signal level below this theshold will be suppressed to silence. 0dB to -92dB. (Default is -60dB)
  • Squelch Activate Delay: Delay time with signal below threshold level before squelch is activated. Squelch is turned off again on first audio frame with level above threshold. This will implement a simple hysteresis hindering too rapid on/off with a signal changing around threshold.


DAVC Settings

The Distributed Automatic Volume Control (DAVC) is an algorithm which is using one or more microphones ("AVC Source") to measure the ambient audio/noise level, and adjusts the loudspeaker output level of the PA amplifier ("AVC Receiver") according to the ambient audio level.

See the article Distributed Automatic Volume Control (DAVC) for details about this feature.


I/O Settings

These settings let you choose if an I/O should be used as an Input or as an Output. By default all I/O's are set as Inputs.

  • Select Advanced AlphaCom > I/O Settings from the menu
TCIS Configuration-8.PNG


  • Select either Input or Output options from the drop-down box for I/O Pins 1 to 6.

See also the article Turbine Inputs and Outputs in AlphaCom.

OLED Labels

See article OLED Labels on how to configure the display in the station models TCIS-4 and TCIS-5.

Address Book

See the article Address Book on how to configure the address book of the station models TCIS-6 and TCIV-6.

Keyboard Settings

Applies to the station models TFIE-x (Industrial station) and TFIX-x (Explosion proof station). See article TFIE Keyboard Settings for more details.

Sound Detection

The Sound Detection, also known as Voice Activity Detection (VAD) samples the audio level from the microphone located in the IP Station. If the audio level meets defined criterias an action in AlphaCom can be triggered.

Read more about Sound Detection.

RTSP Settings

  • Enable RTSP - enables RTSP traffic by allowing/blocking traffic from/to RTSP port
  • RTSP Port - defines RTSP port - by default RTSP port is set to 554
  • Enable RTSP Authentication - enables mandatory usage of RTSP credentials on stream setup
  • RTSP URL - RTSP URL that can be copied into RTSP player. All supported RTSP streams are listed here: audio-only, video-only and audio+video stream URL for video Turbine devices and audio-only stream URL for other Turbine devices.
  • Stream Audio Source - defines when acoustic echo canceler is applied to mic+speaker voice. With this setting it is possible to choose whether only microphone signal is sent to RTSP stream or both microphone and speaker signals are sent to RTSP stream. On video Turbine stations this option can be defined separately for each stream.
  • Enable video stream tunneling [TCIV only] - defines if tunneling is used in video RTSP stream. This option is using lots of resources, so it is not recommended to be used.


TCIV+ and TCIV Video Stations also have settings for ONVIF. For details, see Advanced video settings for TCIV+ or RTSP and ONVIF Settings for TCIV Stations.


Time Settings

  • Select Advanced AlphaCom > Time Settings from the menu
Turbine config 5.PNG


Time Settings: You can enable Network Time Protocol, select the time zone and set the hostname or the IP address of the NTP server.

Audio Messages

A Turbine station can play a custom media (WAV) file when connection to the AlphaCom server is lost. The station can also play a custom media file when pressing the call button (or activating an input) and the call setup fails because the station is offline. See Audio Messages - Turbine for more detasils.

Advanced Network tab

SNMP

A set of SNMP functions are available in the IP station. SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) is a protocol for centralizing the management of devices in IP networks.

See SNMP in IP Stations for futher information.

802.1X

IEEE 802.1X is an IEEE Standard for port-based Network Access Control (PNAC). It provides an authentication mechanism to devices wishing to attach to a LAN, either establishing a point-to-point connection or preventing it if authentication fails. For details on configuration, see IEEE 802.1X.

Firewall

All IP Stations have an embedded firewall. See Firewall for details.

Configuration of the AlphaCom server

AlphaPro configuration

Define a User

The station is defined in Users & Stations window, General tab. For minimum configuration you need to enter these fields:

  • Directory Number - must match the directory number configured in the IP station itself
  • Display Text - Any free text. Used as Caller ID.
  • Station Type - Set to Substation unless the station has full keypad 0-9. If full keypad, set Master Station
  • CCoIP Station - Tick this checkbox when IP Station (and not analog station) is used
  • Reg. w/Directory Number - When checked (most common setting) the station will register to the AlphaCom server by its Directory Number. When unchecked the station will register by its MAC address. With this option you need to enter the MAC address of the station in the MAC Address field.
Users & Stations window


Note icon In hybrid exchanges (AlphaCom XE7, XE20 and XE26), where there is a mix of analog and IP stations, you should avoid using physical numbers for IP Stations that later might be used for analog intercom stations.


Configure the Call Button(s)

  • Go to the Users & Stations window, and select the station from the list box.
  • Press the button DAK (Direct Access Key)
  • Enter the number to call on line 1 (and on line 2 if the station has two call buttons)
Configuring the Call Buttons (DAK) on a Turbine station


AlphaWeb configuration

Filter settings

Log on to the web interface of the AlphaCom server, and select System Configuration > Filters.

Enable "IP Stations" on TCP port 50001 and "VoIP Audio" on UDP ports 61000-61150 on the ethernet port used for the IP stations. By default these ports are enabled on ethernet port 1.

Enable ports for IP Stations


IP Station licenses

The IP Stations require IP Station license in the AlphaCom server.