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August 24, 2003

                             ET NEWS
================================================================
        NEWS AND INFORMATION FOR ENGINEERING TECHNICIANS
----------------------------------------------------------------
Issue No. 113          http://www.etnews.org           8-24-2003
================================================================

Contents
--------
- News
- ET Journal
- NICET Test Dates
- AFAA Class Schedule
- Comments & Acknowledgements

================================================================
NEWS
================================================================

ORDER NICET HANDBOOKS ONLINE AT HTTP://WWW.AFAA.ORG
---------------------------------------------------

The Automatic Fire Alarm Association now stocks NICET Test
Preparation Handbooks that you can order online at
http://www.afaa.org/afaa/dept.asp?dept%5Fid=1.
You can find out more about these handbooks here:
http://www.etnews.org/index.php?s=5.

The AFAA has also discounted their limited supply of older NFPA
standards:

EXAMPLE
-------
NFPA 72-1993 $23.00
NFPA 72-1996 $23.00

These are brand new publications and would make a great addition
to your historic library.

Visit http://www.afaa.org/afaa/dept.asp?dept%5Fid=1 to place your
order.

----------------------------------------------------------------

SURVIVORS of 2 high-rise fires sue city, housing authority
- Baltimore Sun, MD

... The tower that caught fire did not have a sprinkler system
and was
equipped with an antiquated fire alarm that sounded only if
pulled. ...
http://www.sunspot.net/news/local/bal-md.suit22aug22,0,4925477.
story?coll=bal-local-headlines

----------------------------------------------------------------

GREAT WHITE, STATION OWNERS FINED BY FEDS FOR DEADLY FIRE

http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1477119/20030821/great_white.jh
tml?headlines=true

----------------------------------------------------------------

HOME after cleanup - York Daily Record, PA

... "The sad thing is, we heard the alarm, but we ignored it
because of so many false alarms," she said...
http://ydr.com/story/main/12427/

----------------------------------------------------------------

YES VIRGINIA, THERE IS A SANTA CLAUS!

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — In a surprising turnaround, the Oregon Senate
late Saturday passed a stadium finance plan in hopes of luring
the Montreal Expos to Oregon.
http://www.oregonlive.com/newsflash/regional/index.ssf?/base/new
s-2/106169844711010.xml

----------------------------------------------------------------

It's time once again for our annual family camping trip. Cabins
and yurts just didn't cut it so we're reverting to tents this
year. We'll be disconnected from technology for a week to
recharge our batteries, as it were.

Have fun!

Mike
mailto:mbbaker@etnews.org

================================================================
ET JOURNAL
================================================================

NICET Fire Alarm Systems Level IV
38009 COMPUTER/MICROPROCESSOR BASED FIRE ALARM SYSTEMS
------------------------------------------------------

38009 is a Level IV Special work element.

38009 DESCRIPTION
Understand how computers and microprocessor/integrated circuits
are used in fire alarm systems. Know the methods used to assure
the integrity of processed data and the suitability of various
types of integrated circuits for fire alarm applications. Know
the fundamentals of Boolean logic. Know the various types of
memories used in fire alarm systems. (Fire Alarm Signaling
Systems, general computer texts)

38009 REFERENCES

Fire Alarm Signaling Systems
http://www.etnews.org/index.php?s=461&bid=6

General computer texts
http://computer.howstuffworks.com/

38009 DESCRIPTION BREAKDOWN
Understand how computers and microprocessor/integrated circuits
are used in fire alarm systems. Know the methods used to assure
the integrity of processed data and the suitability of various
types of integrated circuits for fire alarm applications. Know
the fundamentals of Boolean logic. Know the various types of
memories used in fire alarm systems.

Glossary of terms

RAM. Pronounced ramm, acronym for random access memory, a type
of computer memory that can be accessed randomly; that is, any
byte of memory can be accessed without touching the preceding
bytes. RAM is the most common type of memory found in computers
and other devices, such as printers. 

There are two basic types of RAM: 
 o Dynamic RAM (DRAM) 
 o Static RAM (SRAM) 

The two types differ in the technology they use to hold data,
dynamic RAM being the more common type. Dynamic RAM needs to be
refreshed thousands of times per second. Static RAM does not
need to be refreshed, which makes it faster; but it is also more
expensive than dynamic RAM. Both types of RAM are volatile,
meaning that they lose their contents when the power is turned
off.

