Category Archives: GSM Roller Shutter Remote

Should I buy a 3G intercom or alarm dialler?

We get asked a lot when the 2G network will be shutdown. In Europe, on the whole, nobody really knows yet.  The general consensus is that the 3G network will be shutdown first around 2020 and 2G as late as 2025.  In some countries 2G is no longer in operation (USA, Australia, Japan, Singapore…) but this is not the case in Europe.

Vodafone-will-not-switch-off-2G-until-2025

old phone

2G Phone

4G is obviously great for data but until recently many phone masts did not support audio on 4G/Long Term Evolution (LTE).  Audio on 4G uses a system developed by Qualcomm known as VoLTE.  Originally 4G was data only and your phone switches to 2G or 3G for calls.  Audio on 4G is really only being implemented now by most networks.

https://www.4g.co.uk/what-is-volte/

So, that leaves 2G and 3G for handling calls.  3G uses 2100MHz in Europe.  In general a higher frequency will result in a shorter range.  Also, on the higher frequency bands, your phone is limited by the amount of power it can transmit to 1W.  For comparison, on 900MHz 2G your phone can transmit 2W of power giving a better range.  The lower frequency of 2G and 4G bands will also penetrate walls better than the higher frequency 3G band.  3G also only has one frequency band allocated to it whereas 2G has two.

Europe-could-go-alone-in-waving-goodbye-to-3g-first

3G phone

Early 3G phone

3G therefore doesn’t really offer anything anymore.  It is slower than 4G for data and the coverage is usually worse than 2G which is why the network space is better allocated to 4G, 4G NB and 5G.

So, should you buy a 3G intercom or dialler?  We were developing 3G products but decided to stop simply due to their limited life-span.  They will work on 2G when 3G is shutdown but why pay the extra for a 3G unit?  There is one reason; in the UK the 3 network only offer 3G & 4G so you can only use a 3G unit on this network.  They may continue 3G beyond 2020 for this reason.  Also you may find you have no coverage in your area on 2G but there is coverage on 3G.  This would of course be a temporary solution for you!

3G Alarm Dialler PCB

3G Alarm Dialler

We gave up on 3G and I would not recommend paying extra for a 3G unit.  We are developing 4G products but these have many extra complications with VoLTE and network specific frequency bands so our 4G units are taking some time to develop – but 4G is the future!  We expect to be first with our 4G diallers and intercoms in Europe.

VoLTE Intercom

4G VoLTE Intercom

For further reading please see:

https://www.mobileworldlive.com/featured-content/top-three/operators-vendors-forecast-long-life-2g/

 

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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.

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

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

GSM Roller Shutter Remote Control Board with Dead-Man Operation

GSM Roller Shutter Remote Control in Enclosure

Control your roller shutter or garage door with your mobile phone

Today we added our roller shutter remote control board to the website.  We’ve had this one for a few months now but have finally got some quantity in stock.  This board is great for controlling roller shutters with separate inputs for opening and closing the shutter.  With the ‘CHANNEL ALT’ command you can set the call relay to alternate on each call.  This allows one call to open the shutter and the next to close it… and so on.

The new ‘Ring Mode’ (which is now also available on our Alpha GSM Gate Opener Board) allows the caller to operate the shutter whilst the call is ringing – stopping as soon as the call is ended.  This makes the system ideal for controlling so called ‘dead man’ shutters where the switch must be held during the entire movement of the shutter.  There is a good demonstration of this in the video below.

GSM Roller Shutter Remote Control

Control your roller shutter with your mobile phone

The Roller Shutter Remote Control Board is available on the Advent Controls website

http://www.adventcontrols.co.uk/gsm-roller-shutter-remote.html