Edition 7


Apollo Loop-Powered Beacon

Hochiki CHQ-AB

Addressable Loop Beacon Devices

The visual indication of alarm is a recognised solution to supplement audible alarms in areas where high ambient noises are present.

In some cases visual alarms are used as the only indication of alarm, for example in hospital operating theatres or television studios.

Consideration of fire alarm warnings for people with impaired hearing is now commonplace in the UK, in particular as a result of the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA).

Clauses 17 and 18 of BS5839 part 1:2002 give recommendations regarding the use of visual alarm signals on fire detection and fire alarm systems installed in the UK.

Both Apollo and Hochiki produce low current addressable visual alarm indication devices (Loop Beacons). These devices are connected to the detection loop circuit and derive their power source and control data from the control panel. Loop beacons may also be installed on to a base sounder to provide an audio-visual indication of alarm.

Using LED technology, these Loop Beacons are designed to emulate the flash pattern of the traditional Xenon beacons, but at a fraction of the current consumption.

The current range of Kentec Syncro and Solo2 control panels fully support Loop Beacon devices. However, as these are alarm devices, consideration should be given to the loop current drawn by these units when operated.

The maximum number of loop beacons that may be fitted to each control panel loop is given in the following table.

Device Type
Solo 2
(max per panel)
(max per loop)
Loop powered beacon (3mA)
Integrated sounder beacon (8mA)
CHQ-AB Loop beacon (5mA)

Note: This assumes that no other devices are fitted on the loop. Please refer to the Apollo and Hochiki loop calculator applications to verify your system design wherever possible.


Syncro Panel

Syncro AUTOLEARN facility

During the commissioning process of new system installations, the Autolearn facility is used to wipe ALL the existing configuration information (including device text and zone information) and to learn all loop and expansion devices connected to the Syncro panel.

It is also necessary to auto learn the Syncro panel when adding a network card to the panel or when changing the address of the panel on the Syncro network.

However, the Auto Learn facility should be used with caution, in particular if the panel has already been configured, as all previous configuration information will be erased and cannot be recovered after the Autolearn sequence is completed.

When any new detection devices are added to a Kentec Syncro control panel, the panel will automatically identify these devices and will report them as an “Unexpected Device”. It is then possible to manually add these devices to the panel configuration either by the Access level 3 menu or by the Loop Explorer configuration software application. Therefore, it is not necessary to use the Autolearn facility on panels that have already been commissioned or when making amendments to existing panel configurations

The normal procedure to auto learn the Syncro control panel is to use the Access Level 3 "Edit Configuration" menu, then select the "Auto Learn" sub-menu option.

In some cases it is desirable to start the Auto Learn process as soon as power is applied to the control panel, rather than waiting for the panel to initialise completely (to allow access to the menu option).
A "short cut" has been provided on the Syncro to permit such an option, by using the following procedure at any time.

Syncro Auto-Learn Shortcut
1) If fitted, turn on the internal Write Enable switch

2) On the front of the Syncro panel, press and hold the "Function 2" and "Enter" buttons

3) Inside the panel, press and release the "SW2 - Reset" button

4) Continue to hold the Function 2 and Enter buttons until the "Re-initialising" message is shown on the Syncro display

5) Release the Function 2 and Enter buttons. Turn off the write enable switch (if fitted).

The Syncro Focus / Focus+ repeaters also have a short cut to force them to auto learn.
This is necessary when adding these products to the network, to set them to the correct address and to allow them to identify all other panels on the network

Syncro Focus / Focus+ Auto-Learn Shortcut
1) On the front of the Focus / Focus+ repeater, press and hold the "More Fires" and "More Events" buttons

2) Inside the Focus panel, press and release the "CPU Reset" button

3) Continue to hold the "More Fires" and "More Events" buttons until the "Auto Learning" message is shown on the Focus display

4) Release the "More Fires" and "More Events" buttons

When the autolearn is complete, the Focus display will revert to the Fire System Normal message.

If you feel a colleague may benefit from receiving In the Technical Loop they can be registered for their own future copy by clicking the following link.

Kentec Electronics Ltd.
Tel: +44 (0)1322 222121 Fax: +44(0)1322 291794