Wednesday, 18 March 2015 16:32

The World of Intelligent, Networked Power Featured

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LifeSafety Power brings tangible value to connected solutions

Did you know that it’s possible to securely manage your power solutions across the enterprise and get the latest, proactive information on their health and well-being? It is when you deploy the FlexPower™ Multi-Site Manager (MSM-200).

LifeSafety Power MSC 200 Resized for Blog 

The MSM-200 is a smart, network-based appliance that consolidates all your LifeSafety Power solutions for superior system-wide management.The web-based software and hardware solution uses a Virtual Private Network (VPN) server to securely interface with multiple NetLink communication modules and iSCAN SmartPower Systems, providing real-time health assessments of power systems on the network.

Intelligent power yields myriad benefits

The MSM-200 provides multiple benefits to the integrator and the end user. It allows systems integrators deploying the MSM-200 to manage even the most complex vertical markets and complicated sites – including healthcare, educational and industrial facilities. They can manage and monitor multiple power devices from the Internet, from anywhere in the world. The user, too, has greater control in managing and assessing the general health of power supplies, so systems are kept up and running 365/24/7. The MSM-200 uses one IP address for all connected devices and the centralized dashboard displaying current status consolidates all devices to a single computer screen.

Configuration and installation is easy:  A single network connection at the MSM Server creates a VPN and automatically adds any LifeSafety Power networked devices.  Any problems with power solutions or connectivity are automatically generated to the top of the computer screen log, for real-time, immediate assessment.

LifeSafety Power is the creator of smarter, intelligent networked solutions, with modular AC, DC, and PoE power systems that meet the expanding needs of the lifesafety industry. 

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Wednesday, 11 March 2015 12:46

Egress During an AC Loss Featured

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Are you in a region that requires egress doors to unlock on an AC loss?  Typically, this is accomplished by simply not placing a backup battery set on your 24V lock power supply and using fail-safe locks.

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But what if you have other locks or 24V devices you want to remain powered during an AC loss?  What if you are using fail-secure locks that need to unlock on a loss of AC power?  LifeSafety Power has a more elegant solution that offers more flexibility.

By simply integrating the AC fault relay into the FAI input circuit of the FPO power supply, you now have full control over what happens during an AC power failure using standard FAI-capable outputs.  This includes selecting which doors unlock and which don't for both fail-safe and fail-secure locks.  It also allows you to select outputs to remain powered during an AC loss.

For wiring diagrams and more information on this, see our Application Note AN-28.  And as always, our Technical Support department is here to help.

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Friday, 27 February 2015 14:10

Access Control and Earth Ground Fault Detection Featured

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Earth Ground Fault Detection was developed for the Fire Alarm industry to give enhanced fault detection on NAC loops.  Although Earth Ground Fault Detection is not currently required in access control applications, it can still be a useful feature - provided your system is compatible.

Earth Ground Fault

What is Earth Ground Fault Detection?

Despite what its name might imply, Earth Ground Fault Detection does not detect a missing earth ground connection to your power supply.  Instead, it detects a connection between earth ground and any positive or negative output circuit in the system.  This includes any part of the system that is common grounded with the power supply.  If the power supply with earth ground detection is powering an access control panel, any earth ground faults on the access panel circuits (readers, etc) will show on the power supply.  If your access control panel is then common grounded with your 24VDC CCTV system's DVR, any faults on the CCTV system would also show on your power supply.  Because of this, it is important to be aware of what is connected to your system - especially when troubleshooting.

How Does Earth Ground Detection Help?

An earth ground fault does not mean you necessarily have an immediate problem.  It is simply a warning that one leg of a circuit somewhere is either partially or fully shorted to earth ground.  Usually, a single short to earth ground causes no problem in the operation of the system.  However, a second short to earth ground - even on a completely unrelated circuit, can cause a direct short circuit, leading to blown fuses, erratic operation, or even a fire.

When should I not enable Earth Ground Fault Detection?

