Your siren/strobe can do things no other siren can do! It can tell the difference between an intruder and a raccoon or an intruder and flapping plastic and which one needs to have the siren/strobe activated. It also knows the difference between daylight and darkness and knows if neighboring dwelling units have people sleeping that would be disturbed by the siren being activated! Advanced technology is amazing, and RadiusVision is on the cutting edge providing you with options few other companies can match. Is your siren equipped job site located near dwelling units that are complaining to your company about their sleep being interrupted by false alarms?
Don’t let that damage your company reputation, we have the answer. Just let us know what hours you would like your site to be “silent” and the hours you would like the siren to be activated. All siren equipped existing RadiusVision sites are already “smart”, with the siren activating ONLY when humans or moving vehicles are detected inside the fence. Just let us know if you need additional selective noise abatement and we will make it happen.
When you’re ready to shut down and move your system, first turn off the central station communicator (see Tech Talk #20 on how to do this) or you can remove the batteries from the head-end so the system will stop sending the daily timer test. Call, text or email me so I can suspend your central station account which will stop the monthly monitoring billing.
When you’re ready to redeploy the system at the new location, call, text or email me and I will reactivate your central station account and email you a blank Central Station Information form to fill out and send back to me so I can update the central station with the new site information, contact list and email addresses.
You may want to consider redeploying the system with fresh batteries if the existing batteries are over a year old. You can order batteries from us or source them yourself, but purchase only the SAFT brand. Refer to Tech Talk #1 for the required batteries and quantities.
Turning off the central station communicator is required when shutting down a system to suspend the monitoring billing. Here are the steps:
Wake up the keypad, then press the right arrow and go to Access Level 1. Press OK, then press the right arrow until it says Access Level: 4 then press OK and enter 9747 then OK. Press the right arrow key to go to Configuration and press OK to go to General Parameters. Left arrow to Central Station Configuration then press OK to go to Frontel Security Parameters then press OK to go to Frontel Security Enabled. Press OK again and the display will say Frontel Security: Enabled. Press the right arrow to change it to Frontel Security: Disabled, then press OK and it will say Frontel Security Disabled (the colon disappears). The central station communicator is now disabled. Press and hold (for 5 seconds) the ESC/NO key to go all the way back to the Date, Time, Disarmed window and you are done. Now send me an email to have your monitoring billing suspended. Call me at 206-300-9954 when you’re ready on the next job site to resume the monitoring.
Be careful when mounting and aiming your cameras not to have the mounting surface included in the view of the camera. In total darkness the IR illuminators will bathe the surface close to the camera with intense IR light, causing overexposure of the foreground surface closest to the camera. Since all cameras employ light averaging, the overexposed bright foreground surface causes the area beyond to darken to the point that an intruder can’t be seen!
In this example, the camera needs to be aimed away from the mounting surface so none of that surface will be seen by the camera.
Remember too that the effective range of the IR illumination in total darkness is about 35 feet and the maximum trigger distance of the PIR for a single human can be up to 50 feet if mounted looking parallel with the ground so it is possible under these conditions to trigger the camera but not be able to see the intruder!
A good rule of thumb on sites without artificial light is to mount the cameras with a slight (10 degree) downward tilt so the PIR will trigger within the effective IR illumination range, allowing our dispatchers to see the intruder in total darkness and dispatch the police to a video verified crime in progress.
If your site does have artificial lighting at night, you can mount your cameras parallel with the ground to achieve the maximum detection range.
If you have the older 3G cellular panel and are facing a mandatory upgrade to 4G due to the 3G sunset, you may be able to take advantage of another option not offered by other companies.
If your site has AC power and broadband your older 3G system can be wired to broadband and AC power to utilize the onboard RJ45 port to connect to your switch, router, or modem to communicate to the central station without using cellular!
Most site deployments are done 100% wireless and on battery power, however you can optionally connect your head-end control communicator to power and broadband (Internet service) to add a redundant (slightly faster) communication pathway to the central station and when the upcoming 3G sunset shut down happens to your local cell tower, your system will continue to communicate via the wired pathway indefinitely.
