I had a faulty fire alarm panel recently. When I contacted the manufacturer they asked me to return the base card for repair.

I did this; and when it came back from them all the green terminal blocks which are used to connect cables in had been removed. Luckily I had just enough to finish the job but I had to cannibalise my programming lead.

Luckily in my workshop I have a dead fire panel with most of the connectors still in the box so I was able to perform a repair. I’ve since hot glued the connectors to try and give them a little strain relief.

The afternoon finished with horrible rain. It’s now absolutely throwing it down and we have possible rain or snow forecast for tomorrow.


Idiots shouldn’t be touching fire alarm panels.

Today’s idiot had tried moving devices into different zones on an Advanced 4000 series using the on screen prompts rather than by plugging in a laptop.

He’d then realised it was going to take in excess of 12 hours and quoted as such.

I completed the job in 2 hours, charged them a quarter of his bill, and even sorted the text on all the zones and devices so it was no longer in CAPSLOCKOVISION. And as a final coup de grace I put my own business logo on there, just to show the idiot that I’d done it right.

He still has the contact until next May, but I don’t think he’ll keep it after I showed the building management the “service records” for the last service which showed he had tested just one device and he’d not actually logged into the commissioning admin level (required by the service manual) to check the loop draw and resistance readings are within spec.

Exploding panels

When you install a fire alarm, get virtually all the way though installation, then the loop just disappears and it overheats.

Yes. That. It might not have helped that a few devices have been waterlogged and had isolators triggering.

12 years ago…

We’ve had to do a full replace on a fire alarm panel due to obsolescence. The parts are very difficult to obtain and the support from the manufacturer is, how shall I say, piss poor.

We’ve had to move a few quote around at the back of the panel due to things being repositioned inside it, although luckily we covered over the exposed wiring in the room behind with a simple wooden panel.

This is what we found when we removed the panel!

Simon, in case you’re wondering, was this guy…

He was my apprentice in very different times. He helped me run quite a lot of rolls of cable to create this system back in 2007.
We signed the update, although I’m not proud of that wiring behind the panel, but as I said, it’s because the locations of the holes have changed on the new system.

It’s strange and fishy

I’ve joined a third band! It was about a month ago when it happened but it started with a message and phonecall out of the blue… And ten minutes later I’m in a band!

A band I’ve followed for a long time have asked me to join. I feel very honoured, especially with how at the end of Manning I felt really low and quite depressed.

Last week’s FIA course in Bolton gave me the first chance to have a band meeting with them. I was staying in a hotel…

Doing a course…

Facing a boring night ahead… Until I mentioned to the guys about it. They couldn’t wait.

At about 7 they arrived at the hotel.

We drunk… ate… and made merry.

Gigs and rehearsals were discussed, and I officially became the newest member of the band Strangefish