Earth Ground Fault Detection should only be enabled on one piece of equipment within the system.  In access control, this is usually the power supply.  If the access system is common grounded with the fire system, the FACP may already have earth ground detection enabled.  Also, if there are multiple power supplies connected to the access system, only one of these supplies should have Earth Ground Fault Detection enabled - this includes two supplies within the same enclosure.

In many access control applications, even if you follow all of the rules and none of your wiring or load devices is shorted to earth ground, you may still show an Earth Ground Fault.  This is usually caused by access control panels that don't "play nice" with earth ground fault detection.  As stated above, Earth Ground Fault Detection is not a requirement in access control.  Many access panels require shielded communications circuits and the panel manufacturers connect these shields to earth ground and DC ground for better shielding or other RF noise or transient requirements.  In these cases, the only option is to disable the Earth Ground Fault Detection entirely.

Troubleshooting Earth Ground Faults

For more information, our application note AN-32 (Troubleshooting Earth Ground Faults) goes in-depth on how earth ground fault detection works and the best method of troubleshooting earth ground fault conditions.  And as always, our Technical Support Department is always here to help.

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Thursday, 26 February 2015 15:20

Get on the FlexConnect® ‘Buss’ Featured

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Making your life easier with smarter solutions that equal easier specification is what LifeSafety Power is all about. Everything we do is created with a keen eye to the integration community – and how our intelligent, networked power solutions can make your job easier and more profitable.
Take, for example, the FlexConnect® dual buss structure, designed with an innovative distribution architecture that increases the versatility and ease of use of our flagship FlexPower® systems.  Traditionally, connecting a power supply to distribution modules requires individual wires to be connected between the boards using screw terminals. These distribution modules are also typically limited to a single voltage input.
Fewer boards, greater efficiencies
The FlexConnect dual buss structure allows the user to select each individual output for 12 or 24V in dual voltage supplies.  Most competitor’s products require you to select 12 or 24V for the whole output board - so if you needed two 12V outputs and two 24V outputs, you’d need an 8 output board set for 12 and an 8 output board set for 24.  With the dual buss structure, you can set outputs 1 and 2 for 12 and outputs 3 and 4 for 24. That makes for a simpler installation and a smaller footprint with fewer accessory boards.
LifeSafety Power continues to provide solutions that are smarter and super-flexible in their configuration. FlexConnect also allows connection of any LSP accessory board via quick disconnect terminals and plug-in wire harnesses, allowing virtually unlimited combinations of LSP accessory boards to be used together and expanded on the job site. All LifeSafety Power FlexPower power supply systems use the FlexConnect dual buss structure. 
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Monday, 16 February 2015 16:37

Meet Michael Bone: LifeSafety Power’s Answer Man Featured

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You could call Michael Bone, Applications and Technical Support at LifeSafety Power, the ‘answer man.’ He tackles many of the questions that come from the field and does a great job supporting the integration community.

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He has more than 22 years’ experience in the life safety and power industries. And he’s the perfect person to answer queries, as Michael specializes in applications and technical writing at LifeSafety Power. That includes writing and updating all instruction manuals, application notes, and other tools to assist the customer and the sales staff. He also maintains the Fishbowl inventory software program the company uses for inventory control, purchasing and bill of materials.

Prior to his current position, Michael was Director of Operations, where he oversaw day-to-day operations of the company, including employee management, factory set up and maintenance, as well as other areas. His role changed when LifeSafety Power moved its headquarters from Windham, N.H., to Mundelein, Ill. Michael’s past experience includes former engineering technician at AlarmSaf and Vicor as well as regulatory engineer and quality assurance lab supervisor at Fire Control Instruments.

His proudest accomplishment was getting the original New Hampshire factory up and running - including the production line, inventory control/order entry software, phones, computers, etc. He was also instrumental in the research and development of the original FlexPower™ product line, something that required many hours around Joe Holland’s kitchen table and late-night Skype sessions.