If you do decide to go this route it will eventually end up being the ONLY pathway to the central station, so be sure to get UPS backups on your broadband router, switch, and modem so if your site loses AC power the Internet communications will remain working!
If this is an option for your site and you want to take advantage of it, order the AC power conversion package (PP – 4) which comes with a plug-in power converter and four Alkaline 1.5 volt batteries and then schedule 1.5 hours of paid technical telephone support time with me for the programming and setup that are required to switch to this feature. You will need to run two low voltage wires (Cat5e and 18-2 stranded) from the head-end control communicator to the nearest 120-volt AC power outlet (must be in a dry location) and to your nearest network switch or router. Additionally, these wires would be vulnerable to sabotage so use common sense methods to protect and hide them from malicious attack which would cut the communications to the central station, stopping the system from protecting your site!
Not all sites can take advantage of this 3G panel upgrade option but if your site can, RadiusVision gives you a lower cost alternative to a 4G upgrade other companies won’t talk about!
If you ever want to arm your system with a camera turned off here is how to do it.
With the system disarmed, press and hold the #2 key (labeled Bypass) until it says Badge Or Code then enter your 4-digit code and press OK or present your prox tag to the reader. The keypad will read 03:Cam 1 Not Bypassed. Use the arrow keys to locate the camera you want to bypass and then press OK to bypass that camera. If you want another camera bypassed press the arrow keys to locate the next camera. When done, press the ESC/NO key. At this point selected devices will be bypassed on the next arming. If the system is not armed in the next 24 hours the devices will return to Not Bypassed automatically. After arming, the keypad will read Arming Bypass Away. At the next disarm the bypass will automatically return to Not Bypassed.
When your site is disarmed, someone could take a paper bag and slip it over a camera without triggering the camera tamper accelerometer, blinding the PIR and rendering that camera useless for detecting an intruder. Same goes for a carefully placed sheet of plywood or drywall that blocks the camera’s view or even an accidental placement of materials that does the same thing. Many construction site thefts are done with the help and/or knowledge of an employee or subcontractor who works at the site.
Make it a routine to look at every camera before arming your site to ensure someone hasn’t intentionally or accidently sabotaged or blocked the Videofied cameras for an after-hours break-in. This habit could save you from losses which would have been undetected by the cameras.
Built into each Videofied camera is an accelerometer which monitors the position of the camera, similar to what we have in our smartphones. If a camera were to be moved by an intruder or strong winds or struck by a falling tree branch enough to cause it to alter its position, the tamper feature will be triggered, a signal will be sent to the central station and if the site is armed when this happens we will dispatch the police – on the assumption the camera is being moved to defeat the security of your site. If this were to happen with the site disarmed, we would call the contact list to inform you so you can put eyes on the camera to rule out someone moving a camera, possibly planning a break-in that night.
To avoid a false tamper signal, mount your cameras as solid as possible. Attach the knuckle mount hardware to the camera and base mount snugly so they don’t unscrew and be sure the base is secured well to the mounting surface to reduce any movement.
It can be a puzzle figuring out how to open the alpha keypad for the first time when replacing the batteries. It is a bit delicate being made with thin plastic materials too.
The first thing to notice is the lock and unlock icons located on the left and right sides along with the index lines that line up with the icons. Next, there is a rectangular lock release hole located on the bottom edge to insert a small slot screw driver to release the locking tab. Pry toward you to unlock the tab and while holding that pressure, slide the front faceplate of the keypad up until the side index marker lines up with the unlock icons on both sides. The front face can now be separated from the back plate of the keypad to expose the batteries. The red tamper LED will be illuminated with the keypad open.
When assembling, line up the unlock icons with the index line on both sides first, then slide the front face down until the index lines are even with the lock icon. With the keypad closed, the red tamper LED should go out.
I recommend you not screw mount the keypad to the wall, instead use two strips of Velcro only on each side of the keypad so it can easily be taken outside when range testing camera locations. Do not place Velcro on the center of the backplate! It will permanently damage the tamper switch when pulled off the wall due to the outward flexing of the backplate.
