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Biamp Cornerstone

System Design Template - Cruise Ship (Evac, BGM, ANC and Paging)

This system design template shows how Vocia products can be used to easily create a vessel-wide paging and evacuation system. Vocia is a highly reliable solution that provides excellent audio quality while managing all your paging, background music, and emergency communication requirements. It is powerful, scalable, and flexible, and can meet a facility’s needs well into the future. A decentralized approach, which places digital signal processing in all of the endpoints, creates a solution with no single point of failure and provides a means to expand an existing system as needs grow or change.

The cruise ship market has an extended demand for system availability and safety measures, especially when it comes to large public areas where crowds assemble. In an emergency, it's critical structured, clear to follow evacuation directions are given. Vocia is capable of meeting and exceeding that requirement.

Paging system design

Paging System Functionality Scope:System Equip Topology.png

  • 7 Paging Stations to provide live pages from the Bar, Bridge, Casino, Pool, Restaurant, Security and Theater.
  • 2 Emergency Paging Stations to provide live paging from the Bridge/Helm and Security room.
  • 10 Regular Paging Zones and 8 Emergency Zones
  • 6 music sources available to entertainment and dining Zones
  • Automatic level adjustment depending on background noise in the Restaurant and Casino Zones
  • An interface with the fire and emergency detection system to enable the use of the paging system for emergency evacuation
  • Speaker line monitoring to ensure the system is working
  • Scheduled announcements of daily activities
  • Background music source and level control in the Bar, Casino, Pool, and Restaurant
  • Automatically scheduled announcements of the activities happening that day

Equipment list

Below is the list of Biamp Vocia equipment used in this project:

  • 5 - Vocia DS-4
  • 2 - Vocia DS-10
  • 2 - Vocia EWS-10
  • 2 - VA-8150CV
  • 2 - VA-4300CV
  • 1 - VA-8600
  • 4 - WR-1
  • 1 - VI-6            
  • 3 - ANC-1        
  • 1 - LSI-16e      
  • 1 - CI-1            
  • 1 - MS-1e     
  • 8 - PLD-1*
  • 23 - PLD-2*
  • 4-button desktop paging station, cardioid microphone, PoE, CobraNet audio/control
  • 10-button desktop paging station, cardioid microphone, PoE, CobraNet audio/control
  • 10-button emergency wall-mount paging station, cardioid microphone, PoE, CobraNet audio/control
  • 8-channel x 150W constant voltage 70V/100V amplifier, CobraNet audio/control
  • 4-channel x 300W constant voltage 70V/100V amplifier, CobraNet audio/control
  • 8-channel x 600W (2400W Total) constant voltage 70V/100V amplifier, CobraNet audio/control
  • Wall remote for background music source selection and volume control
  • 6-channel networked audio input expansion device, 4 line-level inputs, 2 mic/line inputs with phantom power, PoE, CobraNet audio/control
  • Provides automatic output level adjustments in response to changes in ambient noise levels, PoE, CobraNet audio/control
  • Enhanced emergency interface between the Vocia paging system and the emergency/fire alarm systems
  • Control interface for LSI-16e
  • Message Processor for recorded announcements & scheduling
  • Speaker line monitoring device for Vocia Amplifiers (VA-8600)
  • Speaker line monitoring device for Vocia Amplifiers (VA-8150CV and VA-4300CV)

*Optional - Active and passive speaker line monitoring devices are available in the Vocia product line and may be required for VACIE and evacuation compliance. Biamp recommends speaker line monitoring be used with all life-safety and emergency systems however these units are not shown or included in the system diagram above. Please check with authorities if speaker line monitoring is required in the local jurisdiction.

Note that other non-Biamp equipment is required in addition to this list, including the loudspeakers, ambient sensing microphones, media sources, and CobraNet PoE network switches.

