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NBN And Emergency Lift Phones, Alarms, And Other Fixed Diallers

Post Updated February 25, 2021

I would like to thank Brian from Aristel who advises us of some recent changes in relation to lifts in Australian Standards.

Remember, Telstra are closing their 3G services in June 2024, so any 3G diallers will need to be changed out for 4G.

Emergency phones like those in Lifts, Security and Fire Alarm Systems with back to base monitoring are also affected by the NBN changeover and cut-offs, therefore building owners, tenants, and managers need to start considering what action they need to take, even if the NBN is not as yet active in your area, it likely wont be that far off, so you'll need to start planning for the changeover, it's also beneficial to change earlier, cheap PAYG M2M plans are more economical for standby emergency and idle telecommunications than PSTN line rental. As for Alarms, some B2B providers supply you with a SIM that includes all signalling calls in your monthly B2B plan.

This process is not as daunting or expensive as it might sound, for example, with Lifts, you're not going to need lengthy and costly service calls, or have downtime to change over the panels, because the system stays the same, it's only the external part, on how it talks to the outside world, that changes. These systems are intelligent, with a lot of electronics behind them, as part of that, the system is pre programmed by the Lift company on who to call in the event of emergency call button activation. These systems usually have a phone lead from them plugged into a telecommunications outlet on a normal PSTN phone line, just like your home phone, as this example shows


In the current set up, when the call button is pressed, it automatically dials the pre determined phone number which usually is the Lift or Security company, it's exactly like if you pick up a normal phone and hit a stored number memory button and sending caller-ID. Most Alarm Systems with B2B monitoring operate the same way, all you need do is make sure it's plugged into a working PSTN line.

And therein lies the problem, the PSTN line, it is the existing copper telecommunications network, which gets completely switched off 18 months after the area is formerly NBN ready. To get around this we need to go wireless - with a 3G or 4G dialler gateway - please, do not consider using VoIP/NBN for such critical infrastructure, somebody's life, maybe your own, may one day depend on that call button on a Lift, or panic button on your Alarm getting through to someone, help can't come if you're internet is down, or high jitter because your Internet is lagged out.

NBN (see PDF) recommends cellular (4G etc) diallers be used for Lifts, Security, and Fire Alarmed Systems, as there is no battery backup on FTTN/FTTB/FTTC, and very limited backup on only some FTTP installs. Reliability is key, and WH&S Laws covering Lifts and Fire must also be consulted.

To overcome the PSTN line problem you first need to purchase a 3G dialler such as the Ness 106-249 4G dialler like the Ness 106-250s single line dialler, this unit ranges in cost from around $170 to $200. At about 18*12*4 cm, it's small enough to fit inside most Lift Control units, it also includes a backup battery capable of powering the unit for two or so hours which meets the requirements under Queensland law where most states are similar and a small external antenna.


** I strongly advise against purchasing cheap diallers or knock-offs from sellers on eBay, always buy from a reputable company with equipment that may save your life

Although the Ness 4G diallers are popular for Alarm and single lift installs, there are alternatives, most of these unfortunately are not as cheap as the Ness units starting at around $700, but offer substantial battery lifetime and extra features, diallers like the Aristel NEOSLIFT1-4G-BM with typically 8 hours plus as well as system status and battery monitoring with SMS notifications. Aristel also provide multi line units for those with several lifts. Because of the extra monitoring and long runtime these units would be more suitable for busy public areas like shopping complexes, where the Ness's are better suited to Alarms and more private lift areas. Just remember that Ness is an Alarm supplier, where the alarm systems would initiate the battery monitoring not the dialler.


Next, purchase a SIM Card compatible with your device for your network, there are established companies that specialise in M2M (Machine to Machine) SIMs that are very well suited for Lifts and Alarms, one such example is M2Mone who at time of writing have very cheap PAYG plans at $1.50 per month, plus per second timed calls, works out to be around 69c a minute - perfect for Lifts and Alarm Systems that mostly sit idle. As touched on earlier, for a B2B Fire/Security Alarms, talk to your B2B company first in case they have a better deal.

** Do not use a normal pre-paid phone service, if credit expires or exceeds purchased value - the Lift Emergency, Security, and Fire Alarm call service will not work

Setting up most diallers is as easy as inserting the SIM, plugging in its external antenna, then unplugging the phone lead coming from your Lift Control unit from the phone wall outlet, and plugging it into the phone socket at the rear of the dialler, power it up, and you're good to go.

