During the 2015 Seminar Series titled Trending Now! #FireProtection: Technologies Impacting the Future, Lee Kaiser spoke about Dialer and Communicator Technology changes. In the video excerpt below, you can watch as he explains how radio DACTs work and what is needed to utilize them. If you would like to register for the 2016 Seminar click here.
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The radio DACTs are a pretty exciting way to do this, and so this is a picture of radio DACT. It's got its own battery inside of that and that's how it gives the 24 hours of battery backup to it. The industry called, calls these RF communicators. They must be used on a radio network so the building must have, or the town where your building is must have an existing radio network for you to connect onto, okay?
There's different ways that those networks get provided. There are publicly owned networks that some municipalities have just decided that any alarm, any building with an alarm inside of their, facility inside the town must subscribe to their network. There are also private fire alarm companies that have come up with their own private networks as a way to generate revenue for themselves and you can subscribe to that network and so either way, it really doesn't matter as long as the network's present but if you just decide that you're gonna cut your POTS lines, save yourself a hundred dollars a month and install a radio dialer but there's no radio network to connect to, that's where you're gonna run into a problem.
This diagram kinda shows us how each panel becomes a repeater for other buildings around it, so if I've got a fire emergency here and I wanna communicate to the monitoring service, well I can bounce through other buildings with those buildings repeating the message to get to that and that's sort of how I get the multiple paths to my building so that's really important there.
Once the network is built this technology's not going to change it. You know radio frequency transmission is here to stay, it's that technology that’s never really going to sunset like our PSTN network is. Cellular dialers are another way to do communications. Cellular dialers communicate along the GSM or CDA network. That's kinda the difference between, you know, AT&T and Verizon. They just use different technologies for their network. So I can set those in my building and have a dual path situation where I've got my dialer here with a combined phone dialer and so one path is to this cellular network, the other path is through the POTS line there, that's in my building and get my transmission to the central station and therefore to the fire department.
If I use this technology in a sole path arrangement which could be allowed by the AHJ then, the teleguard unit out there that's a cellular dialer, it actually checks the integrity every 5 minutes if it's used as the sole communications path, so instead of every hour they increase it to every 5 minutes just to give you an additional sense of security that you've got a constant data transmission from your building.
IP communicators is another way to do this. IP communicators work on the existing building Internet network and so that can be provided through fiber over a Ethernet 100‑base network or through DSL or cable modem so there's just different ways to provide the network but they all work as long as you have, an Ethernet source. And in this case you can have the IP communicator be primary or have cellular or have a DACT as the backup to meet that and this is another technology that would meet the single path if allowed by the AHJ. The great thing about IP communicators is that there's a constantly open data transmission so ultimately this is the fastest way to send signals to the monitoring service.
This is part 4 of the Dialer and Communication Technology Changes series. Watch the other parts at the links below:
- Part 1: Off-Premise Signaling
- Part 2: History of the Network
- Part 3: NFPA Requirements
- Part 5: What Type of Dialer?