How the Prism LX Enhanced Military Fire Alarm Monitoring Systems

By Andrew Erickson

July 3, 2024

Integrating new system upgrades is a crucial task for your fire alarm monitoring system. This necessitates technical know-how as well as effective communication and coordination among various stakeholders.

A recent email exchange between a Digitize engineer, Abe Brecher, and a client from a branch of the United States Armed Forces provided insightful examples of the challenges and solutions involved in such upgrades. As we break down their conversation we'll note:

  • How to communicate properly with a head-end unit
  • The best steps to take to maintain your system
Soldier saluting a flag
Digitize products help maintain safety for a branch of the United States Armed Forces

Understanding Client Needs and Providing Clear Communication

The first step in any successful alarm monitoring installation is understanding the client's current setup and needs. In the email thread, our client raised a concern about the integration of the System 3505 Prism LX with their newly implemented regional alarm monitoring system:

"The government personnel were thinking you will need to work with our security team in interfacing the new Prism LX with our regional alarm monitoring system. Please give me a call to discuss further."

This highlights the importance of clear communication and detailed coordination when integrating new systems. The Prism LX is a versatile fire alarm monitoring solution. It must be compatible with your existing systems to ensure smooth operations, which is why it has so many different communication options. Effective communication between the Digitize team and external security personnel is essential to address any integration challenges.

Addressing Technical Queries and Providing Detailed Explanations

Technical understanding and addressing specific queries from clients is another important aspect. Abe provided a detailed explanation in response to the client's query about the remote acknowledgment (ACK) feature:

"Remote, or EXT, ACK is the ability to ACK the Prism LX by momentarily shorting generally the EXT 1 contacts on the rear of the System 3505 or Prism LX. The System 3505 or Prism LX is in the equipment room adjacent to the dispatch area."

Abe's explanation underscores the need for technical clarity when dealing with complex systems. The Prism LX’s remote ACK feature allows dispatchers to acknowledge alarms from a remote location, enhancing operational efficiency.

This feature is especially useful in large facilities where the equipment room is distant from the dispatch center.

Always Ensure Compatibility with Existing Systems When You Upgrade

Ensuring compatibility with existing systems is a recurring theme in the email exchange. The client was concerned about the System 3505 Prism LX's connection to other units. This demonstrates the importance of device connections:

"This System 3505 is not still connected to other System 3505 units. Not sure what remote ACK capability is. But I assume that is remote acknowledge. I don't think we do anything remote."

This exchange points to the necessity of verifying existing system configurations before proposing upgrades. The Prism LX has advanced features. These need to be carefully integrated to replace the older System 3505 without causing disruptions. There also some functions that are not needed for certain applications, as this client noted.

The System 3505 Prism LX
The System 3505 Prism LX continuously monitors and displays the status of all connected alarms

Look for Customized Solutions and Training

Customized solutions and training are vital for successful system upgrades. Abe providing quotes for upgrading the spare Prism LX and for training reflected this:

"I attached the two quotes, one for upgrading your spare Prism LX to allow operation at the RDC. The second quote covers the training expense."

Having a spare Prism LX unit that can be quickly deployed in case of an emergency or during maintenance enhances the overall resilience of the fire alarm system. This approach ensures that there is no lapse in monitoring and protection. This is true even when the primary system is undergoing upgrades or repairs.

The spare unit can be quickly integrated into the existing setup. This provides a strong and well-rounded backup solution.

Customized training ensures that the client's personnel are well-equipped to handle the new system.

This includes understanding proper frequencies used by Desplex, identifying frequency issues, and operator training for the Prism LX. Such training sessions enhance the operational efficiency and ensure that the personnel can troubleshoot and maintain the system effectively.

Benefits of a Proprietary Fire Alarm Head-End

The Prism LX head-end monitoring solution offers numerous advanced features that enhance its functionality and reliability. The 23" Remote Annunciator, for example, provides a comprehensive operator interface:

"The 23-inch Remote Annunciator features programmable color and sound schemes for events, historical data and data export functions. The Remote Annunciator links to the System 3505 Prism LXs using a standard Ethernet connection."

This feature ensures that all critical event information is displayed and acknowledged efficiently. This efficiency is crucial in emergency situations. The ability to filter alarms by priority, and the password-protected control of access to system programming, further enhances the security and usability of the system.

The Digitize Remote Annunciator
Multiple Remote Annunciators can be networked to System 3505 Prism LXs to provide specialized alarm monitoring by department or alarm priority

Ensuring Effective Troubleshooting and Continuous Support

Effective troubleshooting and continuous support are significant components in maintaining and upgrading fire alarm systems. Our client expressed the need for on-site assistance to address persistent issues:

"It would be a great opportunity to have our techs on-site with you to get a higher level understanding on theory of operation and troubleshooting. Especially with the issues that have been plaguing us these last couple of months."

This request shows the importance of hands-on training and support. The Prism LX system has advanced diagnostics and real-time monitoring capabilities that allow for efficient troubleshooting.

On-site training sessions help technicians understand the intricacies of the system. This greater understanding enables them to identify and resolve issues promptly. This ability to respond swiftly minimizes downtime and ensures continuous operation.

Get Help from Digitize on Your Fire Alarm Monitoring

The advanced features of Prism LX include remote acknowledgment, spare unit upgrades, and effective training programs. These contribute to enhanced monitoring capabilities and operational efficiency.

For organizations looking to upgrade their fire alarm systems, Digitize provides reliable, tailored solutions for a smooth integration and improved safety compliance.

For more information on how to upgrade your fire alarm monitoring systems or to request a quote, please contact our team at Digitize. Our expert engineers are ready to assist you in crafting a solution that meets your specific needs.

Call 1-800-523-7232 or email today to get started.

Andrew Erickson

Andrew Erickson

Andrew Erickson is an Application Engineer at DPS Telecom, a manufacturer of semi-custom remote alarm monitoring systems based in Fresno, California. Andrew brings more than 17 years of experience building site monitoring solutions, developing intuitive user interfaces and documentation, and...Read More