Don't forget to let your Lift/Alarm company know you've moved off the PSTN network, they will likely need the new number. Then test the system, and even if it works flawlessly, test again to be absolutely sure.

Your new dialler set up now looks something like this...


A few side notes...

  • Make a note of the date the dialler was installed, as with everything with batteries, they need to be replaced eventually, and test them every six months (or more often if your local law requires it).
  • Add the six and twelve months onto your to do calendar so you don't forget.
  • Some Lift systems may have their phone cabling hard wired, in this case, you'll need to seek out a Registered Cabler (not an electrician) to sort it out for you.
  • Work with your lift alarm monitoring service advising them you have a 4G dialler to replace phone line what information do they need to know to ensure smooth transition.
  • Some lift companies will tell you that you can't do it that way and will try sell you a multi thousand dollar upgrade - which will just be a 4G dialler anyway, so don't take for gospel everything that comes out of a companies mouth, since they have vested interests in selling you new products.
  • The dialler doesn't have to be located in or even next to the Lift Control system, if the existing phone line is currently wired to an MDF, the dialler can be connected down there, or anywhere in between, for convenience, security and reception.
  • If this is for a Security Systems, before you go out and get any of this, it's possible your system is already capable of 4G services, either right now, or through purchase of a module or licence upgrade (yeah, I too despise these licence upgrade paths, someone's always out to rip us off every and any way they can).
  • If you're considering replacing or upgrading your entire Security System, you need to ensure it's 4G capable, if you need, or think one day you might need, back to base monitoring.
  • As for monitored Fire Alarms, you need to talk to your Fire Alarm Service Provider, your equipment may be under maintenance contract to be replaced by them, or maybe capable of 4G dialler module already.
  • You might also want to notify your Indemnity Insurance company
  • I said it above but i'll say it again, after installation - test, and test again.


There have been a number of installers using the Ness 3G dialler for Alarms and Lifts in past few years, I myself recommended their use - along with the warning that Telstra for one, will be as of June 2024, turning off its last 3G service, with other carriers to follow sometime after. As of that time most the 3G diallers would have been installed for over 5 to 8 years, If you have a tech offer you a Ness dialler solution in 2020 (onwards) please ensure it is 4G model now reflected below in the updated post. do not accept them installing the older 3G models and be prepared to upgrade your older dialler to 4G.

Hope this explains what needs to change for your Lifts and B2B Alarms. If you have other fixed dialler uses, like Doors, or Taxi phones, you may get away with using VoIP (SIP), but don't take any chances with services that may potentially save a life or property.


Usual Disclaimer: I have no direct relationship with any equipment manufacturer or cellular provider, I offer suggestions and examples based on what is known to work, and at fair and reasonable prices.


This article was originally written in February 2018, but has been updated.
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Ryan on :

Gday Noel,

Do you know whether anyone can install this device, seems pretty plug and play.
or
Does it have to be a sparky or lift company?

Advice would be much appreciated!

NoelB on :

Hi Ryan,

I can not see any requirements for an ACMA approved registered cabler (not all, in fact most sparkies, are not authorised to do data/telco cabling work as they are not registered cabler - their sparky tickets don't cover them for telco/data stuff) or lift company to do this work, since you are unplugging from a wall jack, and plugging into this device instead, one thing the article should have emphasized though is to test, test, and re test your outbound emergency call system to ensure each call gets out, if you have problems getting through, even though you have good signal, then you might need to check with your lift company, you can also test it by plugging an analog phone into it and calling someone, even your mobile.

Check your insurance policy/company as well, especially if you are installing this in a multi tenanted building, can't see there being any problems though, since once they cut off your copper service, you have to 'call out' somehow and everyone seems to be going 3G or 4G. They might have something in your policy about emergency call, so pays to check, do not consider any of this legal advice, only technical :-)

gsmuser on :

Have tried to connect our dialers to GSM box from Ebay. We can dial-in. Dial-out works almost, in that GSM box shows number and receiver picks up, but they cannot negotiate - receiver does not get alarmId and hence disconnects. Have tried with mulitple sim-cards and 2 dialers. Might be issue with frequencies - or other ideas ?

NoelB on :

@gsmuser

Does it work by dialing out using a normal analog handset to say your mobile?

