Console ports on fire panels

Why don’t they just put RJ-45 console ports on panels instead of pins for serial?

They do now if it’s applicable e.g. Cerberus Pro Compact. More likely to see USB ports currently. Plenty of older panels have an RJ-11 for programming. Not much point in an RJ-45 if it not being used for networking, would just cause confusion I think.

Tell that to Cisco then!

My SK-5208 has a serial port, but that’s only because it was made around 2006 or so, when serial was likely still somewhat of a thing: modern panels probably have USB ports for programming instead I’d imagine.

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simplex uses rj45 on the es stuff, but i know on the 4100-7158 still has a serial port for console use as well as the audio controllers use the same connector which is IDC10F

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Better yet, I’d love to see modern fire panels with more IP based controls. It would be a dream to just plug a panel into a network and, provided proper security is in place, be able to log into it to program from a web browser. Bonus points if I can back up the programming to the manufacturer’s cloud.

And to be clear, I know IP based panels aren’t entirely nonexistent. Sure, workstation applications exist, but I feel like in our modern world FACP technology is behind still.


I think the only reason its not web accessible and all that is mostly for reliability and security. Current systems without it run decently well but having to rely on a self run interface and the manufacturers cloud can work but what if the product is discontinued and the cloud for it no longer exists and maybe even the panel relies on that. It is a good idea in theory but honestly how they currently are I believe is peak what a good system should do. (ex: 4100ES, NFS2-3030/640/320, FireFinder XLS, etc etc.

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The thing about a web config utility is that a lot of the embedded servers aren’t fully secured, and often times the default password is left in place. Something that could work is including the programmer on an SMB share on the panel, and make it so that you have to reenable access on the panel every so often.

I’d expect more of the modern panels made within the past dozen years to run on a Linux based distro and have an easy access point on the local network to get to it’s intranet pages. Although I’d think on the cybersecurity side of things. Sometimes it would be better to keep the alarm system separate from the internet so it doesn’t get interference or exploited whereas as hacker would have complete control of it’s operations. It might also be possible to DDoS it as well which would make it inoperable if happened.

DDoS is an attack on an entire network, not just one device. In terms of linux, I know the est 4 runs it and not sure but i believe the 4007es and the 4010/4100es TSD run it as well.

General reminder that I work in Cybersecurity in my full time job - I’m well aware of the risks of internet connected devices if not properly secured. However, these companies definitely have the money and resources to combat those risks.

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