by Will Mason
In 2012 Siemens entered the wireless fire alarm market with a system called Swing. It was on display at Firex in 2014, and it was demonstrated to us on a manufactured display board as seen in the video.
As per the Hyfire and Firecell wireless systems, Swing uses the same hybrid design. A wireless Gateway is hard wired on the detection circuit of a Siemens Addressable fire alarm control panel.
The Swing has Mesh Technology and addresses one of the disadvantages of wireless systems, this being lost communication between a device and the control panel. For example, if the radio communication signal between the detector and the control panel is interrupted or blocked for a prolonged period, a fault will register at the fire alarm control panel.
A Mesh system provides a robust network because if any radio signals cannot reach its destination, the signal is re-routed through the nearest available detector or detectors until it reaches its destination.
However, having each detector continually having to process information and make decisions as to which way the radio signal should be diverted, has its disadvantages, none more so then the added load on the internal battery of the device. So much so, that the system designers are currently unable to produce a wireless sounder that operates using Mesh Technology and can last three years.
The reason for this is, as Sounders are an alarm device, they are monitored more frequently than the detectors and therefore, use more power. Add to this the additional power required for Mesh Technology; it would appear that the two features are too much for the internal device batteries.
Therefore, would you really consider installing the Swing wireless system if you have to hard wire the Sounders? For me, this is not viable, as the whole point of opting for a wireless system is not to have to install any cables.
The only use I can see for this system as it currently stands is if a Siemens wired addressable system requires some additional detectors in an area that is difficult to wire.
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