Tag Archives: skss

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.

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 www.silentknight.com. 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 www.silentknight.com.

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. ​

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.