Friday, 30 October 2015 09:57

Understanding the C8 Board - Part 5 - Excel Tool Featured

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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.

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Tuesday, 20 October 2015 16:57

Managed Services with Power Solutions? Featured

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Life Safety Power Revenue white paper blog

LifeSafety Power makes it all possible

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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.

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Wednesday, 07 October 2015 14:11

Understanding the C8 Board - Part 4 - Jumpers Featured

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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.

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Visit 3515 to find out more!!

Now in its impressive 61st year, ASIS Seminar & Exhibits runs September 28 through 30 in Anaheim Calif. The ‘new age’ of power will be there, showcased at LifeSafety Power® booth 3515.

The new and expanded line of FlexPower® Unified Power Solutions will be highlighted during the show. This innovative enclosure family integrates the industry’s most widely used access controller board power solutions, including Mercury, AMAG Technology and Software House. Unified Power Solutions take up a much smaller footprint while providing new installation opportunities for integrators. And that means costs savings and many other efficiencies for the end-user customer.

There’s even bigger news to share: we’re ready to unveil to the industry the first Mercury Security and LifeSafety Power UL-Listed system. We partnered with Mercury Security to bring to the systems integration and end-user communities one of the first UL-Listed enclosures that includes system power, lock power and remote power options in both rack mount and wall mount configurations. The breakthrough is in the UL listing garnered for the complete range of integrated components within the solution. The two specific products include the FlexPower Gemini RGM series, a rack mount product, and MCLASS Unified Power system, both with Authentic Mercury access control hardware in one compact, secure design.

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More new products

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Finally, we’ll have a sneak peek and literature on more new developments – the 16-door Mercury E8V1 and the 16-door HID VertX E8V – ready to meet access control specifications of every size.

The product development wheels never stop turning at LifeSafety Power and we’re proud to show you some of the results of our innovative design and engineering at ASIS. Stop by to see why LifeSafety Power is the leader in Smarter Power Solutions and remote monitoring capabilities with modular power systems that continue to meet the growing needs of the life safety and security industries.

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Friday, 18 September 2015 11:33

Understanding the C8 Board - Part 3 - Outputs Featured

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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.

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Tuesday, 08 September 2015 07:58

Understanding the C8 Board - Part 2 - Inputs Featured

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In last week's blog post, we covered the very basics of the C8 board including the power inputs and the LED functionality.  If you missed Part 1, you can find it by clicking HERE.

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

The Anatomy of the C8 Input

Each input of the C8 has two terminals, labeled A and B.  Typically, a dry contact is placed across these terminals and a change in the state of that contact will activate the input of the C8.  However, the C8's inputs are very flexible - capable of handling almost any type of input including dry contact, voltage, or open collector inputs.  The key to the flexibility of the C8 input is in its wiring.

C8 Input

The A terminal of the C8 board is a resistor-limited voltage source, provided by the higher of the B1/B2 power inputs.  The resistor limits the current of this voltage to approximately 10mA maximum when directly shorted to ground.  This voltage may be used in conjunction with the B terminal for activation of the input.

The B terminal is the actual input to the C8's circuitry.  It is a voltage input, with an acceptable range of 9-30VDC for activation.  It may be activated with the voltage available on the A terminal or with any voltage common grounded with the FPO/C8.

Note that there is no ground connection on the input.  If you place a voltmeter across the A and B terminals of the input, you will see a voltage - this is normal and will not damage a dry contact due to the current limiting resistor on the A terminal.

Dry Contact Input

C8 Input NO

 

C8 Input NC

By far, the most common input application is a dry contact.  This contact may be the output relay of an access control panel, a momentary pushbutton, a relay output on a keypad, or any other dry contact.  The C8 will operate correctly with a Normally Open (NO) or Normally Closed (NC) contact by setting the blue jumper for the zone.  There is no requirement to use a NC input for Mag Locks and a NO input for door strikes - the C8 will work correctly for any output type with any input type, so all inputs may be wired the same regardless of the lock type being used.

Voltage Input

C8 Input Voltage

A separate voltage source between 9 and 30VDC may be used to activate the C8's input, by connecting it to the B terminal.  This voltage must be common grounded with the FPO system in order for it to work properly.  The FPO power supply's DC1- terminal is a convenient point to tie the grounds together.  The C8 can be set to activate on the application of a voltage or the removal of a voltage by setting the blue jumper for the zone.

