What our experts say...
Foodstuffs aren't generally a major component of intruder alarm systems.
This isn't so surprising, really - a ham sandwich or chicken tikka masala don't generally add anything of value to the detection of intruders, not even when the system is protecting a sandwich shop or an Indian takeaway. A PIR hidden in a ham sandwich, though - there's a thought…
But what's all this got to do with the Captiv8-20 system from ADE? Well, the system is based on a 20 zone hard wired control panel, controlled by up to four Remote Keypads (RKP). It provides for a range of wiring options for the zones, and the easiest installation option would be to feed all 20 zones on a diet of biscuits - using iD Plus technology.
For the uninitiated, the iD Plus (intelligent device) biscuit is small enough to fit into most detectors and transmits alarm or tamper conditions with the zone identification number along a two-wire iD Plus bus to the Panel. The iD Plus bus uses standard alarm cable and the total cable length can be up to 400m, which should be more than enough to cover domestic and smaller industrial premises.
It is possible to replace an iD Plus zone with a conventionally wired zone using either closed loop or double end-of-line (DEOL) connections - but not both types in the same system. Conventionally wired zones can be connected to the panel (8), RKP (2 each) or a Zone Expander Unit (ZEX)(8). Life becomes slightly more complicated and there are some zone number designation restrictions to look out for, as we discovered by experience.
The Remote Keypads each have a two line, 32 character LC Display, with backlighting for display and keys. When the display is not otherwise occupied, it shows day, date and time; otherwise it shows system state during and after keyed inputs, also prompting user action necessary to achieve the desired result. Fault conditions and the result of remedial actions are also clearly indicated and recorded in the time and date stamped 500 event log (in the tested version).
A total of 16 user codes can be programmed, using a four or six digit code. A proximity tag can be programmed for each user, along with the user name.
These keypad features, along with the addition of zone names, result in a very 'user friendly' system.
Each panel zone is fully programmable in respect of zone type, such as security, fire, PA, 24hr - but there are restrictions with zone source which need to be considered when planning the system.
The system can be set up for three programmes: programme A - full set; programmes B or C - part set. It is also possible to gain access to part of a set system by means of a keyswitch - a garage or loading bay for example - without unsetting the system. This is termed 'shunt control'.
Engineer System and built-in Digital Communicator programming can be carried out locally either via an RKP or by using a PC connected to the on-board RS 232 connector, or remotely using a PC and the built-in modem. Upload Download (UDL) software is available for both local and remote access to the Activ8-20 Panel.
Programmable outputs are available from the panel (8), the ZEX (4) and an RKP (1 each).
The panel enclosure, which contains the PCB, mains connector, transformer and 7Ah standby battery, is moulded in plastic. The base provides solid supports and secure latches for the PCB, an integral protective cover for the mains transformer, and additional reinforced ribs for standby battery support.
The cover is secured by two plastic hinge/latches and a steel screw into a steel nut. The hinge/latches and the slots in which they engage are not the most robust part of the structure, but should survive installation and maintenance visits if handled with care.
The Remote Keypad enclosures, moulded in ABS, are very neat and unobtrusive, with a hinged flap to hide the keys, leaving the display, power and alert (to system faults) LEDs on show.
The flap has a shaped hinge pin which biases it to either the fully open or fully closed position. There is a depressed region, in the flap, to indicate the position of the proximity tag reader. Key response is positive and reinforced by the keypad buzzer. The RKP is a well designed, operationally effective unit.
The panel, RKP and Zone Expander Unit are each based on a single PCB, all produced to the now familiar high standard, leading to reliable performance.
Before commencing installation, it is essential that a list of each zone number (1-20), zone type (security/fire/ PA/ 24 hr, etc) and zone source (panel/iD Plus bus/ZEX/RKP) is at hand in order to avoid any mix-up when programming. The iD plus biscuit identification number must match the panel zone number; the ZEX channel numbers, 1 to 8, are already mapped sequentially onto panel zone numbers 9 to 16. The panel's connected conventionally wired zones, 1 to 8, are straightforward, and the RKP zones can be programmed to any panel zone number. A zone cannot be double occupied, so in a mixed system, you may have some redundant biscuits left over.