He has two daughters who are aspiring dancers – so quite a bit of his time is spent traveling to and from classes and competitions as well as other after-school activities. But he wouldn’t have it any other way – his children are his proudest accomplishment and excel in academics and dance.

Michael says his goal is for LifeSafety Power to succeed at providing quality power solutions. And that means helping those in the field get the proven results they expect from best-in-class technology.

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Thursday, 12 February 2015 15:41

The Flexible FAI Input Has You Covered Featured

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At first glance our Fire Alarm Input (FAI) may seem a bit more complicated than the competition's, but when you know why and how it helps you in the field, it will quickly become your new best friend.

Fire Exit

Traditionally, FAI inputs have been dry contact input only, and typically only accepted a NO contact or a NC contact, depending on the manufacturer or product.  There was no ability to change the type of input - if you had a NO-type FAI input and a NC contact from the fire panel, you had two choices:  call the fire panel installer to switch it to NO or install a relay between the FACP and the FAI input.

LifeSafety Power has you covered! The FAI input on the FPO power supply line is configurable for virtually any type of input out of the box.  It will accept a NO or NC dry contact, voltage input, open collector (transistor) input, or even a polarity reversal on a fire alarm NAC loop.  The key to its flexibility is in its wiring, which necessitates extra terminals in comparison to a traditional FAI input.

The FAI input of the FPO power supply has six terminals, which can be divided into pairs:

I+ and I- terminals are the actual input to the FAI circuit.  They are opto-isolated, accept a voltage from 9-30VDC, and are polarized to ignore a reverse polarity voltage as you would see in the standby state of a NAC loop.

V+ and V- supply an auxiliary voltage which can be used in conjunction with dry contacts or other methods for activating the I+ and I- terminals.  This voltage is current limited and if it shorts will only allow 10-15mA of current to pass.  This not only protects the activation contact, it allows this voltage to be shunted in the NC dry contact application.  If the V+ is connected to I+ and V- is connected to I-, the FAI input will activate (shown by the illumination of the red FAI LED on the FPO power supply).

The two L terminals allow latching of the FAI input.  This is required in some regions including areas of Canada.

Our application note AN-27 General FAI Usage can be used along with the FPO Power Supply instruction manual and PowerPro TV FAI Training Video to gain even more knowledge on the FAI input.  And as always, our This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it team is always here to help.

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Tuesday, 10 February 2015 13:27

The Perfect Power Solution for Every Customer Featured

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LifeSafety Power provides modular, smarter power solutions.You can pick and choose among our myriad possible model number combinations – which provides the ultimate flexibility for all your customers and their systems. This way, you can custom design just the right product output, enclosures or other particulars that match the job or the specification. What a great value-add for you the integrator and a way to differentiate your solutions in the field.

The FlexPower® power management systems include several standard features, but you build it from there. This modularity allows for many custom configurations: from simple, single or dual voltage power distribution to more sophisticated solutions with three or more voltages or a combination of AC and DC power and more. 

LifeSafety Power’s solutions are leaders in world-class innovation: our network-connected devices give you and your user remote connectivity and control so you’re always on top of power operation status – even across a large enterprise infrastructure with multiple, disparate buildings.

The modularity and capabilities of our products means you can’t always find a particular model or datasheet on our website – that’s because we leave it to you to match the specification of your job to the capabilities of our products. Your customer gets what they need to satisfy all their power needs.

LifeSafety Power’s award-winning solutions are based on exclusive, patented technologies for the most intelligent and reliable power delivered to security, access control, fire systems, mass notification and CCTV.

For network-managed, expandable and redundant power solutions, always turn to LifeSafety Power. For additional help, we have technical training videos, downloads and our latest, 2015 catalog online now. Remember, these are standard configurations from which you can build on to create just the right smarter power solution. Technical support is always ready to assist!

