Tag Archives: alarm sms sender

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.

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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

Wiring a RISCO WisDom Alarm Panel to the GSM SMS Dialer

The Risco Wireless alarm is unusual in that it operated from a 9V AC supply. It may at first appear to be too low a voltage to operate our dialer, however, once rectified to DC the voltage will be around 12.5V and sufficient to power our board.  To do this simply connect the two AC supply terminals on the RISCO panel to our two VIN terminals.

RISCO WisDom GSM Wiring

Wiring the RISCO WisDom to our GSM Alarm Dialer

WIth the supply coming from the panel being rectified on board the dialer you cannot connect the GND terminals together as usual however there is no need on this alarm as there as two relay outputs on the panel.  The two relay COM terminals are connected together and then wired to the GSM Dialer GND terminal.  The two NO terminals are then wired separately to the A and B inputs if two different messages are required.

The final stage of the process is to program the alarm outputs to do what you require.  We recommend the output connected to our input A is designated as the “Bell Intruder” output.  Input B can be used for any other alert feature like errors/unsetting & setting of the system

GSM Dialer to WisDom Output Programming

Programming Output on Risco WisDom

Click here for a link to the Risco WisDom Alarm Wiring Manual

The Advent Controls GSM Alarm SMS Sender and Dialer is available from the Advent Controls website by click this link

Friedland Response SA5 Alarm connection to GSM Auto Dialer and SMS Sender

Response SA5 GSM Dialer Wiring Connection using Relay

GSM Dialer Connection using Relay

There are 3 ways of connecting the Advent Controls GSM Alarm Dialer to the Friedland Response SA5/SL5 Wireless Alarm panel.  The easiest way is to make use of the output relay on the internal wiring connection header within the Response panel.  By connecting the GSM dialer’s input to the GND terminal through the alarm’s relay NO (Normally Open) and C (Common) terminals the dialer will start calling and sending SMS messages.

Response SA5 GSM Dialer Wiring

Connection using the wired bell output

When using the relay the panel must be programmed to output a signal using the relay when the alarm sounds.  The following is taken from the manual

Relay settings for connecting the Reponse SL5 Burglar Alarm to a GSM Dialer

Response SL5 Relay Config

Setting the relay to 2s if sufficient.  Thanks to Ray Dunne for the information

The second way makes use of the 12v output designed to drive an external wired bell.  Unusually this terminal goes from a high impedance state to +12V when active (alarm sounding).  This is contrary to the requirements of most wired bells which normally are wired to an open collector transistor output which is pulled to 0v (negative edge) when active.

The dialer can be set to look for the positive edge using the following command:

inlevela open      (Firmware F3.11 and earlier) or,

inlevela positive (Firmware F3.12 and later)

As the output is high impedance when not active it will be pulled high by the dialer input source current.  Therefore a resistor should be wired between the Input A terminal and GND to keep the input at 0v when not active.  The resistor should be 470-2000 ohms.  A 470R resistor is normally included with the dialer for this purpose

Finally it is also possible to wire the integral voice dialer to the input as in the Yale alarm video.  When the alarm goes ‘off the hook’ to dial the numbers the GSM dialer sees a connection between input and GND triggering dialing using the GSM network.

The Advent Controls GSM Alarm Dialer is available here

GSM Gate Opener A3.02

Advent Controls A3.02

Yale HSA6400 Wireless Alarm connection to GSM Alarm Dialer

In the video Michael demonstrates the new Yale HSA compatible GSM dialer and SMS sender.

This is useful where there is no landline connection near the alarm or in the property.  It also gives additional information about individual sensor via email or SMS text.

The Advent Controls GSM Alarm Dialer is available here

SMS Power Fail

SMS Sender for power monitoring applications