Category Archives: GSM Blog

Honeywell Accenta/Optima GSM Dialler SMS Sender – Set and Unset Alarm Remotely

Our C4 for Honeywell Accenta & Optima alarms allows you to remotely set and unset your alarm from anywhere in the world.  It will dial, text and email you when the alarm is triggered and armed and disarmed.

D4.01 GSM Dialer with SMS Voltage and Battery Monitoring Testing Video

Just a little video showing some testing being performed on the new D4.01 PCB.  This will be available on the website shortly.

The PCB has two analogue terminals for voltage measurement which can be sent by SMS or by email.  The supply voltage is also monitored for 12V battery operation.
It also has four high/low digital inputs and one volt-free relay output which can be operated by SMS or call.

Citadel Xr2 GSM Alarm Dialer/SMS Sender Wiring Guide Aico Smoke Alarm

We received this question via email:

Hi,

I would like to connect two devices to the Dialer:

Input One : Burglar Alarm

Input Two: Smoke Alarm

I have an Citadel Xr2 alarm system which I assume is pretty standard to get a signal from it [it is!].
The smoke detectors are from the Aico range, and would be interfaced through a Relay base Ei128RBU.

Cheers

Wiring the Citadel Alarm and Aico Smoke alarms to the Advent Controls GSM Alarm Auto-dialer and SMS Sender is very straight forward and the default input settings can be used.  The 0v terminal on the alarm panel and the GND terminal on the dialer must be connected together.  The bell -ve terminal is also connected to the selected input on the dialer.

Citadel Xr2 GSM dialer wiring with Aico Alarm

Citadel Xr2 Wiring Guide

The Aico Alarm has a set of relay output contacts which can be connected directly to Input B (in general ensure they are Volt-free and do not supply mains voltages!!).  Use the COM and NO terminals on the alarm as shown in the diagram.

For a basic setup you will need to send these messages:

master <your mobile number>.   (this sets your phone up as an administrator – remove red jumper afterwards)

callnum <1st number to be rung>.

callnum <2nd number to be rung>.  (you can keep doing this!)

textnum <text recipient>.

textnum <another SMS recipient>.  (again there is space for over 250 numbers)

If you would like the messages to say something specific you can send (for example):

customa the burglar alarm is sounding.

customb the fire alarm is sounding.

If you would like to know when the alarms have stopped sounding send these commands:

inlevela both

inlevelb both

customah the burglar alarm has stopped sounding.

custombh the fire alarm has stopped sounding.

The Advent Controls GSM Alarm dialer and SMS sender is available from the Advent Controls website here.

PAYG SIM Card Deactivation

When using Pay As You Go (PAYG) SIM cards in equipment such as dialers and gate openers you should be aware that the network may chose to deactivate your SIM card should you not meet the minimum usage requirements.  In the UK the strictest networks require at least a call or text message to be sent once per quarter – Lebara Mobile require 1 call/SMS per 3 28 day calendar months.

For details of the terms and conditions for each network I recommend following this link with an excellent article written on the subject:

http://kenstechtips.com/index.php/payg-inactivity-account-termination-and-credit-expiry

Further details can be found here on the basis for these policies:

https://community.giffgaff.com/t5/Blog/Recycling-mobile-numbers-giffgaff/ba-p/8211666

Our GSM equipment has two SIM card Keep Alive functions which automatically send an SMS or dial a number to keep your SIM card within the terms and conditions of the network.  All products have the Keep Alive Text feature which sends an automated SMS message at user specified intervals to their chosen number.  This is set up as follows:

KAT 07000000000,28.       Sends a keep alive message every 28 days to 07000000000

Dialers and Gate Openers with firmware version 3.18 or later additionally have the ability to dial numbers where a voice call is a requirement.  This is set up using the following command:

KAC 01512834306,80.      Dials 01512834306 every 80 days

Should the call go unanswered it unit will retry 4 times and will then send an SMS to the first master number with the following text ‘KAC@Fail’.  In this case a manual call should be made with the following command:

Dial 01512834306.     …or the number of your choice

Where your network requires a call to be made but your device has firmware prior to F3.18 we recommend setting the Keep Alive Text message to remind you to make a manual call for your required interval using the dial command.  Ensure the call is answered.

What’s new in July

We ended June having brought our new Gold G2 2-Button Intercom into full production and having restocked our old 1-Button internal aerial unit.

GSM Intercom

Advent Controls G2 Intercom

We have a new PCB which will form the basis of all of our dialers and gate/shutter openers going forward.  It features an ultra-low power mode, more inputs and outputs, space for a voice unit and Bluetooth.  The chip on the PCB has a larger program memory (like the hard drive of a PCB) giving us space to add more features.  The power supply design is more rugged too allowing for higher voltages and better surge protection.

B3 PCB

GSM Roller Shutter Controller

We’ve finally given up on the Circuit Switched Data (CSD) system we used for remotely connecting to devices in the field and have revised the software to use the GPRS packet data system.  We chose CSD as it meant your SIM did not require data and there was no need to tell the GSM unit your network’s APN (Access Point Name) e.g. giffgaff.com…  The problem is CSD does not really work at all never mind reliably.  Quectel have dropped support on the new modems we are using so it was time to switch to GPRS.

GSM assembly code

We’ll be using GPRS to dial in in future

There are huge benefits though.  The newer PCBs including our Gold G2 Intercom can have a full firmware update over the internet using GPRS.  We have also added the ability for the dialers and gate openers to send emails whenever activity is detected.  Eventually we will either offer our software to the end user or create a web interface for setup to be done online.

