Differences between the Cerberus Pyrotronics XL3, IXL, INS-2, MXL, MXL-IQ and Gamewell IdentiFire Flex 500, INS-2

I haven’t really found much of anything on here concerning these systems, so I feel like this is important information to share. This post concerns the 1980s-1990’s Cerberus Pyrotronics XL3, IXL, and MXL addressable systems and the Cerberus Pyrotronics manufactured Gamewell IdentiFire Network System 2 addressable systems. This post has taken me almost two weeks to complete.

Cerberus Pyrotronics XL3

The XL3 was the first addressable Cerberus Pyrotronics system, and was launched in 1981. The system supports 30 devices per SLC and could accommodate a maximum of 50 SLC loops, which utilized the Cerberus Pyrotronics X-Series addressable devices. All SLC loops ran on a 4-wire system: two communication wires and two 24VDC wires. The loops were called “zones” and set up in a manner that divided the loops into sections of the building, similar to a conventional system. This allowed for zoned LED and graphic annunciation of alarm events. The main control interface provided the addressable interface console and allowed the user to perform the “self-test”, which allowed the user to access and print smoke detector sensitivity levels, as well as disable any SLC loops they should choose to disable. The system used filtered DC outputs for all SLC, NAC, and auxiliary functions. The XL3 ran until about 1993 when the MXL launched.

(<LINK_TEXT text=“http://firealarmresources.com/wp-conten … Manual.pdf”>http://firealarmresources.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Cerberus-Pyrotronics-XL3-Operation-Installation-Manual.pdf</LINK_TEXT>)

Gamewell IdentiFire Flex 500

The Gamewell IdentiFire Flex 500 launched in the early to mid 1980’s, and is essentially a rebadged XL3. The system uses the same SLC design, but uses a different protocol to only accept Gamewell addressable devices. This system also did not come equipped with an LCD display, but used “conventional” LED zone indicators on the main interface. However, an on-board printer was offered. This system used modified addressable Cerberus Pyrotronics bases and Gamewell F7/F9 smoke sensor heads, as well as the first-generation addressable Century pulls.

(<LINK_TEXT text=“http://firealarmresources.com/wp-conten … 986-Ad.pdf”>http://firealarmresources.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Gamewell-IdentiFire-1986-Ad.pdf</LINK_TEXT>)

(Refer to Cerberus Pyrotronics XL3 link above for tentative information on this panel.)

Cerberus Pyrotronics INS-2

The INS-2 launched somewhere around 1990 or maybe a little before then. This system launched the IXL motherboard and cabinet design, but retained the 4-wire SLC design of the XL3 and used the X-Series devices. This was Cerberus Pyrotronics’ first incarnation of a dedicated small-to-midsize addressable panel. The system could be expanded to 4 SLC loops maximum, and could support 64 initiating devices and 32 control elements per SLC, for a total of 96 devices per SLC. This system introduced the following modules: CZI Collective Zone Interface, CE Control Element, LAN/RAN/LPI/RPI Local and Remote Alphanumeric Annunciation and Printer Models, RemCon Remote System Control Interface, INS-EVI CPV-90 Voice Evacuation Panel Interface, INS-AUX Auxiliary Relay Interface, GenCon Generic Switch Interface, RemSwitch Remote Reset Key Switch. This system was discontinued in late 1993/early 1994 after the successful launch of the IXL and MXL lines.

(Refer to Gamewell link below for tentative information on this panel.)

Gamewell IdentiFire Network System 2

The Gamewell INS-2 launched concurrently with it’s Cerberus Pyrotronics counterpart. Gamewell’s version basically introduced all of the Cerberus Pyrotronics accessory devices to the Gamewell lineup and these devices were modified to operate on the Gamewell SLC protocol. The addressable Gamewell pulls and detection sensors carried on. This system ran until about 1996/1997, when the Gamewell in-house-designed IdentiFlex 600 systems launched and Cerberus Pyrotronics discontinued the INS-2/IXL components.

