The first NetLink firmware release of 2017 is in, and it's a big one. Version 8.04 has been shipping for about two weeks now and is currently available on the LifeSafety Power website for updating existing NL2 or NL4 boards. This release contains the usual refinements along with some valuable new features and layout improvements.
Any NL2 or NL4 currently at version 7.15 or higher can upgrade directly to 8.04. If your NL2 or NL4 has a version of firmware prior to 7.15 currently installed, you must first install 7.15 before upgrading to 8.04. The Firmware Downloads page of our website has both 7.15 and 8.04 available for download. Follow the included instructions for the update procedure.
Note that this update is NOT for the discontinued NL1 board - The final firmware release for the NL1 is 5.21, which is also available for download.
The layout of the FPO status pages has been changed for more logical grouping of data and settings with power supply measurements and statistics now at the top of the page, battery information and battery testing in the middle section, and settings at the bottom. Several other smaller layout adjustments have also been made throughout the GUI.
Several new features have been added to the Netlink with this release - these new features are immediately available to any NL2 or NL4 after upgrade, with no change in hardware required.
A Client ID field has been added in addition to the existing Site ID field for better identifying the system. The Client ID can be set on the configure page adjacent to the Site ID setting and appears on all screens of the GUI.
On the home page in the Network Module Dashboard, there is now a checkbox labeled "Fault Data Only". By checking this box, when history data is viewed or exported from the NetLink, ONLY the fault data will be shown and all data points showing normal operation will be hidden. This makes it easier to analyze problems by eliminating less relevant data points.
Each FPO page in the NetLink GUI now has a field where you can enter the desired battery standby time. The NetLink will then compare the battery test results with this value and send an alert if the measured standby time does not meet this minimum requirement.
Previously, if an incorrect password was entered three consecutive times, the NetLink would lock out the user for 24 hours. This Password Lockout delay is now able to be changed to several values between 5 minutes and 24 hours.
With Version 8.04, the NetLink now has the ability to export and import configuration files to allow backup of a system configuration, creation of a "standard configuration" for integrators to apply to all systems, or to speed configuration of multiple systems. The main export function will save all pertinent NetLink, FPO, and M8 settings to the configuration file.
Several improvements have been made to the M8 programming page:
Output Description Added
The Output Descriptions have been added to the programming page, allowing the user to see the programmed name for each output while configuring.
The M8 programming info may be imported and exported separately from the NetLink configuration. A checkbox to include the Output Descriptions in the export is included.
Automatic Limit Setting
The upper and lower limits for voltage and current for each M8 output is now able to be set automatically with the push of a button. When the button is pressed, the M8 will activate each output, measure the nominal voltage and current values, then set the upper and lower limits based on the percentages you enter.
The functionality of the physical hardware reset button on the NetLink has also been changed. Previously, holding the button for 5 seconds would reset the User Name, Password, and IP settings. Now with 8.04, holding the reset button for 10 seconds will reset only the User Name and Password, leaving the IP information intact. To also reset the IP information, hold the reset button for 20 seconds.
The category reached new heights, offering intelligence and analytics
What’s new in power? Everything! Here are six trends that benefit the end-user with greater reliability and lower total cost of ownership.
1. Network Migration
Power solutions are no longer static commodity products. They’ve evolved into intelligent networking and management appliances capable of providing detailed analytics and data that aid the end-user in continued uptime and ongoing connectivity. For example, network communications modules with intuitive software and easy to use interfaces, provide predictive analysis, history reports and documentation that keeps solutions healthy and viable for the long haul.
2. Predictive Analysis
Wouldn’t it be great if an end-user knew, ahead of time, of impending lock failure or battery fatigue –offering the ability to replace components in a timely manner and maintain system uptime? It’s possible today with proactive power system management and predictive analysis data from networked components. For the end user, being able to budget for new products and services is also a big benefit, as upgrades and new hardware specifications can be figured into monthly operating expenses. With intuitive software and easy user interfaces, end users have at their disposable some of the best predictive tools available.
