The system provides digital interfaces at both the trunk and subscriber level. This allows the formation of totally digital networks supporting digital data interfaces and digital telephones. Interfaces to conventional telephones and analogue networks are also available.
The wide variety of MX-1 interfaces allows the connection of many other devices
such as data terminals, radios, consoles and recorders. The flexibility of the
The total design of MX-1 provides an extensive range of features and services for the military user. The stored program control of each switch and the use of common channel inter-processor network signalling allows the formation of a distributed secure military network. Each switch is capable of local and tandem switching. Network architecture is made flexible through the use of automatic route selection.
MX-1 also provides all the features of modern Private Automatic Branch Exchanges and Key Telephone Systems, and the efficiency of Centralised Telephone Operator and Central Network Management.
The MX-1 system consists of two functional areas, the Common Equipment and Peripheral Equipment.
The Common Equipment comprises the central processor and the Network Circuits that provide the digital switching. The Peripheral Equipment is connected to the Common Equipment by 2 Mbit/s multiplex loops which carry the digital control and voice messages between the Network and Peripheral Equipment.
MAGNETIC TAPE UNIT
TELETYPEWRITER DATA INPUT
The system provides multiple (CCITT V24) TTY interfaces each of which may be defined individually. This allows different functions (e.g., traffic information, call detail recording and maintenance data) to be dealt with by different terminals and at different locations if required. System security is maintained by various levels of password access.
Up to four shelves of Peripheral Equipment may be connected to a single multiplex loop. This allows for 40 peripheral circuit pack positions per loop or 160 subscribers, 80 trunks or an equivalent combination. The traffic capacity of each loop is governed by the Grade of Service required.
2-wire and 4-wire analogue trunk circuits are provided which cater for a wide range of signalling systems.
The capacity of the MX-1 system can be defined in terms of numbers of
subscribers, numbers of trunks, traffic carrying capability, or more usually
combinations of these parameters.
There are two basic types of MX-1 equipment cabinet: Common Equipment and Peripheral Equipment Cabinets. A modular approach has been used to ensure that MX-1 is economical from 100 line systems to systems with thousands of lines. Network Circuit and Peripheral Circuit shelves allow any type of module to be placed in any position on their respective shelves. Systems may therefore be tailored exactly to each user's requirement. Systems may also easily be expanded in service, usually by adding further Peripheral Cabinets. The software control ensures that such extensions cause minimum disruption to service.
Not all Network Circuits are used to carry traffic. Usually one in eight Network Circuits is used to provide tone and conference Services. On purely tandem switching exchanges with digital trunks no Service Circuits or Peripheral Equipment are required.
MX-1 FEATURE TELEPHONE
The basic set has a 3 x 4 push-button digit pad and 13 non locking keys. A
speaker is provided beneath the handset for tone ringing, on-hook dialling, and
direct voice calling.
The basic set is also available with a 16-character LED display. This is used to show calling line identity, dialled digits, the contents of repertory dialling stores, time and date etc. The display is particularly useful for central enquiry and automatic call distribution features.
The feature assignment of the 10-button key modules is flexible and may be individually tailored to each user's requirements. Feature operation is very simple since it only requires the operation of an assigned key to cause immediate action. This naturally leads to fast and efficient communication compared with a traditional telephone where features are controlled by dialled codes.
The complete feature telephone is connected to the exchange by two-pair wiring, which also carries the power for the basic set. The power for the add-on feature modules may be from a local AC transformer or on a third pair from the exchange. The latter would take benefit from any standby power arrangement for the exchange.
MX-1 feature phone
MX-1 DIGITAL FEATURE TELEPHONE
The use of 'burst-mode' transmission facilitates end-to-end 'four wire' digital transmission. This leads to improved speech transmission that is uniform between all subscribers on a network. The use of digital transmission greatly improves crosstalk performance and allows the use of digital encryption units to achieve a secure military network.
The MX-1 digital telephone provides all the features of the MX-1 feature telephone. In addition the 8 kbit/s signalling channel offers the capability to provide alphanumeric displays and telemetry functions such as intruder alarms and smoke detector interfaces.
The console uses switched loop operation; six loops are provided. Incoming calls are presented in order of arrival or can be manually selected from any of the incoming call types displayed on the console.
The console is equipped with five 10-button non-locking key strips for call control and feature activation. LEDs are associated with keys that require visual indicators. A sixteen digit LED display is also provided.
An expansion module can be added to expand the console features and a busy line indicator module may also be fitted. The complete console is connected to the MX-1 system by a six-pair cable, which also includes the power feed.
