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Telephone Network Test System

12-port ARONTS Test Module


ARONTS Network

The Automated Remote Origination Network Test System (ARONTS) is designed to assist network analysts and technicians in determining the operational state of a telephone switching network. Of use to cable company VoIP operators, interexchange carriers (IXC), and local telephone companies (Telco), it initiates test calls from outlying areas, and is intended to verify call connectivity. Tests are conducted end-to-end, and are made in the exact same manner as a customer places a call. Primary uses:

Loss of call connectivity is detected whether the problem lies in the local Telco's or the IXC's jurisdiction. Wherever the failures occur, early detection and correction minimizes the time that network traffic is lost.

The system operates from a central test center by accessing the Remote Test Set, model RTS-2, at each remote test origination point. The remote sites are configured with an incoming access line and an outgoing test line. The remote lines may be shared. Once ARONTS has accessed the RTS-2, it commands that unit to place a test call to any standard 1004 Hz milliwatt number. Call placement times are measured for successful tests; test failures are detected when standard Special Information Tones (SIT), splashback DTMF tones, busy or reorder signals, or voice is received, or an overall timeout occurs. Special test circuits created by the local operating company can be used in place of the RTS-2 in certain circumstances.

ARONTS is completely menu driven from a dedicated PC connected to the centralized telecommunications hardware (Test Module). Up to 48 simultaneous test calls can be conducted. Tables are used to set up the remote locations, test times, milliwatt numbers, and all test parameters. Reports are automatically created showing the statistics for call placement times and network blockages, broken down by remote location and test number. Specialized reports can be created using standard database programs. Call detail for test failures is recorded in a separate log.

Sound Clips

These audio recordings demonstrate how ARONTS accesses the remote sites, places test calls from the remote locations, and releases the RTS-2.

  1. Site Access. In this clip, ARONTS is accessing the RTS-2. It is not conducting an actual test; it is merely connecting to the remote location in preparation for subsequent test call origination from that site. Play Sound Clip
  2. Successful Test. In this clip, a test call is made to a standard milliwatt number which returns a 1004 Hz tone. ARONTS logs these types of responses as a successful test. Play Sound Clip
  3. SIT Tones. In this clip, a test call is made to a number which returns a Special Information Tone. These Bellcore standard tone sequences generally precede voice recordings. In actual use, a milliwatt number would be called, and the SIT response indicates a test call failure. Play Sound Clip
  4. Busy Signal. In this clip, a test call is made to a number which returns a busy signal. In actual use, a milliwatt number would be called, and the busy signal response indicates a test call failure. Play Sound Clip
  5. Release Site. At the conclusion of placing all specified test calls, ARONTS releases the connected RTS-2 in preparation for calling another site. Play Sound Clip

In an actual test run, all scripted test calls are run in sequence, and the various sites are accessed automatically. These audio clips are broken into sections in order to better follow the actions. Additional sound clips demonstrating manual RTS-2 access are available on the RTS-2 Information page.

Sample Test Log Screen

Results of test runs are shown in a Failure Log. This can be printed out, or viewed on screen, as shown below, where options are provided to zoom in on specific entries.