3. Remote Serviceability
Remote power networking is part of a bigger solution. When integrators don’t have to roll a truck to a site for a system reboot or other servicing issue, that’s a big savings to both installer and end-user customer. Not only is there an ongoing cost savings to the integration business, but the user is assured of greater uptime, connectivity and the possibility of avoiding a major business disruption. Many times a simple system reboot or battery test can be accomplished off-site quickly before any real issues or challenges arise. In addition, ongoing health reports provide a comprehensive history of power activity and proactive statistics on real-time, ongoing system status. Giving customers better service and greater peace of mind is also an end result.
4. Enterprise Lower Total Cost of Ownership
In vast, connected enterprises and campuses, any down time to a system solution can be devastating, costly and unwieldy. As the internet of Things continues to proliferate and 6.4 billion devices are connected to the internet daily, systems solutions will become increasingly co-dependent with all networked parts of the facility, including building automation/management, HVAC and security. Solutions protected properly with intelligent network monitoring ultimately bring more efficient processing and analysis of data, so end users can leverage information to detect risks proactively, react to situations in real time and stay ahead of a potential compromise while also increasing the overall efficiency of deployed safety and security measures. This results in a lower total cost of ownership and more efficient operations and business processes.
5. Cyber Security Enhanced
Everything that rides on the network must be protected from data theft or compromise. Cyber security is the industry’s next challenge and opportunity, and power solutions riding on the network are being created with hardened postures in communications designed to prevent surreptitious takeover. Testing and certifications which validate inherent safeguards in network communications products need to be established and followed. System interfaces, instrumentation and infrastructure safeguards should be designed from the ground up to prevent attacks to networked solutions.
6. Critical Data for Optimizing Solutions
Data and analytics are no longer reserved for video surveillance streams. In fact, every device on the network is capable of yielding important information to the end-user, when designed in an easy-to-use and interpret interface. With server-based systems, users have access to data over time that can be charted to see a trend analysis, making the data useful and highly interactive. Data that simply reports baselines with no history or predictive monitoring isn’t smart or intelligent and ultimately does nothing to better protect the enterprise.
Did you know something as simple as output voltage can have a dramatic effect on the life of your locks? All LifeSafety Power FPO power supplies are UL Listed as having a regulated output, extending the life of locks and other connected equipment by reducing heat. In order to explain how this is possible, we first need to ask...
The word "regulated" can have at least two different meanings when talking about power supplies. These two meanings are very close, with one distinct difference.
In engineering terms, a regulated power supply is one which has circuitry to hold the output voltage within a small range that is centered around the actual SET output voltage across all line and load conditions. This window is usually small and given in a +/- percentage (for example: 27.2V +/-5%). This example power supply can range between 25.8V and 28.6V and still be considered a properly regulated supply.
In the lifesafety industry, UL defines a regulated output as +10%/-15% of the NOMINAL voltage. In this case, the power supply set for 27.2V is considered to be a 24V power supply. Given the +10%/-15% requirement on this 24V nominal voltage, this translates to an acceptable voltage range of 20.4V-26.4V. In this case, the 27.2V power supply is NOT considered to be regulated by UL, even if that voltage doesn't change at all under any line or load conditions.
As you can see, the subtle difference between set voltage and nominal voltage makes a significant difference in what is considered regulated. From a strictly electronic engineering standpoint, essentially every DC power supply in the industry today is regulated - however from UL's perspective, very few are considered regulated. For the remainder of this discussion, "regulated" refers to the UL definition.
So how does this lower voltage range extend the life of a magnetic lock such as a maglock or door strike? Simply by reducing heat. Lowering the voltage used to power the lock greatly reduces the heat generated within the lock and is recommended by most lock manufacturers. Excessive heat within the lock can cause the windings to break down prematurely and can also cause mechanical failures due to expansion or swelling of internal components. Minimizing heat is especially critical in warmer climates, where it is not uncommon for a strike to "jam" up due to heating effects of the higher voltage coupled with strong afternoon sunlight or higher ambient temperatures.