Vocia configuration file 

A complete Vocia configuration file is available for download here:

Cruise ship.vop

The Vocia software must be installed to open and review the configuration file. In order to provide a better understanding on the most essential settings inside the software, the Zones and Page Code assignment can be previewed below.

Zones Configuration Pages Codes Emergency Zones Emergency Page Codes
Example File - Zone List.jpg Example File - Page Codes.jpg Example File - EM Zones.jpg Example File - EM Page Codes.jpg


Emergency Messages Amplifier Zone Assignment - Lower Deck (VA-4300CV) LSI-16 Emergency Function Assignment  Scheduler
Example File - EM Messages.jpg Example File - Amp Settings Deck Lower.jpg Example File - LSI EM Function Assignment.jpg Example File - Scheduler.jpg
  • In this design, all paging stations have the capability to page their respective Zones and the security office, at minimum
  • The higher the number in the Priority field the more precedence is given to the Page.
  • Six channels of background music are available for selection. Inputs are via the VI-6 (6 channel mic/line input device). All sources are selectable and level controllable from the WR-1 wall remotes for the Restaurant, Bar, Pool and Casino areas.
  • Ambient noise increases or decreases as guests move between different areas. ANC-1's have been installed in the restaurant and casino to automatically adjust BGM and paging levels to account for this.
  • Zone assignment - ten Zones, one for each main section of the ship during non-emergency operation. Additional two paging Zones to all of the upper deck, and all of lower deck available.
    Reg Zones - Lean View SML.jpg  Reg Zones - Top View sml.jpg
  • Emergency Zone assignment - Upon detection of an alarm, Vocia enters emergency mode and the vessel is automatically re-zoned to 8 emergency zones. The lower emergency areas are delayed by 20 seconds to allow the upper deck time to begin an evacuation without congestion.

     Em Zones - Lean View SML.jpg   
                Em Zone - Side View SML.jpg   


EM Zone - Top View sml.jpg

  • Seven emergency messages - using a combination of multiple audio file elements, these seven messages can be used to direct staff and passengers to the correct area for whichever emergency zone they're currently located. The 'Upper Level' messages comprise of 5 elements - an Alarm tone, an audio file 'alarm active', another audio file 'please proceed to the' then an audio file dependent on location directing passengers to the left or right stairs, then a final audio file instructing further directions will be given once the lower deck has been reached. Once the person reaches the lower deck, emergency messages will provide direction to the closest assembly point for that location.
  • All amplifiers in the system are emergency capable. All have emergency Zone assignments in addition to non-emergency Zone assignments.
  • The LSI-16e is used to switch system the system from non-emergency to emergency mode in the event of a fire or other critical event. The EWS-10 paging stations allow for live paging while the system is operating in emergency mode.
  • The message processor (MS-1e) is used for hosting non-emergency recorded messages and scheduled announcements of daily activities.

External connections to the system 

Fire panel connection to the LSI-16e 

The functionality of the LSI-16e has been tailored to the specific requirements in the EN 54-16 European life safety standard. However, the LSI-16e and CI-1 are still applicable in installations that require highly reliable and fault-tolerant systems with voice evacuation functionality, even if there is no need to meet EN 54-16 standards. Some notifications are specific to EN 54-16, for example, General Fault, General Alarm, Protection Fault, etc and may not be applicable for your jurisdiction. More information on Alarms and Faults can be found here. In this application using the CI-1 facilitates connectivity to the Fire/Evacuation System (CIE) allowing bi-directional control and monitoring. Extra contact closure inputs on the LSI-16e are being used for scheduled fire drills and system testing in Areas 1 - 4 on the lower deck.

