Simplex 4004/4005 DACT question

At my business I have a Simplex 4004 panel with a 4005 DACT installed and two phone lines. I want to replace one of the phone lines with an LTE router that is VoLTE (voice over LTE) capable because I’d save hundreds of dollars a year AND increase reliability. Having two phone lines going to the same fiber panel on the side of my building isn’t providing any real redundancy IMHO since one bozo with a backhoe is all it takes to disable my fire panel’s ability to dial out - and there will be some major construction this summer on the main road between me and my telco’s central office! I know there are dedicated cellular and internet dialers available, but since I will be keeping the other phone line for the foreseeable future I don’t need a sole path solution, plus I can use the LTE router as a backup for credit card processing.

As I understand it, the 4005 DACT uses 4+2 signaling, which will work well with VoLTE, but I’m unsure whether the actual dialing uses pulse/rotary or tone/DTMF. If it can do both but turns out to be currently set for pulse, is changing that something I can/should myself? I’d rather not pay $100+ for a service call to change one option if I can do it myself.

I looked online for the programming manual for the 4005 DACT to try to find out the answer to the pulse/tone question but no luck. I found instructions for the 4006’s built-in DACT online, but that’s an upgraded “serial DACT” so it may not have the same capabilities/defaults. I found a thread on this site about programming the 4005’s CCDACT that indicated it can be done with a regular terminal program, but I would need some help with where to get the cable or how to make it (i.e. pinout)

Thanks for any help the experts here can provide!

DIY work on fire alarm systems actively protecting life and property is discouraged. Many states and municipalities have licensing law requirements that fire alarm companies have to meet. That is an assurance that the company has the knowledge to properly service the systems. Using the services of a company that is licensed and bonded protects you.

Another issue DIY fire alarm work on active systems brings in is with your fire insurance carrier. If something happens to cause a claim to be made and the DIY work is discovered they could deny the claim. That could pass the liability to you personally.

My advice after 40 years in the industry is to bring in a professional to get a quote to make the changes you want. They may have other suggestions that could save you even more money over time.

I wasn’t planning to try to actually make changes to the programming, just wanted to see if there was a way I could figure out if it was dialing with pulse or tone. I ended up temporarily bypassing the RJ31x so I could listen in on an extension, unplugged both phone lines, waited a few minutes for it to beep a warning, and then plugged one of the lines back in. Once it went off hook I listened in while muted, and found it dialed with tone (not that it matters now, but just in case anyone ever has the same question and finds this thread they will know at the very least the 4005 CCDACT is capable of tone dialing)

I had mentioned my idea to replace one of the POTS lines with cellular to a friend who works for the city and does code stuff - not the requirements for alarm panels and stuff but he works with their people on stuff like capacity, exits, lighting and all the other stuff that is a combination of building code & fire code. He thought it sounded like a good idea to make dialing more reliable with a truly redundant second path but he’d check with the fire code expert. He said he agreed with me in principle that my plan would make things more reliable, but that it was against code. If you don’t do POTS you have to use a UL listed cellular or internet dialer, which you probably already knew and were waiting for me to figure out. He sent me a copy of the code and pointed to the relevant sections so I’d know what my other limitations were.

Therefore I’ve rethought my plan and I’m going to get an internet dialer (probably a C900V2) for the fire panel, that will have to be installed in a separate enclosure with a conduit path between them, which will network through the LTE router to the central station’s IP address. It supervises every few minutes but with extremely small packets (64 bytes for the C900V2) so it won’t blow up my data plan. I wanted the LTE router anyway as a backup for credit card processing, but the real advantage the one I’m buying has is a built-in battery that lasts 30+ hours so it meets the 24 hour code requirement which the rest of my network does not (I imagine very few installs using an internet dialer where the network isn’t backed up by generator will last 24 hours without utility power, so I wonder how many are truly code compliant)

Now if I could just get the sales guy from the alarm company to return my calls - been after him for three weeks now which is why I ended up doing all this research on my own. At least now I know what I want so he can’t try to sell me whatever makes him the most commission…

Thank for you helping point me in the right direction and not try to get too DIY which tends to be a problem for me when I get deep into a subject :smiley:

get a C900V2 and get a contract for it, will still be way cheaper than the dedicated POTS lines. run your pots line from your 4005 DACT into it, and it’ll just capture it and push it along… cellular dialers will work the same. no upgrades are needed, maybe just some modifications to the programming of the 4005 to make it report more often while the second line might need to be dummied out.

and ask your AHJ if you can get rid of both of your POTS lines in favor of the single dialer. redundant path isn’t needed.

thing about the POTs lines is they would test every 24 hours, theoretically you could go 23 hours and 59 minutes without a fire alarm system before the central station figures it out and sends someone to investigate. with a single IP or cellular dialer it’s constantly reporting in, so you might go 5 minutes before the central station figures out something is wrong and sends someone. the newest NFPA codes reflect this line of thinking since POTs lines have officially been sunsetted.

no need to play around with the system you have, just get your fire alarm company to come and install the piece that captures the telephone line coming out of your existing equipment.

Will I need an electrician to come first? I know the C900V2 requires its own enclosure with its own power supply and batteries, but will the installer parallel the 120v AC screw terminals with the 120v screw terminals on the Simplex 4004 or otherwise share the same 120v circuit or will I need to have an electrician run a completely separate circuit to the C900V2’s enclosure?

The C900V2 enclosure could be located immediately below the 4004’s enclosure, which would allow an 0" path between enclosures through the knockouts if the two connections can be paralleled. If a separate circuit is necessary at least that location would allow the electrician to pull another set of wires through the existing conduit (well at least I sure hope code doesn’t require a separate circuit in a separate conduit…)