Many "Brand X" power supplies do have an adjustable output voltage allowing a wide adjustment range. While it's true that the output can probably be adjusted to a low enough voltage to protect your locks on these supplies, the problem then comes in properly charging batteries.
A non-regulated power supply has a single regulator and uses the output voltage to also charge the batteries, usually through a current limiting device like a PTC (which has its own set of problems). This is done by many manufacturers to save the cost of an independent battery charging circuit. The problem is that whatever the output voltage is set for is also what is applied to the batteries - so if you set your output for 25VDC, your battery charging voltage will also be only 25V, which is far too low to charge a 24V lead-acid/gel cell battery set. Increase the output voltage to the recommended 27.2V to charge the batteries and you are now applying excessive voltage to the locks.
LifeSafety Power has gone the extra mile to provide an independent charging circuit on all of our DC power supplies. This allows the main output voltage to be set for 25V to power your locks and other equipment while a separate regulator charges the battery at the proper 27.2V nominal voltage. This also has other benefits, such as the battery charging current not reducing output current capability, a stable output voltage during battery recharge, larger battery capacity, and optimized battery charging (so not only do your batteries charge properly, they also charge faster).
The output voltage setting of 25V was chosen as a balance between being low enough to minimize excessive heat while also being high enough to provide a small overhead for overcoming a reasonable voltage drop in the wiring to the powered device. At the 12V setting, the output voltage is set for 12.5V.
Thanks for a great 2016!
As 2016 draws to a close and we prepare for greater successes in 2017, LifeSafety Power® wants to sincerely thank our security industry colleagues and technology partners who helped us carve a new category in intelligent networked power management.
Thanks to you, it’s been a great year, as we’ve raised awareness of the critical data that can be collected from networked power communications and announced new, exciting partnerships with more high-level manufacturers and technology providers. We’ve worked with the best sales representatives, consultants, systems integrators and other key collaborators – and it shows in all we’ve accomplished together.
New Year—New Innovation
Our team is dedicated to innovation. We’ve been working non-stop on new solutions to take power to yet another level – with the kind of data, ease of use and controls that benefit the installer with additional managed services opportunities while giving the end-user intuitive interfaces and greater connectivity. In 2017, we’ll show the industry additional ways, through product, software and communications, to further strengthen the value proposition of power.
Look for our 2017 catalog coming shortly and as always, reach out to us at 888-577-2898 with questions, comments or suggestions. The future is in all our hands!
Specify intelligent, networked power solutions
We understand your goal is to be your customer’s best service provider and deliver targeted safety and security integrations that yield tangible results. And at LifeSafety Power®, Mundelein, Ill., we have similar aspirations, focusing on providing the type of technologies that will assist our integrator customers and fulfill their security challenges across all vertical markets served. One of the most critical categories for successful systems integration deployments is power – because no solution can start, or survive, without it.
We’ve forged a new category in power centered on intelligent networking capabilities. Because in addition to providing uptime 365 days a year, systems integrator’s specifications need to bring additional value through remote monitoring and managed security services that ultimately result in predictable recurring monthly revenue and a satisfied customer.
LifeSafety Power is proud of the fact that our solutions are professionally designed and manufactured in the U.S. Our award-winning solutions have garnered numerous industry accolades, proving that innovation, quality products and the needs of the systems integration community always come first at LifeSafety Power.
We believe in your voice as our primary customer and consult with integrators in the field regularly to gather the information we need to produce life safety and security solutions that are so much more than simple power systems.
In our increasingly IT centric world, the best value proposition is one that lets your technicians manage, control and service – remotely -- power solutions across the business or enterprise seamlessly and securely. Another critical part of this value proposition and your profitability is the ability to reduce the number of costly truck rolls to a customer site.
