Why Do Clients Order the 3505 Prism LX™ Multiplex Alarm Monitoring System?

By Justin Sagalow

November 9, 2022

At Digitize, we’re passionate about offering custom fire alarm monitoring solutions to clients. We’re always happy to work with a client to design a product custom fit to their specifications. In fact, that commitment to problem-solving on the level of the individual is paramount to our identity.

As old fire alarm monitoring systems fail and new monitoring technology becomes the standard, business owners and property managers are faced with the challenges of updating their systems and adhering to NFPA codes while responsibly managing their budgets. As we’ve said before on this site, replacing an outdated telegraph-based fire alarm system outright is an incredibly expensive and time-consuming task. Adding to this headache is the fact that, at some point in the process, the system will need to be taken offline, prompting the necessity for infamously-pricey “firewatch” services.

At its core, Digitize exists to offer an alternative solution to this problem. Clients seek us out because our technology allows them to modernize their fire alarm monitoring systems in phases that they can control. The Digitize System 3505 Prism LX™ Supervised Bidirectional Polling Alarm Monitoring System interfaces with legacy fire alarm monitoring systems. This allows the system to relay information to monitoring centers, and stay up to code, while the old infrastructure is slowly replaced with new means of communication.

prism lx central display screen

This is an image of a Prism LX central display screen. For those who wish to monitor their fire monitoring system instead of hiring a third party service to do it, the prism lx is one example of a readily available server on the market.

When a client works with us to design a system that fits their exact alarm monitoring needs, their biggest concern is typically the price. We’re sympathetic to their position, and always try to keep clients’ budgets in mind when designing an alarm system proposal that addresses their unique monitoring requirements and challenges.

We can appreciate it if a client is not willing, or not in a position to, purchase a full Digitize System 3505 Prism LX™ Monitoring System that has been outfitted with the Multiplex option. We do, however, still find it important to highlight the features provided by a complete Digitize System 3505 Prism LX™ Monitoring Multiplex System, in case you’re determining whether or not this system makes sense for you.

What does a complete System 3505 Prism LX™ Multiplex Proprietary Alarm Monitoring System consist of?

Digitize has the honor and privilege of working with navy bases and prestigious academic institutions. Therefore, we’ve had our fair share of clients that want a complete, state-of-the-art fire alarm monitoring system, with all available bells and whistles, regardless of cost. In these situations, we try to recommend a fully furnished Digitize fire alarm monitoring system, and provide them with ample paperwork detailing the system’s specifications.

We design each system based on the specifications of the client, so no two Digitize Multiplex Systems are alike. At its core, a complete System 3505 Prism LX™ Monitoring Multiplex System consists of:

  • At least one System 3505 Prism LX unit with the Multiplex option, though depending on the size of the area being monitored, it is common to order multiple units
  • At least one “Multiplex panel,” though the final number is usually determined by the amount of fire alarm control panels being monitored
  • A means of connection between these two devices. (E.g. ethernet, fiber-optic cables, or even copper wiring)

Consider these features when designing your Multiplex System

Technically, only one System 3505 Prism LX head end unit is required in a Digitize Multiplex system. Typically, however, clients that are interested in purchasing a Multiplex system want the features that are provided to them by multiple head end units. The presence of multiple Prism units in a Multiplex System allows for the establishment of a central “master” unit, along with redundant “slave” units, all located at on-campus. These redundant units communicate with the master in real-time, and are able to elect a new master unit if the old master unit goes offline at any point.

Additionally, another unit can be placed off-site at a remote monitoring station, such as a municipal fire department. This unit can communicate with the Prism units located on-campus through ethernet, radio, or fiber-optic cabling.

When selecting your preferred “Multiplex panel”, you are provided with a few options. Digitize clients are able to use a Muxpad II, DGM-8, DGM-16, DGM-32, or DGM-64. The differences between these are, as each number implies, the amount of zone inputs the DGM is equipped with. All of Digitize’s panels are ETL-Listed.

dgm-64, 64 zone with lcd display

This is an image of a DGM-64, 64 Zone With LCD Display. The DGM-32/64 Is a data gathering module (DGM) that monitors dry contacts.

Even a single DGM-8 is sufficient to interface with an older fire alarm control panel via hard-contact output. However, the Muxpad II offers additional advantages. A Muxpad II will connect to the printer port of a fire alarm control panel and remotely relay the printed text to a Prism head end unit set up in a remote monitoring center. Without a Muxpad II, a response team would have to reach the FACP located at the scene of a triggered alarm to receive detailed information about the alert. Additionally, a Muxpad II receives power from its designated fire alarm control panel, eliminating the need for additional power supplies or battery back-ups.


This is an image of a Digitize Muxpad II. The Muxpad II is a Data Gathering Module (DGM), which is a part of the Digitize System 3505 Prism LX™ Supervised Bidirectional Polling Alarm Monitoring System. It is used to monitor addressable fire alarm control panels (FACP).

Similarly, there are multiple options available to you for the method of communication between the Digitize devices in your Multiplex system. To facilitate communication between the Prism and a “Multiplex panel,” it is common for clients to purchase either a 32-zone Line Driver Card Rack or our proprietary Configurator Cards. Even when ordering a full Digitize Multiplex System, this ability to mix and match communication devices and data gathering modules allows for some flexibility in regards to your final price tag.

The purpose of the complete System 3505 Prism LX™ Monitoring System with the Multiplex option is to function as a completely self-regulating, self-correcting alarm monitoring system that is compatible with outside fire alarm technology and has no one single point of failure.

Can I purchase a System 3505 Prism LX™ without buying a complete Multiplex System?

We absolutely have clients who want to just order a Prism LX head end unit without the other devices that make up a Multiplex system. However, they almost always do this with the intention of upgrading to a system with Multiplex capability at a later date.

For example, a client will connect a Prism to an existing, copper wire-based fire alarm monitoring system with the intention of eventually retiring this method entirely. After all, copper is expensive, and there is no guarantee that the phone companies involved in the initial laying of the copper wires will maintain these connections. The Prism monitors the telegraph-based pull handles on the wire system as the client prepares to slowly replace old panels with Multiplex panels, one-by-one, without ever having to take the system offline. Eventually, a full Digitize Multiplex system is established, and the old method of communication is permanently retired.

Give me a call to discuss your monitoring system choices

Call me now at 1-800-523-7232 or email me at digitize-inc.com to discuss the many options you have for monitoring your fire panels. Digitize has a long history of providing customized, reliable fire alarm monitoring solutions. Our engineers are experts in working with all types of FACPs and will work with you to design a fire alarm monitoring system that has everything that you want and nothing that you don’t. Give us a call at 1-800-523-7232 and we'll be happy to discuss your options and find the best solution for your needs. Alternatively, you can email me at info@digitize-inc.com and we'll get back to you quickly.

Justin Sagalow

Justin Sagalow

Justin Sagalow is quite uniquely qualified for his Marketing Writer Position at Digitize. Arriving at Digitize with experience in law, finance, and editorial positions, Justin's skillset allow him to effectively communicate how best Digitize can address each client's individual needs. From his...Read More