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"How To: Troubleshoot an Undefined Alarm in T/Mon..."

Undefined alarm
Get Rid of Those Pesky Undefined Alarms...

Properly configured, T/Mon can serve as the ultimate watchdog of your entire network. If you've experienced undefined alarms, targeting their root cause can take longer than necessary. Zeroing in on undefined alarms ensures that you'll receive alarm information quickly and accurately.

This "techno knowledge" paper can help you if:
  • You need to determine the alarms declared "undefined" by T/Mon.

Quick Reference Chart
(For more details, review the Troubleshooting Checklist Below)


Troubleshooting Checklist

  1. You've checked the COS (Change of State) and you see an alarm that comes in as "undefined." In this example, let's assume that all we know is that it's from the Fresno location.
  2. Scroll down to highlight that alarm, then hit the Tab key. You should see 4 groups of numbers and (most likely) some letters. In this example, we see "NG.1.1.18". T/Mon categorizes any alarm it receives by "Port.Address.Display.Point".

    In this example. the alarm was received on:

    • Port = NG
    • Address = 1
    • Display = 1
    • Point = 18
  3. Valid Ports are as follows:
    • 1-500 where ports 1-24 represent physical ports on the back of the T/Mon.
    • 50-500 represent virtual ports otherwise called LAN-based jobs.
    • NG = NetGuardians
    • N2 = Building Access System Equipment
    • K1 = KDA's and Satellite KDA's
    • K2 = Expansion cards connected to the KDA's
    • RP = Dialup site equipment like DPM's and AlphaMax's
    • RC = T/Mon relay card
    • AV = T/Mon Audio / Visual Card
  4. Valid Addresses are 1-255.
  5. Valid Displays are 1-64 however for all DPS RTU's the displays are hard-coded to represent a type of alarm from that device. Please see the display mapping in the device's User Manual. To view display mapping for all DPS devices, see the T/Mon User Manual.
  6. Valid alarm points are 1-64, once again each device is different and might be limited on how many alarm points it uses per display.

Explanation: The reason the 'Undefined' alarm received is because a NetGuardian is capable of sending alarms to the T/Mon in many ways. It might notify the T/Mon of alarms over the network, by a serial communication line, or via dialup communication. If a NetGuardian is being polled over the network, you might connect a backup phone line in case the network goes down. This would enable the NetGuardian to always be in contact with T/Mon and notify it of alarms in case of failure.

In this case, there would be a network "port" that was polling the NetGuardian, as well as a physical phone line "port" connected to T/Mon. This is why we say NetGuardian for port because we don't necessarily care which T/Mon port is used - we just need to know that it was a NetGuardian.

If a closer look at the Port, Address, Display, and Point doesn't tell you what the undefined alarm is or tell you which device sent it, we'll dig a little further in the T/Mon.

  1. Take the T/Mon offline by escaping out of monitor mode and selecting "R" to Return to Master Menu.
  2. If the port the 'Undefined' alarm was located on was a DPS product, select the Files option. If it was a number (physical or virtual LAN port), then select Parameters/Remote ports. Hit F for 'Find,' then the port number.
  3. Because my 'Undefined' alarm came from a NetGuardian, I will select LAN-Based Remotes, then choose NetGuardian. I have now found the port for NetGuardian, so now I'll look for the address. Hit F for 'Find' and enter the Address number. In this example, it was address 1 (Site Number 1.)
  4. Hit F1 for 'Devices' and F1 again for 'Points.' This will take you to the Point Definition screen. T/Mon will take you to the first Display databased in T/Mon.
  5. You can see from the top of the screen that the first display databased was Display 3 - but I need to find Display 1. According to the display mapping (11-1 of T/Mon User Manual), Display 1 holds all the Discrete alarms for the NetGuardian 832A. Hit F for 'Find' and enter the needed display number.
  6. If the display is not in the database and you wish to add this as a new alarm point, hit Y to add. If the display already exists, it will take you to the configured display. The alarm point received in this example was point 18. Hit E for 'Edit' and scroll down with the down arrow to that alarm point.


Explanation: Because I can see that point 18 is not configured in the T/Mon, I need to determine what this alarm point is. I can now view the database of the NetGuardian by logging into the Web Browser. However, if this NetGuardian is not databased with this alarm point, I need to (a.) verify with the technician who installed it or (b.) send a technician to the site to see what is connected to discrete alarm point 18 of my Fresno Site NetGuardian.

If you do want to add this an alarm point, please review the Point Definition Tutorial in the T/Mon User Manual (Section 10-1) to view all available options.

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