Setup GSM dialers and intercom online

Advent Controls Web Interface Software

New features – feedback definitely welcome!!

  • Dial, SMS and email
  • Bluetooth Setup
  • Low power modes
  • PC interface software
  • Ability to email list of settings and stored numbers
  • 2-In, 2-out PCB due August
  • Keep Alive text to display balance

Michael Beaver, Director

Vodafone Dialing Issues 24/07/15

!!Please note this has been resolved by Vodafone (31/07/15).  We would recommend testing your alarm however!!

Last week we were notified by an installer that he was unable to get the dialer to dial mobile numbers using a Vodafone SIM; texting was unaffected.  We replaced the SIM card in the unit for an EE based reseller (Vectone) and the dialer functioned perfectly.

After investigating the cause, we found Vodafone have started to mis-report the call status of an out-bound call (more information below).  The simple resolution is to use an O2 or EE based SIM provider.  We updated the firmware to allow Vodafone to be used, as is, but with some additional commands required:

divert en

With Diverts Enabled the call length is now set by (without divert en it defaults to 5s):

ctime xx.  (the default is 58 seconds)

If you are using a Vodafone SIM in your dialer, run an alarm test to see if your local cell is affected by the issue.  If it is, ensure you have SMS alerts (textnum xxxxxxxx.) set up along with calling alerts.  You will require firmware F3.15 or later for ‘divert enable’ to be effective.

The Issue

To understand the issue we need to look at the information we obtain about the call from the network using the AT+CLCC command.  This command reports back the call status.  Here is an example of how a call is handled using the Vectone EE network SIM:

..+CLCC: 1,0,2,0,0,”07930666555″,129,””….OK..
..+CLCC: 1,0,2,0,0,”07930666555″,129,””….OK..
..+CLCC: 1,0,2,0,0,”07930666555″,129,””….OK..
..+CLCC: 1,0,2,0,0,”07930666555″,129,””….OK..
..+CLCC: 1,0,2,0,0,”07930666555″,129,””….OK..
..+CLCC: 1,0,2,0,0,”07930666555″,129,””….OK..
..+CLCC: 1,0,3,0,0,”07930666555″,129,””….OK..
..+CLCC: 1,0,3,0,0,”07930666555″,129,””….OK..
..+CLCC: 1,0,3,0,0,”07930666555″,129,””….OK..
..+CLCC: 1,0,3,0,0,”07930666555″,129,””….OK..
..+CLCC: 1,0,0,0,0,”07930666555″,129,””….OK..
..+CLCC: 1,0,0,0,0,”07930666555″,129,””….OK..
..+CLCC: 1,0,0,0,0,”07930666555″,129,””….OK..
..NO CARRIER….
OK..

The CLCC data is checked every second.  When the dialer is triggered we see the status of the call goes to status 2 (highlighted in red) which is the ‘DIALING’ phase.  This is the time when the call is set up with the network.  After 6 seconds we see the next CLCC report shows the call is now at status 3 ‘ALERTING’ indicating the remote phone is ringing – at this stage the recipient can hear the phone ringing.  When the phone is answered, we see the call goes to status 0; the ‘ACTIVE’ state.  This means the phone has been answered.

Finally, after 3 seconds the call is ended by the recipient and we see ‘NO CARRIER’ is sent by the network.  This is an example of how a call should be handled.

..+CLCC: 1,0,2,0,0,”07830666575″,129,””….OK..
..+CLCC: 1,0,2,0,0,”07830666575″,129,””….OK..
..+CLCC: 1,0,2,0,0,”07830666575″,129,””….OK..
..+CLCC: 1,0,2,0,0,”07830666575″,129,””….OK..
..+CLCC: 1,0,2,0,0,”07830666575″,129,””….OK..
..+CLCC: 1,0,0,0,0,”07830666575″,129,””….OK…
.OK..
..OK..
..+CLCC: 1,0,2,0,0,”01517283167″,129,””….OK..

Above shows how Vodafone have been reporting a Mobile Originated (MO) call since the issue arose.  As before we see the call immediately going to status 2 after a dial command as expected.  However, prior to when the recipient’s phone starts to ring the status of the call is reported at status 0.  When a call goes from status 2 to 0, this is indicative of a call going to voicemail.  Voicemail does not ring out and it is diverted without the ringing phase hence the dialer moves on to the next number as we can see.

This can occur normally with Vodafone as they play a voice message telling the caller to top up credit when credit is low.  However, this behaviour has started to happen on all calls no matter what credit is available and causing the dialer to skip all calls.

The command ‘divert enable’ allows calls to go to a diverted number.  Normally you would not want this as there is no point calling voicemail with the dialer.  However, as there is no accurate way of detecting the status of a call with this Vodafone issue ‘divert enable’ will allow the call to continue.  This command was originally intended for our intercoms to allow mis-resporting (it occasionally happened with some MVNOs like Lyca Mobile) but must be used on an affected Vodafone SIM.

As the length of an alarm dialer call is limited to 5s this is insufficient time for a mobile call to be set up.  Therefore, the firmware we released this week (29/07/15 F3.15) allows the CTIME command to set the length of the call when diverts are enabled.

CTIME xx.

Hopefully this network issue will be resolved shortly by Vodafone.  If this persists and Vodafone is the only available network, we recommend returning the dialer to Advent Controls for a firmware upgrade.  Our latest firmware release allows any future updates to be performed over the internet using GPRS.

Dialer Information Page