Category Archives: Brian Brownell

Silent Knight Tech-Ed Training in 2016

Welcome to 2016! I hope you had a wonderful holiday season. We are happy to announce that schedule for the first half of 2016 is now available on our website at Once on our website, click on Training and select Schedule.

Tech-Ed Knight School is our popular instructor-led training course. This comprehensive course is designed for technicians who work on Silent Knight IntelliKnight® fire systems. The 3-day class will introduce technicians to system installation, SLC devices, emergency communication systems ECS, programming, and troubleshooting using the SKSS Software Suite. Hands-on exercises will solidify the learning experience. It is very important to mention that all attendees will receive continuing education credits (CEUs) for participating along with proof of course completion.

The Tech-Ed Knight School course covers:

  • 5600 FACP
  • Integrating CO and Emergency Communication Systems into Fire Alarm Systems
  • Silent Knight Selection Tool (SKST)
  • Installation of Addressable FACP
  • Understanding the Benefits of Addressable Technology
  • Signaling Line Circuit for SK Series Device
  • Programming and troubleshooting
  • Silent Knight Software Suite (SKSS)
  • Upload Event History and Detector Status
  • Wiring and hands-on exercises of Emergency Communication System
  • Hands-on SKSS programming exercises

Having conducted many courses, I can tell you that the value of these 3 days is immense and well worth your time. If you haven’t attended a Silent Knight training course, please consider doing so. If you have attended a training course, please refer it to someone you know and consider attending again.

Did you know that Silent Knight offers custom training? Please contact the Silent Knight training department for further details on how you can conduct a course at your office or location. Click here to view the latest training schedule.


About the Author
Brian Brownell joined Silent Knight as a Technical Trainer in 2011 and has worked within the fire alarm industry for 30 years.​

Why Training is a Must in the Fire Alarm Industry

As a trainer for Silent Knight, I know how important training is in this business. I also appreciate how essential it is to keep pace with product updates, product releases, and trends in the fire alarm and life safety industry.

Our responsibility is to ensure that people who attend Silent Knight training classes receive the best learning experience as possible. Our training department works closely with Engineering and Product Management to guarantee that our training modules and product demonstration equipment are current. We check equipment after each training session to confirm everything is in working order, and we also communicate with each other to find out what went well and how the experience could improve.

fire-alarm-industry-trainingA key function of a trainer in the fire alarm business is to follow the industry. Training classes are Silent Knight product-specific, but topics such as code, industry products, and trends are prevalent throughout our sessions to provide well-rounded classes. Over the years it has been proven that one of the best resources for industry information is you, the class participant. There is a wealth of knowledge and experience in every training session we conduct, which is why you will find substantial class participation. This is what takes our training to the next level. In fact, it is not uncommon for a trainer/trainee working relationship to form beyond the training class.

Product training is critical in our line of business because the ultimate goal is life safety. Preparing and offering training is a responsibility we take seriously because understanding code and requirements, using the right equipment, and knowing how to install it ensures optimal solutions to save lives.

Let us know your thoughts on training by clicking on the Leave a Reply link above to enter your request. Click here to visit the Silent Knight training page.


About the Author
Brian Brownell joined Silent Knight as a Technical Trainer in 2011 and has worked within the fire alarm industry for 30 years.​

How To Program Alarm Verification in the IntelliKnight Panels

Alarm Verification is a useful feature used in aiding the reduction of false alarms related to smoke detectors .

The 2013 edition of NFPA 72 defines Alarm Verification as ”A feature of automatic fire detection detectorand alarm systems to reduce unwanted alarms wherein smoke detectors report alarm conditions for a minimum period of time, or confirm alarm conditions within a given time period after being reset, in order to be accepted as a valid alarm initiation signal.

When a detector enters alarm verification in the Silent Knight IntelliKnight series of panels, a countdown timer begins. If a second condition is detected after the countdown, the panel will alarm. If a second condition is not detected after the countdown, the panel remains in normal condition.

To program this feature in the SKSS up/download software, open your account file and click on the General Parameters tab . The middle column just below System Aux 2 allows you enter the alarm verification time in seconds. The default is 60 seconds, which is the code requirement, however the programmable time can be from 1 to 250 seconds. The next step is to define the zone the detector is assigned to as an Alarm Verification zone type. This is accomplished in the Input Zones tab. In the Input Zones Characteristics section highlight the cell under the Dect.Char column that needs to be selected as Alarm Verification. The default selection is 1 Cnt. Right mouse click and select Alarm Verification. Any addressable detector in that zone will now operate as Alarm Verification.

It should be noted that Alarm Verification is only effective for detectors. Contact devices such as pulls stations, waterflow devices, supervisory switches, etc. are one count and will place the panel into an event when activated. Also, the alarm verification sequence is ignored if the zone is already in alarm. If a second detector, pull station or water flow goes into an alarm it will override the alarm verification and activate a general alarm.


