Friday, 04 March 2016 11:51

Application Notes: Keeping You Spec Ready Featured

Written by in Blog

System wiring for your favorite access controllers

LifeSafety Power® continues to support the security installation and specification community with the latest technical information to assist in providing the most robust, professionally installed power solutions.

We’ve been updating the Application Notes for our flagship FlexPower® Unified Power Solutions line, created when we launched the company in 2009.  The idea behind FlexPower was to give integrators choices, flexible specification capabilities if you will, based on their manufacturer-specific access control or other security/life safety product so they could achieve greater installation efficiencies. FlexPower lets integrators select from standard DC voltages or other, manufacturer-specific wiring methods and configurations for power enclosures.

Sound Masking Specifications

Software House notes revised

Most recently, we revamped the Software House by Tyco access control panel application notes, including iStar Pro, iStar Ultra and iStar Ultra SE in standard and SCLASS. The SCLASS line of power is designed to accommodate Software House controllers and iStar components within the power supply enclosure, simplifying and streamlining installation and wiring management. These application notes cover the basic wiring required between the power system and the iStar series with illustrations and other critical information.

Watch for new updates regularly, including for HID VertX (VCLASS) and AMAG Technology (ACLASS).

Rate this item
(0 votes)
Friday, 12 February 2016 14:43

New Director of Sales Matt Virga Joins LifeSafety Power Featured

Written by in Blog

Welcome Matt Virga to the LifeSafety Power® team!

There's a new sales 'sheriff,' in town, handling the eastern region of the U.S. for LifeSafety Power:  Director of Sales Matt Virga.

Virga has some 25 years of experience in the industry, most recently with Sony Electronics and Pelco by Schneider  Electric. He will be responsible for developing new sales opportunities and working with systems integration channel partners. Virga recognizes the leadership role LifeSafety Power has established in networked power solutions by bringing ‘disruptive’ technology to the security and life safety marketplace.

LifeSafety Power Matt Virga Final blog"Power supplies may not have the glamour of cameras or a video management system, but the networked power LifeSafety Power has pioneered is inspiring a legion of followers who recognize a truly unique solution that outperforms anything they were accustomed to installing/operating,” Virga commented. 

“And now, it’s something they can leverage to gain additional recurring monthly revenue through managed remote services. Many respected, well-known systems integrators in the industry already rely on the capabilities of LifeSafety Power.”

Rate this item
(0 votes)
Thursday, 04 February 2016 12:29

Cybersecurity & loT Featured

Written by in Blog

LifeSafety Power® leads in proactive measures

It’s a growing epidemic: threats to the network and the devices and data residing on it. As the Internet of Things (loT) continues to take hold, this trend will become even more pronounced. LifeSafety Power is taking a proactive approach to today’s issues and challenges, providing testing and certifications that validate the inherent safeguards in its premiere NetLink™ Network Communications Module.

NetLink received its Cyber Security Assessment Certificate recently after the module was tested to evaluate for cybersecurity-related features and design parameters by Rodney Thayer of Smithee, Spelvin, Agnew & Plinge, Inc. The company conducts independent cybersecurity assessments for infrastructure deployments, Internet-based solutions and network-attached devices. NetLink is the network connected control unit for LifeSafety Power’s FlexPower® product line.

Smithee, Spelvin, Agnew & Plinge certified NetLink as having been tested and evaluated for certain cybersecurity features in the product and said the module “provides a cybersecurity posture appropriate for enterprise use.” NetLink demonstrated proven system interfaces, instrumentation and infrastructure safeguards to prevent surreptitious attacks to networked power solutions. (Specific cybersecurity features, testing parameters and other information can be found here.)

Working together for a greater good

There’s a bigger picture in all this, and that’s that the industry needs to provide users with safeguards for communicating devices, especially when it comes to the network.

“Not only is it critical for products residing on the network to have been tested and certified for cybersecurity features, it’s important for the vendor community to lead this posture and adopt measures in manufactured devices as appropriate,” says Larry Ye, President, LifeSafety Power.

PSA Security Network, Westminster, Colo., has led the way in providing awareness, education, and resources to the physical security market through its Cybersecurity Program. The program is intended to provide a wealth of tools and resources that integrators and vendors can use to help prevent, detect and mitigate cybersecurity breaches related to physical security products deployed on customer networks. PSA has also partnered with a number of premier cybersecurity service providers that offer an array of services including risk management, information security assessments, and independent validation testing services such as those conducted on NetLink.