Video clip emails are not stopped when your account is placed on test. So, if the Videofied system is armed and a camera is triggered you will still receive the video clip email. If you have ever placed your account on test and then armed it to test your site, you may have noticed missing video clips from cameras that were triggered. Is something wrong with the system? Not at all.
With the account on test and therefore unmanned the central station software can only download and email the first video that comes in, and it does this automatically. Videos from other cameras that were also triggered are held, waiting for a dispatcher’s input to download the clip. With no dispatcher actively accessing the account, those video clips will not be downloaded or emailed out and after about 4 minutes of inactivity the Videofied system disconnects from the central station server. A subsequent camera trigger will repeat the above sequence and again only one video clip will be downloaded and emailed out.
To be clear, this only happens when the account is on test. When the account is off test and “normal”, a dispatcher is alerted to the account and downloads each video that comes in. All downloaded videos are automatically emailed out by the automated email system.
Did you know I program your system to automatically reduce repeat nuisance alarms? I do this to help keep your monthly video alarm activations as low as possible, so you are not back charged for excessive alarms. It’s called “swinger suppression” and it works like this: if the same camera is triggered three times in a 5-minute span of time, the system automatically bypasses that single camera for one hour, then it returns back to normal again. The central station is sent a “Swinger Shutdown Activated” signal when it happens and an hour later a “restore” signal is sent. This feature is NOT turned on for systems with less than three cameras.
Most nuisance triggers are caused by wind driven movement of tarps or plastic covered materials on the job site. This feature helps to keep the number of video alarms at or below the maximum of 30 per month, above which you can be back-charged additional monitoring fees.
It’s important to look at all video clip emails that we send you when your cameras are triggered so you can resolve the problem if there is a wind driven movement situation repeatedly triggering your cameras. The best solution is going to the site and securing or resolving the plastic tarp; tree branch; tall weeds; debris blowing etc., stopping the reason the cameras are being falsely triggered. When a trip to the job site is not practical and you want to put a stop to the excessive alarm signals count, you can call the central station and place just that one offending camera on “Test”, putting a stop to the excessive alarm signals count so you avoid or at least reduce the back-charges. CAUTION: if that camera is triggered by a real intruder while it is on test NO POLICE WILL BE SENT! All the other cameras are still protecting the site and will be handled normally if triggered by the intruder.
If your Videofied system is the older 2G/3G panel and it is wired to power and broadband, then it has been programmed to alternate the daily timer test report – one day using the cellular pathway and the next day using the Ethernet broadband pathway. If one of the communication pathways is down, you will develop a pattern of a missed timer test email and phone call every other day.
What should you do? Check the cellular pathway first: Using the alpha keypad, go to the Maintenance menu and find 2G3G Level and press OK to test the cellular pathway. Within 60 seconds you should get a cellular signal strength of 2/5, 3/5, 4/5 or 5/5 for a functioning cellular pathway. If you get an error code, call my cell phone for further troubleshooting. With the 3G cellular sunset looming your cell tower may have shut down the 3G equipment.
If the cellular pathway is functioning, check the Ethernet connection: Using the alpha keypad, go to the Maintenance menu and find ETH Status and press OK. It should display a LAN IP address indicating it is properly connected to your local network and has been assigned a DHCP IP address. If you see 000.000.000.000, then the panel is not connected to your network. Call my cell phone for further troubleshooting: 206-300-9954.
If you get an email notice or a phone call of a Missed Timer Test, your head-end control panel might be dead, rendering the site unprotected!
I program all systems to send a daily timer test at 2:15 am. When the central station has not received this signal by 3:15 am it reports a missed timer test and the automated email system sends out the missed timer test email notice to everybody listed. The central station is instructed to back that up with a phone call after 8:00 am to ensure you are aware of the possibly critical situation.