Lower total cost of ownership (TCO)
Your end-user customers demand constant connectivity and uptime and this trend will intensify with the growing number of installed sensors and data expected to emanate from the internet of Things (loT). Customers require business process improvement and can’t afford down time, which could result in a devastating loss. The intrinsic value in the intelligent networking proposition from LifeSafety Power also yields a lower total cost of ownership (TCO) to the user, and the ability to proactively manage and assess power viability 24/7. It’s a better way to conduct business and another way to differentiate projects and services in the competitive marketplace. Read what leading systems integrators are accomplishing with LifeSafety Power solutions here in our free white paper on remote monitoring as a managed service.
Here are four key features you can offer customers with LifeSafety Power solutions:
1. Remote battery management and testing,
2. Remote device monitoring and restart/power cycle functionality,
3. Proactive detection and assessment of problems, and
4. System solution health and connectivity reports generated on demand or any at any desired schedule or interval.
We also have a fully Underwriters Laboratories listed (U.S. and Canada) system, with industry-leading Authentic Mercury Security controllers, as well as the award-winning iSCAN™ Rack Mount Series that solves small footprint concerns and installs seamlessly in data center environments or IT closets.
Technology is changing rapidly, much faster than Moore’s Law original mandate. Intelligent power and networking solutions can help you keep up with all the new challenges and maintain a satisfied customer – for life.
For more information, contact LifeSafety Power today.
Unified Power Solutions have you covered
FlexPower® Unified Power Solutions incorporate the best partnerships we’ve developed with leading security manufacturers and bring a bevy of installation efficiencies to the integration community.
FlexPower, our flagship product, is just that – offering inherent flexibility and scalability in a modular package that’s designed to eliminate field wiring in a space-saving enclosure that ultimately saves integrators precious time and money.
How much, you ask? With LifeSafety Power unified enclosures, integrators can realize up to 40% installation savings and 60% wall space savings.
With FlexPower Unified Power Solutions, security integrators specifying access control installations can take advantage of a single chassis coordinating system power, lock power and access panel hardware. Through partnerships with companies that include Mercury Security (MCLASS), Brivo (BCLASS), AMAG Technology (ACLASS), Software House (SCLASS), Paxton Access (PCLASS), HID VertX (VCLASS), Honeywell (HCLASS) and Keyscan/Kantech (KCLASS) we’ve engineered complete electrical and mechanical integration of power, locks and access controllers, providing faster, simpler installation and greater service efficiencies.
Traditionally, access control integrators would need three separate cabinets for system power, lock power and access hardware, greatly increasing the wall space footprint and the job costs due to multiple AC drops and inter-cabinet wiring. A removable back plate further simplifies panel wiring and expansion slots are ready for network monitoring upgrades. The pre-connected power section further saves installation time and an AC disconnect point yields easy field servicing.
In addition, the unique power distribution architecture we’ve pioneered busses 12 and 24V DC across all the power distribution modules with individual voltage selection on a per output basis.
Combined with the powerful NetLink™ Network Communications Modules integrators can provide a wealth of managed services to their customers, including power health reporting, remote battery testing, email/SNMP alerts and more.
Customers today want a solution that’s reliable and delivers proactive reporting from intelligent networking. FlexPower Unified Power Solutions get you there easily. Contact LifeSafety Power today to get started!
New white paper cites savings from intelligent remote power management
How many times have you scratched your head trying to quantify the return on investment (ROI) for an integrated system solution? Now, LifeSafety Power has a new white paper that provide real numbers and specific examples on how to determine your ROI for intelligent networking power management.
“The Compelling ROI of Managed Power Solutions,” provides detailed costing and potential pricing so specifiers, integrators and end users can finally understand and plan for their profitability and ROI with integrated solutions implementations.
With managed, intelligent power networking, systems integrators can obtain new tangible and predictable recurring revenue streams. Through remote servicing and managed monitoring, integrators can now monitor power across the protected premises and enterprise – and assess any trouble circumstances or exceptions in power, such as AC loss or overheated circuitry and other event reporting – and deliver this data in highly usable historical reports to the customer.