“Cybersecurity is quite possibly the most critical topic facing the physical security industry today,” says Craig Patterson, Director of Vendor Management. “What we have learned through our program over the last couple of years is that cybersecurity really is everyone’s responsibility. Everyone in the supply chain from sourcing, product development and installation plays a critical role in ensuring a cyber savvy solution at the end of the day,” he adds.

LifeSafety Power is leading the way, ensuring network communications modules such as NetLink provide cybersecurity and hardening capabilities.

Rate this item
(1 Vote)
Tuesday, 15 December 2015 17:53

What’s Your Best Project from 2015? Featured

Written by in Blog

It’s your time to shine!

What really separates your systems integration company from the competition and puts you ahead of the game?

It’s most likely that it’s a turnkey, integrated security, access control or other life safety system specification that gets your customers talking—one that fuels referrals and highlights your competencies in the field. And of course, we’re sure it may incorporate the latest technologies from LifeSafety Power, starting with our FlexPower® Unified Power Solutions as you strive for differentiation in the marketplace and new ways to assist the customer with remote monitoring as a managed service. 

Systems integrators now understand the value of networked power and the capabilities and value it provides to them in the field and for every vertical market customer. They are performing installations that range from SMB specifications to enterprise-level, multi-location projects. 

Have you recently completed a successful installation with a LifeSafety Power product? How are you using networked power to better manage the solution and provide detailed logs, health and other reports, as well as real-time status? We’d love to hear from you so we can get you some exposure for your hard work. If you and your customer agree, we’ll work up a great article—with the ultimate goal of publication online or in print in the industry’s leading publications. 

Find out more by contacting your local representative, or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . 

 
Rate this item
(1 Vote)
Thursday, 10 December 2015 14:41

Using a 208VAC Line Voltage Featured

Written by in Blog

Oftentimes, the only primary AC voltage source available is 208V.  This is often the case in data centers, particularly rack-mounted systems.  Here in technical support, we often get calls from integrators wanting to know if our products support a 208V input.  If you are using one of our FPA or FPX products, they are limited to a 120VAC input only.  For our DC and PoE products, however, the short answer is "yes" - but there are a couple of caveats to be aware of.

The first caveat is in the product setup:  If using a 208V line, the product must be set for a 230V input.  This means every FPO power supply board must have its jumper (JP1) cut.  If the product is a rack mount RD, RC, RS, or RGM, this would apply to the internal FPO power supply board(s).  The NPR product line is auto voltage sensing and requires no additional configuration.  Consult the documentation for the product being used for specific instruction on how to configure the product for a 230VAC input.

The second caveat is in low-line operation.  Our products are generally designed and tested to operate over a +10% / -15% operating range.  That means when the product is set for a 230VAC input, operation is guaranteed between 196 and 253VAC.  When using a 208V line, that means the product is only 12V away from the low AC fault point.  If the AC line voltage sags, you are much closer to the product giving a fault and/or transferring to battery power.  This typically is not a problem, but it is something to be aware of.

If you have any questions on 208V operation or need any other assistance, our This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it department is here to help.

Rate this item
(0 votes)
Thursday, 19 November 2015 15:36

Overcoming Voltage Drop using a B100 Featured

Written by in Blog

Many times an existing wire run is undersized for the current draw of the load device.  This could either be due to an unexpected change in the device being powered, a miscalculation at the planning stage of the job, or a retrofit situation where the existing wire size is not able to be changed.  This undersized wire results in a large voltage drop, leading to improper or erratic operation of the load device.  Even if the voltage at the device is at the low end of the acceptable range, the voltage will quickly drop to unacceptable levels when on battery power.

What is Voltage Drop?

Wire has a specific resistance per foot of length.  The smaller the wire gauge, the higher the resistance (given equivalent wire types).  As the length of the wire increases, the total resistance between the power source and the load device increases.  When current is now drawn through this wire resistance, some of the voltage is "burned off" in the wiring as voltage drop, as defined by Ohm's Law (V=IxR).

Per Ohm's Law, two main factors affect the amount of voltage dropped within the wire run:  the wire resistance, and the current drawn through the wire.  This is why a lower-current device can get away with a smaller wire gauge. 

This is also one of the main reasons the lifesafety industry has, and continues to, switch from 12V to 24V.  A given device will use a certain number of Watts.  If that device is designed to use a 24V input rather than 12V, the current required will be halved (per Ohm's Law I=P/E), which in turn will halve the voltage drop.

How can the B100 help?                         

