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Come Spring or Fall, Automatic Panel Time Updates Can Help You Save Time and Money

By Stephen Bowen, DMP Call Center Manager

It’s that time of year — time change. Typically, we get a lot of calls afterward with questions why customers' panels didn't update. This blog will help you prepare your customers’ panels for the time change and should also help identify the cause if it didn’t work.

Automatic panel time updates are dependent on several factors, both on the receiver side and on the panel side. Please keep in mind that customers may prefer having cell tests weekly, monthly, or in some rare instances, no test at all. To that end, if a customer calls several days after the time change about a panel that still hasn't gotten its time update, the first thing to check is the automatic recall test frequency.

RECEIVER SETTINGS

Note: The receiver does not ask Host Automation for a time update. Rather, Host Automation should be set up to send a time to the receiver.

If the receiver time is not updating:

  • Check to make sure the receiver time settings are programmed correctly
  • Have the monitoring center check its host automation to see if it’s correctly sending time reference

 Here are the receiver requirements for SCS-1 and SCS-1R with SCS-1062 processor board to get time updates:

1)  Check the Host Automation section of programming SCS-1R TIME TO PANELS? This needs to be set to YES. 
2)  Check the Host Automation section of programming SCS-1R HOURS FROM GMT. This should be set to the correct time
     zone. For instance:

TIME ZONE

GMT

TIME ZONE

GMT

Eastern

5

Pacific

8

Central

6

Alaska

9

Mountain

7

Hawaii

10

3)  If the receiver's time hasn’t been updated in the past 25 hours, the receiver will ignore any time update requests from a panel — this is to prevent the receiver from sending inaccurate time to the panels. NOTE: The time for the receiver can either be updated from the keypad or through a command from the Host Automation Software to meet this requirement.

We highly recommend updating the receiver time by the host automation computer at these events:

1)  The "System Start Up" message is sent by the receiver to the host automation computer
2)  The host automation computer time, day, or date is reset
3)  Once daily at 2:30 a.m.

Here are the receiver requirements for SCS-1R with SCS-150 processor board to get time updates:

1)  Check the Host Automation section of programming SCS-1R HOURS FROM GMT. This should be set to the correct time
zone. For instance:

TIME ZONE

GMT

TIME ZONE

GMT

Eastern

5

Pacific

8

Central

6

Alaska

9

Mountain

7

Hawaii

10

2)  Check the Line Cards section of programming of the SCS-1R SEND TIME CHANGE TO PNLS? This must be set to YES for each line card.

NOTE: Because the ~SCS-150 has a much more accurate time chip, the requirement for the time to be updated in the past 25 hours was removed.

PANEL SETTINGS

In panel programming, the following must be set for an automatic time update request to occur:

1)  In the System Options section of programming, TIME CHG must be set to YES.
2)  In the System Options section of programming, HRS FROM GMT: must be set to the correct time zone. For instance:

TIME ZONE

GMT

TIME ZONE

GMT

Eastern

5

Pacific

8

Central

6

Alaska

9

Mountain

7

Hawaii

10

3) A primary communications method must be programmed into the panel to a DMP receiver.

The time and manner that the panel requests a time update varies based on the primary communications method. The request is ONLY sent via the primary communications method and will never switch to a backup method if the request is not acknowledged.

NOTE: Path 1 on the XR500/XR100 Series is always considered the primary communications method. For the XT Series, Receiver 1's primary communications selection is considered the primary communications method.

PRIMARY COM TYPE

TIME REQUEST METHOD

CID

The panel will not request time at all if the primary communications type is Contact ID. The format does not support time update.

DD

The panel will piggyback a time request on the first message sent after 3:30 a.m. panel time.

NOTE: If the first message the panel sends is at 2 p.m., the panel will ask for a time update at 2 p.m.

NET

The panel will ask for a time update between 3 and 5:04 a.m.

NOTE: The time that’s used is dependent on the account number of the panel. This prevents all panels with NET from requesting at the same time with the receiver.

CELL

The panel will ask for a time update five minutes after the automatic recall test programmed for the path.

NOTE: If the cell test is only programmed for every seven days, there will only be a time request every seven days. No timer test. No time update.

From Verification: DD panels will request a time update with the first valid communication after 3 a.m. Cell panels will request a time update five minutes after the daily test time. (For example, if a panel sends a daily test at 3 a.m., it will request a time update at 3:05 a.m.) Network panels will request a time update based on an algorithm hard coded into the panel that uses the account number to generate a time. Setting a network-enabled panels account number to 1 will cause it to get a time update at 3:01 a.m. The time is the account number mod 128 (in minutes) + 3:01 a.m.

These conditions are manipulated by only four settings, available to the technician: Time change and hours from GMT in the panel, and time update and hours from GMT in the receiver. If a technician reports that the panel didn't get a time update, use the information above to force the panel to request a time update by manipulating the panel’s time (and account number in the case of a network panel).

With the start or end of daylight saving time, put DMP’s Automatic Panel Time Updates to work for you. Rather than manually updating each of your customer’s panels, it’s a sure way to save time and money while keeping your customers happy.



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