Field Report: Sage Alerting Systems Digital Endec

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With the imminent approval of the Common Alerting Protocol (CAP), our Olean, NY, and Elmira/Corning, NY, markets decided to take advantage of the newer EAS/CAP hardware available and be ready when CAP is approved. We chose the Sage Digital Endec. The stations in these markets already used the original Sage Endecs and felt very comfortable with the look and feel of the new Digital Endec. The Digital Endec touts downward compatibility by using all the interfaces the original Endec had along with the ability to use legacy external accessories such as the Multi Station Relay Panels and remote control units. This spells ease of installation. Sage will also provide a free software update to allow users to download and field-install support for the final FEMA/FCC approved version of CAP 1.2, expected in September 2010. The software will support CAP 1.1 and 1.2.

What's new?

Other than the shiny new blue color, one glaring and very welcome change to the front of the Digital Endec is that there is no thermal printer. The thermal printer was fine in its time, and to say nothing less, it was a way of logging sent and received alerts. However, saving all those cash-register-type receipts was starting to get old. Although the original Endec could connect to an RS-232 serial printer in lieu of the thermal printer (and many opted for this when their thermal printers burned their last receipts), serial printers are scarce today. Sage has provided for either a USB or network-attached printer. Support has been built into the unit for HP printers. However, a serial printer can still be connected to one of the available com ports.

Performance at a glance
Ethernet, USB, and GPIO connections
AES3 digital audio interrupt
64MB onboard log storage
Accepts USB memory sticks for alert audio storage
Supports CAP

Other notable updates: The mic-in jack in the front of the unit has been changed to a 3.5mm connector and a Digital Audio Lock indicator for AES audio has been added.

On the back, all the usual connections found on the 1822 Endec exist: The analog audio XLR connectors, five com ports and the 20-pin connector to monitor audio, relay connections, line/speaker out/in, encoder in audio and ground. The 20-pin connector is pin-for-pin the same as the model 1822, which makes it easy to insert a Digital Endec in place of an analog unit.

There are some good additions: Four additional GPIO connections for controlling different aspects of the Digital Endec with closures, a fourth relay connection, AES audio in and out, 10/100 LAN Ethernet connector, and two USB connectors.

The magic inside

If you currently use the EndecSet program, download the new EndecSetD software to program the device from a PC. Sage plans to provide the ability to update the settings file from the old EnedcSet to the new EndecSetD. E-mail notifications of occurred events such as sent and received alerts, loss of audio on a monitor input, or an Endec restart are created in the EndecSetD software. The e-mail events option can be configured for standard or encrypted mail servers. One important item worth mentioning about the e-mail option is that if your e-mail server requires the from e-mail address to be authenticated, an e-mail account for the Digital Endec must be created on the e-mail server. The Digital Endec creates the from e-mail address using the call sign or group ID field, and adds an -ENDEC to the end of it. The resulting field will look like this:

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