If powering a 12V device, a B100 can be used to give an adjustable output voltage greater than the 12.5V nominal setting of an FPO power supply.  The FPO will need to be set for a 24V output, and the B100 placed into the adjustable range by moving JP3 to position 2.  The output can then be set by adjusting VR2 to a level giving an acceptable voltage at the load device.  Since this voltage is run off of a 24V supply with a 24V battery set, this voltage will remain constant until the battery set drains to well below 20V.

Please note that if the device being powered has varying current levels during normal operation, the voltage at the device will change with this current, possibly with damaging results.  As an example:

A B100 is set to a level of 16.5V to overcome the voltage drop through 500 feet of 18AWG wire powering a 12V edge device and a 12V maglock at a door.  The draw of the lock is 400mA and the edge device is 100mA, giving a total draw of .5A when the lock is powered.  When the lock is powered, the voltage drop will be 3.24V, leaving 13.26V at the door.  However, when the lock is released, and the current draw drops to 100mA, the voltage drop will decrease to 0.65V, giving 15.85V at the door, which is likely too high for the 12V edge device. 

In the above example you could decrease the B100 voltage to compensate, but you must take the whole operating current range into account.  If the operating current range is too large, there may not be an acceptable voltage to cover all load conditions.

For more information on the B100, see the B100 manual and Application Note AN-07.  Also, be sure to download our FlexCalculator Suite for quick voltage drop calculations.  And remember, our This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it department is always here to help.

Rate this item
(0 votes)
Wednesday, 11 November 2015 16:34

The Real Value Proposition of Power Featured

Written by in Blog

It’s all about delivering the right solutions innovation resized

It’s been an exciting year for LifeSafety Power®. The industry leading innovation we provide in remote networking capabilities continues to yield tangible value to systems integrators and end-user customers.

We’re proud of the fact that LifeSafety Power products are professionally designed and manufactured in the U.S.  Our award-winning solutions have garnered numerous industry accolades, proving that innovation and quality products come first at LifeSafety Power.

We believe in the voice of the customer and reach out to integrators in the field regularly to gather the information we need to produce applicable products and make their life safety and security solutions more than simple power systems. That’s because in today’s increasingly IT centric world, the real value proposition is being able to manage – remotely -- power solutions across the enterprise seamlessly and securely. The intrinsic value in this proposition yields a lower total cost of ownership to the user, and the ability to proactively manage and assess power viability 24/7. For the integrator, it’s another way to differentiate their projects in the competitive marketplace. Read about what systems integrator are accomplishing with LifeSafety Power solutions here in our new, free white paper on remote monitoring as a managed service.

Here are three important features installers can offer end-user customers with LifeSafety Power solutions:

1. Remote battery testing,

2. Proactive detection and assessment of problems, and

3. System solution reports generated on demand or at will, and more!

We now have a fully Underwriters Laboratories listed system, with industry-leading Mercury Security controllers, as well as the iSCAN™ Rack Mount Series that solves small footprint concerns or works perfectly with data center configurations.

There’s still time left in 2015 for additional innovation to be delivered, and that’s just what we intend to do.

Rate this item
(0 votes)
Friday, 30 October 2015 09:57

Understanding the C8 Board - Part 5 - Excel Tool Featured

Written by in Blog

In previous parts of this series, we have covered the basics, inputs, outputs, and jumper configuration of the C8 board.  If you missed any of these parts, you can find them here:

Part 1 - Power and LEDs
Part 2 - Inputs
Part 3 - Outputs
Part 4 - Jumpers

In this, the final part of the series, we will explain the usage of our Excel Jumper Configuration Tool.

About the Tool

The C4/C8 Jumper Configuration Tool is available free for download from the LifeSafety Power website's Calculators page, or by clicking here.

The tool uses information entered by the user to determine the correct jumper settings.  Even if you have the jumper settings memorized, the tool is very helpful in quickly configuring multiple zones.  Jumper settings can be predetermined in the office, printed, and included in the system design documentation, or done on-the-fly at the job site.

Using the Tool

To begin, open the file in Excel.  There are three sections on the screen - Voltage Sources, Zone Information, and Results.

Main Screen

Step 1 - Voltage Sources
The Voltage Sources section is where you enter the B1 and B2 voltages used as the power source for the C8.  In a single voltage system, only the B1 field will have information entered.  The B2 field should be left blank.

A dual voltage system should have both the B1 and B2 fields filled in as appropriate.  Remember that a dual FPO system (as built by LifeSafety Power) would have the top FPO's voltage in the B1 space and the bottom FPO's voltage in the B2 space.  An FPO/B100 system would have the FPO's voltage as B1 and the B100's voltage as B2.

