Tag Archives: addressable panels

Using the Detector Status Feature

In my last blog, I described Detector Drift Compensation and how addressable detectors compensate for contaminates. In this edition, I would like to continue with this subject and touch upon Detector Status.

Detector Status is a snapshot of the internal values of the addressable detectors on the Silent Knight addressable fire alarm control panels. A popular feature, Detector Status can be uploaded via SKSS software or viewed through the annunciator(s) on the system.


The values shown in Detector Status provide indications of the current state of the detector, detector thresholds, and a history over time of its status. While each value has importance, there are a few specific values that I would like to mention:

  • CAV – Clear Air Value – The current value or state that the detector. This is first value that should be observed and provides the basis in relation to all of the other values
  • MT – Maintenance Threshold – The threshold value that determines when a detector is in a maintenance condition. When the CAV value reaches the MT value, the detector enters a Maintenance Alert condition. When a Maintenance Alert condition occurs on a detector, the panel does not annunciate or report this condition. it is only observed when viewing detector status.
  • TT – Calibration Threshold – The threshold value that determines when a detector is out of calibration. When the CAV value reaches the TT value, the detector enters a Calibration Trouble condition. The panel will annunciate and report this event.
  • ATL – Alarm Threshold – The threshold value that determines when the detector goes into alarm. When the CAV value reaches the ATL value, the detector enters an alarm condition. The panel alarms appropriately.
  • NFPA72 – A Yes or No condition. If No is indicated for a detector, it is out of calibration and not functioning properly. It would need to be cleaned or replaced.

The Detector Status feature is very useful to ensure that the addressable detectors are functioning properly. It can be uploaded and viewed at any time and is U.L. listed for the required Calibrated Smoke Test on systems.

Did you know that SKSS can be downloaded for free from the Silent Knight website? Click here to access the SKSS page and download the latest release.


About the Author
Jack Grones is an Application Engineer with Silent Knight and holds a NICET Level III certification.  Jack joined Silent Knight in 1978 and is responsible for applications and technical support.

Catch the Drift: An Overview of Detector Drift Compensation

Addressable fire alarm control panels provide several enhanced features that are not provided with conventional fire alarm control panels. Several of these features relate specifically to the addressable detectors, such as Drift Compensation, Maintenance Alert, and Calibrated Sensitivity testing. In this installment, we will provide an overview of Drift Compensation.

Let’s look at an addressable detector on a Silent Knight addressable fire alarm control panel. When a detector is installed and programmed, it communicates with the fire alarm control panel to determine a variety of thresholds. These thresholds determine events like trouble and alarm conditions. Once the detector reaches a specific threshold, the trouble or alarm condition would occur. Over time, detectors will accumulate contaminates such as dust, which can cause the sensitivity of the detector to change. In order to keep the sensitivity constant, the detectors adjust their internal thresholds to compensate for these contaminates. This process of adjustment is called Drift Compensation and ensures that detectors have the same sensitivity as when they were first taken out of the box.

detector values - drift compensation

Eventually, detectors will reach a point where they will not be able to compensate for contaminates. When this occurs, a Calibration Trouble will annunciate for the detector or detectors in question. It is important to note that addressable detector chambers can be cleaned. A new detector is not required when it reaches its Calibration threshold. When a clean detector is reinstalled, the panel and detector will communicate to reestablish thresholds and the Calibration Trouble will restore. Aside from keeping a constant sensitivity over time, a key benefit of Drift Compensation is that it dramatically decreases the amount of service calls as the time between cleanings increases.

Did you know the Detector Status upload with SKSS software is a U.L. listed Calibrated Sensitivity Smoke test? Please leave a comment by clicking on the Leave a Reply link above to enter your request.


About the Author
Jack Grones is an Application Engineer with Silent Knight and holds a NICET Level III certification.  Jack joined Silent Knight in 1978 and is responsible for applications and technical support.

No Comment? Not from Silent Knight Customers

?????????By now, I hope you’ve had the opportunity to install or service Silent Knight addressable fire alarm control panels. The versatile IntelliKnight line of panels offers a variety of options and features that save time and money.  We receive an abundance of comments from customers about our products and I would like to share some of the features and options that you find valuable.

A popular feature is the Detector Status option in the Silent Knight addressable panels.  This valuable feature allows users to upload panels via the Silent Knight Software Suite (SKSS – for 5660 panels and 5670 panels) utility and view status of the addressable detectors.  Information that is captured includes:

  • clear air values
  • alarm thresholds
  • maintenance alerts
  • calibration thresholds
  • log of values over time that provide a history of each addressable detector
  • NFPA status of each detector, indicating if it is in compliance with NFPA 72 – the detector status upload is U.L. listed as a calibrated, sensitivity test that can be printed and presented to your AHJ.

You’ve also commented on the remote access capability that the SKSS utility offers.  This option provides the ability to connect with a panel remotely via the telephone lines.  Customers find this option very convenient as a site visit is not required to retrieve information about a specific panel.  You can call a panel from your office to request an upload of the panel program, event history, and detector status.

Increasingly, fire alarm control panels are moving away from telephone lines and utilizing alternate communication methods.  The SK-IP-2UD is an IP communicator that offers remote access capability via the internet to the 5808, 5820XL, and 5820XL-EVS.

Your input is extremely valuable to Silent Knight and our success.  We appreciate the feedback and incorporate as much as we can into our products and services. Do you have suggestions or feedback to share? Enter it below in the comments field.

About the Author
Mark Indgjer is a Product Marketing Manager with Silent Knight.  Mark joined Silent Knight in 1988 and is responsible for new product development, product marketing and much more.  Mark is also NICET Level II certified.