                                  Failure Log
                                                                  Entry: 42
                                                                  Total: 78
      Test    Port                  Log
 Site Nmbr Reg      Date     Time   Code       Description                  
    1    1  11 1L 11/04/91 12:31:16 102 SIT 2#3*5# after 3.2 sec.
    3  134  67 3C 11/04/91 15:26:18 104 Local line lost dialtone, Hot Shoe Call
    5   12 265 2A 11/04/91 15:26:46 118 Busy after 12.8 sec.
   12   20 120 2B 11/04/91 15:27:50 100 Passed after 37.3 sec.
  100  876 121 1D 11/04/91 15:28:20 130 Manual DTMF code ### after 11.0 sec.
    6   30 141 1F 11/04/91 15:28:20 119 Reorder after 8.9 sec.
    8   79  98 2J 11/04/91 15:28:38 122 Invalid Dialing Register
    1    2   9 4A 11/04/91 15:29:50 121 Voice after 20.4 sec.
    7   33  48 2E 11/04/91 15:29:54 120 Ring after 33.7 sec.
   32   57 101 2F 11/04/91 15:30:30 100 Passed after 7.8 sec.
   15   22 100 1A 11/04/91 15:30:58 100 Passed after 10.1 sec.
  500   21 101 1K 11/04/91 15:31:22 100 Passed after 7.9 sec.
   54   22 101 2E 11/04/91 15:31:50 118 Busy after 15.9 sec.
    6   24 110 2A 11/04/91 15:32:20 129 Dialtone after 29.3 sec.
   88 3000 500 3A 11/04/91 15:32:50 124 Too many linked Test Definitions
25000   29 110 2J 11/04/91 15:33:22 103 RTS-1 Timed Out
    1   24 110 1L 11/04/91 15:34:12 101 DTMF 6 after 16.3 sec.

 {Arrows}   + Page -   Top   Bottom   Details   List   Wide   Clear   {Escape}

An expanded listing is printed when the Wide option is selected. This shows all pertinent information about the test call.
View expanded listing

Sample Statistics Report

11:43:29 AM Monday, November 11, 1991

Statistics by Site Number List According to the Following Selection Criteria:

Site#  Master#  LEC#  ---LEC Name----   Zone  Originating #    CO# Description

State LATA   Site CLLI   Tandem CLLI   RTS-1 Sites: Yes       First Site:   1
                                       Simple HotShoes: Yes   Last Site:  500
                                       Coded HotShoes: Yes
                                       Conforming CO's: Yes
                                       NonConforming: Yes
                                       Shared Sites: Yes
                                       UnShared Sites: Yes
                                       Activated Sites: Yes
                                       DeActivated Sites: No

         -Successful Tests-   --------------Unsuccessful Tests----------------

 Site     # of  -Wait-Time-
Number    Tests Averg St Dv   DTMF    SIT   Busy Reorder   Ring  Voice Timeout

    1         3 37.00 25.63      0      0      0      0       0      0     2
    2         2 33.30 15.70      0      0      0      0       0      0     1
    3         2 22.20 15.70      0      0      0      0       0      0     1
    4         2 22.20 15.70      0      0      0      0       0      0     1
    5        27 31.22 17.67      4      2      3      2       2      2     3
   73         9 32.60 18.21      2      1      0      0       1      0     0
  100        13 32.82 19.35      4      2      0      1       2      1     1

Total        58 31.54 17.67     10      5      3      3       5      3     9

Other sample screens and reports can be found in the ARONTS Instruction Manual, chapter 6 (large file).


Translation Error Detection. Milliwatt numbers selected from NPA-NXX destinations may be used to verify the ability of the CO to place calls to all permitted locations. Of increasing importance is the ability to test new area codes from all offices. International dialing is permitted.

Interexchange Carrier Access. Milliwatt test numbers can be forced over all interexchange carrier networks to verify call delivery. 10XXX or 10XXXXX codes can be used to force test calls over all appropriate carriers. If a sufficient number of RTS-2 ports is provided, individual lines can be presubscribed to each carrier, and test calls made over different ports instead of using carrier codes.

800 Database. Toll-free numbers from various 800 service providers can be routed to milliwatt numbers. Tests made with these 800 numbers verify correct 800 database access.

900 and 500 Routing. Numbers from various service providers can be routed to milliwatt numbers. Tests made with these numbers using exchanges assigned to different carriers verify correct routing at the tandem or end office switch.

Feature Testing. Special CO features, such as speed dial, conference calling, and voice mail can be tested to varying degrees depending upon requirements.

Billing Verification. Test calls can be made to quiet termination numbers and held up for a fixed period of time. The log and RawData files can be used to export the call detail of these tests to another software system for comparison purposes against billing records received downstream.

Performance Analysis. Post dial delay can be measured for the entire network, or broken down by various parameters. An example is reporting post dial delay by central office type.