It could be the progress tone freq's, from memory I think Aus is 425 Hz signalling

Do you know what brand/model? I guess coming from eBay it's some cheap Chinese unit so it could be anything.

Peter Holm on :

Yep, it is a cheap CE unit, but it does work with headset call out. Might stm-product.com - GSMT-03 a try. This is for usage in Denmark... Or can you recommend other models ?

NoelB on :

I'm not familiar with Denmark's Telco networks, but I'd caution on that GSMT03, if its a true GSM unit, it may be obsolete in near future.

Australia shut down all GSM services in recent times, and I think some other countries have or are moving that direction as well, only 3G or 4G services are available (with 5G soon) here, and if their statements on that unit are as GSM is understood here, its old tech (up to 2G).

I only know the ness units work in Australia, but I think our signalling tones here are same as in use in Europe (excluding UK), you may need to seek out a local forum where people in Denmark with local experience can advise you on the best units.

SD on :

Hi
we are installing a new electric lift from a reptable company for our house. The comapnmy as you said trying to sell us a 2500 GSM unit-no information if it is 4G compliant. Also have looked up NESS 4G dialler as well AVIRE (not 4G compliant so I guess is out of equation).
I Have looked at NEOSLIFT1-4G-B which is 3 times the price of NESS. What do you suggest and do you think NESS 4G good and Compatible?

NoelB on :

Hi SD,

Yes the NEO is more expensive but it's also more feature packed, about 4 times the battery runtime - which alone is not worth such high price, but combined with other features such as like battery monitoring/alerting by sms can be of benefit in many cases,but, for a house? No I couldn't justify that either.

I have no experience with the Ness 4G as yet as it is a relatively new unit, however on paper it looks the same as the 3G - just an updated radio component, so essentially identical and I'd say for you it would be an acceptable unit.

I've also updated the post to reflect the newer 4G units and where I'd use each type.

Paul on :

We are a supplier and installer of the NEOS GSM Lift units, these units are great value, low maintenance and outperform most other units on the market.

The Ness unit was solely designed for the house or business alarm, The benefit of the NEOS units is that they meet and exceed the Australian standards with up to 8 Hours Battery life available in both 3g/4g versions (although we only sell the 4g version now)

The recently introduced BM unit allows the following SMS notifications for up to 3 mobile numbers!

SMS NOTIFICATIONS

1. Battery Low please check it.

2. The mains power adapter is disconnected.

3. The battery has failed please replace.

4. Battery condition is good.

Along with the most recent update of call logging notification via SMS. Great value compared to similar products on the market at up to triple the price.

Under ACMA cabling rules you need to hold a master cabling registration with Struction cabling endorsement to install these units.

Noel on :

Yes they are good units and as I mentioned much more featured packed than the basic NESS which although designed for alarms are still perfect for the small lift.

I do have to take you to task on a comment though.
There is no such thing as master cabling registration, you mean OPEN registration, and struction? I think you mean structured, and now for the biggie...

NO, you do NOT have to be a registered cabling provider to install these as the units are plug and play, there is no hard wiring involved, it is akin to unplugging a POTS service and plugging this in its place (like yanking one phone and replacing it with another), therefor no ACMA accreditation is required.

NoelB on :

Paul,
I have also removed your webpage URL because your website contains some seriously wrong information eg your lead-ins page, you are NOT authorised to access network assets under any circumstances, regardless of it you have been deemed competent in assessment for pit and pipe or copper or fibre jointing unless you are a formal contractor directed by telstra nbn and issued a TOW for a specific job it is unlawful for you to touch leadins and pits, so your advertising for fixing damaged leadins is wrong and you should not be advertising it.

Paul Turner on :

Thanks, Noel for your helpful insight into my experience.

I have 30 years plus experience in the industry, formally Telstra trained and trained by Optus on their HFC Network, I hold full NBN accreditation, I am a fully accredited Telstra and NBN contractor.

I also hold all current NBN Copper, Fiber & HFC accreditations, including all approved test gear. I have Telstra and NBN PIT & PIPE accreditation, and advanced cable joining.

I still contract to Telstra and NBN, as well as my own private work.

Noel on :

Paul, so you are telling me that as a contractor you can access network assets whenever you want, ie: private jobs you are performing as a registered cabler?

