System Architecture

The Catalyst architecture is designed from the ground up as a combination hardware and software solution to provide ease of use, system flexibility, and functionality along with easy system maintenance. It is a distributed and robust architecture with no central switch that is built to minimize the impact of a failure of any particular system component. The system consists of advanced radio gateway servers and remote client user interface software which interfaces with the gateways through a wide area network (WAN).

Overview of Operation

Voice and control messages from proprietary radio systems are received by donor radios and are translated by Catalyst Gateways into UDP packets (voice) and TCP/IP packets (control). These IP packets are then fed to a WAN and can be controlled by an end user (Dispatcher) using IP|Console™. A multitude of Catalyst gateways are available to support the wide variety of standards-based and proprietary land mobile radio networks available in the market, such as P25, Smartnet, EDACS, and conventional, as well as Verizon Push-To-Talk. There is no limit to the number or type of Catalyst gateways that can be placed in an IP|Console system, and there are no limitations to the physical distance between gateway locations or console locations.

Gateway Technology

There are two types of Catalyst Gateways, wireline and wireless.  The wireline radio gateways connect directly into the Radio Frequency Sub-System (RFSS) or base station via a single Ethernet connection for voice and control.  There are also wireline gateways for both analog and digital connections to the PSTN, PBXs and other SIP devices. The wireless gateways employ two connections to the donor radio or base station — a 2 or 4 wire audio connection which converts received audio to UDP packets; and a serial control and data connection which is converted to TCP/IP packets. UDP is an effective and bandwidth efficient method of sending voice; however, TCP/IP is required for critical communications. When a command is issued to a Catalyst gateway to perform a function such as to change systems or channels, the gateway provides feedback to the system to ensure the state change has been completed.

Catalyst’s advanced gateway technology also ensures successful communications by knowing when their donor radio has been assigned a channel. If there is no channel available, the gateway automatically buffers the audio and only begins transmission when audio can be safely routed. Competitive systems can lose portions of transmissions, which is unacceptable in critical communications. 

How Radio Control over IP Works

radios

Additional Benefits of Catalyst’s Advanced Gateway Technology:

  • Full radio control provides for valuable features such as automatic change of channels or talk groups. If a radio is tuned to a channel or talk group which is different from what is intended for a transmission, the gateway will automatically buffer the audio while it automatically retunes the radio channel to begin appropriate transmission for interoperability calls.

  • Full radio control provides for valuable features such as automatic change of channels or talk groups. If a radio is tuned to a channel or talk group which is different from what is intended for a transmission, the gateway will automatically buffer the audio while it automatically retunes the radio channel to begin appropriate transmission for interoperability calls.

  • Catalyst has successfully worked with many radio manufacturers to provide intelligent interfaces for advanced functionality.
  • SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) Interface for Telephony and other applications.  
  • Simple to complex radio patches can be created with a few clicks of a mouse using the optional IntelliLink™ module.
  • Patches may be channel or talk-group specific, may be uni- or bi-directional, and may involve up to 14 gateways.
  • Catalyst’s digital interface provides for the dispatcher at the console location to receive critical parameters such as unit ID and emergency.
  • Each gateway stores and records call history and audio files for playback with the optional voice recording module.
  • Alerts and pages are stored on the gateway and pushed out to the radio network upon request from any dispatch position.

Radio Systems Supported

  • Project 25 (P25), Console Sub-System Interface (CSSI), Fixed Station Interface (FSI), Control Station Interface
  • SmartNet™
  • Digital Mobile Radio (DMR)
  • EDACS™
  • Verizon Push-To-Talk
  • Conventional with MDC 1200 and more...

In addition to our pioneering radio gateway servers like IP Radio™ and IP Fleet™, we also offer two additional server types which can be added to a system for additional functionality: Administrative Server and SIP Server.

Administrative Server is an application that can be run on any computer connected to the WAN that stores items such as the layouts used by dispatchers in IP|Console, in a central location. When enabled, a dispatcher can sit down at any console, log in, and retrieve their specific layouts, no matter which position they pick in the dispatch center—and thus removing the need to assign particular physical consoles to dispatchers. It also gives administrators control over which layouts are available to whom.

EDACS is a trademark of Harris, Inc. and SmartNet is a trademark of Motorola, Inc. IP Radio, IP Fleet, IntelliLink, and IP Link are trademarks of Catalyst Communications Technologies, Inc.

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