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Thread: anyone had luck with simplex

  1. #11
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    I never quite understood how Simplex stayed in business. I have not heard much good about them. I used to work as a security guard when I was in school and a lot of the buildings had Simplex equipment and it seemed like there was continual problems. It does not sound like it has gotten much better almost 40 years later.
    Bob

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by petersonra View Post
    I never quite understood how Simplex stayed in business. I have not heard much good about them. I used to work as a security guard when I was in school and a lot of the buildings had Simplex equipment and it seemed like there was continual problems. It does not sound like it has gotten much better almost 40 years later.
    It's very simple. Their strategy is to give away the panel. They make it an irresistible option for the electrical contractor.
    Once the panel is in the building, they own the service and also the equipment for any upgrades or tenant fit outs. That's where they make their money. And you have no choice. They do not have independent dealers. The only way out is to install a different brand of panel. For some customers, they actually make that choice. That should give you an idea of how bad their service can be.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by myspark View Post
    I used to work as electrician for Simplex.(they call us specialists ) .

    Simplex has different way in doing things especially making daisy- chained pull stations, strobe lights, bells and sensors.

    Where we normally wrap wires together with Scotchlock, it's a no no for their engineers. For T-taps required in the field, wires should be landed in each termination with a screw. Similar to those devices with screw-held connections--not those push-ins.

    Their rationale is: if one station is disconnected, damaged or deliberately removed it sets off and alarm condition. Disturbing the connections like unscrewing terminations will leave wire hanging loose.

    The monitor in the control room are programmed to make sure that all connected devices return a feedback information that in fact they are connected based on their current draw.

    I would isolate each node to determine which one is the culprit.
    Method you described is required for any supervised circuits. Supervised means to connect like you describe so that if something becomes disconnected for any reason it will be detected.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barndog View Post
    We have a newer fire panel about a year old. we have had simplex in here about 6 times to trouble shoot a open circuit trouble on our panel. every time the come in and "fix something" but it doesn't last.

    right now our fault open on SIGI16 keeps coming on an clearing with no one touching anthing today I re tightened all the screws on the control boards in question. although there were no error lights???

    Still seems to have the issue??

    any ideas seem to me our management here doesn't want to do anything to fix issue??
    Is this an "open" fault or "ground" fault? Either one can be caused by a marginal connection that makes and breaks as the environment causes things to expand and contract. You may need to go to the device and tighten up screws there.

    "SIGI16" sounds like a module address. The fault message should also describe the kind of module it is, monitor, control, signal, etc. Do you have that information?

  5. #15
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    Aug 2009
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    Cypress, CA
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    SIG is the prefix for signal circuit in the Simplex protocol. Are you sure it isn't SIG116? Signal circuit 116.

    SIGI doesn't appear anywhere in the Simplex 4100 manual.

    Without the connected a laptop and reading the program the best way to figure out which signal circuit is 116 would be to pull a lead from each one until you get a trouble on 116, then narrow it down from there.

  6. #16
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    Massachusetts
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    I've had many encounters with Simplex in 30+ years in the trade, as others have said it depends on the Tech they send out. Overall I would avoid using them at all costs.

  7. #17
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    Dec 2011
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    Ocala, Florida, USA
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    I have experienced them on both coasts. In California, I wouldn't touch them with a 10 foot pole. In Florida, they are as good as any fire alarm contractor I have dealt with from a professional level. I definitely agree with the criticism that their pricing model is high. However, this is true of any of the proprietary fire alarm systems, or Nurse call or any other sole source provider. Simplex has just perfected it.

    Regarding the direct problem, it is not fair to arm chair quarterback the problem. First off it sounds intermittent. While I would certainly call someone cheaper for troubleshooting if I could, a problem like that can be extremely difficult to find.

    There was a interestingly, Simplex panel at 505 14th Street in Oakland. This was a 1980's panel so not anything like what we have today. When a ground fault was created anywhere in the building it would go in to alarm and when something shorted anywhere it would blow out a $4,000 board. This went on for years. The problem was intermittent and was finally traced to the fireman's jacks in the elevator lobbies of all places. As a person with nuclear sub soldering training, I was tasked with pulling new cable and personally replacing and soldering every one of the jacks. I never found the "problem", but after I was done the issues never occurred again. The point is don't diss them for not being able to find the issue. Sometimes it is not straight forward. However, try to isolate it and get someone cheaper to run it down.


    I know what I don't know, and I know where to go to find it!

  8. #18
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    May 2017
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    Quote Originally Posted by gadfly56 View Post
    Is this an "open" fault or "ground" fault? Either one can be caused by a marginal connection that makes and breaks as the environment causes things to expand and contract. You may need to go to the device and tighten up screws there.
    "SIGI16" sounds like a module address. The fault message should also describe the kind of module it is, monitor, control, signal, etc. Do you have that information?
    SIG I 16 is an input signal that could be anything. It's a discretionary input address assigned by the programmer. . . and thus named as such in the PLC ladder diagram—hence the prefix I. Outputs are usually prefixed O.


    For all it's worth he could have assigned it cat or dog. So, it won't show in the 4100 manual.


    There is no straight forward procedure in tracking this anomaly since it could be an inherent timer input in the program itself or external sensors like jammed fire door , malfunctioning heat detector, or the main fire suppression water valve located out in the street.


    Disconnecting each input wire is a viable option, but sounds like a rudimentary approach.


    If your system is capable of recording the history in the say 24 hour period, switch or put the monitor in histogram that will upload it to a storage like USB stick. From there (hopefully) it will show in the history, hoping it does happen in one of those intermittent episodes.


    Years ago, I used the IBM tape (the ones with holes on both sides) that will print out the previous 24 hour operation of the equipment I'm in charged of.


    No USB memory or hard drives then, so we end up with mounds of IBM paper every week.


    As a side note: During the installation process, any device installed in the field has a little sticker that shows the I/O (input/ output) address for easier troubleshooting .

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by myspark View Post
    SIG I 16 is an input signal that could be anything. It's a discretionary input address assigned by the programmer. . . and thus named as such in the PLC ladder diagram—hence the prefix I. Outputs are usually prefixed O.


    For all it's worth he could have assigned it cat or dog. So, it won't show in the 4100 manual.


    There is no straight forward procedure in tracking this anomaly since it could be an inherent timer input in the program itself or external sensors like jammed fire door , malfunctioning heat detector, or the main fire suppression water valve located out in the street.


    Disconnecting each input wire is a viable option, but sounds like a rudimentary approach.


    If your system is capable of recording the history in the say 24 hour period, switch or put the monitor in histogram that will upload it to a storage like USB stick. From there (hopefully) it will show in the history, hoping it does happen in one of those intermittent episodes.


    Years ago, I used the IBM tape (the ones with holes on both sides) that will print out the previous 24 hour operation of the equipment I'm in charged of.


    No USB memory or hard drives then, so we end up with mounds of IBM paper every week.


    As a side note: During the installation process, any device installed in the field has a little sticker that shows the I/O (input/ output) address for easier troubleshooting .
    Well, it should show up on the as-built drawings, unless it's a module and not a device. I assume that you can generate a printout similar to Siemens that shows you every module and device on the system and its address.

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