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interestedamateur

GT490X fault - no repair apparently possible

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Good day All,

 

I am a user, rather than an installer, but this situation will probably interest many installers as well.

 

I had an alarm system installed by a reputable local company in 1991 and never had a problem.  In December 2012, I moved house and naturally turned to them for a new intruder system.  (They had actually been taken over by a larger company by then, but the local company was still "an independent operating division".)  A system was duly installed and all appeared to be fine until earlier this year when it suddenly occurred to me to ask the service engineer on his annual visit if he had tested the speech dialler function, which would call my mobile to alert me to any triggering.  He did not know that I had a speech dialler installed ("bit hard to spot unless you are looking for it") but he then checked it and found it was not working.  Given what he had said about not knowing it was installed, it appeared odds-on that it had not been checked since the first annual service in late 2013.  He then informed me that the control panel, a GT490X, was no longer being installed so repair was not possible and the replacement control panel they now used would not work with the Vocom speech dialler that was installed.  So, a big, and costly, reinstall to restore the speech dialler function.  In subsequent exchanges with the company, they stated that their equipment supplier had ceased to make the GT490X available in 2014.   I asked if the new panel had any kind of continuity of service guarantee from their supplier and they cheerfully said 20 years, so no problem.

 

This raises a huge question.  Should a company, as part of its due diligence to customers, have obtained an assurance from its supplier that its products would be available / maintainable  for a certain period before continuing to install a particular type of control panel?  My installation became unrepairable within two years of being installed, which to me appears to be the result of a very bad practice somewhere along the line.  If their relationship with their supplier was what we would hope was a normal commercial one; i.e. trust and willing disclosure of plans, then this situation - a drop-dead ending of supply and support - simply should not have arisen.

 

So, I would be grateful for any comment.  I would especially like to know if the GT490X really did become generally unavailable during 2014, or might my installer simply have decided to change its product offerings for its own commercial benefit; and blow the customer?

 

Thanks very much!

 

Cheers,

 

IA  

 

 

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Your installer appears to nolonger support your product, the staff that installed 6 yrs could well have moved on, retired or died..

 

How do you expect the co. to offer continued support for your install when you haven't paid them any income in a number of yrs?

 

Should you be unhappy with this you simply find a different service provider who can support your system

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I actually pay an annual fee for support  (the company has had thousands from me over the decades) and they check out the system (takes 30 minutes) once each year.  So, I did not think it was unreasonable to expect a degree of consideration when it came to an expensive system becoming unrepairable in less than two years.  (If you bought a fridge - or even a car - and it broke down when just out of warranty, I think you would be most unhappy if the engineer told you that no spare parts were to be had; so just buy a new one.)  If you do have any system installed, you should expect to be able to repair if for a good many years, not just be told to replace it.

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I read it as you've had it 4 years? not a long time in real terms but what type of maintenance contract do you have with the maintenance company?

 

Sadly the sale of goods act offers no protection for lifecycle of supply, nor is there any legislation that I'm aware of.

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4 hours ago, interestedamateur said:

Good day All,

 

I am a user, rather than an installer, but this situation will probably interest many installers as well.

 

I had an alarm system installed by a reputable local company in 1991 and never had a problem.  In December 2012, I moved house and naturally turned to them for a new intruder system.  (They had actually been taken over by a larger company by then, but the local company was still "an independent operating division".)  A system was duly installed and all appeared to be fine until earlier this year when it suddenly occurred to me to ask the service engineer on his annual visit if he had tested the speech dialler function, which would call my mobile to alert me to any triggering.  He did not know that I had a speech dialler installed ("bit hard to spot unless you are looking for it") but he then checked it and found it was not working.  Given what he had said about not knowing it was installed, it appeared odds-on that it had not been checked since the first annual service in late 2013.  He then informed me that the control panel, a GT490X, was no longer being installed so repair was not possible and the replacement control panel they now used would not work with the Vocom speech dialler that was installed.  So, a big, and costly, reinstall to restore the speech dialler function.  In subsequent exchanges with the company, they stated that their equipment supplier had ceased to make the GT490X available in 2014.   I asked if the new panel had any kind of continuity of service guarantee from their supplier and they cheerfully said 20 years, so no problem.

