New Gamewell-FCI S3 Panel

Gamewell-FCI has released a very cool new networkable addressable system with a built-in color touchscreen display. Interesting features include an interface that gives you instructions on what to do depending on the situation, Ethernet programming, auto EOL resistance sensing (finally!), a capacitor that holds the time and date 48 hrs with no power (finally!), a removable display that can be placed at a remote location, 5 buttons that can be programmed to do anything, and a new “Hazard” alarm type for carbon monoxide or gas. Each panel supports up to 2 loops with 636 System Sensor or 252 Apollo addressable devices. I think this will be big.

I’ve been told that it is not front-panel programmable, nor will it be replacing the 7100. It sort of bridges the gap between the E3 and their smaller addressable panels. However, it can retrofit into 7100 or IF602/IF610 cabinets.

By the title i thought you got a new panel.

Well in theory this is not supposed to be a personal blog but whatever.

In theory, the User Created Media forum is where a topic like that would be posted.

Anyway, that is nice. It is appears to be more user-friendly, but the image doesn’t go into depth. It reminds me of some of the Ademco burglar alarm displays/controls.

I don’t like newer touch panels, I like the MS-9050UD LCD ones better, but that’s just me.

So do I you can just see the problems with touch pads

I hope the super capacitor isn’t what is responsible for keeping all the memory intact. It should just keep the time ticking.

I wonder since Gamewell-FCI is a Honeywell owned company that we’ll see a Notifier ONYX version with a touchscreen on the main panel perhaps coming in the near future. I can definitely see touchscreen fire alarm panels coming in the very future. Not only can it provide a lot more information (i.e. floor plans), it just seems like the way most things are evolving towards nowadays.

If most panels go towards that, the price will go up, and us hobbyist will have a hard time finding a cheap panel that is in good condition. There were always be “economy” panels, like the Fire-Lite MS-25.

I think it will be a little while before the majority of panels go to touchscreen. For the time being, it only makes sense for large systems and graphic annunciators.

Even by the time that all panels go towards touchscreens or perhaps something better by then, I don’t imagine that prices will change much. If anything, they will lower - it’s the same way that the original iPhone debuted at $499 and is now virtually worthless used, while the iPhone 5 is less than half the original iPhone’s price. List prices will always go where the market dictates, and used prices follow no logic at all other than whatever the seller is willing to take. Most sellers on eBay come into possession of panels that were ripped out of buildings paid for long ago and have no way to gauge what they’re worth. Some will comically overcharge, and others just want to get rid of it.

So if someone wanted to buy one new in box from a life safety website/company, wouldn’t the price be higher, because of the touchscreen LCD, vs the little LCD that is usually 80 characters (with no color)?

I don’t know, since the pricing of Gamewell-FCI equipment isn’t shown to the public. There are too many variables at play to guess a company’s pricing strategy, but what I meant in my previous post is that product designers and engineers are often able to lower the cost of everything since parts are always becoming cheaper and more efficient. Whether the addition of a touchscreen display hikes up the price remains to be seen. This panel will certainly be more expensive than the 7100 or IdentiFlex series due to the fact that it’s just a larger panel. However, if they decided to introduce an updated 7100-type panel with a touchscreen, it may very well be less expensive than the original 7100 which has used the same circuit board design since 1998 (technology has obviously become far smaller and cheaper since then).

Keep in mind that basic wholesale touchscreen parts from China are dirt-cheap, but as the first company (that isn’t Siemens) to implement a color touchscreen into a FACP, Gamewell-FCI has the market cornered and can charge whatever distributors will pay at first. If and when other companies introduce touchscreen interfaces, the cost will begin to level out from competition. Going back to the iPhone example, the same thing happened when the first expensive multi-touch smartphones hit the market and then gradually began to lower in price as mass-market adoption set in.

Well, that’s good, then! It will be cool if in 10 years we start seeing more of those around, and hopefully on YouTube!

Just as a FYI - The product was released today for orders

Here’s a 5 minute presentation about the product

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Thanks for everyone’s response about going touchscreen. Today, this is the only small addressable panel on the market with a color touchscreeen display. We felt it was important to try something different but have it priced for everyone to afford. 7100 still lives as our entry level addressable panel with E3 Series designed for larger fire and voice applications. S3 Series with two loops and networkable hits that sweet spot for today’s buildings.