Operators Console with added 10 key Module
MX-1 provides a comprehensive range of data switching features. Traditionally data transmission has been effected by the use of modems over analogue lines. To achieve an acceptable error performance high speed modems (e.g. 9.6 kbauds) incorporate advanced modulation techniques and adaptive equalisers and are expensive.
The MX-1 data terminal adaptor (DTA) provides a simple interface between the digital data and the digital switching of the MX-1. Utilising the same line card and transmission as the digital feature telephone a duplex data connection of up to 64 kbauds may be established. The DTA is shown to the right.
The switched path between two DTAs is code transparent which allows the use of
any data protocol, including X25 packet data, to be transported. The DTA
provides the standard CCITT V24, X20 and X21 interfaces and caters for all
common data speeds (e.g. 200, 600,1200, 2400, 4800, 9600, 19200 bauds).
The DTA is compatible with the range of add-on modules used by the MX-1 feature
telephones and similar features and direct calling keys may be assigned. The
ring back when free feature is often useful when trying to gain access to a well
used group of computer ports or a word processor.
MX-1 therefore provides a truly integrated voice and data network. The DTA
avoids the use of modems and offers high data speeds of up to 64 kbauds at a low
error rate. All
the major system features used for voice calls are available to data calls
leading to fast, efficient and secure data communication.
The flexibility of the MX-1 system stems from the fact that the central control is a computer. The system features and services are defined by a software program rather than circuit wiring. Features can be added, deleted or modified by changing the software program rather than hardware.
The software program, which defines the system operation along with customer related information and maintenance diagnostics, is held on a magnetic tape cartridge and in the system random access memory. The customer data which defines the number and types of terminals, network capacity, trunks, classes of service, etc. is unique to each installation and is arranged in data blocks. The program and data are loaded into the MX-1 system memory via the magnetic tape unit. The cartridge tape is kept in the magnetic tape unit as a non-volatile data source.
Changes in customer data are made with a standard teletypewriter (TTY) or visual
display unit (VDU) and printer. All changes made in memory are duplicated on the
cartridge tape. In case of power or system failure, the program and complete
data are automatically reloaded in about two minutes from the cartridge tape.
Changes in the customer data, as well as the monitoring of the system operation and traffic measurement can be made remotely. This allows Network Management Centres to have overall responsibility for the operation of a group of exchanges. The Network Management Centre personnel would also monitor the performance of the network as a whole in terms of its trunk routes and other resources such as packet switches.
The MX-1 system has been designed for unattended operation and no preventative maintenance is required. Corrective maintenance consists of fault detection, isolation and replacement of the faulty plug-in module. Fault detection equipment and programs are built in and allow self checking by the system. If a fault is detected, an appropriate alarm is generated which is accompanied by a diagnostic message on a printer. Most equipment circuit pack faults will also be indicated by an LED situated on the front of each module.
Using system indicators and diagnostic routines contained on the magnetic tape cartridge, most faults can be quickly traced and isolated. These routines may be called up automatically by the CPU, or the CPU can be instructed to execute required diagnostic programs from the local teletypewriter or remotely from the Network Management Centre. Repair consists of replacing the defective equipment, followed by tests to ensure the equipment is operating satisfactorily.
Operating personnel require no special electronics training to install and maintain MX-1. The inherent reliability of MX-1 and the speed of fault detection and repair ensures a high system availability.
GEC Telecommunications provides a comprehensive support for MX-1 in terms of
technical publications, training, spares, hardware module repair and software
Economic quantities of spare modules and equipment may be held at each site and at central stores locations. Hardware repair of faulty modules may be undertaken by GEC or on Automatic Test Equipment supplied to the maintenance authority. Facilities for producing magnetic tape cartridges and customer configuration data are also available.
MX-1's modular design makes for ease of installation and facilitates further expansion of existing MX-1 systems. The common equipment is usually located adjacent to the peripheral equipment; however by means of a PCM link the peripheral equipment may be sited up to forty miles away. Individual extensions are served from the peripheral equipment via the building distribution wiring.
A standby battery ensures that communications are maintained in the event of mains failure. The battery may be charged by the rectifiers in the MX-1 system.
Exchange and System Features
Operator Console Features
(using access codes or feature keys)
Additional Facilities Available With MX-1 Sets
Taken from G.E.C. MX-1 Military Communications System - Technical Appreciation Catalogue (1981)
Last revised: October 08, 2010