P25 is a standard for the manufacture of interoperable two-way digital wireless communication products. Sometimes referred to as Project 25 or APCO P25, this is a user-based standard, not an industry – or federal government – based standard.
P25 allows you to have better communications within and between agencies – especially for emergency service providers. Such intra- and inter-operability is necessary to coordinate efficient and timely responses in our post-911 world.
Companies developing this type of equipment for organizational communications must comply with a series of tests to verify the quality and endurance of the equipment.
What are the P25 land mobile radio testing?
- Field acceptance test
- Run-in tests (sometimes omitted)
- Functional tests
These tests are extended versions of the factory acceptance tests performed earlier. They should include a thorough examination and measurement of the quality of the installation, especially the antenna systems, lightning protection, power systems and power supply, in accordance with industry standards.
Tests that were only simulated during factory testing (if performed with a limited configuration) must now be performed live on the entire network, in its entirety.
It is especially important to verify system resilience for project 25 testing. Automatic or manual switches (power, backhaul and controllers) should be forced into failure mode and tested for switching reliability.
The crucial parts of the field acceptance test are the coverage test procedures. It must be ensured that they are performed according to the agreed test plans and that the results are meticulously recorded.
All coverage testing should be conducted with the participation of your representatives. It is essential that you have a high level of expertise, which, in most cases, will mean that you need an experienced consultant to oversee this process.
Coverage testing is usually a combination of automated and computerized signal measurements and voice quality testing. Measurements include signal strength (RSSI), bit error rate (BER) and message error rate (MER) which can be automated and archived.
Since P25 phase 2 TDMA testing is very subjective, we recommend that the ears of test participants be “calibrated” by the entire group by listening to audio samples just before testing begins; each vendor can provide samples in advance.
To minimize subjectivity, test teams, whether field or fixed, should consist of at least three people so that a reasonable level of consensus can be reached.
There is no consensus on what’s the P25 best practice. Signal strength and bit error rate tests are run automatically and are therefore cheaper than DAQ tests, which require a significant amount of manual work and time.
However, many consider DAQ testing to be the ultimate test of system performance. Others cite a strong correlation between DAQ and BER measurements, so they are comfortable forgoing DAQ testing.
Signal strength testing alone is not sufficient for two reasons: the automated test cannot differentiate between valid signal and interference and, in the case of simulcast systems, it cannot recognize areas with a high level of time delay interference.
If formerly conducted, run-in tests should last between 30 and 60 days and can begin as soon as the vendor completes system optimization. To conduct the tests, a limited number of trained users will start using the system and formally report any problems.
All problems discovered during the run-in test should be closely monitored until they are fully resolved.
Do you need a p25 testing?
CT Compliance Testing is a good option to test your equipment in the various tests that p25 communications equipment requires.
We are a company specialized in testing, calibrating and measuring the resistance of electronic equipment that emit high and low radio frequencies.
We are located in Mesa, Arizona. You can learn more about our services by accessing our website or schedule a consultation through our phone line 866-311-3268.
Mesa AZ 85204