Open Collector (Transistor) Input

An open collector input may be used to activate the input of a C8, though some precautions may need to be taken.  First, the activation device with the open collector output must be common grounded with the FPO system to work correctly.  If wired as shown in the first diagram below, with the diode, the C8 will work with any open collector output that can sink the 10mA maximum current of the A terminal.  This diode blocks the voltage from the A terminal from reaching the open collector.  This diode may be eliminated if the open collector output can tolerate the 24V supplied from the A terminal.  Verify with the activation device's manufacturer to be sure - many have a 12V maximum.

C8 Input OC Pullup

The second diagram below shows an alternate wiring method if the open collector output also provides a voltage source.  This is typical for open collector outputs designed to power locks - the lock is designed to be connected to the +12V terminal and the ground for the lock is provided through the open collector.  When using this type of output with a C8, use a resistor from the voltage terminal to the open collector to provide the activation voltage required by the C8, rather than using the C8's A terminal.  The resistor value isn't critical, but should be around 1K ohm.  Sometimes multiple outputs on the activation device will share a common voltage terminal - in this case use multiple resistors from the voltage terminal to each open collector output.


C8 Input OC A Terminal

Typically for an open collector output, the blue jumper for the zone should be in position 1, however moving this jumper to position 2 will reverse the operation if necessary.

Blue Jumper

The blue jumper for each zone inverts the operation of the input for that zone.  This allows the input to operate either on application of voltage to the B terminal or on removal of voltage.  It is important to get this jumper set properly for proper operation of the C8.  When set up correctly, the LED for the zone should be steady when the door is locked and flashing when the door is unlocked.  It is possible to set the board up so that the LED operates in the reverse and the lock still works properly under normal conditions, however the door will not unlock when the FAI input is activated.  In this situation, simply place the blue and white jumpers into the opposite position of where they currently are.

Note that if you don't have the jumper positions memorized and don't have access to a manual, you can still set the jumpers properly by setting your activation source to the state where the door should be locked, then set the blue jumper on the C8 so that the LED is lit steady.  Verify that it is set correctly by setting the activation source so that the door should be unlocked and verifying that the LED is flashing.  After setting the blue jumper, adjust the white jumper to set whether there is voltage when the door is locked or unlocked.  This will be covered in more detail in the next part of this series.

Next Week

Next week we will cover the outputs of the C8 - again going into detail on the wiring, jumper settings, and other details.  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.

 

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Tuesday, 25 August 2015 15:47

Understanding the C8 Board - Part 1 Featured

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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. 

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In the first four parts in this series, we learned about the Voltage Drop, Wire Size, Battery Size, and Standby Time calculators in LifeSafety Power's Excel-based FlexCalculator Suite .  If you missed them, those posts can be found here:

Part 1 - Voltage Drop
Part 2 - Wire Size
Part 3 - Battery Size
Part 4 - Standby Time

In the final part of this series, we will cover the Ohm's Law and Miscellaneous calculations.  These calculators perform a variety of calculations such as Power, Resistance, BTU, Weight Conversion, Temperature Conversion, and more.  The FlexCalculator Suite can be found on the LifeSafety Power website at Support>Calculators, or can be directly downloaded by clicking HERE.

Once the suite is downloaded, open the file.  A main menu will appear with buttons for each of the calculator pages.  For these exercise, we will use the "Ohm's Law" and "Misc Calcs" buttons.  Click the "Main Menu" button from any of the calculators to return.

Ohm's Law Calculator       
These calculators help you perform Ohm's Law calculations by entering two parameters.  Start by clicking the "Ohm's Law" button from the main menu.  The Ohm's Law calculator page will appear.  There are four independent calculators on this page for Current, Resistance, Voltage, and Power calculations.  To perform any of these calculations, enter any two parameters into the blue cells.  If all three parameters are entered the calculator will show an error in the result field.  Below are two example calculations using the Power calculator - the other calculators operate similarly.

OLOverview

Example 1 - Using Voltage and Current
In this example, we will calculate the power drawn by a 24V maglock which draws 273mA and is connected to an FPO75 power supply set for a 24V output.