The white paper includes many other potential managed power services and monitored output points that are now possible with intelligent networking solutions. Other potential managed power services include: remote battery testing, power cycling, system reboots and more.
Charts, Graphs and Real-Life Examples
One of the most unique parts of this white paper is provided in detailed graphics which document the potential costs of traditional access control systems versus monitored systems as well as the possible upsell for RMR services. Calculating the ROI for a managed power system is also documented in the white paper with charts that cite common factors to consider, as well as real-world examples of pricing, costs and savings from managed power.
Download this free whitepaper today so you can get started realizing greater profitability and a new, tangible revenue stream, as well as help customers across many vertical markets obtain greater value from their integrated systems solutions and better uptime.
By now you are probably well aware of the NetLink's monitoring abilities and the added monitoring and control provided when an M8 board is used in conjunction with the NL4. But did you know that both the NL2 and NL4 have two control outputs which can be used to control external relays or other devices?
The control outputs can be used when basic control is needed without the full ISCAN functionality. Our latest application note AN25 goes in-depth on using these control outputs to control individual devices or groups of devices, as well as other uses. It can be found here:
Here’s how we’re perpetually innovating the product category
The countdown to ASIS 2016 in Orlando (September 12 through 14) is on! We’ll have lots of innovation to talk about at the industry’s premier security conference and exhibition. At the show, LifeSafety Power® will highlight new, exciting networking features, partnerships, integrations and expanded product capabilities. Until then, we want to revisit some of the excitement that’s been going on over the last months, like the release of the award-winning FlexPower® Gemini RGM power management system.
The state of systems integration
Footprints and real estate in data centers and customer sites can be a challenge, especially as these spaces may be extremely tight. They may even be located in a small electrical closet or similar constricted location. It’s this world of IT that we have to co-exist in today, and we’re getting the job done in a big way with the compact Gemini.
Gemini RGM is designed specifically for small footprints and is a 19-inch rack mount product that provides both operating power and mechanical housing for Authentic Mercury Security access control hardware. This enclosure is totally ground breaking: it combines system power, lock power and remote power options in a UL-listed (U.S. and Canada) enclosure. The breakthrough is in the UL-listing garnered for all integrated components within the enclosure, allowing systems integrators to have a fully compliant, turnkey solution suitable for four doors and easily expandable in four-door increments. Now, systems installers have the availability of an IT-centric solution that’s fully listed and allows them to specify power for a variety of vertical market customers and facilities they may not have been able to reach before.
Gemini received a Most Valuable Product (MVP) award in April 2016 from Security Sales & Integration magazine. It’s the first and only solution of its kind on the market with the listings, compact design and integrated technologies inside. It’s also an affirmative nod to managed services for systems integrators. When deployed with LifeSafety Power network communication modules, integrators can remotely monitor power to both Mercury panels and locks to provide proactive managed services to customers while adding recurring monthly revenue.
LifeSafety Power prides itself on continually evolving the product category – from static device to network centric solution – in an effort to meet new and emerging product needs of the installation and end-user communities. So stay tuned and see us at ASIS, booth 3461. Contact LifeSafety Power today for an ASIS appointment or more information on your next progressive power installation.
LifeSafety Power’s Application Notes are at the ready to assist with the successful specification of access control, security and networked power applications. These documents are available for download, with detailed and helpful technical tips, wiring and other information to assist you with your integrated power solution deployment.
With an increasing number of lockdown solutions leveraged for school and healthcare campuses, it’s critical to know the proper way to install power solutions so egress can be achieved automatically and facilities locked down quickly during an emergency or duress event.
Did you know that we have an Application Note (33) that covers basic set ups for four different potential locking scenarios? You can find them online here. And be sure to check out the full library of other online Application Notes, Downloads and White Papers in our comprehensive Learning Center.
Making the most of your networked power solution deployment and adding value to your installation is the goal at LifeSafety Power as we perpetually innovate the power category.