(<LINK_TEXT text=“http://firealarmresources.com/gamewell- … em-2-ins2/”>Gamewell Identifire Network System 2 (INS2) - Fire Alarm Resources - Free Fire Alarm Manuals, Catalogs, Software, and More</LINK_TEXT>)

Cerberus Pyrotronics IXL

The IXL launched concurrently with the MXL as the small-midsize addressable system from Cerberus Pyrotronics. This system retained the INS-2 physical design, but the SLC was significantly revamped. The IXL introduced the ICon Addressable Device Interface and Control Module from Cerberus Pyrotronics. This module connects to the main 4-wire SLC, but provides its own 2-wire SLC to connect the Cerberus Pyrotronics I-Series addressable devices to the IXL. This allows for interchangeability of addressable initiating devices between the IXL and MXL systems, and for one universal line of Cerberus Pyrotronics addressable devices (I-Series). This system ran until the 1996-1997 launch of the MXL-IQ small-midsize MXL panel.

(<LINK_TEXT text=“http://firealarmresources.com/category/ … onics-ixl/”>Cerberus Pyrotronics IXL Archives - Fire Alarm Resources - Free Fire Alarm Manuals, Catalogs, Software, and More</LINK_TEXT>)

Cerberus Pyrotronics MXL and MXLV

The MXL launched in 1993 and was available for new installations until the mid-late 2000’s following the successful mainstream marketing of the FireFinder XLS, which originally launched in 2000. MXL then went into a maintenance and expansion only service period, and will be completely factory discontinued by Siemens at the end of 2016. This system is ridiculously expandable and can be completely customized for the customer’s needs. The ALD-21 Analog Loop Driver modules support 60 I-Series addressable initiating devices per SLC, totaling 120 devices per ALD-21. The MOM-4 Option Module Mounting Base mounts two ALD-21 cards, and a maximum of three MOM-4’s may be installed per MBR-2 standard-size MXL cabinet. This allows for 360 addressable device support in a single MXL cabinet. The XLD-1 card allows the MXL to replace an existing XL3 system by allowing MXL to interface with and power the X-Series addressable devices MXLV is the voice-evacuation equipped version, and supports up to three separate audio channel inputs as well as the entire host of features that MXL comes with in it’s non-voice form. The most common accessory I’ve personally seen is the RCC-1 Remote Annunciation and Command Center. MXL/V supports decentralized network infrastructure, but all MXL/MXLV/MXL-IQ systems on the network can be connected to the Cerberus Pyrotronics FireFinder Network Command and Graphic Control Center. FireFinder NCC is basically Cerberus Pyrotronics’ version of Notifier ONYX FirstVision, as it allows the user to pinpoint the activated device(s) on an interactive floorplan of the building.

(<LINK_TEXT text=“http://firealarmresources.com/wp-conten … /50591.pdf”>http://firealarmresources.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/50591.pdf</LINK_TEXT>)

(<LINK_TEXT text=“http://firealarmresources.com/category/ … onics-mxl/”>Cerberus Pyrotronics MXL Archives - Fire Alarm Resources - Free Fire Alarm Manuals, Catalogs, Software, and More</LINK_TEXT>)

Cerberus Pyrotroncics MXL-IQ

The MXL-IQ launched in 1996 to replace the IXL and the dated IXL/INS-2 physical design and electronic/electrical configuration. MXL-IQ was basically a cross between the IXL and MXL. The system carried the MXL design and interface, but retained the 240-device SLC capacity of the IXL. MXL-IQ came in a smaller MXL cabinet, and used the same accessory devices as the full-size MXL. All IXL accessory devices were put into service period, and ultimately discontinued several years later (not sure when though). MXL-IQ also had the ability to interface into the FireFinder NCC system. MXL-IQ was discontinued in the mid-2000’s after the successful launch of the Siemens FireSeeker FS-250.

(<LINK_TEXT text=“http://firealarmresources.com/wp-conten … /50542.pdf”>http://firealarmresources.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/50542.pdf</LINK_TEXT>)

Signals used in all of these systems until 1996 were rebranded Wheelock devices. In 1996, Cerberus Pyrotronics acquired Faraday, and began using Cerberus Pyrotronics-labeled Faraday devices. However, the Gamewell brand continued to use and rebrand the Wheelock signal line until the Gamewell-FCi-Honeywell merger in 2005.

Dang…that was long.

I appreciate any positive input from collectors and technicians on this thread!! If anyone knows were I can find the missing Gamewell IdentiFire Flex 500 and Cerberus Pyrotronics INS-2 manuals, please let me know! The included links are all of the sourced I have used, and I give credit where credit is due to the people who uploaded these documents onto FireAlarmResources.com.

