Smart Solutions: The Right Impact

Creating a smart solution based upon a graded intruder alarm system makes a lot of sense. The arguments for taking such an approach are obvious. One impact of such solutions is that in order to offer added value – the part the end user will happily pay for – additional devices are required to trigger events. While it may seem odd that customers are sometimes reluctant to add detection devices to enhance security, they are happy to do so in order to trigger smart functionality. This can now be further enhanced with the Micro Shock-W.

It is often the case that when end users consider the installation of a traditional intruder alarm system, compromises are made on peripheral devices. For example, it is rare that every point of entry will be protected. Generally, entry/exit doors are protected and windows considered vulnerable are also monitored.

One of the biggest issues has been customer reluctance to have contacts on every opening window. Putting the cost to one side, the aesthetics aren’t great and it can make a property feel like its under siege.

To address this, Texecom launched the Micro Contact-W, a wireless contact that makes use of the company’s award-winning Ricochet wireless mesh platform.
What was remarkable about the Micro Contact-W was that the device measured a mere 57 x 27.5 x 8.2mm. As a result, it was a simple task to conceal the device inside the frame of uPVC doors and windows. This made the devices very fast to install and they were invisible to the householder.

The Micro Contact-W devices allow every door and window in a premises to be protected. The installation is straightforward and quick; adding the devices to the system can also be completed without numerous trips to the control panel.

For the installer it means little to no making good, a simple installation and a very easy addition if the system needs to be expanded. For the customer it allows a greater degree of protection.

Texecom has built upon the success of the Micro Contact-W with a new product; the Micro Shock-W. It is a high quality shock sensor with the same miniature dimensions as the Micro Contact-W. This means that it is also capable of being installed inside the frames of most uPVC and aluminium-framed windows and doors.

The Micro Shock-W is Texecom’s smallest-ever wireless shock sensor. Designed to analyse and detect shocks, impacts and vibrations, it provides an early warning of intrusion attempts, allowing an alarm condition to be generated before a break-in occurs. The miniature design also has the ability to deliver enhanced protection, as is the case with the Micro Contact-W, as intruders can’t plan to evade devices that they cannot see.

Like the Micro Contact-W, the new Micro Shock-W is quick and easy to set up. The process is very simple. Once the engineer code is entered, the control panel is placed into the Ricochet Learn Mode.

Once the appropriate zone is selected, the button on the front of the shock detector is pressed for around three seconds. It is the learned to the system.

The detector can then be mounted. The tamper-protected backplate is removed and fastened in place and the sensor snapped in. Once this is done the sensitivity can be set. Again this a quick and easy process. There are five sensitivity settings, ranging from 1 for the least sensitive to 5 for the most. The LED on the shock detector will display the sensitivity via a series of flashes. This can be adjusted by pressing the button which moves the sensitivity upwards in increments of 1. Once the desired level is achieved the sensitivity can be set by holding the button for a further three seconds.

As already mentioned, the Micro Shock-W uses Ricochet mesh technology and is compatible with Texecom’s Premier Elite and Premier graded control panels. Because of the mesh-based nature of the Ricochet system, it is self-healing. If for any reason a device cannot ‘see’ the control panel, the signals ‘hop’ to another device which can. The technology is constantly assessing the best signal paths to ensure connectivity is preserved.

Because of this, the Micro Shock-W can act a repeater for other devices, thus creating a wireless platform with reliability at its very core. That said, the Benchmark Smart Solutions test system makes use of Ricochet technology with hundreds of devices across numerous buildings and by assessing the status of the system via the real-time Ricochet monitor we’ve never seen a device needing to hop, nor has connectivity ever been lost. This underlines the stability of the wireless platform.

The Micro Shock-W uses a coin cell battery with an estimated three-year life in ordinary use. Again, this is similar to the Micro Contact-W.

The sensitivity levels of the detector have been designed specifically to conform to the new EN50131-2-8 shock standard that requires all manufacturers to recommend a suitable sensitivity setting for framed glass windows, wood and concrete. Texecom recommends a setting of 1 for wood, 2 for framed glass windows and 5 for concrete surfaces.

To enhance the aesthetic qualities of the shock sensors, the devices are available in white, brown and anthracite grey to match the most popular types of frames.

The detection is carried out using sophisticated accelerometer technology. This is claimed to provide a much higher level of accuracy when detecting and communicating vibrations compared to the piezoelectric technology used in many other products.

While the Micro Shock-W offers installers and integrators a low profile shock detection option that is easy to install and configure and which can be concealed easily, it can also add benefits when used in conjunction with a Texecom Connect system. Like any other detection device, the Micro Shock-W can easily be added to Recipes to create automated scenarios for both smart security and to deliver automated actions or building control via the secure platform.

For example, a detection based on a Micro Shock-W placed on a vulnerable entry/exit point could signal an alarm, but might also switch on external lighting during hours of darkness, trigger video surveillance, initiate a system mode change or send a push notification to predefined users.

Because of its diminutive size, the Micro Shock-W could also be used to sense vibrations or impacts on machinery or in non-security applications, enabling automated responses and non-security notifications to be generated by the system.

The low profile nature of the device makes it suitable for use in other applications such as monitoring storage areas, cupboards, drawers, silos, etc..

In summary

The Micro Shock-W expands the benefits of Texecom’s innovative approach to peripheral devices. As a security detector, it ticks many boxes for installers and integrators. However, the fact that it adds additional triggering opportunities for a Texecom Connect system enhances its appeal for those looking to deliver smart systems with value-added benefits to their customers.

BENCHMARK
Benchmark is the industry's only publication for installers and integrators which is dedicated to technological innovation and the design and implementation of smarter solutions. With an unrivalled level of experience in technology-based systems, Benchmark delivers independent and credible editorial content.

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