 

This raises a huge question.  Should a company, as part of its due diligence to customers, have obtained an assurance from its supplier that its products would be available / maintainable  for a certain period before continuing to install a particular type of control panel?  My installation became unrepairable within two years of being installed, which to me appears to be the result of a very bad practice somewhere along the line.  If their relationship with their supplier was what we would hope was a normal commercial one; i.e. trust and willing disclosure of plans, then this situation - a drop-dead ending of supply and support - simply should not have arisen.

 

So, I would be grateful for any comment.  I would especially like to know if the GT490X really did become generally unavailable during 2014, or might my installer simply have decided to change its product offerings for its own commercial benefit; and blow the customer?

 

Thanks very much!

 

Cheers,

 

IA  

 

 

Why can't the dialler work either panel?

 

I assume the panel works otherwise 

 

House basher would add a dialler for £200 

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Thanks for recent replies - much appreciated.

 

An additional clarification.  The company says they cannot (will not?) supply a replacement GT490X because they don't use them anymore.   (Actually, I now believe Risco still supply these - am trying to confirm.)  I do not know if the Vocom speech Dialler contained in the panel can be mended as an individual component or not, but if not, then replacing the GT490X with another one (no matter how annoying this would be) would still be preferable to having to install the new panel the company now supplies - because the existing wireless receiver that handles some remote sensors will not talk to the new control panel.  So, to regain the dialler function there are two technical options:

 

a. The company sources a replacement GT490X panel with its Vocom facility - clearly the quickest and easiest option, and the one I think they should do for a customer of nearly 30 years standing.

b. The company installs its new (and more expensive) panel with its version of speech dialler; and also replaces the wireless receiver and the remote sensors that go with it.   This is now getting a bit pricey.

 

It may be that the best answer is to cast off the existing installer/maintainer and get another firm to install a replacement GT490X and maintain it from now on.

 

Rather annoying to have to do that though - hence my quest for other people's opinions on the situation.

 

Cheers!

 

IA

 

 

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1 hour ago, norman said:

I read it as you've had it 4 years? not a long time in real terms but what type of maintenance contract do you have with the maintenance company?

?

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System was installed in Dec 2012, but the control panel was dropped from the supplier's product line during 2014 - so I had perhaps just 18 months  during which a failure could have been repaired with the original type of equipment - I think they should have arranged for an extension of the capability of repair for existing customers with that type of kit.  The dialler fault showed up in spring 2018, but could have failed any time after mid-2013 (and quite possibly during the warranty period...) which was the only time it was triggered for real.  The agreement was for an annual maintenance visit - I don't recall an option for free replacement of failed items being offered; does any installer dare to offer that?  

 

If they are now happy to offer repair capability of the new control panels for 20 years, why did they not arrange at least 10 years for the old kit when I had it installed?!

 

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Just out of interest why do they not offer to fit a separate dialler to your existing panel?  Sorry if I missed the reason in a prior post.

We have all systems on daillers down as audible only, so our engineers would not necessarily know they are there. However, we set the alarm and set it off as part of the service visit and therefore we would expect the customer to say that they didnt get a call.

 

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Just to add to my previous post I would in your shoes look ask for a GSM dialler as PSTN lines are to be all cancelled in favor of SIP by 2025 so you could be looking for a new form of signalling in a couple of years anyway.

 

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Yes, I wish they had read their own documentation and clocked what was installed at my house before turning up for the annual check.

 

I had not thought to ask them about carrying out an actual connection to my mobile - just assumed they checked the generation of tones - careless of me... 

 

Would a GSM dialler not require a monthly contract?  Or is there a special arrangement for alarm and similar systems?