I hope someone finds this thread helpful!

there’s larger MXL cabinets that let you mount 6 mom-4’s, allowing for a lot more devices per cabinet. the MXL-IQ could also have a mom-2 attached to it to add another 120 capacity. the mxl/mxl-iq design was neat in that it was so flexible, you could actually mount mom-4’s in a can next to the main panel for added expansion without adding a whole new motherboard.

faraday devices were discontinued in 2007 and they started using rebranding wheelock again.


I know about the Wheelock-Siemens lawsuit but chose to leave that out because its effects came into play well after the Cerberus Pyrotronics-Gamewell split and the Siemens takeover. They mainly use the Z-Series signals as well as Wheelock’s full bell and speaker/strobe line.

I knew about the larger cabinets for the MXL, but I was in information overload when I started really digging into the nuances of the HUGE MXL platform. I didn’t know about the extra 120 decide capabilities of the MXL-IQ though.

The Cerberus Pyrotronics INS-2 seems to be extremely rare. I didn’t even know it existed until I came across references made to it in the IXL data sheet. Can you (or anyone) vouch for this assumption?

The Z series is no longer manufactured by Wheelock or rebranded by Siemens. Initially after the successful launch of the Exceder in early 2010 and the Exceder LED in 2012/2013, Wheelock made a deal with Siemens to keep manufacturing Z-series devices for them; however, sometime after the Exceder launch, all of the Legacy Devices (A series, N series, Z series, MT series (although the MT-24MCW might still be made) and the 31T-115 series) were immediately discontinued. The only devices of all these still made is the MT (maybe) and the RSS. Other than that, I’m pretty sure Wheelock is pretty much all Exceders at this point, which kind of stinks.

You’re correct, the RSS series and MT series are both still in production. In addition to Exceders, Wheelock still produces weatherproof AS series horns (ASWP), MB and 43 series bells, CH-series chimes, and their E-series speakers.

wheelock still OEM’s the z series to Siemens.

its wheelock’s only decent line in a long time in my opinion.

I’ve never actually seen an INS-2 before, so I can only assume it wasn’t very popular.

I thought that the OEM to Siemens had been discontinued considering the prices they go for on eBay and amazon, and that they’re getting much more rare nowadays. But maybe I was wrong.

The Wheelock badged Z-Series were popular and are fairly common, or at least in my area. Almost all of the 2007-2009 Fire-Lite and Notifier installations around here use pretty much every form of ZNS and ZRS signals available at the time. Previous installs usually have either Wheelock AS, NS, MT, or 7002T signals, with the occasional SpectrAlert Classic signal load thrown in the mix. One old install (Fire-Lite Sensiscan 1000) has Wheelock 7001T and WST-24 signals. Silent Knight systems in my area usually have Gentex Commanders or SpectrAlert Classics (the latter being more common). Now, the SpectrAlert Advance line is used in all new Fire-Lite/Notifier/Silent Knight installs (big surprise there :roll: ) and there’s only one single Exceder I know of (replaced a defective NS-24MCW-FR).

The Siemens badged Z-Series signals are all I see in any post-2008 Siemens install except for voice, and they usually use SEF-MC-R signals (E70-24MCW-FR). U-MMT-MCS, U-HN-MCS, and U-MCS signals aren’t too scarce, but the Z-Series is by far the most common Siemens signal, especially the ZH-MC-R horn/strobe (ZNS-MCW-FR). Remote strobes on our local Siemens systems are usually ST-MC-R signals (RSS-24MCW-FR). Older Cerberus Pyrotronics systems use MTS-15/75 signals (MT-24-LSM) and whatever they called the LSM-24 strobes.

As for the INS-2, the System3, IXL, and MXL are the most common Cerberus Pyrotronics systems around here. The INS-2 must not have sold well, and I’m sure the XL3 and System3 netted higher profits too, as they both were the priciest of the bunch (the System3 is still quite expensive).

I worked at Cerberus-Pyrotronics branch from 1990-1996 and I remember INS2 systems were installed in all of the Old Navy stores until the IXL came out. INS2 systems were also installed in First of America banks. Gamewell held a 2 day training seminar at a hotel at Detroit Metro Airport in 1992?


Could you give me definite dates (year only is fine) for the launches of the INS2 panel, IXL panel, and the MXL platform? Also, do you know for certain what year the IXL was officially discontinued/NLA for new installs? I recently viewed some Gamewell INS2 product literature that was datestamped June 1998, so I’m beginning to question my date accuracy concerning the IXL/INS2.