Simplex 4010 Random Troubles

So I’ve had my 4010 for a couple months now and for the last few weeks it’s been giving random troubles on and off. The most common one is the"External N2 Trouble", the N2 terminal has a resistor in it and I have never moved it since I got the panel. The panel was bought new with all components and manuals. Then it got worse with “IDNet card missing”, “NAC power card missing” and also “M1-3 Open Circuit trouble”. M1-3 is a ZAM module that monitors three conventional pull stations. Recently it sometimes randomly crashes with “Crash Code #11”? I looked in the trouble shooting manual and all that Crash Code 11 says is Invalid config check Programmer or something like that? Some days it behaves just fine and others it gives those troubles multiple times a day. All those troubles last a few seconds and the panel is back to normal. Sometimes the N2 trouble stays for a couple of hours or until I reset the panel. Other than that the panel works as it’s supposed to. I have an EST iO 1000 panel next to it and it acts fine. So I hope this is fixable without a new SFIO board. The wire connections were stripped a while ago so no copper is touching the board or other wires on the same terminal? The only thing I did the last few weeks was unplug the panel to add devices or move around horn strobes. The battery gets disconnected first then unplug the panel. When powering up, plug in the panel first then when the cold start trouble clears plug the batteries. Only twice have I first connected the batteries first by accident and when that happens the connection sparked on the metal clip on the top of battery that you connect battery wires to. Any suggestions?

I need two pieces of information about your panel.



Bring up the menu and scroll to “Software Revision” and push ENTER. Then record the Rev information in the upper left of the display.



Look under the upper right corner of the display for a chip with a label on it bearing the part number 742-147. It also has a rev number on it. Record that rev number. You may need a flashlight and magnifying glass.



Then report those revision numbers.

In the Software Revision it says:

Rev 4.02. 12:02:11 AM WED 09-Mar-05

Job Rev: 22



The 742-147 chip says:

4.02.02

1265

Some older revisions of the SFIO chip had exactly the problems you are having. However, those issues were taken care of by rev 3.01. The majority of the updates after that were for feature additions. The same applies to the system OS revision. Your 4.02 system rev and 4.02.02 SFIO chip are well beyond the revs where these bugs were fixed.



From the service manual:

Crash code 11: May indicate that a not available device type was selected for a signal circuit. Reload job. Check versions of programmer and BIN.

I never had that issue come up in all my years. Seems like that is a crash that would happen as soon as a system is loaded.



The resistor on the N2 is a 100 ohm terminating resistor and should be there. N2 is very similar to RS485.



The NAC power card trouble and the open circuit trouble on M1-3 has me thinking there may be a power issue. Just speculating, there could be something like a power supply harness connector not tight or a main filter capacitor not properly soldered to the board.



The only other thing I can think of at the moment is to default the system and reprogram it.

Thanks for the info.

I just restored to factory default programming and we’ll see what happens. I remember in August when I first got the panel, everything seemed fine, it wasn’t until mid September the n2 trouble started which I don’t even know what would cause that. I’ve never touched it at all since I’ve had the panel. When that trouble first started back in September I had disabled certain Nac’s and after a couple hours of it on that trouble started and now periodically comes back. Isn’t N2 the annunciator connection? It wasn’t until last week the card troubles started happening. When the card troubles started I had just got the EST panel which shares the same circuit as the Simplex panel and other electronics like a radio and several lights. I don’t know if the 4010 is sensitive to that but the EST panel behaves just fine? This is just pure speculation but when the panel was behaving it was Sunny and nice outside and the day before that which was cloudy and rainy the panel gave those troubles and recently during the last few days it’s been cloudy and rainy again and the panel periodically went crazy again like I’ve described. Could temperature influence it because it’s stored in a room with no AC or heating. The panel was fine in the heat but now it’s cooler since fall started.

The panel being in disable trouble for a long period of time should not have any effect on other troubles. Everyone who has been in the fire alarm industry know of panels that have been in trouble for months at a time.



Yes, N2 is the annunciator connection. N2 is an industrial version of RS-485 and is used by many companies for their communication circuits.



The 4010 uses a linear power supply (transformer - rectifier - filter caps). I don’t know what kind of power supply the EST has. It could be a linear power supply or a switching power supply. A switching power supply operates at a high frequency and can put noise out on the power circuit if not fully filtered. I’m not blaming the EST, just stating what can happen if things are not correct. Panels with switching power supplies usually have an RFI/EMI filter internally and should have the power line conductors wrapped through a ferrite bead. You could shut down the EST when the 4010 acts up to find out if that is an issue.



All electronic devices are effected by temperature. Fire alarm panels are designed to be fairly forgiving but do have limits. The 4010 manual has this information in section 1:

Temperature:

The 4010 operates normally with ambient temperatures from 32° F to 120° F (0° C to 49° C), inclusive.

Humidity:

The 4010 operates normally under non-condensing humidity conditions up to 85% relative humidity @ 86° F (30° C).



In my years in the industry there were occasions where I had to troubleshoot a panel that was more sensitive to temperature than normal.



One thing I forgot to mention in my previous post is if I were still working I would do a complete panel reload. You have done part of that with the default and reprogram. I would do that with the 4010 programmer software. The other would be to reload the system BIN file. That can only be done from a PC running the 4010 programmer software. I probably would replace the 742-147 chip too, just in case it had some flaky memory cells. If all that didn’t take care of the problem the next step would be replace the SFIO board.

Thanks! So far for the last 12 hours the panel has been behaving. The trouble logs show no N2 trouble or any card missing troubles either. I also forgot to mention the panel had no batteries when all these troubles occurred. I put them back in and so far not a peep. Fingers crossed.

Retired STR-SG, I’ve wanted to update you with the troubles and so far 3 days later no troubles have occurred at all. I’ve checked all trouble logs and nothing found. I’ve always received at least 2 External N2 troubles a day for the past month. The only difference this time is after I factory reset the panel a few days ago, I put batteries in there which brought the panel to a System Normal state and haven’t heard a peep. When all those troubles occurred, no batteries were in the panel? Any ideas?