Network Congestion. Tests run during busy hour can detect failures which are not present at other times, due to insufficient facilities.


ARONTS provides a turnkey package of integrated hardware and software. The software defines test call generation abilities. The feature description included in this section is brief, and the instruction manual should be consulted for details.

Menu Operation. The software is completely menu-driven. No cryptic command line input is required. Every display screen depicts the keys which may be used in that context. It is only necessary for the user to understand the general testing flow to use the system; memorization of command sequences is inapplicable.

Database. ARONTS system software provides fields which are used to organize information about the location of the remote units; many of these fields are optional. These are used to maintain a mechanized database containing pertinent data about the site locations. This eliminates or minimizes the necessity of separate recordkeeping. Optional fields are: local exchange carrier; time zone; CO type; operational status; conforming office status; state; LATA; site CLLI; tandem CLLI; remote port directory numbers; and textual notes on the location. These fields can also be used for alternate purposes within any individual company, such as partitioning the locations into regions. With the use of these organizational fields, it is possible to simplify the scheduling of sites under test. Mandatory fields are necessary to access the remote units, and are: access number; dialing method for access; type of site; test code; and program code.

Site Access. A test schedule is created determining which remote locations are to be used to place test calls. This can simply be a list of site numbers to be tested, or the site database fields can serve to select sites automatically; examples are: all sites in a time zone; a particular CO type; state; LATA; and area code. Various combinations of these fields can also be selected.

ARONTS automatically accesses the remote RTS-2 units and places them into test mode. The internal RTS-2 peg counts are read into the computer database as well. No special programming is necessary to access the devices, and the access action is kept separate from the set of test calls to be issued from the site.

In addition to operating with RTS-2 remote units, ARONTS can be used to access other telephone company provided CO test ports, referred to as Hot Shoe and Coded Hot Shoe sites. These mechanisms provide a second dialtone for test calls either with or without additional authorization codes.

Test Scripts. Test calls made manually traditionally utilize field technicians following "test scripts", which supply a list of numbers to dial and the expected response. ARONTS software constructs impose greater organization on the scripts. A list of test numbers to be dialed is defined; and a list of dialing methods is separately specified. These dialing methods, referred to as "Dialing Registers", can be as simple as declaring 7-digit local, or 1 + 10-digit toll calls; or as complex as a sequence of instructions indicating a conference call, or 0+ calling with a calling or credit card. Common usage is to use dialing registers to specify 10XXX prefixes to force test calls over particular interexchange carriers, or to select specific RTS-2 outlines to test different classes of service.

Actual test calls are set out in a "Test Definition" on a site-by-site basis, which links sets of previously defined test numbers with the desired dialing patterns. Should it be necessary to alter individual test numbers, or dialing methodologies, it is only necessary to change those lists; the test definition (of which there can be many in existence for different test goals) remains unchanged.

Logging. Call detail resulting from the test calls is recorded in a log file. Supplied software permits scanning this information on the display screen, or printing a complete record. The log file includes all pertinent information regarding the test call, including, among other data: date and time; originating number; dialed number; a log code; and plain language result description. The log code indicates what the Test Module detected after dialing the test number. Such codes include: 1004 Hz. milliwatt signal; DTMF digits; SIT code; busy signal; reorder signal; ring no answer; voice response; dialtone return; and timeout (high and dry). The log printout may be diverted to an ASCII file for transport via EMail or other electronic methods. All results may be logged, as is typically done to verify the test definition, or only test failures, to be used as an exception report. The latter is typically selected to eliminate printing out voluminous pages of successful tests.

Statistical Collection. A set of statistics files is automatically updated when tests are conducted. These are independent from the log file, which is a call detail report. ARONTS analysis software provides a breakdown of statistical information by sites, site parameters, or test numbers. The data represent the post dial delay and standard deviation of successful calls to milliwatt numbers, and peg counts of the various other call dispositions. Site information polled from the remote RTS-2 sites (peg counts of test and program mode accesses, access answers, and access failures) is also provided. This analysis can be viewed on screen, printed out, or diverted to an ASCII text file.

