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"How To: Setup Alarm Qualification Times in Your NetGuardian 832A..."

ALM qualification

Right arrowDownload this TechnoKnowledge Paper as a PDF

Alarm qualifications can be very helpful to rid your network of unnecessary alarms. These "nuisance alarms" can make it difficult for your technicians to identify the alarms that inform you of real network threats. You don't have time to sift through a sea of needless alarms to find the problem. This Techno Knowledge Paper will walk you through the steps of setting up alarm qualification times on your NetGuardian 832A.

This "techno knowledge" paper can help you if:

  • You receive unnecessary alarms and need to setup alarm qualifiers.

Quick Reference Chart
(for more details, review the troubleshooting checklist below)

quick reference chart

Alarm qualifiers are used to delay the way an alarm is received in a NetGuardian, or delay when an email or pager notification is sent. Alarm qualifiers help prevent false alarms that can desensitize a user from responding quickly to an important alarm.

The most common uses of alarm qualifiers are when you are monitoring a door or Microwave fade. For example, if you are monitoring a door on a stormy night, you might receive several false alarms because the door is rattling the sensor. Even a nearby train or a low flying airplane might cause that door to vibrate - this would trigger the door alarm also. Using alarm qualifiers, we can tell the NetGuardian to disregard this alarm unless the door is open for x amount of time.

Other clients have used qualifiers to disregard certain cases of Microwave fade. When certain Microwaves experience fade, they will trigger a relay. During foggy and stormy conditions, many Microwaves will begin to "chatter" their relays as the signal is weakened. The Microwave isn't necessarily down or offline; the signal is simply fading. We can have the NetGuardian qualify this alarm for x amount of time before we consider it a real offline condition.

For this example, let's use the faulty door sensor that's been giving you false alarms during a storm. We might only want to see this alarm if the door is open for more than 3 seconds. In a real scenario, a door open for more than 3 seconds could be a real intrusion. To set this up, we will be using the NetGuardians web-browser. (The NGEdit Windows Utility could also be used.)

Troubleshooting Checklist

  1. Web browse to your NetGuardian by typing its IP address into the address bar at the top. Go into Edit mode by clicking the green Edit button at the bottom left of your screen.
  2. Click on the 'Base Alarms' tab on the left and you should see a screen like below.
    NetGuardian Example
  3. In this example, we'll set up a qualification alarm for East Side Door on Base Alarm Point #4. From this screen, you can see that this alarm contains a couple notification devices in the Pagers column. The info you enter in Pager IDs #1 and #2 will be sent when this alarm is triggered. You can add and edit these options by going to the 'Pagers' tab (for NetGuardian G2) or 'Notifications' tab (NetGuardian G4/G5) in Edit Mode on the left.
    1. Be sure that if you edit anything using the NetGuardian web browser, scroll to the bottom of the page and hit 'Submit Data'. (A reboot may be required before your changes take effect.)
    NetGuardian Data
  4. Notification ID #1 is an example of the NetGuardian sending a text message to a cell phone. Notification ID #2 shows NetGuardian sending an email to tmock@dpstele.com. If you wish to learn more about this process, go to MyDPS to download the Techno Knowledge Papers on setting up email and text message notifications from a NetGuardian. www.dpstele.com/mydps
  5. To enter a qualification for the East Side Door, go back to the 'Base Alarms' tab and click the 'Qual' button to the right.
    NetGuardian Qual Shortcut
    1. This shortcut to take you to the 'Qualifications' tab, which can also be accessed by clicking on the 'Event Qual' drop down box in the left-hand side Edit menu.
    NetGuardian Event Qual
  6. Enter the Display of the alarm point.
    1. Every alarm point in the NetGuardian can first be organized into a display, then a point. The base alarms are part of Display #1. The ping targets are in Display 2, etc...elow is an edited screen shot of the web-browser help menu showing the display mapping table.
    Display Mapping Table
    Display Mapping Table
  7. If I wanted to add a 3-second qualifier on my alarm point, I would now be finished and could hit 'Submit Data' at the bottom of the page. However, I'd also like to add a notification qualifier, so not only will the alarm point get suppressed for a few seconds, but my notifications will pause for a short time as well.
    Event Qual Table

  8. In the picture above, I set up my alarm point so the NetGuardian waits 3 seconds before it considers the East Side Door in alarm. After waiting the 3 seconds, it will then start a 20-minute timer before it notifies the Primary notification device (Type is set for Pri here). If this time has passed and the alarm point is still active, it will wait 1 hour before notifying the Secondary notification device. This means that the secondary notification device will not be sent until 1 hour, 20 minutes, and 3 seconds after the alarm is activated and stays active. Click 'Submit Data' when finished.