Do basic, conventional FACPs have March-Time coding?

I’m talking panels like the Fire-Lite MS-4, the Notifier SFP-2404 (basically the same as the MS-4), and others. I’m asking this because I plan to buy a fire alarm panel very soon and want a panel with this compatibitily. Or do they only offer temporal coding? Do they do continuous as well? (well, that might be obvious or such). Consider me a n00b to this type of matter haha.

Anyway, I’m just curious and was hoping for some help of this matter. Thanks


According to the MS-4 manual:

If you want a conventional panel with March Time signal coding, then you’ll want to go a step further and get an MS-5UD/SFP-5UD/GF505. I believe the Silent Knight 5208 can do march time as well.

Ah ok. I’ll think about those. I know the Simplex 4004 also has March-Time compatibitily, but from what I recall, the 4004 is much harder to set-up and not really recommend for “low-level or entry-level” fire alarm hobbyists haha :lol: (I do have knowledge, but not as much as others have). I’m really trying to save my time and effort with a simpler (or not as much complexity to configure and operate) FACP. I’m also just looking to manual code my alarms that can’t self code themselves. Anyway, thanks for your help :wink:.

Also, one more thing, if I were to need any help setting up the fire panel when I do get it, do you know where I could get help of this matter? Would it still be the “Fire Alarm Help” area? Or would I go somewhere else? Just wondering.

The following older Simplex panels have these NAC operation selections.

Continuous - 4002 4004 4005 4006

March Time- 4002 4004 4005 4006

Slow March - 4002 4004 4005 4006

Temporal - - 4002 4004 4005 4006

Simple Code 4002 4004 (codes the zone number)

California Code 4002

The 4002 is a flexible panel using DIP switch programming on the base panel. A NOVRAM chip can be added that expands the programming options. Some used panels come with that chip installed. The 4002 also has the option to use coded stations on zone 1.

The 4004 is about the easiest panel to set up. Programming access is by one switch on the board. All programming options are listed on the inside of the door.

The 4006 uses a passcode system and the level 4 passcode is needed for programming. If level 4 passcode was changed it can be very difficult to get into the panel.

Update - added the 4005 signal options. The 4005 also has the same passcode system as the 4006.

Help is still available in this forum section. Many manuals are available on this web site.

If the one you need is not there someone on the forum may have one.

Thank you very much :wink:

The 4002 is quite large (at least so says the pictures), but is a reasonable choice. I think about that one. Pretty considerable choice overall

The 4004 seems like the one I’ll probably aim for the most. It is a big investment, but it’s definitely worth it for what it does and its capabilities. Also probably isn’t as large as the 4002, which is nice but not a necessity.

From what you said about the 4006, it’s best to steer away maybe from this one because of the level 4 password code and difficulty to get into.

Simplex panels are nice because of its ability (and need actually) of filtered-DC (cheap panels like the MS-4 / SFP-2404 produce FWR, and that’s dangerous for Simplex devices and others). I’ll keep these in mind, and hopefully it will save at least a little time and effort :slight_smile:.

And I’ll also remember to come back here (the Fire Alarm Help page that is) if for what reason I do need help or something (hopefully I can just refer to But if not, then this).

Thanks again,


4002 panels could come in three size boxes called 2 unit, 4 unit, and 6 unit. The system had many option and expansion boards so the box was ordered per the job to have the required space. All the boxes are about 26 inches wide. The 2 unit is 21 inches tall, the 4 unit is 36 inches tall, and the 6 unit is 52 inches tall. A 2 unit system is not very big, however the 4 and 6 unit boxes can be an imposing size.

I added the 4005 information to my original post. It has a passcode system like the 4006 which can make it very difficult to get into the system.

Interesting. I’ll also keep that in for future references :wink:

Yeah makes sense how the 4005 has the same password system as the 4006.

The 4004 seems pretty good. Agreed that it is by far, from what I’m seeing, the easiest “Simplex” panel to set up, which is great! The downside to this panel (if it really is a “downside” that is) is that there’s no strobe synchronization, at least from what I’m seeing. Quote me if I’m wrong. So if I were to link 3 strobes together on the 4004, they might start out in sync (some what), but later on they’ll get way out of sync (again, these are just assumptions). This would also apply to horns & horn-strobes as well I would assume. It’s not a big deal since after all this isn’t a “full” system with lots of horns and strobes and such.

