Defend Fire group is an Australian company specialising in all types of fire alarm monitoring, fire detection and suppression systems. Many of their systems are installed in the remote rural communities of Darwin, Alice Springs and Adelaide.
Having a reliable and proven messaging capability is crucial for these applications – it provides advance warnings, power supply monitoring and reduces travel times and costs. The SMS Lite has four inputs and two relay outputs to give maximum flexibility to monitor status and operate remote equipment via your phone.
The function of the relays in the alarm panel is usually programmable for conditions including alarm has been triggered, mains power loss, tamper detection/panel open etc.
The SMS Lite is configured by text messages and secured with a unique PIN.
The SMS Lite inputs have a programmable “debounce” time to help prevent nuisance messages being sent, when activated.
With the 3G cellular networks closing, and the 4G networks being available in many rural locations, the 4G SMS Lite should be the first choice messaging system.
Defend Fire have offices located in Adelaide, Darwin and Alice Springs supporting operations throughout South Australia and the Northern Territory. Defend Fire are experts in all aspects of fire systems and equipment. Their services include installation, maintenance, inspection & testing and repair of commercial fire protection equipment and the team adheres to Australian Standards.
We have been involved with a generator remote start project for the popular Kubota GL600D-AU-B genset fitted with the DSE 4520 digital control panel.
The generator remote start ability was of crucial importance for the customer. Milne Bros, the local distributor was contacted for assistance. They evaluated the compatibility and interface wiring prior to the customer purchasing the genset.
DATRAN Australia and QTech in NZ were involved in the discussion to ensure the customer could achieve remote starting using text messages.
The Kubota GL600D-AU-B genset has many great features. It was selected as it has quiet running, efficient fuel use and an auto change over for when the mains power drops out.
The SMS Lite interfaces to the DSE 4520 control panel – Input A, pin 14 is wired to the SMS Lite output relay RLY1. Sending a text message to the SMS Lite closes the relay and activates pin 14 (connects it to ground) remotely starting the genset.
The SMS Lite’s low power relay outputs are ideal for this type of electrical switching.
More details on the DSE4250 control panel, including the wiring diagram and I/O configuration options is available here.
The genset also has multiple outputs that can be monitored by the SMS Lite and used to send text messages to notify you. Typical example would be the genset has started as the mains has dropped out.
There are many different types of generators available, but you need to ensure that yours has a suitable electrical interface for remote starting.
Remote start kits provide the electrical interface to the necessary start button, kill switch etc. They can be a factory fitted option, pat of the control panel or an aftermarket accessory. Please contact your provider with this note.
SMS Lite – Relay Output Options
The SMS Lite relay outputs can be turned on, off, pulsed for 1 second or pulsed for a configurable time. This is useful as the generator’s remote start interface may need an activation signal for several seconds before operating. Some generators also have separate start and stop inputs.
SMS Lite – Input Switch Debouncing
Input switch debouncing is also a good idea and will prevent false alarms and help reduce the quantity of SMS/texts sent. Debouncing is configurable, it’s a global setting so applies to all four inputs.
Low Voltage Warning
The SMS Lite automatically sends you a text message if the supply voltage drops to 10.5V DC. When voltage increases to 11.5V DC a confirmation text will also be sent.
Fuses and Relays
Remember to install suitable fuses in the interface wiring.
A DC supply isolator switch for the SMS Lite should be installed if the device will be unused for extended periods or powered from the generator’s starter battery.
We recommend installing interface relays on the output side of the SMS Lite controller. This assists future serviceability and allows high current/voltage operation. The SMS Lite relays are rated at a maximum of 2A at 32V DC only.
Cybercrime is increasing in Australia – The targets of Cyberattacks now include automation systems, industrial networks, and farms. Each of these has an increasing amount of internet connected technology. For farms, everything from tractors to milking platforms to soil moisture sensors are connected to the internet and may have some level of vulnerability.
The good news is there are simple steps you can take to improve your online security and system protection.
The ASCSS recommended suggestions and minimum steps include:
• Always apply patches and updates
• Always back up your data frequently
• Consider two factor authentication 2FA or multi factor authentication
• Train or remind staff to look for suspicious emails/texts.