OLExample1

Voltage - In this field, we will enter 25 volts, which is the nominal output voltage setting of an FPO power supply set for a 24V output.
Current - In this field we will enter 0.273 Amps for the 273mA current draw of the lock.
Resistance - This field will be left blank in this application.
Power - This is the result field and cannot be changed directly.  In our example, the lock will use 6.825W of the 75W available from the FPO75.

Example 2 - Using Voltage and Resistance
In this example, we will calculate the power drawn by a 33 ohm resistor connected to 16V power supply.

OLExample2

Voltage - In this field, we will enter 16 volts.
Current - In this example, we will leave the current field blank.
Resistance - In this field, we will enter 33 ohms.
Power - This example results in a total power draw of 7.76 watts.

Miscellaneous Calculators
These calculators help you perform various calculations such as BTU, Efficiency, Power Factor, Temperature Conversion, Weight Conversion, Length Conversion, and Series and Parallel Resistors.  Start by clicking the "Misc Calcs" button from the main menu.  The Miscellaneous Calculations page will appear.  There are eight independent calculators on this page.  Descriptions of each calculator and their related fields are below.

MCOverview

Power Supply BTU
This calculator will give you the total BTU generated by a power supply.  The fields are as follows:

Pin - This is the power, in watts, drawn by the power supply from the main power source.  For this example, our power supply is drawing 170 watts from the AC line.
Pout - This is the output power being drawn from the power supply.  In our example, this power supply is supplying 150 watts.
BTU - This field gives the BTU generated by the power supply.  It is a calculated field and cannot be changed directly.  In our example, the power supply is generating 68 BTU.

Efficiency
This calculator will give you the efficiency of a power supply.  The fields are as follows:

Pin - This is the power, in watts, drawn by the power supply from the main power source.  For this example, our power supply is drawing 170 watts from the AC line.
Pout - This is the output power being drawn from the power supply.  In our example, this power supply is supplying 150 watts.
Efficiency - This field gives the efficiency of the power supply.  It is a calculated field and cannot be changed directly.  In our example, the efficiency is 88%.

Power Factor
This calculator will give you the power factor of a circuit.  The fields are as follows:

Pmeas - This is the measured power, in watts, of the circuit.  For this example, we will use 119.4 watts.
Vmeas - This is the measured voltage, in volts, of the circuit.  In our example, we will use 120 volts.
Imeas - This is the measured current, in amps, of the circuit.  In our example, we will use 1.41 amps.
PF - This is the Power Factor of the circuit.  It is a calculated field and cannot be changed directly.  In our example, the PF is 0.71.

Temp Conversion
This calculator will convert temperatures between Fahrenheit and Celsius.  The fields are as follows:

Fahrenheit to Celsius
Deg F
- This is the temperature, in degrees Fahrenheit, to be converted.  In our example, enter 212 degrees.   
Deg C - This is the converted temperature in degrees Celsius.  In our example, the result is 100 degrees.

Celsius to Fahrenheit
Deg C
- This is the temperature, in degrees Celsius, to be converted.  In our example, enter 100 degrees.   
Deg F - This is the converted temperature in degrees Fahrenheit.  In our example, the result is 212 degrees.

Weight Conversion
This calculator will convert weights between Pounds and Kilograms.  The fields are as follows:

Pounds to Kilograms
Lbs
. - This is the weight, in pounds, to be converted.  In our example, enter 150 pounds.   
kg - This is the converted weight in kilograms.  In our example, the result is 68 kilograms.

Kilograms to Pounds
kg
- This is the weight, in kilograms, to be converted.  In our example, enter 150 kilograms.   
Lbs. - This is the converted weight in pounds.  In our example, the result is 331 pounds.

Length Conversion
This calculator will convert lengths between Inches and Centimeters.  The fields are as follows:

Inches to Centimeters
Inches
- This is the length, in inches, to be converted.  In our example, enter 36 inches.
cm - This is the converted length in centimeters.  In our example, the result is 91 centimeters.

Centimeters to Inches
cm
- This is the length, in centimeters, to be converted.  In our example, enter 100 centimeters.
Inches - This is the converted length in inches.  In our example, the result is 39 inches.