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Tuesday, 03 February 2015 13:58

Building a FlexPower Model Number Featured

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Building or decoding a model number for a FlexPower system can be intimidating at first, but once you understand the components of the model number, you will be building customized model numbers in no time. 


Building an FPO Model Number

To start this discussion, we will use the following example model number:


FlexPower model numbers are broken into two sections.  Every FlexPower model number starts with the main power source(s) - in the above example, this would be the "FPO75/150".  This denotes a dual voltage system using an FPO75 and an FPO150 for the power sources.  In a single voltage system using an FPO150, this would be simply "FPO150" without the slash.  Up to three FPO power supplies may be configured into one model number (FPO75/150/150).  FPO power supplies are always represented in the model number in order from smallest to largest.

After the hyphen are any accessory boards and the enclosure size.  In the example model number above, there are a total of four accessory boards.  A C8 board, two D8P boards, and an NL2 board.  Accessory boards are always listed in alphanumeric order (i.e. B100 before C4, C4 before C8, C8 before M8, etc.).  Quantities are added to the accessory board only when the quantity is greater than 1.  So the single NL2 is shown simply as "NL2" while the two D8P boards are shown as "2D8P".

The enclosure size comes at the end of the model number and is shown as E___.  In the example above, the E4M1 M-Class enclosure is being used.

Building an FPA Model Number


This model number breaks down to an FPA150A AC power source, two A8 fused distribution boards, and an E1 enclosure.  Multiple FPA300A power sources can be combined in the model number to become FPA600A or FPA900A.

Building an FPX Model Number


The FPX system combines AC and DC power in a single enclosure.  The AC power source(s) are always listed first in an FPX model number, followed by the FPO power source(s).  AC Power sources in the model number are appended with an "A", so a "150A" is an FPA150A and a "150" is an FPO150.  This example includes the FPA300A AC source, an FPO75, and an FPO150.  It has a single A8 AC distribution board, a C8 lock control board, and two D8 auxiliary output boards.  This is all housed in an E4 enclosure.

Those are the basics of building FPO, FPA, or FPX model numbers.  A visual guide to building model numbers is also available HERE.  And remember - if this is all still a little too much to take in, our This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it is always here to help you build any model number you may need.

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Friday, 30 January 2015 13:48

Meet Joe Holland, Vice President of Engineering Featured

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What’s behind our successes, five industry awards and stellar growth curve since the company’s founding in 2009? Our team members, of course.
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Joseph M. Holland is LifeSafety Power’s Vice President of Engineering. Joe has more than 40 years of engineering, marketing and management experience in the life safety industry. He’s the former Chief Engineer of Fire Control Instruments, where he was responsible for product line development. He co-founded AlarmSaf Inc. where he oversaw all product development and manufacturing and was responsible for many ground-breaking innovations.
He’s a long-time member of both NFPA and IEEE and has been a contributing instructor of CEU-accredited course work in the area of life safety power for more than 35 years. 
Today, Joe continues to lead LifeSafety Power in its achievement of Smarter Power Solutions. He is the chief architect of all LifeSafety Power Products, including the FlexPower™ Power Management System, which incorporates many industry-leading advancements applicable to the access control, security, CCTV and mass notification industries.
His goal is to provide the guidance and drive necessary to establish LifeSafety Power as the premier power supply manufacturer in the industry.
In his spare time, he enjoys spending time at his log home in New Hampshire, kayaking with the grandkids, bicycle riding and home repair.
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Tuesday, 27 January 2015 16:15

Welcome to the LSP Blog Featured

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Smarter Power Solutions courtesy LifeSafetyPower

At LifeSafety Power, we're committed to helping the industry make better educated decisions about power for access control, security, fire systems, mass notification and CCTV systems.  So we're launching this blog site - with the goal of engaging and educating readers on the latest innovation in power solutions.

Some of the planned topics include new product announcements; insights and technical information on specifications; the company, our leaders and our expertise; and frequently asked questions or need-to-know tidbits.

Watch for the launch, and follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook to find out more.

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