What should you do? Check the alpha keypad first, if it is showing the date, time and the current armed status of the system then the panel is not dead however, more than likely it will show XXX indicating the keypad does not “see” the head-end panel because the panel is dead. If you don’t have 4 SAFT brand D size 3.6 volt replacement batteries you can temporarily purchase and use 4 D size 1.5 volt Alkaline batteries which will run the head-end for 3 to 4 weeks until you can replace them with the SAFT batteries. Don’t forget to adjust the date and time afterward. Refer to Tech Talk #1 for step by step instructions on setting the date and time.
If you get an email notice or a phone call from the central station of a Low Battery from the Panel, it will likely be dead within 24 hours turning your entire security system into a wheel chock. Emergently you can replace them with (4) readily available D size Alkaline 1.5 volt batteries until you can source or order a set from us of the SAFT D size (LSH 20) 3.6 volt lithium-thionyl chloride (Li-SOCl2) high energy density batteries.
When replacing the batteries in a dead head-end panel (or any battery-operated device) always observe polarity! If your panel has been dead for over 24 hours, you will have the additional requirement of forcing all the peripheral devices to re-establish their RF connection to the head-end. After the panel has been dead for over 24 hours, the peripheral devices (cameras, keypad, prox tag reader, and siren) stop making the effort to “find” the dead panel and need to be stimulated to do so. Start with the keypad: all you do is press the right or left arrow key and you will see the keypad red LED briefly rapid flash while it gets reconnected. The LCD keypad display will then show date, time, and panel status when it is connected to the head-end panel, and ********xx********* when it is not connected. To save time, get into the Maintenance menu and then select Range Test to test all the other devices. If a device test shows Radio Problem instead of 1/9, 2/9, 3/9 etc., then you MUST manually trigger that device.
The prox tag reader can be triggered by presenting a prox tag to the reader, the LED on the prox tag reader will rapidly flash as it reconnects. Each camera has a button located between the Fresnel PIR lens and the camera lens that can be quickly pressed and released with a small object to rapidly flash the camera LED and reconnect. Lastly, the siren/strobe has a very small hole located on the left lower side of the housing that you stick a pin through to trigger a switch to cause the strobe light to rapidly flash, reconnecting to the panel.
It’s a good idea to occasionally test the siren/strobe to ensure it is working. The following test WILL NOT send a signal to the central station, so you do not have to contact them before performing this test. Should this test fail to activate the siren/strobe it could be that the batteries need replacing OR the siren/strobe is too far away from the head end control panel and did not receive the command. Try Range Test to test the RF signal strength of the siren/strobe. If it says Radio Problem, move the siren/strobe closer to the head end and trigger the tamper (open and close the cover) to get it to reconnect. If you need new batteries, purchase (3) D size 1.5 volt Alkaline batteries.
To perform the test, go to the Maintenance menu, press the right or left arrow key and stop at Audio Test Devices. Press OK and it will say Keypad 1. Press the left arrow key stopping at the siren. Pressing OK will trigger the siren/strobe, pressing OK again will stop it. Press the ESC/NO key repeatedly or press and hold it for 5 seconds to get back to the date, time, disarmed window.
A very important part of each Videofied camera is the PIR (Passive Infrared Motion) detector. It is this detector that triggers the camera to record the 10 second video so let’s talk about PIR characteristics that we can take advantage of and also avoid when placing each camera.
PIR’s are most sensitive to detecting a human moving across the field of view and far less sensitive to detecting a person if they are moving directly toward or away from the PIR. You can test this yourself from the Maintenance Menu by selecting Functional Test Devices which turns on the “walk test” mode. Try walking directly toward the MotionViewer camera starting 50 feet away. You will see that you can cover a lot of ground, maybe 25 to 30 feet before the PIR red LED will finally illuminate indicating an alarm. Then do the same thing but this time walking across the detection area so the camera is on your right or on your left. You will see the red LED illuminate after only a few steps! Knowing these characteristics you will want to place the cameras so a would-be intruder is most likely to cross the detection area rather than approach directly at or away from the camera.