Resistors in Series
This calculator will give you the total resistance of up to four resistors connected in series.  The fields are as follows:

R1 - Enter the first resistor value, in ohms, in this field.  For this example, enter 100 ohms.
R2 - Enter the second resistor value, in ohms.  In our example, we will use 89 ohms.
R3 - Enter the third resistor value, in ohms.  Leave this field blank if there are less than three resistors being calculated.  In our example, we will use 1000 ohms.
R4 - Enter the fourth resistor value, in ohms.  Leave this field blank if there are less than four resistors being calculated.  In our example, we will enter 500 ohms.
R Total - This is the total resistance of the series circuit.  It is a calculated field and cannot be changed directly.  In our example, the total resistance is 1689 ohms.

Note that if more than four resistors need to be calculated, you may calculate the first four resistors, then take that result and enter it in the R1 field.  Up to three more resistors may then be entered into the R2, R3, and R4 fields.  This process may be repeated an unlimited number of times.

Resistors in Parallel
This calculator will give you the total resistance of up to four resistors connected in parallel.  The fields are as follows:

R1 - Enter the first resistor value, in ohms, in this field.  For this example, enter 1500 ohms.
R2 - Enter the second resistor value, in ohms.  In our example, we will use 330 ohms.
R3 - Enter the third resistor value, in ohms.  Leave this field blank if there are less than three resistors being calculated.  In our example, we will use 750 ohms.
R4 - Enter the fourth resistor value, in ohms.  Leave this field blank if there are less than four resistors being calculated.  In our example, we will enter 3000 ohms.
R Total - This is the total resistance of the parallel circuit.  It is a calculated field and cannot be changed directly.  In our example, the total resistance is 186 ohms.

Note that if more than four resistors need to be calculated, you may calculate the first four resistors, then take that result and enter it in the R1 field.  Up to three more resistors may then be entered into the R2, R3, and R4 fields.  This process may be repeated an unlimited number of times.

I hope that this series has helped you better understand the FlexCalculator Suite and that you will find the calculators helpful in your daily system planning.  As always, if you need assistance our Technical Support  department is always here to help.

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Wednesday, 12 August 2015 16:04

Securing Educational Campuses Featured

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high school

School lockdowns easy to deploy with FlexPower®

It’s a stark fact of life: K-12 schools and educational campuses are increasingly the focus of violent acts of crime. According to an active shooter study by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, 160 incidents occurred between 2000 and 2013, with some 1043 casualties, including those killed and wounded.

Physical security trends and specifications now have a heightened focus on the fortification of the perimeter and interiors of educational facilities in an effort to provide proactive measures to lessen these incidents and avoid casualties. One of the successful means of preventing an active shooter from moving from classroom to classroom or other areas of a school has been emergency lockdowns that automatically secure areas electronically with a push of a button or other initiation. With the school year already begun in some areas or set to start soon, now is the perfect time for systems integrators to offer lockdown capabilities to users.

Versatile lockdown specification

The FlexPower® product line offers the flexibility to easily activate automatic lockdown. The Fire Alarm Input (FAI) is used to activate the lockdown condition with the reset switch latching the lockdown until manually reset. And although this activation can occur through a normally closed (NC) contact, any valid FAI activation may be used to initiate a lockdown.

There are lots of easy-to-use nuances which indicate the versatility of FlexPower in our online Application Note AN-33. Suffice to say, systems integrators have many different and easy to apply options to provide this critical feature to their educational, healthcare and other enterprise customers.

LifeSafety Power® continues to lead in the manufacture of Smarter Power Solutions and remote monitoring capabilities – designed with systems integrators and their customers in mind.

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Monday, 03 August 2015 09:05

Understanding LSP's FlexCalculator Suite - Part 4: Standby Time Featured

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In the first three posts in this series, we learned about the Voltage Drop, Wire Size, and Battery Size calculators in LifeSafety Power's Excel-based FlexCalculator Suite .  If you missed them, those posts can be found here:

Part 1 - Voltage Drop
Part 2 - Wire Size
Part 3 - Battery Size

In this part, we will cover the Standby Time calculator.  This calculator will tell you the estimated standby time with a given battery size, current, and alarm time.  Note that this calculator is only for lead-acid/gel cell type batteries.  The FlexCalculator Suite can be found on the LifeSafety Power website at Support>Calculators, or can be directly downloaded by clicking HERE.

Once the suite is downloaded, open the file.  A main menu will appear with buttons for each of the calculator pages.  For this exercise, click the "Standby Time" button.  The Standby Time Calculator page will open.

