Basic Rules for Panel Care

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tsscman123
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Re: Basic Rules for Panel Care

Postby tsscman123 » Sat May 25, 2013 9:58 pm

Nathan wrote:That's a good tip hears one of my own. Make sure you are perfectly grounded before you touch any of the electronics in the panel because most of them are shock sensitive.


I'm guilty of not doing that.

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Re: Basic Rules for Panel Care

Postby Nathan » Sat May 25, 2013 10:58 pm

tsscman123 wrote:
Nathan wrote:That's a good tip hears one of my own. Make sure you are perfectly grounded before you touch any of the electronics in the panel because most of them are shock sensitive.


I'm guilty of not doing that.

Why
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Re: Basic Rules for Panel Care

Postby Destin » Sun May 26, 2013 3:46 pm

A few more tips for us collectors. Some of these have already been touched on, but I'm elaborating on them from personal experience.

- Replace batteries about every 3-5 years. If your batteries feel unusually warm or cause a "low battery" trouble, it's time to replace. Nasty things can happen when old batteries are used for too long. Check the minimum amp hour rating specified by the panel. 7AH is usually fine.

- If an end-of-line resistor is hot to the touch, you probably need to use one with a higher wattage. Resistors are designed to expend heat, so some amount of warmth is to be expected. However, if it's so hot that you can't hold your finger on it for a few seconds, the resistor is being overpowered by the current and may eventually crack. You can always use a higher wattage than what is specified, but don't go lower.

- When you unpack a new or used panel, make sure it's clear of any debris as Mangum Alert mentioned. However, you also want to inspect all parts to make sure nothing has been bent out of place or broken off during shipping. Many of the parts in my Honeywell FS90 came unscrewed during shipping, and one of the zone cards got toasted upon power up due to two transistors that were bent and touching each other. Luckily I have duplicate cards, but it's especially important to watch out for small components on non-modular systems. Not only can they render the whole panel useless if damaged or missing, but they can cause greater damage to other components if power is applied to an incorrect configuration.

- This should go without saying, but NEVER intentionally or accidentally wire DC notification appliances (or anything for that matter) in series! This is what toasted a NAC on my old MS-5UD.

- This should also go without saying, but NEVER connect more than one circuit to a relay. If you have two zones from two different panels connected to one set of relay terminals, power from both zones will backfeed into one another.

- When wiring speakers to a voice evac panel, make sure the voltage is compatible. Most VECP's can output 25V or 70V RMS, but you'll need to set it ahead of time.

- Before connecting a 2-wire detector to your panel, make sure it's compatible. Common sense should suffice - System Sensor is obviously compatible with Fire-Lite, Notifier, etc, while Simplex is compatible with Simplex. Be cautious with older detectors, and never mix brands on the same 2-wire circuit even if they are both compatible with the panel. These two sites will help:
http://www.systemsensor.com/2wirecomp/
http://www.simplexgrinnell.com/SiteColl ... 9832_E.pdf

- When installing TrueAlarm bases, make sure the protective backing is on. If not, the circuit board may touch the box and cause a ground fault.

- When in doubt, use thicker gauge wire, especially for 120VAC connections. If you are powering multiple panels from the same source, there's a lot of current being drawn through the cable that ultimately goes to the outlet. Estimate the total amperage that is being drawn by your panel(s), and use this site to decide what gauge wire to use for power transmission: http://www.powerstream.com/Wire_Size.htm

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Re: Basic Rules for Panel Care

Postby tsscman123 » Mon May 27, 2013 4:28 pm

Nathan wrote:
tsscman123 wrote:
Nathan wrote:That's a good tip hears one of my own. Make sure you are perfectly grounded before you touch any of the electronics in the panel because most of them are shock sensitive.


I'm guilty of not doing that.

Why


I don't have a wristband grounder. Am I able to just wrap the grounding wire that comes with the hot and neutral in AC power? I don't really touch anything on the circuit board besides the screw terminals, and obviously, the keypad.

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Re: Basic Rules for Panel Care

Postby Nathan » Mon May 27, 2013 5:21 pm

no then your fine if you take out the board thats when you need to ground your self.
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Re: Basic Rules for Panel Care

Postby tsscman123 » Mon May 27, 2013 5:43 pm

Nathan wrote:no then your fine if you take out the board thats when you need to ground your self.

Oh, I did not know that.

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Re: Basic Rules for Panel Care

Postby firealarm2905 » Sun Jun 09, 2013 3:00 am

Destin wrote:A few more tips for us collectors. Some of these have already been touched on, but I'm elaborating on them from personal experience.

- Replace batteries about every 3-5 years. If your batteries feel unusually warm or cause a "low battery" trouble, it's time to replace. Nasty things can happen when old batteries are used for too long. Check the minimum amp hour rating specified by the panel. 7AH is usually fine.

