Flash Technology is issuing this technical bulletin as a reminder of the designed behavior of the FTC 121-2 High Intensity Controller (xenon) when placed in Auto Acknowledge mode. Monitoring has evolved and many sites have converted to dry contact monitoring through a cellular connected monitoring device. In these scenarios, the Auto Acknowledge feature should only be used if the monitoring platform is capable of recording an acknowledged alarm as a present condition until it has been corrected.
The 121-2 controller provides multiple dry contact alarms for individual beacons or tiers of beacons in addition to the master alarm relay. This system is monitored using a POTs (Plain Old Telephone) copper line or connected to existing monitoring devices in the broadcast control room. Unlike telecom sites in remote locations, the broadcast sites are usually manned with an engineer capable of reviewing the controller display. In 2007, firmware revision 4.9 was released in response to customer requests to provide a feature to automatically acknowledge the master alarm. This was done so that the same alarm condition, scheduled for repair, would not continue to dial out every time it appears and have to be manually acknowledged through Eagle or the display menu. The alarm would still be indicated on the 121-2 display with the Alarm LED and would be present in the Eagle software as an acknowledged alarm. Acknowledged alarms appear in black text with unacknowledged alarms appearing in red, shown below.
However, any new condition for that beacon or the rest of the tower would continue to alarm and dial out. By removing the daily persistence of previously noted alarms, the customer would not miss a new alarm tied to the master if they became accustomed to ignoring the daily recurring alarm. This feature is documented as an Addendum to revision 2 of the FTC 121-2 manual.
Flash Technology recommends that unattended sites using only dry contact monitoring should not use the Auto Acknowledge feature. Flash Technology does not ship controllers set to Auto Acknowledge.
The Auto Acknowledge option can only be set through the display menu interface and its setting is not indicated on the home screen of the display or within the Eagle software. The following explains the steps necessary to check and modify the Auto Acknowledge setting:
Press any key to bring up a list of menu options. Using the Down button, scroll all the way down to the option labeled “…more…” to continue to the next page. After entering the controller password (default password can be found in the controller manual), scroll down to the option labeled “Alarm Mode”.
If the controller is set to Auto Acknowledge, it will be indicated by the presence of an arrow to the left of the second option, “Alm Mode Auto Ack”.
To change, use the Up button to move the arrow to the first option of “Alm Mode Norm”. The Normal mode is the default setting the controller is shipped with