Hobby System/Active Life Safety Selection in Help Forum

Would it be possible to add a small checkbox that must be completed before starting a new topic in the Fire Alarm Help section, designating whether the question refers to a real life safety system or just a hobby system?

We have been getting more and more professionals on this board, and their questions are nearly always followed directly by a post questioning whether it is a live or hobby system. I think it would be helpful to cut this initial confusion out and direct the attention of the post straight to the proper knowledge base.

I’m envisioning something like this:

I’m not at all suggesting we split up the Help topics and block out hobbyists like on the old Davidson forums. I think there’s a valuable knowledge base within the hobbyist group. We just need a way to avoid that pesky “real vs. hobby” question that seems to turn some techs away.

I fully agree.

There is an easier way to accomplish this that does not require modifying the php code for the compose box. Fire Alarm Help could be split as a separate main forum. Then two sub forums under that heading. One for hobby systems and another for actual installed operating live systems.

I think that’s what we’re trying to avoid.

Edit: I also think there should be a “General Question” check box, just in case we can’t find something relating to something.

The only reason we have reservations about doing such a thing is that this was experimented with on another forum (the DFA). When the webmaster split the forums, a large amount of users stopped using it, and it eventually shut down due to lack of interest. The way it was presented alienated the hobbyist base.

I agree this would be the better option, but it seemed to cause considerable uproar when implemented several years ago on the old Davidson forums. I think the bigger reason for this was that anyone who was not a Fire Alarm Tech locked out of the Live Systems sub forums. Even if this were not the case, I’m still hesitant to suggest we begin dividing up the board again.

The questions marked for Professionals really should be left for Professionals to answer in either scenario, I get very frustrated when Hobbyists jump in with their 2-cents without properly or correctly providing information for the question. However, I do still think there is a valuable knowledge base in the Hobbyist side of the board in certain scenarios.

With this option, it helps to accomplish the goal of weeding out questions directed more towards Techs vs. Hobbyists, without locking either side out of the discussion.

Maybe we could add a thread icon that says “PRO” or something, so we can tell what it is from the thread list.

However, since not many people use thread icons the pro in question may not notice it.

I think we ought to have some sort of checkbox that will not allow the thread to be opened unless an option is checked.