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What is DTMF?

Dual-tone multi-frequency

The tones that are heard when you press the buttons on a touch-tone telephone and allows you to send data via PSTN (analogue telephone line). DTMF assigns a specific frequency (consisting of two separate tones) to each key. This is also the system that most emergency analogue telephones use to transfer information e.g., background call information.

What does GSM and DCP mean?

GSM stands for Global System for Mobile Communication. The DCP stands for Digital Communication Platform and combines the GSM with the lift emergency telephone and machine to machine gateway.

The DCP has a power source and one internal battery capable to power a limited number of CAN devices (200mA max). When there are a number of CAN devices connected to the DCP it is necessary to add an additional power supply. As a rule of thumb, when a CAN splitter is needed, an extra power source may be required.

A GSM unit is voice only, whereas GPRS is voice and data.

What is IP?

Internet Protocol. A packet-based protocol for delivering data across networks.

What is CANbus?

CANbus (Controller Area Network) is a vehicle bus standard designed to allow smart devices (or nodes) to communicate. Designed by Robert Bosch back in the 80’s, it was initially used by car manufacturers.

The bus is based in a serial transmission (digital data is sent bit by bit over time) using a differential voltage across a single pair of wires.

To learn more about CANbus, you can read our insights article: What is CANbus?

CAN does not send large blocks of data point-to-point from node A to node B. CAN network sends many short messages which are broadcast to the entire network.

All nodes can transmit information to other nodes in the same bus and any node can be transmitter or receiver.

There are many reasons why we use CANbus at MEMCO by AVIRE:

•        Low cost: Devices/nodes communicate via a single CAN interface not through direct analogue signal lines, therefore, reducing wiring errors and cost.

•        Robust: The system has a robust physical layer, designed for high noise and other challenging environments.

•        Centralised: The CAN bus system allows for central error diagnosis and configuration across all devices/nodes

•        Flexible CAN messages are prioritised via IDs so that the highest priority IDs are non-interrupted.

There are some inherent limitations with CANbus, and these include the following:

•        A maximum number of nodes is not specified for the network but typically it supports up to 64 nodes due to electrical loading.

•        Undesirable interactions between nodes can occur where one node talks and can disturb the other nodes.

•        The network needs to follow a certain architecture to achieve the best results.

•        In order to reduce signal integrity issues such as reflections, CAN bus should be properly terminated at both the ends with resistors.

•        There is also a limitation of speed of data transmission when the distance is increased. At 200mts the speed is limited to 200Kbps.

What are the key things to consider in the CANbus architecture?

There are a couple of key factors you need to consider when using a CANbus protocol to ensure that interference is kept to a minimum.

•        The endpoints MUST have the termination resistor.

•        All other devices must be closer than 30cm to the main ‘BUS’.

What is the typical architecture of the Digital Communication Platform (DCP) platform on the CANbus?

Typically, in the AVIRE Ecosystem, the DCP is one endpoint located in the machine Room and the other is the DAU located in the car. All other devices must be attached in parallel to the CANBus as shown in the diagram below.

To make life easier, all of our CAN devices have a CAN-IN and CAN-OUT terminal. This ensures that every node is close to the main bus (< 30cm). This is illustrated in the diagram below.

How can you identify the end point in an AVIRE Ecosystem?

When more than one lift shares a Digital Communication Platform (DCP), the “endpoints” can be more difficult to identify. AVIRE’s CAN devices have ‘optional’ terminator resistors which can be set using the SW1 switch on the device as shown below. Please refer to the individual product installation guides (including Lift Hawk, Navbox and Connex-02) for more information.

How can you identify the end point in an AVIRE Ecosystem?

When more than one lift shares a Digital Communication Platform (DCP), the “endpoints” can be more difficult to identify. AVIRE’s CAN devices have ‘optional’ terminator resistors which can be set using the SW1 switch on the device as shown below. Please refer to the individual product installation guides (including Lift Hawk, Navbox and Connex-02) for more information.

What is a CANbus splitter?

A CANbus splitter is a Avire device can be used to divide the CAN line.

When do I need a CANbus splitter?

A CANbus splitter is required when you have multiple devices that need to be connected to the Digital Communication Platform (DCP). A CANbus splitter has 5 CAN ports and any data present in one CAN port is replicated by the CAN Splitter to all other CAN busses. Each CAN port is an endpoint with its own resistor as shown in the diagram below.

Architect example: CANbus Splitter used on a Duplex Lift installation.

Is the DCP (Digital Communication Platform) just a Gateway GSM?

No, The DCP has two functions, a telephone line for the Memcom Autodialler or when used with the Avire ECO system CANbus range (DAU/PIT) the DCP can be used as a Autodialler to create your full emergency telephone system.

Where is the Digital Communication Platform (DCP)installed?

We advise that the DCP is installed where signal strength is the greatest either in a machine room or at the top of the lift shaft. In cases where signal strength is strong throughout the lift shaft then in some cases the DCP can be installed on top of the lift car. If you have any doubts regarding the signal strength, the DCP signal tester should be used before securing the unit.

