Apartment managers cutting POTS, turning to IP/GSM communicators

NC installer and AHJ tout communicator's cost savings, reliability


"It's something the industry has been wanting for a long, long time and now it's out like wildfire," observes MacDaniel. "We can't keep these units on the shelf."

Installation was a snap, explains MacDaniel. The IPGSM-DP is simply a box to mount within three feet or so of the fire alarm control panel, and ties easily into the control panel's existing phone line ports. With a minor amount of programming, the entire installation takes about two hours, MacDaniel estimates.

The IPGSM-DP is UL-Listed to provide full Contact ID data reporting for virtually any brand of fire alarm control panel through Honeywell's AlarmNet network.

A simple configuration setup allows installers to select one of two modes of operation. In mode one, IP is the primary path and GSM is the backup with SMS (Short Message Service) text serving as a secondary backup. In mode two, either IP or GSM cellular can be set as the fire alarm system's single path for reporting. A 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard is used to secure data traveling through each pathway.

"It's not a major install at all, which helps keep the price down for the end user," says MacDaniel. "As for the customer's ROI, they're going to pay this product off in eight to ten months. And after that time, they're just saving all that money."

The unit is powered by its own plug-in transformer and accommodates a 24-hour battery back-up. For North Carolina, which sits in the middle of Hurricane Alley, power backup is essential, states MacDaniel.

Bogan notes the IP/GSM communications technology is still new for the alarm sector, and he's looking forward to seeing how the devices work.

"If it's a durable technology that's code compliant and it saves the customer money, than everyone wins," exclaims Bogan.