A local elementary school which was constructed in 1921 and was expanded in 1953 is being torn down near the end of June or in early July. With that being said, my local school district is auctioning off
everything (yes, everything) in the building.
I am bidding on the fire alarm system which consists of Simplex 2903-9101 strobe plates with 2901-9838 horns behind them installed in 1982 during a district wide fire alarm system upgrade (why all the buildings in my district have mostly the same alarms), a variety of Simplex conventional pull stations, and of course the panels, which consist of a Simplex 4005 and possibly a Simplex 4009 NAC Power Extender (in pictures from the auction, it shows FPL going to another beige cabinet on the wall which appears to be a NAC Extender off screen). There is also some old 42xx real old red single bay cabinet which I believe used to be an FA panel but appears to be used as a junction cabinet now which I’d also like to remove.
Bidding closes June 3 and removal is that business week (June 4-June 8th).
I have a few questions about the 4005 and 4009 and if I need to contact the school about this (the school year ends next week; I am already out because I graduated from high school on May 19), because in the terms of the auction I noticed this in the notes (and I have some general 4005 questions as well):
Must coordinate with school to turn off monitoring.
This is referring to the CC DACT card installed on the 4005, but who should I contact to get it turned off? The reason I am confused is because on the panel door, there is a sticker that reads something else. That sticker reads,
“Prior to working on this alarm panel, please contact Bath Fire Department at (telephone number redacted) or (telephone number redacted).”
My first question is, who do I contact to get the monitoring turned off? The school district maintenance supervisor (who I know as I’ve interviewed them for the school newspaper by phone before), or do I do what the sticker says and contact Bath Fire Department?
My second question is regarding programming/access level codes on the 4005, which I’m sure is a common question. Unfortunately, Simplex has not been servicing this system as of late as the school has or had a contract for fire alarm maintenance or inspections with a local third party fire alarm inspection company. My concern is when I get the fire alarm system (permitting I win the auction; it is an online auction and there is only one other bid but I am planning to bid a higher amount shortly before the auction ends so that I
do win this system), that the third party installer may have changed the programming access codes. The only people who would know these codes are:
1. The school/district maintenance and custodial staff, since they conduct fire drills using the “Manual Evac” feature, which requires either a Level 3 or Level 4 access code to use, or:
2. The local fire department (since they supervise all fire drills).
Again this is only if they changed the access codes when they switched to this third party fire alarm company/installer to a custom access code, which I have no idea whether they did or not until I go in to remove the system and can try inputting access codes. There appears to be no access codes written on the panel door or anything.
I do have the default access codes for the 4005, so if that turns out to be the case, I’ll be fine. The reason I want access codes is because I would like to mount the 4005 and 4009 onto my fire alarm board along with some of the alarms I remove from that building and pull stations, etc. and create a demo system of sorts using devices from that school; and to reprogram stuff I need those codes. The 4005 is in great condition and is in almost like-new condition; it appears to be a later generation 4005 but I can’t tell.
Another question I have is
regarding proper power down of the system prior to removal, as I’d hate to accidentally fry the panel when trying to remove it. There is a Square D power/service disconnect switch next to the FACP which appears to be tied into it. If I were to find this was indeed the case and power down the system for removal, would I disconnect the batteries on the panel prior to disconnecting AC power by pulling the disconnect to the “OFF” position, or is it the other way around? If there are batteries in the 4009 NAC Extender as well (assuming there is one), would I power it down in the same fashion as the 4005?
If I think of any other questions that didn’t come to mind while I was writing this topic, I’ll post them down below in another post.
Thanks so much! Any help/advice is much appreciated!
Ok, I can try to answer a few of your questions here since I know a decent amount about Simplex equipment myself. Regarding the central monitoring situation, it would more than likely be best to contact BOTH the fire dept. and the district’s maintenance supervisor to be safe. However, I would assume that the third party company that gained the contract with the school is more than likely the party responsible for monitoring the fire alarm system, as most systems are typically monitored by a fire alarm/security company and not the fire dept. itself. In other words, the system is typically monitored by a company who then refers any alarm events to the local fire dept. So if possible, I would try to contact someone from your school district who may know if the panel is monitored by that company. Answering your second question, if the level access codes are NOT default, the only way to restore the panel back to factory default (if I’m correct here) is through Simplex’s extremely proprietary software, which is not possible (or legal) for any enthusiast to own. Finally, to answer your third question, you ALWAYS disconnect the batteries FIRST then AC power when powering down a control panel. The same would apply for the 4009 NAC extender. Hope this helps and good luck bidding!
Power down should be in this order: remove positive battery terminal, shut off AC power, remove negative battery terminal. Negative battery should always be the last connection removed and the first connection at power up.
There is no external programming software for a 4005. All the smarts are in the panel. There is a 4005 terminal program for PC which makes entering point labels easier but everything else more time consuming. It mimics the front panel on a PC screen. The DACT card is programmed separately using a PC based generic terminal emulator. There is a yes/no setting in the 4005 that enables the CPU to display DACT troubles.