Setup requirements:

  • Links between LSI-16e Life Safety Interface and CI-1 Control Interface with supplied jumpers. A detailed setup guide can be found here
  • 24v Standard Compliant external power supply to the CI-1
  • CIE to input channels 1 - 8 on the LSI-16e's IM-16 general purpose inputs - This is what places the Vocia System in Emergency Mode
  • Alarm Reset link from CIE to Rs terminal on the CI-1 - Resets the Emergency Mode in the Vocia System
  • System Fault link between LSI-16e and Evacuation Panel. Allows fire panel to alert when the Vocia Evacuation System has a System Fault and requires attention
  • Voice Alarm Active link from VA terminal on the CI-1 to CIE - Signals the CIE that Vocia has an active alarm
  • General Fault link from the GF terminal on the CI-1 to CIE - Signals the CIE when there's a fault in the Vocia System


  • Alarm Silence link from CIE to SI terminal on the CI-1 - Silences the alarm in the Vocia System


Required physical connections general purpose inputs:LSI-16_rear_IM16_wiring.jpg

  • Inputs are configured as "High-Range monitored"
  • Loss of individual connections will be indicated as a General Fault (GF)
  • Physical inputs 1 - 8 are configured as Alarm triggers for the individual Upper and Lower Zones. Physical IM-16 Inputs 10 - 13 and LSI-16e inputs 1 - 4 are used to test individual Emergency zones. Physical input 15 silences any alarms but leaves the system in emergency mode. Physical Input 16 returns the system to regular/non-emergency mode. Please refer to the picture on the right or review the full LSI-16e connection documentation here

Speaker lines 

  • Speaker circuits are being installed as constant voltage speaker lines - 70V or 100V can be selected via software. In this example, all speaker circuits are 70V.
  • Select speaker transformer taps individually to allow for the emergency messages to be at least 10dB SPL above the A-weighted noise floor in each area. Note that in quiet areas, like passenger and staff cabins, the speaker may provide enough SPL even at the lowest tapping.
  • Attach a PLD-1 or PLD-2 device at every last speaker of each individual speaker line if line monitoring is required. The amplifier will monitor the speaker line from end to end and report an Audio Path Fault message at the LSI-16e if the speaker line is interrupted.
  • If the installation conditions require speaker line branches, or the jurisdiction requires active speaker line monitoring for compliance, End-of-Line Devices (ELD-1) may be used instead of the PLD-1 or PLD-2's to monitor the speaker lines. There can be up to 15 ELD-1's per speaker line to accommodate for branch connections. Note that the ELD-1 requires a PoE-enabled connection to the Vocia Network.

Networking details 

MS1.pngVocia supports two modes of network communication depending on the network topology. One requires a direct connection to a CobraNet network while the other requires an IP-based connection to the MS-1e Message Processor to access the system. The factory default IP address for the MS-1e is, which is already set up in the example configuration accordingly. Should any problems occur to connect to the system, use the MS-1e device maintenance tool in Vocia Software. 

Setup Requirements:

The following devices will require 802.3af (Class 3) power from a PoE capable switch or a suitable PoE injector:

  • 5 - Vocia DS-4
  • 2 - Vocia DS-10
  • 2 - Vocia EWS-10
  • 4 - WR-1
  • 1 - VI-6            
  • 3 - ANC-1        
  • 1 - LSI-16e (2 Ports)

System setup 

All Vocia devices are set, by default, to unity gain. This allows the system to start working, once the file is loaded, with minimal adjustments.

  • Select the output voltage on the amplifiers to 70V or 100V as needed
  • Adjust the amplifier output level as needed for each zone
  • While at the amplifier's properties, go to "ELD Assignment" tab and assign PLD's if being used
  • Adjust ambient sense microphones input levels and values
  • Check and confirm adequate DS-10, DS-4 and EWS-4 microphone input level from the Audio & Live Control tab found under the respective units properties
  • Verify there are no Alarms or Faults active in the LSI-16e. If present, verify wiring and terminations
  • Upload and assign emergency messages that have been customized to the ships evacuation requirements
  • Adjust scheduled announcements of daily activities
  • Test the Emergency Evacuation Systems with each of the triggers for proper functionality and validation
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