 

Can you enlarge on the PSTN cancellation?  If all voice trunk comms goes over to SIP (which is a logical step...) will we not still have a twisted pair to our houses using traditional voice protocols between the house and the local exchange?  (I just can't see BT giving each PSTN line subscriber a new SIP phone to replace the present array of handsets... )

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BT will be providing new phones to everyone as I understand it (I already have SIP at home and at work) https://news.openreach.co.uk/pressreleases/openreach-to-consult-communication-provider-customers-on-switch-to-digital-phone-services-by-2025-2507133

 

We also have customers that have already been changed over here in Sussex on IP/GSM signalling, thats all we are installing now no PSTN  

 

As a rule we dont sell diallers so for us they are an exception to the rule, ideally you should be walk testing and checking your alarm works regularly anyway. Electronics has a habit of going wrong and unless you check it how are you going to know if it works. But like most things people never do, how many people check there lights work before driving their car.

 

There is a "Special Services" port on their hub which is meant for diallers and digis, but how well that will work, and what happens if the power is cut is a bit sketchy.

GSM works on a PAYG SIM or some companies do have deals with service providers, if you search around you can get some really good SIM only contract deals 

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1 hour ago, interestedamateur said:

Yes, I wish they had read their own documentation and clocked what was installed at my house before turning up for the annual check.

 

I had not thought to ask them about carrying out an actual connection to my mobile - just assumed they checked the generation of tones - careless of me... 

 

Would a GSM dialler not require a monthly contract?  Or is there a special arrangement for alarm and similar systems?

 

Can you enlarge on the PSTN cancellation?  If all voice trunk comms goes over to SIP (which is a logical step...) will we not still have a twisted pair to our houses using traditional voice protocols between the house and the local exchange?  (I just can't see BT giving each PSTN line subscriber a new SIP phone to replace the present array of handsets... )

Listen dude 

 

Even if the existing dialler doesn't work you can get an external connect to bell output and your done , GSM payasyou or monthly sin of your choice

 

Or rip thing out and get something more upto date as app systems although cost initially only £x per month approx 

 

All long winded for no reason 

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, interestedamateur said:

If they are now happy to offer repair capability of the new control panels for 20 years,

 

If it sounds too good to be true....

 

In twenty yrs are they going to be in business?

 

Is the manufacturer of their controls going to be in business?

 

Is the EN standard of the panels & there detection devices going to change so devices produced now are still permitted in 20yrs time....

 

Pass experience tells me apart from new old stock on ebay 20yrs is very long time in alarms

 

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4 hours ago, MrHappy said:

Pass experience tells me apart from new old stock on ebay 20yrs is very long time in alarms anything electrical

 

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Hi Al,,

 

Thanks very much for all your comments and advice - and that BT changeover to full digital by 2025 made especially interesting reading - ta!

 

Adding a dialler to the current control panel sounds good - will look at the insurance implications; they like a "professionally maintained" system...

 

Best to all,

 

IA

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bear in mind a dialled isn't signalling. And as you have found out, the path isn't popped and you don't know if its working. I personally hate diallers. Better to use even a digi or sim based device that is polled

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4 hours ago, interestedamateur said:

Hi Al,,

 

Thanks very much for all your comments and advice - and that BT changeover to full digital by 2025 made especially interesting reading - ta!

 

Adding a dialler to the current control panel sounds good - will look at the insurance implications; they like a "professionally maintained" system...

 

Best to all,

 

IA

Insurance is all nonsense , you don't set they don't pay , you don't maintain they don't pay 

 

All false that only insurance approved installers are best , you only really need that for police response nothing else , 

 

Try and get installer who is recommended plenty of companies around  

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I have never seen a vocomm have a fault on a 490X panel. Has it ever worked since install and did the engineer do checks on the panel and phone socket side?

 

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45 minutes ago, Hillbilly said:

I have never seen a vocomm have a fault on a 490X panel. Has it ever worked since install and did the engineer do checks on the panel and phone socket side?

 

Some wont work without a BB filter........ thats a point actually IA does the line have broadband?

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Yes, the dialler was triggered about 6 months after installation; I left a window open a couple of inches, which was enough to make the curtains sway and the movement was picked up, so I got the call on my mobile.  

 

I was more careful after that, but just assumed the dial function was checked on each annual visit. 

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4 hours ago, PeterJames said:

Some wont work without a BB filter........ thats a point actually IA does the line have broadband?

Rare though 

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