Category Archives: GSM Roller Shutter Board

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.

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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 Roller Shutter Remote Control Board Design Update

Further to the previous post where we asked if our installers and users wanted to see nano SIMs we have made a start on the electronics design of the new board.  Let’s see how quickly we can get this into production!  The prototypes should be here in about 2 weeks I reckon which gives us a tight deadline of at least 2014!  Hopefully mid-December for full production.

We have used a nano SIM holder and also a new module by Quectel; the M66.  This gives us a lot more space on the PCB so we can have the two outputs and 1 input.  It also keeps the SIM holder up to date with current treands.  One thing this module does feature is Bluetooth.  I don’t think we’ll see a Bluetooth app integrated this year but for 2015 this could be the answer to adding several numbers at once without using the dial up modem software.

GSM Roller Shutter Controller

GSM Roller Shutter Board initial design layout

We’re at the stage with the PCB where we’ve got a definitive layout for the components.  When designing a PCB you have to juggle with conflicting requirements as the where the components go.  Some things have no compromise.  The red circles in the picture show the areas where no traces can be placed in order to meet electrical clearance standards for safety.  Beyond this the distance between certain components must be minimised to keep the PCB traces as small as possible for Electro-Magnetic Compatibility (EMC) compliance.  This is no more important in our design than in the power supply section.

We use a DC-DC converter to efficiently step the voltage of the supply (12-24V) down to the 4v required by the GSM chipset.  Without this you would need at least a 2A power supply and the board would get very hot!  The top priority here is the minimise the current loops of this power supply and to do this we have to move the leads of the critical components as close to each other as possible.

DCDC Buck Regulator Current Loops

Current Loops in the GSM Roller Shutter Controller PCB

On the charging loop these are D1, C28 (which stores all the switched energy), the switch (the 8-pin IC).  If we look at the picture the current loop here is drawn in yellow.  The area of the yellow loop is magnetised when charging the circuit.  We need to minimise this area by keeping the components as close as possible to each other.  We’ve even angled the capacitor C28!

On the output side of the power supply the current loop is shown in pink.  The main decoupling filter capacitor is the MLCC C19 and not the large electrolytic C11.  The frequency is such that a 100uF cap is enough for filtering this stage.  Current flows from C19 through the ground plane and L1 (a ferrite bead circled in brown) to C11 which stores the energy required for a GSM burst.  This arrangement provides a low impedance filter connection for the module to the power supply.  We’ve found this arrangement works better than another linear regulator stage and reduces the cost of the system.  The blue loop shows the current loop for the GSM module which is powered by C11.  The other 3 MLCC capacitors provide a low inductance current source for the 1-2GHz power amplifier.

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