How do we use the DCP built in signal tester?

With the Antenna and sim connected power the device with the internal battery until DCP LED’s status are correctly shown after 2 mins, then switch the SW1 dip switch 1 to ON (Default: OFF). Once you’ve checked that location is acceptable then turn SW1 to OFF and fasten into position. In cases where the DCP is installed on top of the lift car ensure that unit is checked at every floor level to see if the installation is suitable for a top of car mounting.

How many lifts can a Digital Communication Platform (DCP) be used as part of the ECO system?  

It is possible to use one DCP on a bank of four lifts max. (CANbus address will need to be selected through the device)

How do I program the Digital Communication Platform (DCP)?

You can program the DCP in a variety of ways using the Avire HUB, SMS or via an analogue Handset plugged through the DCP telephone port (please see DCP installation guide for more details)

The easiest option is by first by configuring APN setting through SMS text message and then using the AVIRE HUB to complete the configuration process.

Can any other GSM gateway be used on the Avire CANbus line, if not then why?

No. The Avire DCP is purpose built, designed to work with the Avire CANbus devices.

Should I use twisted pair cables for the ecosystem installation?

In any installation, a cable can act as an antenna and the noise on the cable increases with the increased length of the cable and with the increased enclosed area of the cables. Shorter cables and the closer the wires are together will improve the noise reduction on an installation.

In a twisted pair, the long antenna is divided by many smaller antennas that work in opposite ways. The noise captured by one antenna is subtracted by the noise captured by the other.

How is an AVIRE SIM different to a consumer solution?

An AVIRE SIM is an M2M (machine to machine), managed, non-steered roaming SIM. Consumer sims usually cater for regular human interaction and only use or prefer one provider. AVIRE SIM’s on the other hand are designed for machine to machine communication with the ability to connect to multiple providers.

AVIRE’s SIM Cards are preactivated and automatically work with the DCP. This saves time when programming the DCP.

Many consumer roaming SIMs are Steered Roaming SIMs which means they will have a preferred network that the SIM will connect to if available, even if it is not the strongest. It is only when the signal drops below a certain level that the signal will switch to a different network. When a SIM is non-steered, like the AVIRE SIM, this means that they will always connect to the strongest network available and therefore guarantee maximum strength of connection.

M2M, which stands for machine to machine, generally refers to communication between two devices, with no human interaction. An M2M SIM card is primarily used for sending and receiving data; not for voice and SMS, however you can get voice and SMS messages included in the package. When thinking about SIMs in terms of Internet of Things (IoT), M2M is really about the communication between the devices. For more information on M2M SIM cards, please read: (link)

 What is an M2M SIM Card for lifts?
What is a roaming SIM?

A roaming SIM is a mobile SIM card that will connect to more than one network within its home country, if a network carrier goes down or a signal cannot be gained from one network, it will automatically switch to the next strongest signal from one of the other networks available.

This means that you should never lose signal, assuming there is coverage by at least one network, and provides maximum security of connection. Most consumer SIMs do not roam within their own country and use one network- if there is an area that is not covered by that network, or that network fails, signal is lost.

Why should you use an M2M SIM?

For applications using small amounts of data and voice, as is the case with most elevator emergency telephones, specific M2M SIMs usually provide a better deal compared to consumer SIM cards. Consumer SIMs will have large amounts of data and voice, generally not required for most M2M applications and Pay As You Go SIM Cards need regular checking to make sure they are in credit.

M2M SIM Cards also provide enhanced security and are designed to be managed easily across many devices. There are also additional benefits such as they will generally not switch off during periods of extended inactivity.

Please contact our team for more information on AVIRE’s SIM Cards.

Is the Digital Communication Platform (DCP) locked to the AVIRE SIM cards?

No, the DCP can work with any SIM card of the correct size with appropriate voice/data, however we recommend using Avire roaming SIMs as they have been preconfigured on the DCP to connect to the Avire HUB monitoring.

How secure is the AVIRE HUB?

•        The web interface and all customer facing APIs use HTTPS (TLS v1.2) and require user authentication.

•        The AVIRE HUB is hosted in Azure, which is used by many high-profile organisations.

•        MySQL is the database engine which has unparalleled security and global reach.

•        Unwanted incoming and outgoing connections are blocked by a secure firewall that is monitored on a daily basis. Only specified connections are allowed through our secure firewall.

•        Protections include username, password and a certificate required for access to the AVIRE HUB

What security protocols and encryption are used to secure the solution end to end?

The web interface and all customer facing APIs use HTTPS (TLS v1.2) and require user authentication. In HTTPS the communication protocol is encrypted using a using Transport Layer Security (TLS), or, formerly, its predecessor, Secure Sockets Layer (SSL). The protocol is therefore also often referred to as HTTP over TLS, or HTTP over SSL.

What are the levels of access to the AVIRE HUB?

•        User admin – can create new users and manage their access levels.

•        User standard – cannot set up new users.

•        User read-only

•        Users can also be set up to see contract specific installations only. For example, restricted access can be given to a building manager.