Because I had this out with some cowboy on youtube a few years ago tell me the same thing, however when contacting Telstra they advised that no CT or CCT can access network assets under any circumstances unless it is a Telstra issued job with a valid TOW.
Accessing network assets, pits and lead-in's in any other circumstance is operating as a private cabling provider and is unlawful, the same as if any other cabling provider accessed network assets.

So basically you are telling me, that sometime in the past 2 to 2.5 years since I checked on this, the rules have changed?
Interesting, I might try find that persons Email address and fire off another Email asking about it, sure would save cabling providers a lot of time and hassle if we could go as far as the pits.

Ryan on :

wow. Forgot I ever replied to this thread long time ago.

Ummm,Paul Turner when I mouse over your name it shows your website address, I just checked this and you do say

"ARCS Technicians are fully certified to repair/replace or install your Lead-in cable from the carries pit to your 1st socket or MDF. All our Technicians fully accredited to install, repair or replace lead-in cables."

Dude, this tells me, a mere mortal, that you are providing this service to your customers, outside of your Telstra or NBN work, why else you got it on your website.

It seems Neil thinks it's a big no no, so I am interested to see what Telstra's reply to him is, maybe they did change the rules?

Neil, I took your advice, that dialler works sweet, still going strong

Noel on :

BTW Ryan, its Noel, ya know, the name of the blog, not Neil :-)

Glad it works for you, curious how long ago did you check the batteries and are they still originals ?

Ryan on :

lol sorry about that dude, my brothers name is Neil and I've been considering ringing him (first time in a year) I guess it was on my mind, and perhaps now I should ring him, he'd still be up.

Poster gone quiet?

NoelB on :

Thats ok, perhaps you should call your brother then :-)
and yeah nothing from him since 11am, he prolly just waiting till i get my reply from telstra before or if he replies again, dunno.
I dont expect my reply from telstra till monday at least now so wont be any update till i do.
take care.

Paul Turner on :

Thanks, Noel

99% of lift cabling installed from a lift in a building is cabled back to an MDF and terminated (HARDWIRED). If you are installing cabling from a lift motor control panel you need to hold the appropriate LIFT endorsement to complete this task. But as most lift cabling is pre-installed due to using a PSTN line at the MDF.
If you remove a cable from the MDF to install an RJ11 connector you need the appropriate cabling registration.

I have never seen a Lift phone with an RJ11 connector terminated on it, there may be some home lifts that have a handset where you are required to dial a number, which you can unplug the pre-terminated patch and plug straight into the modular socket on the back on the unit. But this set up still requires a push-button handset as home lifts are not usually fitted with a preprogrammed autodialer.

Now if you are going into the lift control panel to do this you need to be lift certified.

Whether you call it an OPEN cable registration or open master cabling (me OLD School) is neither here nor there.

PS
Sorry for the typo eyes not as good as they used to be.

Noel on :

OK, I have come across a lot that are 6p4c connections, of course those hard wired need a cabler but 99% of what I see and hear others see are not hard wired.

and LIFT endorsements are only open to open reg'd cablers who are electrcians - strange I know but thats the way the wiring rules work.


(sorry if my 2 replies are out of order, crappy VPN I think is playing up and one of my replies got half eaten and caused a minor corruption, I'll find it when i'm back in.)

John on :

https://www.telstra.com.au/support/category/home-phone/phone-line/how-do-i-arrange-a-lead-in

Noel on :

John,
Yes I am long aware that is how it works, the problem is his website is saying call him and he'll come and fix it, which he can not do, I've maintained all along there needs to be a TOW.

This is a Telstra ticket of works which can only be issued to CTs or CCTs when someone calls up and reports they have broken their lead-in and need it fixed.

When you call Telstra they assign it, a tech or QC will come and verify it, and report back and a contractor in the area are taken in-order in a round robin process to be contacted to attend and fix it. That's how it works.

Brian on :

- The recently released new Australian Standard for elevators , AS1735.19 , calls for automatic battery and power monitoring status, in the event of failure.
- The Neos series of BM model LIFT KITs support this mandatory requirement.

- The Neos LIFT KITs can also support Call Log Monitoring ( CLM ) whereby an SMS notification(s) is sent when an emergency call is made .
- This information may assist in mitigating potential legal claims if the call centre does not respond to an emergency call.
There are 3 SMS msgs A call was made and answered.
A call was made and not answered. * A call was attempted and failed.
Aristel has 20 years experience with SIM based diallers.
I trust this information is some assistance to your readers .

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