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Topics - bramfrank

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Just had a major failure to deploy for a Mod Hub system (6 keypads, 21 wired zones, 3 wireless, cell and so on).  Keypads simply stopped working over the buss - an issue related to the rather foolish high speed RS-485 data buss and its sensitivity to star configuration wiring. It doesn't help that the convoluted design makes the integrated cellular radio very insensitive.

It isn't as if the Modular Hub is new - apparently it has been sold in Australia for almost 10 years, so there is no excuse.

We will be ripping out the Mod Plus and replacing it with an NX8V2/NX-1820e keypads and NX-595 (to get the Ultrasync connectivity) and NX-591NE cell module.  I contacted my rep and told him I expected them to take back the removed equipment - he refused outright and the $1200 at cost in equipment is now a loss for me on this project.

Looking at my notes and old e-mails, Interlogix US support has known about the various issues as reported by me and confirmed by them since I started reporting them in 2016 and they have resolved none of the problems - I asked that a product manager call to discuss the issues and explained that given the complete lack of marketing on their part, any negative publicity is likely to be devastating.

So far no one has bothered to phone.

I'm looking for a capture device for SIA or CID that reports to an Osborne-Huffman receiver without a third party service.

Anyone know who makes these at a reasonable proce?


Well, I was told it would be in June, but given Interlogix's untimely delivery of the new Advisor, perhaps we shouldn't be holding our breaths.  On the Advisor front it looks like they are shipping product to major accounts this month - us mere mortals have to wait until the pipeline is filled, supposedly mid June.

It also looks like some very interesting connectivity and automation options will be released for the NX series in about 2 months' time.

That's all I am allowed to say.

Security System Rants and Raves / Wireless sucks
« on: January 02, 2014, 06:56:43 AM »
OK, everyone knows that wireless sucks, even if they won't admit it.  And I do not install wireless unless forced to.  However I do have ONE wireless zone in my home (the garage door, which is equipped with an integrated GE GD tilt sensor) and effective the night before last it has stopped working.

The good news is that the zone is purely informational - it is set up to send me a text when the door closes because I can't ever remember whether I watched the door close completely and often used to return home to make sure it was down (and with one exception, it has always been properly closed, but that one event was cause to put in some supervision).

Up to now, with the exception of extreme variability in the message delivery times I have always received my notices - however as of the 30th, it stopped reporting - it isn't the panel and it isn't the cellular modem.  It seems to be the cold (it is -10f up here this morning).

What REALLY bugs me is that the system isn't reporting supervisories.  So much for reliability

Wireless sucks. 

I'm going to have one of my installers run a wire to the door and put in a proper OHD contact today and that'll eliminate THAT technology from my system.

I have a client with an ITI Caretaker Plus that we took over under protest, having warned the client that we knew little about the panel.  Aside from the occasional sensor low battery all has been fine until now.

Client reported that the panel was beeping periodically - (couldn't pin them down on how many beeps or how often) and the station received two 'trouble' reports from a particular zone.  But the claim was that nothing was displayed on the keypad (there is only one, and it is wired).

Checking the manual, all it says is that 6 beeps means 'trouble' with no further information - but we changed the main battery to be safe with no change and I, for one hate flailing around.  The panel reports 'ready' otherwise.

Unfortunately, the homeowner is in financial straits and the house has been sold effective a few months from now, so panel replacement is not an option.

I'm looking for ideas here . . . anyone?

The local UTC/GE/Caddx/Networx/etc . . . rep called me last week and asked if I could help out another alarm company with a Simon installation they were having issues with.

Sure, says I, not knowing what I was getting into.  How bad can a Simon installation be?

It was explained that the other company is not IN the alarm business, but rather sells video solutions and occasionally will contract out an alarm install if it is required to sell the video - they don't actually KNOW anything about alarms and they don't do the work.

The rep told me that there were two systems installed for the client and that the installers had put in DSC 3G3070 cellular capture devices, since the locations had no physical phone lines, but that they didn't realise that they needed to program in account numbers and phone numbers.  He himself had fixed the first one, but he was busy and perhaps the company would send business our way (I know better than to do subcontract work for other alarm companies - they don't pay enough - there are some installers in the area getting $50 these days for putting up a basic wireless system.

Again, how bad can it be?  We set up an appointment for 8 AM today (Friday).  Overnight they sent me the station information and subscriber data . . . . these guys were 100 km away out in cottage country - and I had a full day planned!!!

But a commitment is a commitment, so at 6:30 I get into the truck and head north, arriving about 10 minutes late because of slow moving traffic on 2 lane roads on a long weekend.  I couldn't find the building - it was in a small town and the only possible site was a derelict building - with boarded over windows . . . . but no address affixed.  This was supposed to be a gym!!!!

A lady called out my name and indeed, the empty building was the target, so we went in.  The building was unheated.  The Simon was chirping every minute or so.  The neighbours had to be unhappy, since there is no glass in the windows.

I log into the Simon and program the phone and account numbers and set it up for SIA, since that's what the client record specified - still chirping - the panel would dial now, but would not connect . . . . the DSC was set for CID and it was mounted up high - it also showed low battery and the power supply was unable to get the voltage up above 12.6 or so volts . . . . I had no parts and the system at that level was working,  Likely the issue is that the place is unheated.  I set the panel for CID - the station can deal with the report codes.

I test - the system reports.  My job is complete.

But the client asked me to verify the system.

So I check the sensors (there are 3 programmed) all claiming to be delay doors.  One of the sensors is dead, another has a low battery.  I ask her to show me the doors in question and she gives me a funny look.  It seems that she has 3 motion detectors and that they are outdoors and apparently cover the back yard, where they store marine gear for the locals during summer months.

We head out - the snow is up to my thighs - I pop the detectors off their mounts and bring them inside.  Indeed one has essentially dead batteries and another has low batteries and the third is OK for now.  But wait, there's something wrong!!!

It also seems that the installers mounted the motions upside down!!!  The outdoor housing has  the lip to keep water out in the bottom.  The brackets were assembled backward.  THAT'S why the client went out with a long board to wave in front of the detectors - because they were facing the sky!!!

We head next door and buy a couple of sets of batteries, I put them in, we test the sensors and they work.  But the installers have programmed the three detectors as group 10 devices (delay perimeter doors) and named them all as 'front door'!!!  So once the exit delay expired they would allow 60 seconds, with the siren chirping the countdown before the siren would sound - and then there's that 15 second dial delay . . .

OK, reverse the outdoor mounting bracket, change the zone text, put the detectors into group 16, verify that all is well and put them back up outside and what SHOULD have been a 10 minute service call ended up with 3 hours of driving and 2 hours on site.

Had the installers asked HOW, instead of just bolting up equipment and running, perhaps the client might have had some protection in the period since the equipment was installed last June.  I wonder if these same issues exist at that other site, the one the rep did himself?

Now to invoice for 190 or so kms and 5 hours - likely more than the company charged for the entire system.

Security System Rants and Raves / It might be nice if . . . .
« on: January 17, 2013, 11:38:58 AM »
The Caddx forum had the brand's name spelled correctly in the title.

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