About the Author
Brian Brownell joined Silent Knight as a Technical Trainer in 2011 and has worked within the fire alarm industry for 30 years.​

Are You Up-to-Date On Your SKSS Software?

As Silent Knight releases new and updated fire alarm panel versions throughout the year, the latest version of SKSS up/downloading software is required to properly communicate to the panels. To verify the version of software you have, open SKSS, click on Help above the tool bar, then select About SKSS. The About SKSS dialog box will display the current version of SKSS. The current version of SKSS is 3.64. with the latest panel version being 15.

SKSS Image

One indication that your SKSS is not updated to the latest version are Model Not Supported errors when attempting to up or download a panel. This signifies that the software cannot recognize the panel version because it is newer than what the software will support.

Another way to verify your software version is with the Translate feature. The Translate option allows configurations to be saved in a version that matches the panel version. For example, if you try downloading a version 14 file to a version 15 panel, a Model Mismatch error will occur. You can Translate the version 14 configuration to version 15 and then successfully download to the version 15 panel. If you attempt to translate from a version 14 to a version 15 and version 15 is not an option, it would indicate that your SKSS is not up to date.

To check panel versions supported, open a panel configuration, select File at the top of the page and put your mouse pointer on Translate. A number box will appear. This number box indicates the version of panels SKSS currently supports.

If you need to update your SKSS, visit our website at From the Home page, click on the Support tab and select 5660 Up/Downloading Software. Click on the Downloads tab and you will see a link to download a zip file. I find it convenient to save the zip file on your desktop where it is easy to locate and install. If SKSS is currently installed, it is recommended that you uninstall it first before installing the latest version. Ensure you backup your SKSS configuration files before uninstalling previous versions.

Have questions? Technical Support is available to help, just give them a call: 800-446-6444!


About the Author
Brian Brownell joined Silent Knight as a Technical Trainer in 2011 and has worked within the fire alarm industry for 30 years.​

How To: Installing the Internal Amp (EVS-INT50W)

We are excited about a new product release for the 5820XL-EVS family.  The EVS-INT50W is a 50 watt, single speaker circuit amplifier.  What makes this amplifier unique is its ability to be mounted and housed in the 5820XL-EVS cabinet.  This new amplifier mounts on the standoffs where 5815XL point expanders are normally mounted, thus saving valuable wall space.Internal Amp install

The EVS-INT50W requires a total of 3 pairs of wires for installation: 2 for the 24 VDC power, 2 for the SBUS data and 2 for the VBUS.

  • 24 VDC constant power can be obtained from any of the 6 Flexput™ circuits programmed as constant auxiliary power. Eliminating an additional AC circuit and backup batteries to power the amplifier saves time and money.
  • The EVS-INT50W is an intelligent device requiring SBUS wiring to the 5820XL board assembly. The A and B terminals on the amplifier will wire to the SBUS Out A and B terminals on the 5820XL.
  • The amplifier requires a VBUS (Voice BUS) connection to the VCM (Voice Command Module) located on the dead front door of the 5820XL-EVS cabinet. The VBUS carries the recorded voice messages and microphone to the amplifier.  The 2 wire VBUS runs from the VBUS out on the VCM to the VBUS terminals on the amplifier.  Since the VBUS is an audio circuit, shielded wire is recommended.
  • Using shielded wire, connect the speaker circuit to the Speaker Out terminals on the amplifier. The speaker circuit requires a 15K end of line resistor.  There is an option to wire the speaker circuit as Class A.  In this case, an end of line resistor is not required and the shielded pair would return to the Speaker In terminals on the amplifier from the last device on the circuit.

Before applying power, use the dipswitches on the EVS-INT50W to set the address.  You will then need to program the EVS-INT50W into the 5820XL-EVS, by following these steps:

  • Open your program file in SKSS and click on the “System” tab. Under “Module”, right mouse click and select “Add”.  The “Add Module” window will appear and you will scroll down to highlight the EVS-INT50W voice amplifier.  Select “OK” and ensure that the ID of the module matches the ID set with the dipswitches.
  • Select the “Output Groups” tab. Scroll down to Module 34 and right click on the Type box across from Flexput™ circuit you want to use for constant auxiliary power.  Select the “Aux. Power” bullet and ensure that “Constant” is selected in the drop down.  Save the configuration and download to the panel.

You have successfully installed the EVS-INT50W internal amplifier!

The EVS-INT50W works with version 15 of the 5820XL-EVS and version 3.64 of SKSS.  Download SKSS for free and check out our new EVS-INT50W video at

You can also click the link to download the EVS-INT50W sell sheet.

About the Author
Brian Brownell joined Honeywell in 2011 and brings 30 years of fire alarm industry expertise to his current role as a Technical Trainer for Silent Knight. ​