Wednesday, 07 October 2015 14:11

Understanding the C8 Board - Part 4 - Jumpers

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.

Published in Blog
Friday, 18 September 2015 11:33

Understanding the C8 Board - Part 3 - Outputs

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

Part 1 - Power and LEDs
Part 2 - Inputs

This week we will go in-depth on the outputs of the C8, including the wiring, operation, and jumper configuration.

The Anatomy of the C8 Output

Like the inputs, each output of the C8 has two terminals, labeled A and B.  Each output may be individually configured for a voltage output or a relay output and contains a reverse diode to dissipate and reverse EMF from a locking device or other inductive load.  See our White Paper and Application note on reverse EMF for more information.

When configured as a voltage output, the B terminal is the positive and the A terminal is the DC Common (ground).

C4

C8 Voltage Output

When configured as a relay output, due to the reverse diode, the current must be fed through the contact in the proper direction.  Regardless of what the relay output is activating, there will be a current present.  If the relay output of the C8 is connected backwards, the reverse diode will always be conducting and will not change with the relay.

C1

C8 Relay Output

Each output has four configuration jumpers, detailed below.

Black Jumpers (C and E)

The black jumpers for each zone, labeled C and E, configure the output for either a voltage output or a relay output.  BOTH jumpers must always be set in the same position (by the jumpers' markings) for proper operation.  Check the position markings carefully on the PC board, as position 1 and 2 for each of the black jumpers is different.

By setting the black jumpers in position 1, the output will be configured for a relay output.  By setting these jumpers to position 2, the output will be configured as a voltage output.

White Jumper (F)

The white jumper selects between the NO and NC of the output relay.  When set for a relay output, this selects a NO or NC output.  When set for a voltage output, this selects whether the output is normally powered or not powered (maglock or doorstrike). 

By setting the white jumper in position 1, the output will be NO or will normally have no voltage on the output until the input is activated (flashing green LED).  This is the typical setting for a fail-secure door strike or electrified handleset.

By setting the white jumper in position 2, the output will be NC or will normally have voltage present on the output until the input is activated.  This is the typical setting for a fail-safe maglock.

Again, there is no need to memorize all of the settings - once the blue jumper for the input is set properly (steady when locked, flashing when unlocked - see Part 2), the white jumper can be changed until the output operates correctly.

Yellow Jumper (D)

The yellow jumper selects between the buss 1 and buss 2 voltage supplied to the C8 for each output (See Part 1).  If only a single voltage source is connected to the C8, then this jumper should remain in position 1.  If two power sources are connected to the C8, then setting this jumper in position 1 will select the voltage source connected to B1 and position 2 will select the B2 power source.

Note that this jumper has no effect when the output is set as a relay output.

Voltage Output

The most common output configuration for a C8 is a voltage output.  When connecting a device to the terminals when set as a voltage output, the positive connection goes to the B terminal and the negative connection goes to the A terminal.

C2

C8 Voltage Output Wiring

Relay Output

When configured as a relay output, the current through the relay must flow from the B terminal to the A terminal (the more positive side of the voltage on the B terminal).  Note that ONLY a DC voltage may be switched through the C8 relay due to the reverse polarity diode.

C3

C8 Relay Output Wiring

Next Week

Next week we will go into detail on the jumper settings of the C8, including the usage of our Excel-based C8 Jumper Configuration Tool.  Until then, 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.

Published in Blog
Tuesday, 25 August 2015 15:47

Understanding the C8 Board - Part 1

LifeSafety Power's FlexPower line of power systems is the industry's first and only fully-modular, listed power supply system.  This allows you to choose from a variety of power supplies and output boards and combine them in the best combination for the job at hand.  One of the most versatile components at your disposal is the C4 or C8 lock control board.  Don't let the "lock control" fool you, however - the C4 and C8 can do far more than just locks. 

C4C8Photo

The C4 and C8 come in four different variations.  The C4 and C8 provide 4 and 8 zones, respectively, of 3A fused outputs.  The C4P and C8P provide the same 4 and 8 zone counts but use 2.5A PTCs, rather than fuses, to provide Class 2 Power Limiting.  In this multi-part series of posts, we will refer mostly to the C8 board, but the C8P, C4, and C4P are all identical in operation.

What does the C8 do?

The C8 board provides eight outputs, each with its own input for control.  If you are familiar with the Altronix ACM8, then you are already familiar with this basic concept.  The inputs of the C8 are low current, protecting your high-cost access control panel's relays from the high currents and return EMF spikes from the locks.  Each output can be individually selected for voltage, lock type, input type, and whether or not to unlock the door on a Fire Alarm Input (FAI) activation.  Outputs can be wet or dry (NO or NC).

Input Power & FlexIO Connections

Like all FlexPower output boards, the C8 has a dual-buss power input, allowing use in either single or dual voltage power supplies.  When used in a dual voltage power supply, the C8 allows you to select either voltage on each individual output.  Note that the C8 MUST be supplied with constant power for proper operation.  Do not use the DC2 output of the FPO power supply to power the C8 board - the C8 controls each output for FAI on its own.

C8Power

The first power supply should be connected to the B1 input of the C8.  As with all FlexPower output boards, the power connections can be made at either B1 terminal.  The BR connection serves as the DC common and must be connected to the BR terminal of the power supply.

If a second power supply is also being used, it should be connected to the B2 input of the C8.  The second power supply's BR terminal must also be connected to the other BR terminal of the C8 so that everything is common grounded together.

The FlexIO connectors supply FAI input and fault status to and from the C8 board.  Both FlexIO connectors are the same and either may be used interchangeably.  Simply plug one end of the white 2-pin FlexIO cable into the FPO power supply's FlexIO connector and the other end into the C8.

If there are other output boards already connected to the power supply, the C8 may be connected at the end of the chain, or inserted into the middle of the chain.  Make sure to match up the wire colors and B1/B2 connections to the other boards in the system.

Visual Indicators

The C4 and C8 boards have a green LED for every output indicating its status.  When the C8 is properly configured, a steady green LED indicates that the door is locked, and a flashing green indicates unlocked.  Notice we are speaking in terms of "locked" and "unlocked" rather than about the outputs being powered and unpowered.  This makes understanding and configuring the C8 easier, once you are accustomed to thinking this way - all LEDs function the same, whether the input is NO or NC, whether the output is connected to a maglock or door strike, whether FAI is active or not.

If any of the green LEDs are out, it indicates that there is a problem with the fuse (or PTC), jumper settings, or there is a missing power supply voltage.

The C4 and C8 also have a single yellow fault LED.  It will light whenever any of the green LEDs are out (blown fuse, incorrect jumper setting, or missing power supply voltage).  If there is a fault on your FPO power supply and the C8 also indicates a fault, correcting the C8 fault will likely clear the FPO fault unless multiple problems exist in the system.

Next Week

This week we covered some of the very basics of the C8.  In the next post in this series, we will go even more in-depth on the inputs of the C8 board - including wiring, configuration, and other information. Until then, if you need any assistance our This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it department is always here to help. 

Published in Blog
Wednesday, 11 March 2015 12:46

Egress During an AC Loss

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.

flashlight clipart flashlight md

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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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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