In common usage, the term RAM is synonymous with main memory, the
memory available to programs. For example, a computer with 8M RAM
has approximately 8 million bytes of memory that programs can
use. In contrast, ROM (read-only memory) refers to special memory
used to store programs that boot the computer and perform
diagnostics. Most personal computers have a small amount of ROM
(a few thousand bytes). In fact, both types of memory
(ROM and RAM) allow random access. To be precise, therefore, RAM
should be referred to as read/write RAM and ROM as read-only RAM. 

ROM. Pronounced rahm, acronym for read-only memory, computer
memory on which data has been prerecorded. Once data has been
written onto a ROM chip, it cannot be removed and can only be
read. 

Unlike main memory (RAM), ROM retains its contents even when the
computer is turned off. ROM is referred to as being nonvolatile,
whereas RAM is volatile. 

Most personal computers contain a small amount of ROM that stores
critical programs such as the program that boots the computer. In
addition, ROMs are used extensively in calculators and peripheral
devices such as laser printers, whose fonts are often stored in
ROMs.

A variation of a ROM is a PROM (programmable read-only memory).
PROMs are manufactured as blank chips on which data can be
written with a special device called a PROM programmer. 

PROM. Pronounced prom, an acronym for programmable read-only
memory. A PROM is a memory chip on which data can be written only
once. Once a program has been written onto a PROM, it remains
there forever. Unlike RAM, PROMs retain their contents when the
computer is turned off. 

The difference between a PROM and a ROM (read-only memory) is
that a PROM is manufactured as blank memory, whereas a ROM is
programmed during the manufacturing process. To write data onto
a PROM chip, you need a special device called a PROM programmer
or PROM burner. The process of programming a PROM is sometimes
called burning the PROM. 

An EPROM (erasable programmable read-only memory) is a special
type of PROM that can be erased by exposing it to ultraviolet
light. Once it is erased, it can be reprogrammed. An EEPROM is
similar to a PROM, but requires only electricity to be erased. 

EPROM. Acronym for erasable programmable read-only memory, and
pronounced ee-prom, EPROM is a special type of memory that
retains its contents until it is exposed to ultraviolet light.
The ultraviolet light clears its contents, making it possible to
reprogram the memory. To write to and erase an EPROM, you need a
special device called a PROM programmer or PROM burner. 

An EPROM differs from a PROM in that a PROM can be written to
only once and cannot be erased. EPROMs are used widely in
personal computers because they enable the manufacturer to change
the contents of the PROM before the computer is actually shipped.
This means that bugs can be removed and new versions installed
shortly before delivery. 

EEPROM. Acronym for electrically erasable programmable read-only
memory. Pronounced double-e-prom or e-e-prom, an EEPROM is a
special type of PROM that can be erased by exposing it to an
electrical charge. Like other types of PROM, EEPROM retains its
contents even when the power is turned off. Also like other types
of ROM, EEPROM is not as fast as RAM.

EEPROM is similar to flash memory (sometimes called flash
EEPROM). The principal difference is that EEPROM requires data to
be written or erased one byte at a time whereas flash memory
allows data to be written or erased in blocks. This makes flash
memory faster. 

Parity. Parity methods of error checking add a parity bit to the
beginning of each character, making the number of 1’s in the
character even or odd (depending upon the type of parity being
used). The choice of even or odd parity must be agreed upon by
both the sender and receiver before data transmission begins. 

When a message is to be sent using odd parity, the number of 1’s
in each character needs to be odd. In the example below, the
letter "A" contains two 1’s. This makes the parity of the
character even. If the character is to be sent using odd parity,
a parity bit of 1 is added to make the parity of the character
odd. If the ASCII character is already odd, a O (zero) parity bit
is used to preserve the character's odd parity. 

The converse is true when even parity is used. If the parity of
the character is odd, a parity bit of 1 is appended to make the
parity even. If the parity of the character is even, an odd
parity bit is used. 

Fire Alarm Signaling Systems Chapter 4
The microprocessor is a single device capable of performing many
basic operations of a digital computer and is highly cost
effective in labor and wire savings.

With the proper equipment, RAM-, PROM-, and EPROM-type memory,
which may be used in a fire alarm control panel, may be
reprogrammed at the job site.

RAM-type memory is not suitable for use as memory to store the
permanent operating instructions of a fire alarm control panel.

If the transmission scheme from a fire alarm control panel to a
serial annunciator uses odd parity checking, the following
sequence is not a valid transmission.

    8    4    2    1    Parity bit
    0    0    0    1    1

The statement:

A = F OR M OR (S1 AND S2)

describes the following operation using Boolean Logic symbology.