- If an end-of-line resistor is hot to the touch, you probably need to use one with a higher wattage. Resistors are designed to expend heat, so some amount of warmth is to be expected. However, if it's so hot that you can't hold your finger on it for a few seconds, the resistor is being overpowered by the current and may eventually crack. You can always use a higher wattage than what is specified, but don't go lower.

- When you unpack a new or used panel, make sure it's clear of any debris as Mangum Alert mentioned. However, you also want to inspect all parts to make sure nothing has been bent out of place or broken off during shipping. Many of the parts in my Honeywell FS90 came unscrewed during shipping, and one of the zone cards got toasted upon power up due to two transistors that were bent and touching each other. Luckily I have duplicate cards, but it's especially important to watch out for small components on non-modular systems. Not only can they render the whole panel useless if damaged or missing, but they can cause greater damage to other components if power is applied to an incorrect configuration.

- This should go without saying, but NEVER intentionally or accidentally wire DC notification appliances (or anything for that matter) in series! This is what toasted a NAC on my old MS-5UD.

- This should also go without saying, but NEVER connect more than one circuit to a relay. If you have two zones from two different panels connected to one set of relay terminals, power from both zones will backfeed into one another.

- When wiring speakers to a voice evac panel, make sure the voltage is compatible. Most VECP's can output 25V or 70V RMS, but you'll need to set it ahead of time.

- Before connecting a 2-wire detector to your panel, make sure it's compatible. Common sense should suffice - System Sensor is obviously compatible with Fire-Lite, Notifier, etc, while Simplex is compatible with Simplex. Be cautious with older detectors, and never mix brands on the same 2-wire circuit even if they are both compatible with the panel. These two sites will help:
http://www.systemsensor.com/2wirecomp/
http://www.simplexgrinnell.com/SiteColl ... 9832_E.pdf

- When installing TrueAlarm bases, make sure the protective backing is on. If not, the circuit board may touch the box and cause a ground fault.

- When in doubt, use thicker gauge wire, especially for 120VAC connections. If you are powering multiple panels from the same source, there's a lot of current being drawn through the cable that ultimately goes to the outlet. Estimate the total amperage that is being drawn by your panel(s), and use this site to decide what gauge wire to use for power transmission: http://www.powerstream.com/Wire_Size.htm


Destin, I use to hook up 5-6 NA's in series and nothing happened to my panel, they were all obviously the same type or similar but nothing ever happened? Why can't we?

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Re: Basic Rules for Panel Care

Postby Prog » Sun Jun 09, 2013 1:07 pm

In series? I think you mean parallel.

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Re: Basic Rules for Panel Care

Postby firealarm2905 » Sun Jun 09, 2013 5:32 pm

I mean series, that's when you connect POS or one device to the next and NEG to the next device, right?

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Re: Basic Rules for Panel Care

Postby Nathan » Sun Jun 09, 2013 6:19 pm

Think P-P-P Plus to plus parallel, If you connect plus to the plus on the next device it is parallel.
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Re: Basic Rules for Panel Care

Postby Destin » Sun Jun 09, 2013 8:08 pm

firealarm2905 wrote:Destin, I use to hook up 5-6 NA's in series and nothing happened to my panel, they were all obviously the same type or similar but nothing ever happened? Why can't we?


You're free to do what you want, but it's not a good idea. Your panel may be more tolerant, but somehow I accidentally wired a Wheelock 34T, SAE AV32, and NS together in series and it smoked a NAC on my MS-5UD. It may have drawn too much current, but I can't say for sure what caused it. Either way, there's no reason to wire anything in series on a modern low-voltage panel.

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Re: Basic Rules for Panel Care

Postby Prog » Sun Jun 09, 2013 8:29 pm

5 24V NA's in series is 120V. How the hell does that work on a 24V NAC?

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Re: Basic Rules for Panel Care

Postby Destin » Sun Jun 09, 2013 9:07 pm

Actually, five devices in series on a 24VDC NAC would each be receiving 4.8VDC. When you wire in series, the voltage is evenly divided across each device.

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Re: Basic Rules for Panel Care

Postby Prog » Mon Jun 10, 2013 3:26 pm

Didn't quite think that through, but it still makes no sense.

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Re: Basic Rules for Panel Care

Postby AllFiredUp » Tue Jun 10, 2014 6:08 pm

When doing an upgrade you sometimes find that when you remove the wires in the terminal connections in the fire panel they have turned dark brown or black, meaning that you might not get the best no resistance contact at your new terminal connection. You can also find this discoloration problem when removing Marrette connectors in electrical connection boxes. Sometime even stripping the insulation back shows the same discoloration problem. I always carry a small 1" X 6" strip of 150 grit emery cloth with me in my tool pouch and and half wrap it around the stripped copper end and roll the emery cloth back and forth between my fingers with light pressure until I see clean, shiny copper again, so I know I will get a good no resistance connection.


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