Your experience with VoIP mirrors my own. With people turning to VoIP in droves, we have to be able to do something. Whether a particular VoIP connection works depends very much on the supplier; some suppliers service works flawlessly, others work intermittently, and a few don't work at all. And there seems to be no way to tell with any particular connection until you hook it up and try it to the station.
To give clients service, I have taken to doing the following. Hook it up and test thoroughly to the station (always using Sia or Contact ID). Set up daily tests and watch the daily reports carefully for failure to test. Make sure the customer is aware of the need for back up power (UPS), and don't do a damn thing until he signs a legal liability release. Also advise him that we can no longer dial in to the panel for changes etc, so a visit might be required.
To date, I have about 7 clients on VoIP. They all seem to be working well, except one, that eventually converted back to Bell. I have far more clients on Rogers cable phone service, and the restrictions there are exactly the same (although a cable connection is far better than an IP connection it seems).
For the moment, there doesn't seem to be any cost effective way to deal with the matter for residential accounts, since they will not keep another spearate Bell line in service for their alarm.
R.H.Campbell Home Security Metal Products Ottawa, > Hello All,
That's interesting Jim, because Vonage is the one VoIP provider that doesn't work very well up here. I'm thinking the panels must require higher ring voltage to "see" the ring coming in and that might be why the panels don't answer. Bell ring tone is usually over 100 volts; perhaps the panels need that to detect a ring tone....
I've never tried having the customer force the panel to answer at the keypad...that might work though
In my area, Cablevision VoIP is working with Napco panels and (feedback from others) most other newer panels. I haven't experienced it first hand, but in my area, Vonage doesn't work reliably. The reason given by Cablevision (true or not?) is that the allocation of bandwidth for "their" VoIP is an exclusive amount of bandwidth, set aside especially for their phone service. When other service companys use their cable, they are not given access to Cablevisons "exclusive" VoIP bandwidth and are relagated to a less stable area of the spectrum. Feedback seems to verify their claim so far. Downloading on Cablevision works most of the time but sometimes you have to try multiple times before you can make a good connection. Sometimes multiple "trys" are required to up/download a section. Definitely more time consuming than Pots.
One of the things that I couldn't have forseen, was that Napco has a feature that allows you to choose "Touch tone dialing with Rotary back up" for dialing mode, which I've been programing in my panels for years. Now I have to change the programing of every panel that converts to VoIP to "Touch Tone Only" otherwise they'll only get one shot at reporting.
But, Oh well, it's a service call and I can educate them first hand on the downside of VoIP and also get a chance to up-sell them on a backup system
Also, after a bad start on Cablevisions part and thousands of enduser complaints regarding their ignorance and complete disregard of alarm communication wiring, we set up a working relationship with Cablevison. We trained their "trainers" and set them up with demos of lots of older communicators along with examples and explanations of line seizure and RJ31X wiring. Every Cablevision VoIP installer goes through the training and I have to say that after the intial turmoil they caused, the complaints have dropped to a bear minimum. They're not perfect, but they're obviously trying hard. Now, when someone calls for a switch to VoIP, they are asked if they have an alarm system and part of their installation, is to have the end user send a signal to central after the switch.
Is anyone having a problem with any particular Manufacturers alarm panel ?????
I just went on a service call today, customer has VoIP and a DSC Power 832. It will report sometimes and other times it will not. It is using contact id for its reports. I am going to try 4+2 monday and see if the problem clears up. If not I will sell him on our AES network.
You might want to try SIA on that Power 832. I've had no problems using that format although I don't have enough in service on VoIP to make any kind of real statement about anything. However, any reading I have done seems to indicate if anything's gonna work it will either be Contact ID or SIA formats.
I read an article in a magazine somewhere "I think SDM" that said 4+2 would be the most likely to work. I guess ill have to try both to see what works. This is my first experience with VOIP and I dont think I like it. :
Mark, I have one customer who has 4/2 and it works OK. All the six others, are using SIA or Contact ID. I had two others go back to Bell because the VoIP connection itself was poor...nothing to do with the alarm.
I guess this just goes to show how flakey this whole alarms on VoIP business is when those in the business can't even say between themselves what works and what doesn't.....
I ran across a few fire SK panels that were sending SIA on digital phone lines. There where many problems, such as late to test, missed signals, etc. Once I switched it to CID, the problem seemed to go away for the most part. We still get signals coming in a bit late, but that's why they have 8 dial attempts per line...after the 2nd or 3rd try, it goes through.
I have been telling techs to program an extra dial tone detect or an extended pause to make sure the line is truly clear.
My CS is currently testing an IP reporting module that will plug in the same way as a cell backup unit. I was invited to pick up a unit to play with and beta test, bt the CS is 180 miles away, and I have not had a chance to drive over and pick one up.
Napco has an IP reporting module as well, that also allows some other functionality on the 9600 and X255 panels. It just reports alarms on lower level Napco panels.
Well, why didn't you Say So. I'd be happy to Send you one. Did you fax me the Beta Test Agreement?
I asked a while back if anyone had used a decent Internet Communicator and never did find one with the simplicity I required. They all have proprietary receivers and equipment costing thousands for the Central Station to get started (then the C/S has to get their dealers to purchase the end-user equipment and hope everyone wants to use it). I've heard a lot of what everyone here is talking about. This panel or that works with this provider or that but only with this format or that and only during certain moon phases. You will never be able to know the latency induced by the routers down-stream so even if something works today, odds are it won't work at some point as routers and paths change. We've seen them work great for a while, then stop working. We've heard SIA works, sometimes, and CID, sometimes, and 4x2 pulse formats, usually (but we Hate pulse formats). It always comes down to latency. Timing is critical to some communicators (and receivers) and not as critical to others. Older analog receivers are more likely to accept the less-than-perfect timing and frequency tolerances, where the digital receivers aren't as forgiving (unless tuned for it, but even then...). I suspect downloading would only work on very slow baud rates, again dependent on where you are and where the customer is and how many routers you need to go through before reaching their unit.
Anyone here is welcome to get one of our BETA Test units. Well, you must be a real Alarm Installing Company and have a Monitoring Agreement with us, but then you can try it out. I want to get as many scenarios as possible tested.
The ASI Communicator utilizes the AES 7067 IntelliTap-II (a UL Listed device for Alarm Communications) for phone line simulation and communications (those already using AES IntelliNet products can even supply your own IntelliTap to save a couple buck). The unit supports Contact ID and 4x2 Pulse Formats. Just connect Tip and Ring, Power, and Ethernet and wala. No need to change account number or phone number in existing panels (Great for Take-Overs). One-click on the Customer Account via Dealer Web Access allows you to attach your Internet Communicator to a Customer Account.
The one downfall of my unit is that you can't download the panel through the communicator. For that you will have to use a T-Link or AlarmNet-I communicator, but from what I understand they both interface using the Keypad bus so they won't work for Every panel if you want full-reporting. We don't have a DSC Internet Receiver but we do accept AlarmNet-I units. The dealer price for equipment will definitely be under $200 (I'm pushing for about $150 which includes the IntelliTap). We are not trying to make money on the equipment, we just want to make sure you can get your customer Monitored without imposing too much additional cost on them or installation time for you.
for details and the BETA Test Agreement. Or call me (Joe) @ 480-756-5423 for ther really hard questions.
Bob La L> > with the matter for residential accounts, since they will not keep