Alarm (A) is to be initiated by a manual pull box (M)
Alarm is to be initiated by a sprinkler flow switch (F)
Alarm is to be initiated by cross-zoned smoke 


THE INFORMATION HEREIN IS PROVIDED AS A GUIDE ONLY AND IS
INTENDED TO ASSIST YOU IN PREPARING FOR AN EXAM. IT IS NOT
INTENDED TO BE INCLUSIVE OF ALL INFORMATION THAT MAY BE ON AN
EXAM BUT RATHER IT IS INTENDED TO BE A SMALL SAMPLE OF THE KIND
OF MATERIAL THAT YOU MAY BE EXPECTED TO KNOW.

================================================================
NICET TEST DATES
================================================================

OREGON
------
OR1 PCC Sylvania, Portland;
Test 11/15/03. Postmark deadline 9/27/03.
Test ??/??/04. Postmark deadline 12/1/03.

OR2 Clackamas Community College, Oregon City;
Test 9/27/03. Postmark deadline 8/9/03.
Test 11/15/03. Postmark deadline 9/27/03.

These dates are from the NICET web site. For a complete list of
all test centers and test dates, visit:
http://63.70.211.210/cfdocs/nicetschedule.cfm

================================================================
AFAA CLASS SCHEDULE
================================================================

------------------
September 9-11, 2003 Batavia, NY - Sponsored by NYBFA
------------------
Intermediate Fire Alarm Seminar
http://www.afaa.org/afaa/PDF/NYBFA_Sept03.pdf

------------------
September 15-18, 2003 Oakland, CA - Sponsored by CAFAA
------------------
Plan Review Seminar
Intermediate Fire Alarm Seminar
http://www.afaa.org/afaa/PDF/PR_INT_CAFAA_OAKLAND_SEPT2003.PDF

------------------
September 22-25, 2003 Lafayette, LA - Sponsored by LA AFAA
------------------
Intermediate Fire Alarm Seminar
http://www.afaa.org/afaa/PDF/INT_TI_LAAFAA_Lafayette_Sept2003.pdf

------------------
September 16-18, 2003 Philadelphia, PA - Co-sponsored by PA AFAA
------------------
Intermediate Fire Alarm Seminar
http://www.afaa.org/afaa/PDF/IntFA_Philadelphia_Sept2003.pdf

------------------
October 8-9, 2003 Wichita, KS - Sponsored by KS AFAA
------------------
Plans Review Seminar.
Fire Alarm System Testing and Inspections Seminar.
More information will be available soon.

------------------
October 15-17, 2003 Boston, MA - Sponsored by New England AFAA
------------------
Intermediate Fire Alarm Seminar
http://www.afaa.org/afaa/PDF/IntFA_NewEngland_Oct2003.pdf

------------------
October 21-23, 2003 Anchorage, AK
------------------
Advanced Fire Alarm Seminar
http://www.afaa.org/afaa/PDF/IntFA_Anchorage_Oct2003.pdf

------------------
November 3-6, 2003 Anaheim, CA - Sponsored by CAFAA
------------------
Plan Review Seminar
Advanced Fire Alarm Seminar
More information will be available soon.

------------------
November 4-7, 2003 Boston, MA - Sponsored by New England AFAA
------------------
Advanced Fire Alarm Seminar
More information will be available soon.

------------------
November 21, 2003 Reno, NV
------------------
Plan Review Seminar
More information will be available soon.

------------------
December 2-4, 2003 Phoenix, AZ - Co-sponsored by AZ AFAA
------------------
Advanced Fire Alarm Seminar
More information will be available soon.

------------------
December 9-11, 2003 San Antonio, TX - Co-sponsored by TX AFAA
------------------
Advanced Fire Alarm Seminar
More information will be available soon.

================================================================
COMMENTS AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
================================================================

Engineering Technician info: http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos112.htm

ET News is published weekly and if possible, delivered on Sunday

ET News php/MySQL site by: Doug Hockinson http://metrodenver.org

The NICET acronym found herein refers to http://www.nicet.org
NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR CERTIFICATION IN ENGINEERING TECHNOLOGIES

The AFAA acronym found herein refers to http://www.afaa.org
AUTOMATIC FIRE ALARM ASSOCIATION "AFAA is celebrating 50 years!"
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reprinted with permission from one or more of the following;
NFPA 70 National Electrical Code(r), NFPA 72 National Fire Alarm
Code(r), and NFPA 101(r) Life Safety Code(r), Copyright(c) NFPA,
Quincy, MA 02269. This reprinted material is not the complete and
official position of the NFPA on the referenced subject, which is
represented only by the standard in its entirety.
================================================================
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This reprinted material is not the complete and official position of the NFPA on the referenced subject, which is represented only by the standard in its entirety.