Entering this information correctly is important for the yellow jumper's setting.  Reversing this data will cause the incorrect output voltage to be placed on the outputs, potentially damaging the powered equipment.  Remember to always double check your output voltages before connecting any load devices.

The B1/B2 information will remain consistent across all boards and zones in a typical FPO power supply system.

Step 1

In this example, the B1 supply is set for 24V and the B2 supply is set for 12V.

Step 2 - Zone Information
The Zone Information section is where you enter the information for the zone being configured.  This information may vary zone to zone.

  • Input Type - This drop-down selection allows you to choose the type of input connected to the input terminals for the zone.  Selections include NO or NC contact, remove or apply voltage, open collector, or no input.  The NO or NC contact selections are the most typical input types and would be used for a relay contact, pushbutton, etc.  The remove or apply voltage settings would activate the zone when a voltage is either removed from or applied to the B terminal of the input.  Open collector would be the setting to use for a transistor output, and "no input" would be the selection to use if you wanted a constant voltage output without input control.
  • Output Type - This drop-down selection allows you to choose the output type for the zone.  Selections include mag lock, fail safe or fail secure strike, NO or NC relay contact output, or constant output.  Choose the closest match for the output type needed (i.e. for an electrified handleset choose fail secure strike, since the operation is very similar).
  • Output Voltage - This drop-down will be populated with the values entered in the B1 and B2 fields in the Voltage Sources section above.  Select which voltage is desired for the zone.
  • Zone FAI? - This drop down has two selections - yes or no - to select whether the zone should react when an FAI is received on the FPO power supply.

Step 2

In this example, the input is set for a NO Dry Contact and the output is set for a 24V maglock with FAI.

Step 3 - Results
The results section displays the correct jumper settings for the configuration entered in steps 1 and 2.  Jumpers A-F are shown with a visual representation of positions 1 and 2 for each jumper.  Remember to look closely at the C8 PC Board for positions 1 and 2 for each jumper carefully, as these positions change from jumper to jumper.

Step 3

Conclusion

I hope this series has been useful to you and has helped you to become an expert in using the C8 family of lock control boards.  If you need any assistance, our This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it department is here to help.

Rate this item
(1 Vote)
Tuesday, 20 October 2015 16:57

Managed Services with Power Solutions? Featured

Written by in Blog

Life Safety Power Revenue white paper blog

LifeSafety Power makes it all possible

Systems integrators are keen on managed services and providing remote connectivity and serviceability to their customers. It’s a great value-add to the traditional security contracting business and offers a strong return on investment to the end user customer and new recurring monthly revenue streams to the integrator.

With the increased interest and activity in the Internet of Things (loT), gateways to control sensors and device management – it’s only natural for power solutions to be part of this remote connectivity and proactive service functionality. LifeSafety Power is the industry leader and innovator in providing these capabilities.

In the field, systems integrators are latching onto the concept of remote monitoring as a managed service. Several of the managed services integrators can provide with remote monitoring include: remote battery testing; power recycle; information on trouble alerts; remote diagnostics; report generation at will or on schedule; and system health logs.

Leading systems integrators are talking about everything they are doing with remote monitoring of power solutions. We have the latest word from the field in our exclusive white paper, now available online. Not only do we have some strong use-case scenarios from these top security systems contractors, but we also explain in detail how remote monitoring works and how it benefits the customer.

You too can make remote monitoring part of your service and maintenance and customer care plans. Get started today and add value to all your specifications. You’ll increase your business proposition and set yourself apart from the competition.

Rate this item
(1 Vote)
Wednesday, 07 October 2015 14:11

Understanding the C8 Board - Part 4 - Jumpers Featured

Written by in Blog

In previous parts of this series, we have covered the very basics and the inputs and outputs of the C8 board.  If you missed these parts, you can find them here:

Part 1 - Power and LEDs
Part 2 - Inputs
Part 3 - Outputs

This week we will cover in detail the jumper configuration of the C8 board.

General Jumper Setting Information

First, it is important to verify the voltage of the power supplies and to set the C8 jumpers before connecting any load.  This is to ensure the proper voltage is sent to the load devices and prevent damage to the devices.  Verify output voltage on each zone before connecting any load.