Standard 4 core alarm cable is used for wiring the iD Plus bus, the RS 485 keypad and ZEX bus, and can also be used for conventionally wired DEOL zones. RS 485 and DEOL terminating resistors are supplied.
We looked at a range of Activ8 PIR detectors to check on 'biscuit space'. An iD Plus biscuit, measuring just 18 x 12 x 2.5mm, fitted snugly behind the PCB in the smallest mirror curtain PIR detector, and there was no chance of interference with the optical section. The larger PIRs offered ample space. The Activ8-20 was connected on the bench, along with a Remote Keypad and zones 1-8 connected as closed loop zones in order to check out the system before deviating from the factory settings - any subsequent problems are then usually caused by self inflicted 'finger trouble'.
A Zone Expander Unit was added and a combination of panel, iD, ZEX and RKP zones were connected - no radio zones were available in the tested version. After an initial familiarisation period, manual programming became almost second nature; the small cursor which appeared on the LC display to indicate which line was under current consideration was a most helpful feature.
We did run into a problem with the two ZEX zones connected, since we were trying to programme them onto the wrong panel zone number, being unaware at the time of the unique relationship between them. This was quickly sorted by the ADE Technical Helpline experts.
We were supplied 2 separate booklets: 'Engineering Information' and 'Operating Instructions', with additional 'installation sheets' for the RKP and ZEX.
The Engineering Information contained very clear, annotated diagrams, well supported by concise definitions and explanatory text. Essential points of information and warnings were enclosed in boxes with eye-catching 'i' and '!' logos respectively. Technical specifications were listed, along with a description of each event report.
Had the zone number chart given on p22 shown ZEX zone numbers, rather than a string of ‘A's, then our earlier problems would have been non-existent.
Recently, a copy of the 'ADE Advance Newsletter issue 7' was included with Security Installer. Under the heading 'Top Tips from Technical' it contained very useful information on iD Plus bus cable layout, complete with diagrams and iD Plus bus fault finding, which included typical DMM resistance readings. This would be a helpful addition to the Engineering Information booklet. The Operating Instructions were similarly concise and informative, with diagrams showing typical LC displays. The programming flowcharts, engineers and managers, are clearly set out in the appropriate booklet.
What the manufacturer says ...
Designed to cover up to 20 zones, the Captiv8-20 security panel is suitable for both domestic and light commercial applications. More significantly, it can be used with any signal technology, and even a mix of technologies, whether these are conventional closed loop, single or double end of line, radio, or ADE's unique iD Plus technology. This makes Captiv8-20 ideal for use in premises where an existing security installation needs to be updated or extended.
The panel is designed to provide for up to eight closed loop or end of line (EOL) zones or up to 20 iD Plus zones. Zones are also provided by the remote keypads used for setting and un-setting the panel: a standard or proximity keypad will provide for up to two closed loop or EOL zones, and up to four keypads can be connected to a panel.
Zone expanders can provide for zones in addition to those already available. These are self-contained devices connected between the control panel and a remote keypad that will provide up to eight closed loop or end of line zones, and four programmable outputs. They are fully monitored for tamper status.
With the standard remote keypad, setting and un-setting of the panel is achieved through the manual input of a numeric PIN code; with proximity keypads the numeric code input is via a proximity keyfob.
Up to 16 users, each with their own PIN, can set and unset the panel, which has a built-in event log for up to 400 entries with date/time stamping. Up and downloading programming of the panel is simplified with an onboard software modem, eliminating the need for additional hardware and software. Full up/downloading is possible via a PC, and the software is included for maintenance and repair purposes. The modem is also used for remote alarm communication.
Captiv8-20 is designed in accordance with EN-50131 parts 1 and 6, up to security grade 2, and EN-50130 part 4 EMC standards.