The access passcodes may or may not have been changed by/for the third party FA service company. Our office did testing, inspection, and hardware replacements on some competitive systems. On many of those we did not have programming access so had to bring in the local system dealer to make changes. Some competitors did testing and service on Simplex systems but called us for programming.
Thank you for the information. I will shoot an email to our district’s maintenance supervisor about the next steps going forward as they may be able to give me the access codes directly, as their custodial staff would probably know levels 2 and 3 anyways, my hope is they have the level 4 code written down somewhere; I will also consult with him about the monitoring situation as well.
The auction part I’m not worried about as the person who bid already put in a low enough amount I can easily outbid them and win the system.
I will post any updates if I need to.
Here are pictures of the inside of the panel (not mine):
Could anyone tell me what all the cards on the right are? I know one of them looks like a NAC Relay Card with what I can see in the manual here. Auction item preview is a week from tomorrow, so on that date I will try and get into the boiler/mech room to open up the panel and get better pictures.
The first two cards are 4 point IDC cards. The third card is a 4 point NAC/relay card. Those three cards come with the panel as standard equipment.
The fourth card looks like an 8 point I/O card. It can drive relays or annunciator lamps. It can also accept contact inputs. Each point can be programmed as an input or output.
The fifth card is another 4 point NAC/relay card.
The card below the CPU is a CCDACT. Apparently not used as there are no phone lines connected to the terminal strips.
Well it would make sense why the DACT isn’t used since the fire station is right across the street from the school so if anything happened they’d be there within 30 seconds…makes my job easier since monitoring looks to be taken care of…
Also got some bad news. Today is the last day of the school year and haven’t heard back from district maintenance yet, so I’m gonna be flying blind on this whole passcodes thing. Any recommendations? Not sure what to do about that at this point. I can do some asking around if I find a custodian in the building on auction day…
Turns out Friday is the last day of the year for school.
Wouldn’t know since us Seniors got out on the 13th and we graduated on the 19th.
So, I am hoping to get a response from district maintenance at that time to get both the access codes and confirmation they’ve taken care of monitoring as far as getting that turned off.
Also, will the membrane keys on the front annunciator interface continue to work? It looks like on the bottom right hand corner the adhesive is peeling a bit. I also had this problem with my 4004 when I first got it and remedied it with electrical tape to hold the peeled back parts on, but not sure if you can do that on these 4005’s.
Quick update. I am in a combination of disappointment and shock right now.
This system was very special to me because I have been a student in this school district for 4 years. I know the ins and outs of every fire alarm system in every building in our district, whether that building is still standing or not.
The auction closes in 30 minutes, but I am making this post now to inform everyone that I sadly lost the auction.
Someone ended up bidding $230, basically cheating everyone out of the system. Because I am going off to college in the fall, I personally cannot afford to pay more for this auction and ended up walking away. It was very sad for me to do and I nearly cried thinking about someone else who doesn’t have the interests I do walking away with this system possibly to just resell it or part it out. I cannot try and get anything from that building, as everything was up for auction.
I know in my heart that sometimes these things happen for a reason and that all I can do at this point is move on and know I tried my best.
I want to let everyone know that this is not the end, however. As you may or may not be aware, my high school (which was the only school in the district in which I actually attended) is slated for demolition in summer 2020. Given this building’s system is of far more personal connection and value to me, I will try and do everything in my power to save this system because I went to this school.
In case you were wondering; my high school has the following:
Panel: Simplex 4020 (2-Bay) & 4009 NAC Power Extender
Alarms: 2903-9101/2901-9838 horn strobes, one 4903-9252 horn strobe, one 4903 4 wire TrueAlert Horn Strobe, seven (7) Wheelock Exceder HSR Horn Strobes, and about 15 4903-9105/2901-9846 horn strobes (in areas affected by the 1995 addition and renovations). 1995 wing will be added to new building but those alarms in that area will be replaced with whatever goes in in the new building. The existing portions which have all the old and interesting stuff and the room that houses the panel will be demolished.
Initiation Devices: Variety of Simplex Pull Stations (Local Alarm “Chevron” pull stations, one 1st Gen 4251-20 pull station, 4251-20 pull stations, one BG-12 pull station (replaced a broken 4251 when 3rd party inspection company was contracted), and several 2099-9796 MAPNET II addressable pull stations), along with several Simplex MAPNET II addressable smoke detectors and one conventional “whiffle-ball” smoke detector.
The new high school is scheduled to be complete in August 2020. However, I am moving to the other side of the state as my father has a new job. Thankfully I am still attending college at a university up here and have friends up here, so should the district permit me to reserve and remove the high school’s system myself, I will do so.
I will contact appropriate folks in the district and the school board if needed to make this happen. Sad to share this news with you all but there is still hope of me getting a system, one that has much more of a personal connection with me.
I’m so sorry that you lost. Do you know what the buyers are gonna do with the alarms?
That’s a bummer… Am sorry that you lost.
Know that at least you tried, and that maybe soon, a better opportunity will sprout out, waiting for you.
(besides, auctions aren’t a given, that’s a bit why you should be wary of auctions… Sometimes it isn’t worth the deception)