If you have read the previous parts of this series, you should have a fairly solid understanding of how the C8 should operate.  This knowledge is helpful in setting the jumpers when a manual is not available.  As mentioned in previous posts, it is not necessary to have the function of each jumper's positions memorized - only the overall function of the jumper.  For example, once you know the Red jumper is for FAI, you know that is the jumper to move if FAI is not operating the way you expect it to for a particular zone.  There is no need to memorize that Position 1 is on, and position 2 is off, or that position 2 of the Blue jumper is for a NO input.  As you go through the following sections, take note of the jumper color in relation to its function.

Also remember the correct LED operation - LED lit steady for a locked door, and flashing for an unlocked door.  The goal is to get this correct with relation to the input, then set the output to operate correctly.

Finally, please note jumper positions as they are printed on the PC boards carefully for EACH jumper.  For some jumpers, position 1 is up, while for others, position 1 is down.  Every jumper has a position marker next to it.

Black Jumpers

The black jumpers select whether the output will be a relay contact output or a wet (voltage) output.  Both jumpers should always be set in the same position, without exception.  Use caution when setting these jumpers, as position 1 is different on each jumper.  From the factory, these jumpers come set in position 2, which provides a voltage output.  If a relay output is desired, move these jumpers to position 1.

Yellow Jumper

The yellow jumper selects the voltage to be applied to the zone's output.  Position 1 sets the output to the B1 voltage, and position 2 sets it for the B2 power supply.  In a single voltage system, this jumper will remain in position 1, as there is no B2 voltage present.

In a dual FPO system, as built by LSP, the top FPO will be the B1 voltage.  The bottom FPO will be the B2 voltage.  So if the top power supply is set for 24V and the bottom FPO is set for 12V, then position 1 on the yellow jumper will set the output for 24V, position 2 for 12V.  In an FPO/B100 system, the 24V is on B1, and the B100's output is on B2.

Again, always verify each zone's output voltage before connecting any load to the C8.

Blue Jumper

While all of the jumper settings are equally important, getting the blue jumper set properly is critical to the operation of the C8.  In Part 2, we discussed how the B terminal of the input is a voltage input, while the A terminal is a voltage source.  The blue jumper sets the zone to either activate on the application of voltage, or the removal of voltage on the B terminal.

Position 1 will activate the zone on a removal of voltage from the B terminal.  This is the setting you would want for a NC contact activation.  The NC contact will normally connect the voltage from the A terminal to the B terminal.  When the NC contact opens, the voltage at the B terminal goes to zero, and activates the zone.  This is also the setting to be used for an open collector input - normally, a voltage is present on the B terminal, and the open collector will shunt this voltage to zero to activate the input.

Position 2, is the opposite - an application of voltage will activate the zone.  This is the setting to use for a normally open contact activation.  When the contact closes, it connects the voltage from the A terminal to the input of the B terminal to activate the zone.

To verify the proper setting of the blue jumper, look at the LED status for the zone in relation to the input.  If the LED is flashing when the input is set to unlock the door, the blue jumper is set correctly.  If the output is operating opposite from what is expected, but the LED is operating correctly, then the white jumper needs to be adjusted.

White Jumper

The white jumper sets the output by selecting the NO or NC contact of the internal relay contact.  Position 1 uses the NC contact and position 2 uses the NO contact.  When set for a relay output, this is straightforward.  When set for a voltage output, position 1 should be used for a doorstrike, electrified handleset,  or other fail-secure device.  Position 2 would be used for a maglock or other fail-safe device.

If the output is operating backwards from what is expected but the LED is indicating correctly with relation to the input, the white jumper should be changed.

Red Jumper

The red jumper sets the FAI activation of the zone.  Position 1 enables FAI activation, while position 2 deactivates FAI for the zone.  The setting of the blue jumper is crucial to proper FAI operation.  Remember that the LED for the zone should flash when the door is unlocked.  If the blue jumper is set incorrectly, the LED will be flashing when the door is locked.  This presents a problem when an FAI activation is received because the C8 thinks the door is already unlocked, so the output does not change.  If the LED is operating backwards from what is intended, move the Blue and White jumpers to the opposite position that they are currently in and FAI should begin working properly.

Settings Chart

The manual for the C8 board has a very helpful chart for jumper settings.  The Common Jumper Settings chart is organized by output type.  Find the desired output type, then look down to find the desired input type.  Then select With or without FAI and look across the row for the jumper settings for that configuration.  This chart covers 99 percent of common applications.

Next Week

Next week we will cover the usage of our Excel-based C8 Jumper Configuration Tool for help with jumper settings.  Until then, if you need any assistance, our This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it is here to help.

Rate this item
(0 votes)
Page 2 of 4