Notes on Wireless Door Alarms
From PTI Security Systems
Wireless door alarm systems have several advantages over traditional "Hard-wired" systems, and a few disadvantages.
- The ability to "retrofit" wireless alarms onto an existing facility is a tremendous advantage. Attempting to do this with a hard wired system would be extremely impractical.
- Installation time is greatly reduced. The average hard wired system takes approximately 20 minutes per door to install, while a wireless system takes about 2 to 3 minutes per door. This decreases installation costs.
- Visibility. The external alarm transmitter provides a visible indication to your customers of the security of the facility.
- Flexibility. Additional units can be easily added on if the site is expanded.
- Cost: The equipment costs for the wireless transmitters is higher than the costs for the hardwired system. This balances out the advantages of installation costs some, depending on the local costs in your area for installers.
- Maintenance: Because of the technology used the batteries have a life of several years, but they will need to be changed eventually. However, the system is designed to give a low battery warning before a battery fails.
- Radio Interference: The system is designed with a spread spectrum frequency hopping radio, making interference unlikely but not impossible. In some very rare instances, a site may have radio interference problems.
General system layout
Wireless systems consist of the following equipment:
- Transmitters: 1 per door. On units that have more than one door, each door will have a transmitter.
- Repeaters (optional): The wireless transmitters have very good performance but on some sites that are large enough to require them there will be one or more repeaters placed in various locations. The exact location depends on the size and layout of the site, construction materials used, the presence of indoor units, firewalls, if the site has multiple floors, and a number of other esoteric variables. It will be necessary to have power at these locations so planning ahead is important. Consult with your PTI Security salesperson for expert assistance.
- Transceiver: There will be one transceiver connected to the system for each 700 transmitters on a site (1 to 700 transmitters = 1 Transceiver, 701 to 1400 transmitters = 2 transceivers, etc.). This will be located in the office (or close by). It must be located in an area that is easily accessible in case new transmitters need to be programmed into the system. The transceiver gets its power from the Head End unit.
- Wireless Head End: One per transceiver. This is the interface between the transceiver and the Falcon XTHardware controller used in conjunction with StorLogix software to control AI Devices at a site.. It will be in the same general location as the transceiver, as access to it in necessary for programming purposes.
- Transmitters are installed high on the door frame opposite the door latch. The magnet for the transmitter is mounted onto the door curtain so that with the door in a closed and latched position, the magnet is aligned properly with the transmitter. Proper alignment is very important to reduce the chance for false alarms.
- On some door types, optional spacers may be needed to move the transmitter far enough away from the door frame to obtain proper alignment with the magnet. This is often seen on doors that are insulated.
- Anti-Tamper capabilities are built into the transmitter.
- Transmitters send a periodic "heartbeat" message to the system so that it knows that they are present. Failure to receive this message (over a period of time) will result in an offline status being shown for that unit. Various actions can be triggered as a result of an offline transmitter.
- To decrease installation time and reduce potential errors, transmitters are "learned" into the transceiver and head end unit prior to a system being shipped to a site. Each transmitter will be labeled with its AI DeviceAccess Interface Device. A general name referring to all PTI Keypads, Multiplexers, Relay Boards, and Wiegand Protocol Devices. In previous PTI systems these were occasionally referred to as remotes or remote devices. number and "Slot" number.
- When installing the transmitter on a unit, the unit number along with the AI device and slot number of the transmitter should be recorded on a sheet of paper. This will be used later to program the StorLogix software.
- For additional notes covering both types of door alarms, click here.