iPhone bug fix for v7 firmware

Some models of iPhones appear to have a bug which sends all messages in the mode intended for smileys even when they should be sent as plain text. The iPhones we tried worked correctly and switched between both modes but evidently not all do this. Our latest firmware compensates for this as much as possible and allows compatibility with these defective phones. Please see the video for further information.

Advent Controls email not working

We have offered free emails from our systems since 2016. These have worked fine being sent from just a couple of our email addresses.  However lately, our email addresses have been blocked by our web host as they are being marked as spam by the email recipients. This means our emails system has stopped working.

There is unfortunately only one solution; individual email addresses owned and paid for by the user. If the email recipients mark these emails as spam in Hotmail or Gmail… then only this email address will be blocked and not everyone who uses our server.

If you have a contract SIM from us we will buy and pay for your own email address (tobrowser.com emails). If you are using the free server (adctrl.uk emails) we will have to buy an email address for your which will be charged to you at £10pa.

Please remove recipients of these emails from your device if they no longer wish to receive emails and please ask them not to just report the email as spam as this has consequences for everyone using our server. Once an email address is blocked due to it’s emails being marked as spam, it cannot be unblocked by us. The device can no longer send emails.

Server Updates

We have 3 servers running currently. We have two free servers on adctrl_uk and the paid server tobr_uk which is used by contract systems.

The tobr server was always ahead in terms of development. We’ve merged both IoT servers into one today which means for a few hours there was some outage.  The server which supported the Windows software remains as it was.


How does the dialler get the SIM card balance?

User question:


…the new sim card balance display on the web panel.

Quick question, how does it update?

I did a status command expecting it to drop by 2p but it stayed the same…?



The dialler gets your balance every night between midnight and 1am for free. It also connects to our server to put the data there and also tell it of any problems like multiple resets, low signal and low battery etc… That costs 1p on O2.

If O2 sends it a balance notification at any point during the day and it’s also connected it will update your balance on the server. So you might see a change during the day in that case. If you refresh the page you’ll see this if it happens.

Firmware Updates for Honeywell Diallers

GSM dialler updates

Behind the scenes with our web server

The Honeywell ADE Diallers were originally shipped with v7.03 firmware. If you send ‘status’ to the device the reply will contain the firmware version. We went to 7.04 then had to start going backwards because 7.05 is used by another server. So now we’re on 7.01 Release 005. When your dialler connects to our server (this happens when there is an event like an alarm sounding) it checks your firmware and notifies us if your firmware is out of date.

If we don’t have your SIM card network and telephone number we won’t do anything unless we see a critical issue.

If the link in your SMS messages is not working or saying ‘Link Expired’ please email us with your device SIM telephone number and network and we’ll update it for you.

We have made many changes to v7 firmware since we first released it last year. As with everything these days you should keep it up to date as we find issues and fix them.

Investigating GSM networks available to us using a CLX SIM

In the article we look at which GSM masts are available to us at our location and see which network will give us the best performance. We also look into establishing a data connection using the CLX SIM card and find the location of our PCB using QUECELL locate system.

We had a board hooked up with 2-way comms to a PC whilst developing the speech storage and playback function on our GSM Alarm Speech Dialler ADs (available at http://www.adventcontrols.co.uk).  We took this opportunity to investigate the network infrastructure we are able to acquire here in our office

GSM Dialler

GSM Speech Dialler with PC connection

Firstly, we send the command AT+CREG? which shows us that the modem is connected and roaming.  We are roaming as we are using the CLX SIM which has access to any GSM network in the UK.


+CREG: 0,5


Next, we send the AT+QOPS? command to get a list of masts the M66 is able to acquire:


+QOPS: 1,”Vodafone”,”Voda UK”,”23415″


+QOPS: 2,”O2″,”O2 -UK”,”23410″

1,53AC,9BDA,27,23,111       (n.b. 9BDA in hex is 39898 in decimal)

+QOPS: 1,”T-Mobile”,”EE”,”23430″



QOPS: 2 shows us we are currently using the O2-UK mast with location code 53AC and CellID 9BDA.  We can also see masts from T-Mobile (part of EE) and Vodafone are available to us (QOPS:1).  With the CellID we can find the mast we are using on a map


O2 Mast

GSM Mast Location


Earlier we were using an EE SIM, and this forced us to use a mast in the local retail park which is much further away and out of the screenshot above. This resulted in a signal strength of 16 as opposed to 23 from O2. This is the advantage of using the CLX SIM; it allows the modem to choose the most reliable network.


Another advantage of using the CLX SIM is that the GSM device will come with the APN set up correctly by default.  The Access Point Name (APN) tells the network which server your equipment can use. Networks will have different APN for different customers like PAYG or contract.  If you select the wrong one you will have no data access. This is the main cause of issues when using our software and emails. Our boards come with the APN settings for CLX pre-programmed which can be used globally.


To demonstrate data connectivity with the CLX SIM cards we will make use of Quectel’s Cellular Positioning System.  This will give is the geographic co-ordinates of the PCB even when indoors.  The modem connects, through the internet, to Quectel’s database of GSM masts and then compares the signal strength from each mast to locate the device.


Firstly we must tell the modem the APN which will give us access to the internet as follows:


at+qicsgp=1,”connect”,””,””                   …the CLX APN is “connect” with no username or password

at+qcellloc=1                                                     …enquire about our current location

+QCELLLOC: -2.861663,53.353088


The at+qcellloc command returns our co-ordinates which we can then paste into Google Maps


Using Cellular Location

The position given by the Quec Locate server is about 0.5 miles out with our high gain antenna.  This is towards a worst case scenario situation given that our PCB is buried deep within a building.  If it were outside it would be much more accurate.

We tried again using the internal adhesive antenna we use for our Gold:Mini Intercom and this time the error was about 0.8 miles.  This is because the internal antenna is optimised for 1800MHz masts which are predominantly located in this direction.

+QCELLLOC: -2.863965,53.361809


Low gain antenna location attempt


To view our GSM products and for live demonstrations please visit our stand at IFSEC 2018.  We look forward to meeting you.