EST Edwards Sigaling FireShield FS302 BATTERY TROUBLE Alert

We have a FS302 that has the trouble light on and blinking battery trouble with audible beeping aver 5 seconds or so. I just replaced it with two 12V, 7ah batteries and it continues to behave like this. The batteries a new so I was going to let them charge for some time and then try a system reset. Is there any other trouble shooting we can try? The batteries are connected to the board with positive on one battery and negative on the other with a blue wire bridging the opposite positive and negative connections between the two batteries.



The tech manual indicates:



Battery (BATT) Trouble: On indicates low or no battery voltage. Flashing

indicates a charger trouble.





I presume the charger is not a user-replaceable component and if that’s bad it is time for a new system board.

You can check the charging voltage with a multimeter, you should have around 24vdc on the battery connection terminals with no battery connected. If there is no or very little voltage, there may be a problem with the charger and that is not repairable. I dont remember if that panel has a bettery fuse but if it does, check that too. Then check both batteries. Check and make sure they both have around 12vdc each. I’ve found batteries new out of the box with no voltage or reversed polarity. Other than that, not much else you can do!

Thank you for the quick reply. I will borrow a meter and check it out.

I am waiting to get by hands on a voltage meter to try the previous suggestion. Since I installed the new batteries the panel continues to beep. The batter trouble light it no longer on, so that is progress. The trouble light remains on and now the disable light flashes twice intermittently, following the beep.



Does this lead us anywhere specific? I will test the voltages early next week and report back.

Sounds like someone pressed one of the “disable” buttons for either a zone or NAC. One of the zone or NAC trouble lights should be flashing also and that’s the one that’s disabled. Just press that button and things should return to normal.

Okay, I have borrowed a meter and have tested the battery leads, without the batteries attached, and got 23. When I test this it makes the ! light up on the meter, not sure what that indicates. The old batteries tested at 12 each, so I guess those were good yet.



The panel is back to the battery trouble light being on. None of the zones or NAC lights are on. Trouble light on and blinking battery trouble with audible beeping aver 5 seconds.



Does this tell me anything?

Sounds to me like the charger could be bad. If you acknowledge/silence the trouble does the light stop flashing? It may just blink when the panel is sounding. If so, let the batteries charge over night & see if the trouble clears. If not you can try:



Does that meter you borrowed have an amp meter on it? If so, put the leads in series with one side on a battery terminal and the other side connected to the stake on for the connection to panel. You should read some kind of current if the circuit is charging.



DO NOT put the leads across the batteries or the charger circuit if the meter leads are still set for reading current, you will short the batteries out or possibly fry the charger.



On a side note, many panels turn off the battery charger when batteries are disconnected or below a certain voltage, so reading across the charger leads for DC voltage may not be a true test of the charger (current readings should be a good indication that the charger is working).



Regarding old batteries, the voltage can read okay across the terminals but it may not hold a charge. Do the batteries look bulged or any corrosion on the terminals?

Thank you for the troubleshooting info.



If I press the rest button everything can appear normal for a few minutes and then it goes back to beeping and having the trouble and battery trouble lights come on. If I do a panel silence the beeping stops, but only for a short period of time.



The meter I have does have an amp meter. I have two batteries… The red lead come out of the board and goes to battery 1, blue lead bridges negative on battery 1 and positive on battery 2, and then battery 2 negative lead back to the board. The system board has the battery leads soldered right to the board so there is minimal area to make contact with that, I am not even sure if I am. I placed the red meter lead on the board as best I could and the negative meter lead on the negative post of battery two. Is that what you were suggesting? It read 0, but again I am not confident I am making the connection with the red on the system board.



Old batteries physically look good.



Thanks!

I did a drawing of how you said you connected the Ammeter.
[attachment=1]Amp meter as used.png[/attachment]
If this matches what you did, you are lucky if your red meter lead did not make contact with the board. If you are not so lucky the next thing would be that the fuse blew in the meter. If you are really unlucky something got damaged.



An ammeter has an internal resistance of about 1/10 ohm. That is a short. So the described connection is a short across the battery charger and the batteries.



