Category Archives: GSM Gate Opener

v1.07 Software Release for setting up Diallers and Intercoms

Our software allows you to change your dialler and intercom settings, numbers and messages remotely using the internet.  It requires a small amount of data allowance to be available on your SIM.  A session will use a couple of kB.

v1.07 will work with any firmware release from 5.10 onwards.  We can remotely update your dialler and intercom with the latest firmware if required (you must have at least v5.10 to start with).

The software is available from our Downloads page:

http://www.adventcontrols.co.uk/pages/downloads

Please note currently we do not require installation of the software which is available as a raw EXE file.  If you download this from our website you can trust it.  You may need to click ‘run anyway’ on the Windows security message box.  We will release an installation version over the next few weeks.

May 16 Update Video: Dialler PCBs, Gold Intercom and PC Software

Video Timing

  • New Roller Shutter PCB (2-in 2-out PCB) 0:20s [C4 Webpage ]
  • D4 Analogue Voltage Measurement and 6 input PCB 0:36s [D4 Webpage]
  • D4 PCB also PCB tested in software 3:20s [D4 Webpage]
  • G2 GSM Intercom 0:55s [GSM Intercoms]
  • New A4 PCB 1:55s [2-Input GSM Dialler]
  • PC Control Software 4:40s [PC Software Download]

In the video we mainly demonstrate the PC software.  This connects via the internet to your PCB and allows you to view settings and numbers as well as monitor the system live.  The PC software in on the whole done we’re waiting for our server software to be complete.

New GSM Dialer and Relay products due this month

Juts a quick post to show you our new PCBs.  These are still as on the panel which goes through the screen printer, pick and place machine and oven.

You asked for more inputs on the dialer PCBs so we’ve given you them!  6 in total but these are not all just more inputs we’ve added two analogue inputs.  These are ideal for applications where you would like to measure a voltage remotely or be alerted to a sensor measurement change by SMS or call.

GSM Alarm Dialer with individual zone detection

GSM Dialer and SMS Sender with Analogue Inputs

The analogue inputs have applications in burglar alarms too allowing you to monitor individual zones which do not have a open collector output associated with them.  You can just measure the voltage change of your zone when alerting and get an SMS just for that zone whether the alarm is armed or not.

We have also added a low power mode and supply voltage sensing.  GPRS setup and updates along with email alerts will also be available in the new year using this PCB.

GSM Dialer and Roller Shutter Controller

GSM Relay and SMS Sender Board

The new C4.01 PCB shown below has similar features to the D4.01 dialer as above but has 2 logic inputs and 2 relay outputs.  This is ideal for controlling roller shutters.

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

GSM Dialer/Gate Opener Current Consumption Question

Hi there,
How many milliamps does it need from the alarm board to run?

(no name supplied)

GSM Dialer Current at various voltages

GSM Dialer Current Graph

As can be seen from the graph the current consumption drops with increasing supply voltage.  The is due to the use of an efficient Switch Mode Power Supply (SMPS) buck regulator on board which converts a high voltage at low current to the low voltage and high current required by the GSM transmitter chipset.  The GSM system requires up to 2 Amps at 3.6v.  However, due to the SMPS at 28v the current requirements during transmission are as low as 60mA average.  This can also be explained due to the 12.5% duty cycle used during GSM TDMA transmissions.  GSM transmits only in short powerful bursts with a 1/8th duty cycle.

The system’s electrical energy requirement every second (by definition this is know as Power) is the same whether the PCB is supplied by 12v, 18v or 28v.  Power consumption can be calculated for DC loads using the following formula:

Power  = Voltage x Current  normally written  P = VI

The inverse current plot is expected when we re-arrange the formula as follows:

I = P/V

As the power requirement, P, is constant no matter what voltage we supply we see as the voltage, V, is increased I, the current, must be reduced.

GSM Dialer power requirement

GSM Dialer Power Consumption

The above graph showing power consumption at various voltages shows the most efficient supply voltage is approximately 12v particularly when idling.

Please note these figures were obtained on the 1800MHz band (EE network) with a low RSSI of 10.  They were obtained during the higher power ringing phase and would drop during talk-time.  Transmission at 900MHz (O2 network) may give higher current consumption due to the higher power output of the transmitter but may also be lower if the signal strength is superior.
Here is the measured current consumption at various DC voltages:

28V
20mA idle
60mA during call (peak 70mA with relay on)
18v
26mA idle
95mA call (115ma Relay)
14v
30mA Idle
110mA (145mA Relay)
12v
34mA
127mA (160mA Relay)

Regards,

Michael

The GSM Alarm Dialer and SMS sender is available from the Advent Controls website using the following link:

http://www.adventcontrols.co.uk/gsm-auto-dialer.html

Do we want nano SIMs?

B3.01

Initial Design Layout for B3.01

We’re currently re-designing the twin output relay board which up to now has had no input.  It’s also a pretty old design (>2 years which is amazingly geriatric in the GSM industry) so is well in need of updating.  It’s tempting to go quite radical as we could add Bluetooth quite easily for number setup but that may have to wait.

What we would love to know is whether you as an installer want to see a nano SIM holder yet.  The larger micro SIM is becoming less common and I frequently find callers to the office have no means of fitting the dialer/gate opener SIM in their own mobile for registering/testing.  Do you want to see our products with a nano SIM holder?

GSM Gate Opener A3.02

Advent Controls A3.02

It is likely, as these boards have some crossover in terms of application, we will put the nano SIM on this board and the full size SIM on the 1-out 2-in board and see which users prefer.

Please leave your thoughts in the comments they would be very much appreciated! (click leave a reply at the top)

GSM Roller Shutter Controller Link

GSM Gate Opener Link