January 2007 Online Tech Talk Q & A

Q: I have a customer that wants to have his alarm system monitor theft of, or out of, loaded delivery trucks parked at his loading dock. Do you have any suggestions on a good way to secure these items?

A: One method is to use a sealed pull-apart cord device called a “Magnapull” manufactured by GE/Sentrol. This would physically loop through the truck gate/door and then the end of the supervised cord would plug into a special receptacle (it comes with the kit) on the body of the truck. The dock/building side of the supervised cord would connect to a monitored zone on the building’s alarm system. The Magnapull cable can be ordered as armored cabling and with a built-in EOL resistor.

Q: I am getting more and more residential customers switching to a digital broadband VoIP phone service. I am concerned about existing POTS dialer signals not getting through on the VoIP service. However, I do not want to tell the customer they have to pay for the time and cost of putting in an upgraded panel. Any suggestions?

A: First off, customer should be warned that anything short of a new IP module or control panel can have problems. You could try to switch your communication format to 3/1 or 4/2 pulse. Have central station be aware of possible increase in error signals. The best option is to install at the minimum a POTS to IP converter module provided by the particular alarm control manufacturer. If that is not available some companies such as Bosch now make a universal IP communication module that will work on most alarm controls. IP alarm monitoring can provide fast and efficient line supervision, however the customer should be made aware that most VoIP service still lack battery backup.

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