The interface for the Standby Time calculator is very similar to the Battery Size calculator, with some minor differences.

Standby Overview

About The Calculation
Like the Battery Size Calculator, the Standby Time calculator uses Peukert's Equation to accurately calculate the standby time based on rate of discharge.  This gives a slightly different, but more accurate, results than the Amps x Hours calculation used in typical battery calculations.  This is because a battery's amphour capacity is rated at a 20 hour discharge rate.  If you discharge an 8AH battery over 20 hours, it will give you 8AH.  If you discharge that same 8AH battery over 48 hours it will give you MORE than 8AH.  Conversely, if you discharge the battery faster than 20 hours, it will give you far LESS than 8AH.  For more information on this, see our in-depth white paper on backup batteries available at Learning Center>Articles on LifeSafety Power's website or by clicking HERE.

Standby Load
Like the battery size calculator, this is where the standby load currents are entered.  The fields in this section are:

Standby Standby Load

DC1 - This is the total standby load connected to DC1 output terminals on the FPO Power Supply.  In this example, the load connected to the DC1 terminals of the FPO power supply is 500mA, so 0.5 is entered.

DC2 - This is the total standby load connected to the DC2 output terminals on the FPO Power Supply.  In this example, we have no load on DC2 during standby.

Accessory Boards - The total standby load connected to any accessory boards connected to the FPO Power Supply.  In this example the total load on the accessory boards is 2.1 amps.

Total Standby Load - This is a calculated field giving the sum of the DC1, DC2, and Accessory Board currents.   This value cannot be changed.  In this example, the total is 2.6 amps.

Note that breaking the currents out into the individual fields is not required.  If you know your total standby load is 2.6A, you may simply enter 2.6A into the DC1 field and leave the others blank.

Alarm Load
This is where the alarm load currents are entered.  If there is no alarm time, leave these fields blank or zero.  The fields in this section are:

Standby Alarm Load

DC1 - This is the total alarm load connected to DC1 output terminals on the FPO Power Supply.  In this example, there is still a 0.5 amp load on DC1 during alarm.

DC2 - This is the total alarm load connected to the DC2 output terminals on the FPO Power Supply.  In this example, a 6 amp load is on the DC2 terminals during the alarm period.

Accessory Boards - The total alarm load connected to any accessory boards connected to the FPO Power Supply.  In this example, the same 2.1 amp load is on the accessory boards during alarm.

Total Alarm Load - This is a calculated field giving the sum of the DC1, DC2, and Accessory Board currents.   This value cannot be changed.  In this example, the total alarm current is 8.6 amps.

Note that breaking the currents out into the individual fields is not required.  If you know your total alarm load is 8.6A, you may simply enter 8.6A into the DC1 field and leave the others blank.

Battery Size and Required Alarm Time
These fields are where the battery size and alarm times are entered.  The fields include:

Standby Bat Size Alarm Time

Installed Battery Size - This field is where the battery size is entered in amphours.  In this example, the installed battery is 40AH

Alarm (Hours/Minutes/Total) - These fields are where the total alarm time is entered.  Enter the requirements into the Hours and Minutes fields.  If there is no alarm time, leave these fields blank or zero.  In this example, the alarm time is 15 minutes.

Results

The results for the calculation appear in the Result section.  To get the results, click outside of the last field you entered information into, or click the "Calculate" button.  The results given are:

Standby Result

Alarm AH Required - This is the calculated number of AH used to cover the alarm portion of the requirement.  If there is no alarm requirement, this field will be zero.  This is a calculation and cannot be changed.  In our example, 4AH of the 40AH battery is required to supply the 8.6A alarm current for 15 minutes.

Standby AH Remaining - This field is the remaining battery AH after subtracting the Alarm AH requirement.  In our example, 40AH minus the 4AH required for the alarm period gives 36AH remaining.

Expected Standby Time - This is the estimated standby time factoring in the alarm period.  This is a calculation and cannot be changed.  In our example, a 40AH battery will allow a 2.6A standby for 12.67 hours and then still be able to supply 8.6A for the 15 minute alarm period.

The final post in this series will cover the Ohms Law and Miscellaneous Calculations.  These include power, resistance, temperature conversions, power factor, and many other calculations.  As always, if you need assistance our This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it   department is always here to help.

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