File Export. Should test analysis beyond that provided by the built-in log and statistics files be desired, an open architecture file export mechanism is supplied for special purpose analysis. A user defined RawData file can be generated in parallel with the other files. This file is intended to be exported to commercial database, spreadsheet, or custom analysis programs. In this fashion, the user need not go to any effort to obtain reports which are an integral part of the ARONTS software, yet the ability is retained to perform post analysis functions which may be company specific.

File Import. Interface programs are provided to import site data and test numbers. This information must be in a specified data format, which can generally be performed with a text editor. These options are only useful if a database already exists in another application program. Test number import is most useful for the case when a regular list of new test numbers, or authorization codes, is to be tested on an ongoing basis.

File Versions. In typical applications there are a multitude of types of tests which need to be conducted for different purposes from time to time. All data files used to determine the test calls can be given version numbers and saved in a built-in archive. In this way, desired test configurations may be retrieved from the archives and executed when needed. ARONTS software makes this a simple and painless operation.

Job Queue. A job queue exists as the highest control layer. It can be used to time the initiation of test execution; group together various types of tests to be run in succession; or to create an automatic mode of operation where test runs are scheduled a week in advance. In its simplest usage, tests may be delayed to run in the off-peak AM morning hours so that personnel can arrive in the morning and process the failure report.

Program Flow

| Database Functions|
|                   |
|  Site Data        |
|  LEC Names        |      ___________________ 
|  CO Descriptions  |     |   Test Schedule   |
|  State/Country    |     |                   |
|___________________|     | determines which  |     Flow is from
                          | Sites are called  |     top to bottom
                          | to place test     |
                          | calls             |
 ___________________       _________|_________       ___________________ 
|   Test Numbers    |     |  Test Definitions |     | Dialing Registers |
|                   |     |                   |     |                   |
| lists numbers     |     | determines what   |     | detailed instruc- |
| available for     |---->| test calls are    |<----| tions on how to   |
| testing           |     | made once remote  |     | dial Test Numbers |
|                   |     | sites are accessed|     | from remote site  |
|     1-65000       |     |                   |     |       1-500       |
|___________________|     |___________________|     |___________________|
|                                                                       |
|                            Test Operation                             |
          |                         |                         |          
          |                         |                         |          
 _________|_________       _________|_________      ..................... 
|                   |     |                   |     .                   .
|     Log File      |     | Statistics Files  |     .   RawData File    .
|___________________|     |___________________|     .....................
          |                         |                         |          
          |                         |                         |          
 _________|_________       _________|_________       _________|_________ 
|    Failure Log    |     |     Analysis      |     | Lotus, dBase,     |
|                   |     |                   |     | Paradox, or       |
|     Menu Item     |     |     Menu Item     |     | custom program    |
|___________________|     |___________________|     |___________________|
          |                         |                                    
          |                         |                      
 _________|_________       _________|_________    
|    Printout or    |     |    Printout or    |
|    Printer.Txt    |     |    Printer.Txt    |
|  ASCII Text File  |     |  ASCII Text File  |
|___________________|     |___________________|



The central call generator (ARONTS) consists of a Test Module and Control Computer, which is an Intel compatible personal computer (PC). The system includes the PC equipped with the necessary resources to run the application programs; an internal modem for maintenance/support; and a printer.

The Test Module is available in cabinet sizes of 12, 24, 36, and 48 ports, and at order can be equipped with cards in sizes of 2, 6, 12, 24, 36, and 48 ports (up to the cabinet size). Order number is AR-ss-ee (ss=cabinet and ee=equipped size). Configurations are:






























Unfilled cabinets can be increased to larger line sizes with the addition of line card/Tone Controller pairs, which are user installable. Order number is AR-Exp (each).