The nominal RF range that I have experienced for the vast majority of Videofied system deployments is 400 to 800 feet but as we all know actual RF range varies due to influences such as conflicting radio frequencies, terrain, man made obstructions, metal objects, trees, and the list goes on. My best was 1,300 feet line of site and my worst was 200 feet due to extreme RF interference at that site. The Videofied system communicates bi-directional with all devices on a 900 MHz frequency using a 25-channel spread spectrum, AES encrypted military grade radio.
To get the best RF coverage start by erecting a mounting mast for the Videofied head-end system. The mast should project five feet above the job trailer roof with the Videofied control/communicator head-end mounted at the top. This can be constructed easily using Unistrut, 1 ½” EMT conduit straps and a 10 foot stick of 1 ½” EMT conduit fastened to the side of the job trailer. The Videofied panel comes with a double U bolt polycarbonate mount that bolts solidly to the EMT conduit in a matter of minutes.
Since most job trailers are located out of the way on the peripheral edge of a project, you may need to consider placing the head-end out into the project area for the best overall RF coverage in situations where your farthest camera is over 800 feet from the job trailer.
The good news with Videofied is you’re not left wondering if it’s going to work. With the system being 100% wireless, take a camera along with the keypad out to the proposed camera location and Range Test it. If it tests 9/9 then you’re good. Mount it and move on to the next camera. If it hovers at 8/9 or lower move it a few feet one way or the other, sometimes that’s all it takes to find the “sweet spot” or you might have to rotate the head-end panel so the large flat side faces the camera for the best antenna exposure. We need 9/9 for flawless performance.
For those of you who have the outdoor siren/strobe I would like to pass along a mounting tip that could save you from having to purchase a replacement siren/strobe.
Of the four screw holes located on the mounting base, the lower left hole has a dual function that you need to be aware of. Placing a screw in this hole also anchors the anti-pry tamper function which triggers a tamper alarm if the siren/strobe is forcefully pried from the surface on which it is mounted. If that happens, the tab breaks free from the base activating the tamper, triggering an alarm resulting in a police dispatch to a “Siren/Strobe Tamper”. Once this tab is broken the entire siren/strobe will need to be replaced.
When installing the anchor screw in this hole, do not over-tighten the screw! If the surface behind this screw is uneven you can pre-fracture the break-away tab or sever it completely causing a permanent tamper which can’t be repaired. My advice is to set the screw slightly loose or barely snug so the break-away tab is not under any stress.
You can place your system into a “Walk Test” mode to see the detection coverage of each camera. By going into Maintenance Mode then using the right arrow key, stop at Functional Test Devices and press OK. This sends a signal to ALL cameras turning on the walk test feature of the PIR detector. Walking in front of each camera, the red LED in each camera will turn on indicating detection of your movement and the recording of a video clip if the system were really armed. This gives you assurance that each camera is properly covering and detecting your movement in the areas you are trying to protect. When finished walk testing all cameras, press OK to exit that test. To exit all the way out, press and hold the ESC/No key. Note: the red LED in the camera will not turn on for detected motion unless it is in the walk test mode.
This test should be run any time you set up or move a camera to ensure you have the area you are intending properly covered. Remember, each camera covers a 90-degree area and can detect a single human moving target up to 50 feet away.
Did you know there’s a quick way to look at the health of your Videofied system? Using the alpha keypad with the system disarmed, press and hold the OK key for 5 seconds, the LCD display will indicate if there are any current problems. If no problems are present, it will say Ready To Arm. Press OK again to exit the status mode.
Some of the problems that can be displayed are Low Battery, RF Supervision, Tamper, Cellular Problem, No AC Power, and Ethernet Problem.
If there is a problem displayed, press the right arrow key to see if there are additional problems to report. Each press of the right arrow button will show the next problem. When you see a problem repeated, you know you have been through the entire list. Press OK to exit the status mode.