• Ensure your modem/devices do not have the default password.
• Make a plan. It is easier to think about all the consequences of the situation now, rather than during an attack. Remember to consider all your automation and connected systems when considering a plan.
• Reset your devices before selling or disposing of them.
It is a good idea to use these alerts as part of your regular team or staff updates to improve resilience.
The Australian Federal Police also have a good selection of resources: https://www.afp.gov.au/
I think this quote from the AFP sums it up nicely:
“One of the best tools we have for fighting cybercriminals is you.
We need every Australian to understand different types of cybercrime and the simple steps you can take to avoid becoming a victim.”
Commander Chris Goldsmid AFP Cyber Command
Many of our DATRAN SCADA systems are used by local councils who have strong IT networks and protection. These systems are increasingly using cellular data, remote access and IoT technologies, so adhering to the recommendations is just as important as ensuring the software it patched and updated.
Their requirement was to provide notifications to multiple staff over the 4G cellular networks, and for the system to be easily installed to the current crane fleet. The client also needed an additional feature to “broadcast” an alert to multiple cell phones and not wait for the usual escalation period. QTech worked with the client to develop this feature, which is now available in firmware v4.08.
Getting automatic notifications when the crane is in use or powered up is another benefit of using the SMS Lite. Connecting one of the digital inputs to the “live” or “run” signal in the control panel will confirm the customer is using the crane – particularly useful for lease and hire contract monitoring. Should it be necessary, the crane could be inhibited remotely by activating one of the relay outputs.
Selection of the aviation obstruction lighting is a complex task which will need expert involvement to ensure it meets compliance requirements and local conditions.
Typical crane heights of up to 45m and 105m need aviation warning lights and may need multiple sets of lights at different heights and mounting alignments. The general requirement for construction cranes at night includes a maximum permitted height of 274 m.
But how can the LED lighting intensity be remotely controlled without digging up the pitch or replacing the control cables?
Our Wireless Point to Point (WP2P) and Multi Point Controller are popular solutions and have been specified for the remote control of LED lighting upgrades at several rugby fields recently.
The WP2P modules have three output relays, and these can be interfaced into the LED lighting control circuit. From a central control room or the ground keepers’ office, a switch is activated to change the LED lighting intensity via radio.
The WP2P also has input options that can be used to monitor lighting module failure, power failure or even a tamper switch in the control panel.
Backing gates are slow moving motorised barriers that control the dairy herd movement into milking platforms.
The motor drive units used are often water powered devices. Using water removes the need for long cable runs and the water also helps with the yard clean up.
A recent enquiry needed to add remote valve control to an existing water powered backing gate. No electrical supply was available for the valve control system and the control buttons needed to be in the dairy shed control panel.
The solar supply provides power to the WP2P module and powers the latching solenoid on the water drive unit. The solenoid controls the water flow to the drive unit and uses the QTech LSD01 latching driver. Reliable radio communications is provided by our industrial grade antennas, including low profile options at the backing gate.
The Q48 P2P was selected as six digital outputs were needed to be controlled from the dairy shed.
The Q48 P2P was retro installed into an electrically powered backing gate system, as the existing control cable was becoming unreliable. The replacement cost of the cabling was high, but the likely downtime during the milking season was prohibitive for the farmer.
The existing waterproof pendant control was also reused in the wireless Q48 P2P system, which helped the dairy operators.
However, this enquiry needed a system to interface to the existing irrigation controller.
The irrigation controller’s output was already for a latching solenoid – so how do we transmit that over more than a kilometre?
A novel system was prescribed to convert the latching output to a relay closure, then transmit the relay status, and then convert it to latching at the solenoid end.
The solution used both the QTech LSD01 and the IPC relay module, usually used for solid set irrigation projects.
The WP2P systems’ relay outputs are momentary operation from the connected input switches. However they also have a “fail safe” option allowing you to select what happens if the communication link goes down.
If you need control for remote latching solenoids or remote control of valves – with or without latching relays – please contact us for assistance.
The SMS Lite is widely used in Australia, not just for harbour buoy lighting control. The most popular applications include the remote starting of generators, flood detection warning systems and holiday home heating control.