Edition 46
October 2010

Recommendations for commissioning networked systems

The Syncro control panel range can be used to satisfy many different customer requirements, from small sites which operate on a “general alarm” strategy though to larger complex networked systems with many cause and effects for sounder patterns and plant control.

As the size and complexity of the system increases, the need for a disciplined approach to the installation and commissioning of the system becomes more prevalent.

Whilst contractual pressures may sometimes prevent an organised approach to installing and commissioning a large networked system, we believe the recommendations given below can result in a more efficient and hopefully faster route to completion.

Before networking the panels together

1. Ensure each panel has its network card fitted and configured to the final address that it will be set to when networked.

2. Confirm that ALL panels on the network have the same firmware version installed – panels with different firmware versions must not be networked.

3. Ensure that all detection loop cables have been thoroughly tested and all detection devices addressed in accordance with the site installation drawings.

4. Install the field cables into the panel in accordance with the Syncro Installation manual. Ensure that the drain wires are maintained throughout the full length of the circuit and these are bonded to earth at the panel.

5. Use the appropriate detection device manufacturers “Loop Calculator” application to verify that the number of devices and loop cable lengths are within specification.

6. Autolearn the control panel with all detection devices and any ancillary cards fitted.

7. Transfer the configuration to the Loop Explorer program and confirm that the devices detected during the Autolearn sequence match the devices physically installed on the site.

8. Clear any installation errors (double address faults, missing devices, addressing errors, monitored input / output circuit faults) to ensure that the panel “stand alone” has a minimal number of events present.

9. When all device faults have been cleared, run the Syncro “Loop Data Test” function (Access Level 3 menu) to evaluate the loop signalling quality. The number of “Bad” polls should be less than 1% of the number of “Good” polls. If there is a high ratio of Bad polls then this should be investigated and resolved.

10. Option - use the Q-Config facility in the Loop Explorer program to add location messages and zone allocations to the detection devices. This will assist in locating problematic devices during the soak period.

At this stage, each panel will be reporting a network open circuit fault and may also be reporting missing panels if the network configuration file has been loaded into the panels. Typically no cause and effects logic would be included in the panels at this stage.

Networking the panels

When all panels on the network have been individually commissioned and soak tested, they are then ready to be networked together.

1. Test the network cables to ensure there are no cable faults present

2. Terminate the network cables in the control a panel, ensuring the “Net Out” of one panel is connected to the “Net In” of the next.

3. To ensure network data security, all panels should be connected in a network data loop using a 2 core cable wired in a diverse route, so that data out and return cables are not adjacent to each other.

4. Check the red and green “data out” and “data in” indicators on each net card are illuminated.

5. If each panel has not been programmed with the network configuration file, a number of “Unexpected panel” faults will be given for the new panels connected to each panel. This can be cleared by either Autolearning each panel or by loading the network configuration file to all panels.

6. When all panels are connected, check the network response. This is best performed by using the “View Devices” menu then using the “Up” arrow to scroll between the panels on the network. It should be possible to scroll through the panels at a rate of 1 panel / second. You should not see the “please wait” message on the screen for any length of time.

7. Check that there are no “Network open / short circuit” faults, nor “Network Communication Fault” or “Network Comms Timeout” fault reported. These are indicators of problematic data transfer between panels.

8. At this stage, the completed configuration file with cause and effects, device locations, zone allocations etc can be transferred to all panels and the commissioning completed.

9. We recommend that all panels always have the same configuration file loaded. On large systems it is also good practice to leave a copy of the current configuration file on site

This strategy avoids an excessive amount of fault messages being reported on the networked system as result of site specific issues. High numbers of fault messages can cause confusion to the commissioning engineer / end user and also has a direct effect on the ability of the network to pass these messages to all panels.
Resolving the faults in single panels before they are networked reduces the number of faults to more manageable quantities.

Download Syncro Manual:
Download Syncro AS Manual:
Download Syncro Networking Manual:
Download Apollo Loop Calculator:
Download Hochiki Loop Calculator:

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