Physical dimensions and weight. The 12-port desktop cabinet (AR-12-12) dimensions are 20.5" width x 16" height x 26" depth; weight is 92 lbs. The 24-port desktop cabinet (AR-24-24) dimensions are 20.5" width x 26" height x 26" depth; weight is 116 lbs. The 36-port desktop cabinet (AR-36-36) dimensions are 20.5" width x 26" height x 26" depth; weight is 150 lbs. The 48-port free standing cabinet (AR-48-48) dimensions are 21" width x 51" height x 23" depth; weight is 240 lbs.

Jack and line types. The 12-port Test Module has a single RJ-21X connector cable exiting the cabinet: a female 25-pair Amphenol connector with 12 circuits used (pins 1-26, 2-27, etc.). The 48-port Test Module has two RJ-21X connector cables exiting the cabinet, 24 pairs used on each cable. A single RJ-11 modular connection is required for the modem. The telephone lines must be 2-wire loop start, DTMF signaling. DB-25 connectors are used at the RS-232 interconnection between the Test Module and the Control Computer. Connecting cables are provided with the ARONTS system.

System Specifications

Sites: 25,000
Local Exchange Carrier designations: 9,999
Central Office types: 255
State/Country designations: 255
Test Numbers: 65,000 per test run
Dialing Registers: 500 per test run
File Version numbers: 999
ARONTS ports: up to 48 (simultaneous number of test calls)

Typical test call time: 15 seconds + network delay
Typical RTS-2 access time: 30 seconds
Example: Assume an average of 43 test calls per site with a network delivery time of 5 seconds using a 12-port ARONTS. 43 calls x (15 + 5) = 860 seconds. Add 30 second site access time, yielding 15 minutes per site. Four sites per hour per port x 12 ports gives a throughput of 48 sites per hour. This figure goes down somewhat if a small number of identical test numbers are specified which cannot be dialed simultaneously, or a large number of test failures occurs.


ARONTS uses the remote test set in order to originate telephone calls into the network from remote locations (sites).
RTS-2 Information



Florida Public Service CommissionTelus

On-site training and installation is available. A typical training agenda is as follows:

Day 1 Morning (Classroom Presentation)

        Standard Network Termination Testing
        Connectivity Testing
        Origination Testing
        Detect translation and routing errors
        Verify after switch software upgrades
        Find dynamic trunk blockage
        Measure call placement times
        Billing record validation
        Automate as much as possible
        Eliminate travel necessity
        Abolish costly FX lines
        Telephone line connection
        Remote Access
        Test Mode Functions
                Seize line
                Redial DTMF fast
                Redial DTMF slow
                Redial rotary pulse
                Enable test call timeout
                Listen for ringing
                Read Information
                New Access
        Program Mode Functions
                Set rings to answer
                Expansion Modules
                Inhibit line answering
                Set Test Code
                Set Program Code
                Set Access Time
                Set Overall Time
                Set Disconnect Time
                Initialize all parameters
                Internal tests
        Speakerphone Demonstration
        Test Module
                Line Card
                Tone Controller
                        Special Information Tones (SIT)
                Master Controller
                Coupler Controller
                Monitor Speaker
        Control Computer
                Menu driven
                Remote control/Maintenance support
        Test Call Placement
                        RTS-1 Sites
                        Simple Hot Shoe Sites
                        Coded Hot Shoe Sites
                Test Schedule
                        Operation Tables
                Test Numbers
                Dialing Registers
                Test Definitions
                Setup Parameters
                Site Access

                Test Number Selection
                Specific Tests
                [Failure] Log
                Test Analysis (Statistics)
                Canned Reports
                RawData Usage
        File Maintenance
                File Versions
                Backup/Retrieve Options

Day 1 Afternoon (Hands-on software training)

        LEC Names
        CO Descriptions
        State/Country Names
        Site setup
        Test Schedule
        Test Numbers
        Dialing Registers
        Test Definitions
        Master Display
        Display One
        Specific Test

Day 2

        Substitution Dialing Register Commands
        Access Registers
        Test Call Registers
                Simple dialing patterns
                Credit Card Calling
        File Descriptor Definition
        File Descriptor Definition

Day 3

Assistance with actual test requirements setup
IC Engineering, Inc.