Hmm, now that I think of it, maybe sync modules will work with this panel. I’m not sure, but that might solve this problem. I’m just not sure how I would connect one to the panel. But again, resources…

I will point out real quickly that I currently have a Federal Signal FireLarm 4000 series panel at the moment (I made a brief introduction to this panel in one my System Tests. I believe it was “System Test 10”). It looks fairly complicated (like a Simplex 2001, which is actually does look like one). And I know for a fact that if you want March-Time on this panel, you need to get a March-Time card since this is a “card-based” FACP.

So, again, a panel like the Simplex 4004 (or any other) should help me in the long run.

You are correct that a 4004 does not have internal sync. You would have to use a sync module compatible with whatever notification appliances you plan to use.

Most sync modules use two inputs. One is the main NAC feed which powers the devices. The second input is a to control the horns on 2-wire appliances. The horn code is developed in the sync module so you are limited to what it will do. I know the Simplex 4905-9938 SmartSync Control Module will do steady, march time, or temporal. I don’t know what code patterns are available in the other brands.

Of course it is possible to use 4-wire notification appliances with the strobes driven by a sync module and the separate circuit for the horns coded by the panel directly.

1 Like

Ah okay. Now I’m starting to put “two and two” together now :wink:, I think.

So the disadvantage is if I were to use a sync module would be the code would have to come from the sync module directly. You can’t code from the panel to the sync module? Or does that only work for 4-wire devices as you explained? Hmm, I’m still figuring this out, but I’ll get there…

Now if I were to hook up SmartSync TrueAlert to an SmartSync sync module and hook the sync module to the panel, I could do that right? Sorry if my explaining is off.

Anyway, thanks for all your help. I think I’ve got down what to look for and such.


In regards to coding, two wire sync modules have two NAC inputs - horn and strobe. Those get coded specially and sent over two wire to your notification appliance. For example, you would set your horn nac to coded and your strobe nac to continuous. The sync module would take care of doing all the strobe and horn coding.

Indeed. This explains the reasons behind sync modules. Thanks for that :slight_smile:

I’ll probably give that a try someday (once I have the panel AND the sync module that is). Now I just remember that the Simplex 4004 only allows audible silence to 4-wire devices (I believe so). I don’t know if a sync module can bypass this and allow 2-wire fire alarm devices to have audible silence or not. That would be cool if it can, but I’m just curious on that.

With that said, I think I know what I’ll be looking for very soon :wink:. Just gotta keep my eyes out and such. Also, for any who has a Simplex 4004, how heavy is it? It’s probably not light, that’s all I can say :lol:.

Thanks to all,


Control inputs to sync modules must be continuous. They do not have a track or follow input. Coding the input to a sync module will totally confuse it.

The 4004 has a jumper for each NAC for ON UNTIL RESET or ON UNTIL SILENCE. A NAC jumpered for on until reset is automatically continuous. It is meant for strobes. A NAC jumpered for on until silence will do whatever coding option is selected in programming. For a sync module that has to be continuous. The horn will do the coding supplied from the sync module. It will turn on at alarm and shut off at silence.

The drawing below is from the field wiring drawing set for 4004. It shows how a sync module is wired to the 4004 panel. If you want to study the entire drawing set here is the Dropbox link.

<LINK_TEXT text=“Dropbox - Error … 2.pdf?dl=0”>Dropbox - 841-992.pdf - Simplify your life</LINK_TEXT>

Ah, alright then. I’ll keep in mind that if I were to use a sync module on the panel, I should leave it on continuous.

Hmm, interesting. I’ll look into that once I get the Simplex 4004 (some time soon). The panel itself seems fair straightforward, which is excellent. Plus the manual for the 4004 shouldn’t exclude too many things (and in the event that it does, I’ll remember to come back here or such :wink:).

Thanks, I’ll read up on that. Maybe I’ll save that too (if you don’t mind. Again, :wink:). This is all very helpful and should definitely help in any way possible.