This Videofied Tech Talk was inspired by a customer who inadvertently factory defaulted his panel while replacing the batteries. To prevent this from happening to another customer let’s talk about how this happened. The photo below shows where the programming/reset switch is located on the XTOiP 630 and the XTO 640 LTE outdoor panel. With the panel powered, pressing down on this switch for 5+ seconds will erase all the existing programming replacing it with the factory settings. It takes hours of programming to set up an 8 camera system with a prox tag reader, keypad and siren. This is not something I can talk you through over the phone and attempting to do so would take us twice as long as I could do it on the bench.
To resolve this factory default event the entire system with all peripheral devices must be packaged and sent back to me for bench programming and retesting. This switch could not be better designed for an accidental press with its diving board actuation so be careful not to lean on it while swapping out a set of batteries.
When replacing batteries in cameras (4 AA), the prox tag reader (3 AA), keypad (3 AA) or main control panel (4 D) always use SAFT brand 3.6 volt primary lithium-thionyl chloride (Li-SOCl2) high energy density batteries. You can source them yourself or call RadiusVision to order replacements.
The siren/strobe uses three D size 1.5 volt alkaline batteries.
To reset the low battery notification when you are replacing batteries you MUST place the system into Maintenance Replace Battery mode! When replacing camera batteries you must execute this mode BEFORE YOU TOUCH OR MOVE THE CAMERA so the camera tamper is not triggered before the system is in this mode!! Here are the steps to get the system into this mode:
Press the right arrow to go to Access Level then press OK followed by the right arrow key until it says Level : 4 then press OK followed by 9747 and press OK.
Now press the right arrow key twice and it should take you to Maintenance, press OK and you should be at Modify Date / Time. Press the right arrow key it should say Maintenance Replace Battery then press OK and it will say Replace Battery Devices. If you are replacing the control panel batteries, press the right arrow and it will say Control Panel Batteries. After selecting Devices or Control Panel press OK and it will say Tamper Disabled 5 Min. You have 5 minutes to change out the batteries and when you are done press OK and it will ask Completed? Press OK and a system check will be executed. When doing the control panel it will say 1 Minute Max To Open The Panel. Change out the batteries and press OK when done.
When replacing batteries in ANY device, REMOVE ALL BATTERIES BEFORE INSERTING THE REPLACEMENTS! Never remove 1 battery and replace with new, and so on.
If you find yourself with a dead main control panel and no replacement D SAFT batteries, you can temporarily replace them with four D size 1.5 volt alkaline batteries!
This will buy you 3 weeks to get the SAFT replacements and save you from a dead system. This tip will ONLY work with the main control panel and will NOT work with cameras, the prox tag reader or the keypad.
After replacing the batteries in the main panel take a look at the keypad display to see if the date and time need to be corrected. Here are the steps to correct the date and time:
Press the right arrow to go to Access Level then press OK followed by the right arrow key until it says Level : 3 then press OK followed by your 4-digit code and finally OK.
Now press the right arrow key and it should take you to Maintenance, press OK and you should be at Modify Date / Time. Press OK and it should say Setting: Auto. Press the right arrow key and it will change to Setting: Manual. Press OK and you will be at the Date Year.
Using the right arrow key change the pre-populated numbers to the correct date followed by OK for the Year, Month, Day, Hour and finally Minutes. (hours are in military format) After the last entry the display with briefly show the new date and time: 02/10/19 13:51 with Entry Complete then change to Modify Date / Time.
The last thing is to change from Manual to Auto: Press OK at the Modify Date / Time display, the display will say Setting: Manual. Press the right arrow so it says Auto then press OK, the display will say Timezone: UTC-XX where -XX = the universal time zone. -08 =Pacific US/Can or Baja CA; 07 = Arizona or Mountain Mexico or Mountain; 06 = Central America or Central US/Can or Central Mexico or Saskatchewan; 05 = SA Pacific or Eastern US/Can or US Eastern. Using the left or right arrow keys make the correct UTC -XX timezone then press OK and select the US/Can timezone for your location. After the last selection the keypad returns to Modify Date/Time. Press and HOLD the ESC NO key for 5 seconds and you will return to Date, Time, Disarmed Level:3 window. You are done.