An ammeter has to be put in series with the load being measured. To correctly check the battery charging current the red lead from the board would be disconnected from the battery. The red lead of the ammeter connects to the red lead from the board. Then the black meter lead connects to the positive terminal of battery 1.

[attachment=0]Amp meter correct use.png[/attachment]

Thank you for taking the time to do the drawings! Really above and beyond. Yes, that is what I attempted so I am glad it didn’t work! I have a Fluke T5-600 on loan, I switched it A… which now that I look at it AC Current vs. Amps? Anyway, I did what you illustrated and got 0.



When I do a panel reset trouble lights up and disable with the beeping. When I disconnected the battery “battery trouble” lit. If I reset it and leave the batteries alone the “battery trouble” light eventually comes on.



Bad charger, purchase a new board?

Current is measured in Amps. Since this is a battery circuit you should be measuring in DC amps. I looked at the specs on the T5-600. It will measure AC or DC voltage but only AC current. It is not the correct meter to check the battery charging current.



Sorry I can’t be more help on the panel hardware but I spent all my years in the industry working on Simplex panels. Never touched any Edwards equipment.

I took a closer look at the T5-600. As near as I can tell it does not measure current using the test leads. I think it only measures current with the “open jaw” clamp around feature. And that is only AC current.

I appreciate all of the suggestions. Sounds like I do not have the right meter, I will see if there is anything else I can I can borrow to see if the charger is bad. Are there any other potential issues or do they all lead down the road to replacement?

Most newer batteries have a date code on them. If they are new, I’m thinking the charger may be bad.



You can try power cycling the system (disconnect batteries then turn of AC to the panel - usually a locked breaker depending on local codes, or maybe a fuse cut-out or fused disconnect) to see if that changes anything.

The battery as a 11A11 code one it, which I am guessing was 2011 so was due for replacement if that was the case. Resetting the breaker doesn’t do anything, when it comes back it goes right back into alarm.



Bad news from EST:

The FS302 has been upgraded since its introduction and is now the E-FSC series. The control boards are not interchangeable due to changes and mounting hole changes and other changes to the main board.



So our semi-flush cabinet would have to be removed a new one placed. A lot of work for one zone and sirens… Could an alternative product be used here with the pull stations, heat sensors, and sirens we have now?



See attached photos

I am not going to recommend any specific course of action, but I will list some options:



buyfirealarmparts.com offers a repair service specifically for fire alarm panels. This site is trusted and I believe the owner is a member on this board. They also have a some parts available for purchase, but when I checked no compatible EST parts were available. They do not offer on-site service, so you would need to ship the board to them. https://www.buyfirealarmparts.com/shop/repair.html



As the FireShield is a conventional system, most notification and initiating devices (excluding smoke and non-dry contact heat detectors) should work just fine with other conventional panels. However, the devices most likely would not be technically “compatible” because EST devices are rarely (if ever) used on other brands’ equipment (meaning they would not be listed in the panel’s compatibility document). We would really need the model numbers (pictures of the devices would suffice) to know for sure.



Do you have a distributor or a service contract for this system? They should be able to provide guidance on product replacement. Or are you on your own?

Thanks for looking into options… It looks like the cost of repair would be more than 50% the cost of a new panel. We are on our own, no clue who originally installed the system and our local company would simply replace the entire works with a Honeywell system.

I think it’s a conventional panel, if so you could replace it with almost anything and use the same pulls and sirens at the very least. You might need to replace the heat detectors, but depending on the model you might not.



Have quantities and model #'s on the field devices? Might be able to find something compatible pretty easily. Honeywell might not be a bad option.

I just randomly ran across an FSP302 manual I forgot I had today, should be the same as what you have.



System status LEDs

Trouble: On indicates a system trouble. For example, an open, shorted, or

disabled circuit, a ground fault, a battery trouble, an annunciator trouble, or

a walk test.

Battery (BATT) Trouble: On indicates low or no battery voltage. Flashing

indicates a charger trouble.




So, as already guessed, charger problems.



Is there a dialer installed?

This panel has no dialer/no screen. Just the simple system.