New Bosch Big Blue Gen2
by Security Electronics and Networks | @Articles Product Reviews | August 29, 2011, 7:00am AEST
JUST released by Bosch Security are the latest Blue Line Gen2 sensors. The range kicks off with the standard Blue Line Gen2 PIR Motion Detectors (ISC-BPR2) which use a pair of Fresnel lenses to produce sharply-focused images so as to give superior response to intruders.
These lenses provide a high density 77-zone, 7-layer pattern, and there’s a selectable lookdown lens provides an additional three lookdown zones. This standard PIR also comes as a pet-friendly option.
Next in line is the Blue Line Gen2 Quad PIR motion detector. This more advanced unit employs a couple of individual sensors that operate like two PIRs in a single detector. Each sensor processes signals separately. Both must activate to generate an alarm signal. This improves false alarm immunity relative to a standard PIR,
because false alarm sources such as noise spikes and small animals are ignored.
Quad detectors also provide superior catch performance versus a standard PIR. They are particularly well suited for challenging installation situations; for example, cases where cross catch of intruders cannot be guaranteed or where intruders are able to cross the detection pattern very quickly.
At the top of the heap is the Blue Line Gen2 TriTech motion detector (ISC-BDL2), which uses a combination of passive infrared (PIR) and microwave detection technologies with advanced signal processing. There are pet-friendly models of this sensor too, that generate alarms for human intruders without generating false alarms for pets.
Each of the 3 sensors in the Blue Line Gen2 range also comes in wireless versions making installation very simple indeed. Bosch’s wireless is Digiflex technology and it’s widely recognised as superb.
“Upgrading sensors traditionally meant the panel had to be powered down and the sensors pulled out and replaced with others device or another brand. But with Blue Line Gen 2, you just undo one screw and then slide the sensor off the baseplate”
Bosch’s Andrew Gray says key design features of the range include sealed optics to ensure no dust or insects can get onto the board, sensor or lens. Also central to Blue Line Gen2 are serviceability, upgradeability and a universal appearance for all detectors in the family. Reliability is guaranteed by a 3-year warranty. An especially neat feature of Blue Line Gen2 is its ability to be replaced in the field to meet changing needs simply by clicking the sensor off the wall.
“These sensors are all self-locking so it’s simple to get them onto and off of the baseplate,” Gray explains. “They’ve been designed like this to make replacement easier. Let’s say there’s a Blue Line Gen2 PIR in a house working away and the homeowner buys a pet.
“It’s now possible to upgrade the sensors in a couple of minutes – traditionally this meant that the panel had to be powered down and the sensors pulled out and replaced with others device or another brand. But with Blue Line Gen 2, you just undo one screw and then slide the sensor off the baseplate, then slide the new sensor onto the baseplate and click-lock it into position – no tools required – done. Detector changed. The wiring is all to the baseplate.”
Gray explains that it’s not just all the baseplates that are the same, all the sensors are designed to look the same.
“You might have an installation where there’s a TriTech in the garage where the dog lives and in the granny flat where there’s no easy way to cable you might have a wireless sensor and both look identical to the hard-wired quad sensors installed throughout the house where there are no pets. You can have 3 or 4 different models of sensor and all are the same – the presentation is identical.”
For installers there’s an integrated spirit level so it’s easy to get the baseplate straight on the wall. The removable commercial grade terminal strip further reduces mounting time and simplifies wiring. Having optics and electronics tucked in the front enclosure and sealed with a protective cover prevents damage during installation due to static or tool slips. There’s also flexible mounting height allowing techs to position detectors at 2.3 to 2.7 metres without adjustment and all models provide 12 metre-deep coverage.
At this point, Gray goes through a simulation of the installing and replacing a Blue Line Gen2 sensor and the process is too simple for words. Once the basic wiring is completed and the baseplate attached using that ever so handy bubble guide, replacing sensors is a matter of snapping them in and out one-handed.
“Price varies – to the trade it’s about $A80 for a Tritech, $50 for Quad and $30 for a PIR but there’s discount on quantities,” Gray explains. “Interestingly, the TriTech is our best selling detector. It’s proven technology and does not false alarm. Some installers put a detector in that’s as cheap as possible to save money then wind up driving across town to fix or replace it. It’s a false economy.
“When you are warrantying the installation for 12 months on labour and 3 years on parts and install the wrong sensor and get false alarms it will cost you. TriTech means you never go back and the customer is always happy. If a customer gets 1 or 2 false alarms they will never use or recommend an installer.”
Each of the Blue Line Gen2 sensors offers a range of onboard functions starting off with First Step Processing (FSP) which Bosch says offers almost instant response to human targets without producing false alarms from other sources. FSP adjusts the detector’s sensitivity based on signal amplitude, polarity, slope, and timing. This eliminates the need for the installer to select the sensitivity level, thus improving ease of installation and reliability.
There’s also dynamic temperature compensation which sees the detector intelligently adjust its sensitivity so that it can identify human intruders at virtually any temperature. Wall-to-wall coverage of a target area is provided by an improved lookdown zone and universal coverage of 12m x 12m more than enough for most domestic and commercial applications.
There’s that self-locking enclosure, with integrated bubble level and custom gap-free, lift-gate terminal blocks to make installation and sensor head replacement easier, while optics and electronics are assembled in the front enclosure are protected from installation damage. The sealed optical chamber also prevents drafts and insects from affecting the detector and an externally visible alarm LED that can be disabled after installation allows easy walk-test.
When it comes to mounting, these sensors can be positioned on flat walls (surface, semi-flush), with the optional B335 Swivel-mount Bracket, or using the optional B328 Gimbal-mount Bracket. They can be located in a corner (the junction of two perpendicular walls) or on the ceiling with the optional B338 Ceiling-mount bracket.
If installers go with the pet-friendly models it’s possible to turn pet immunity on or off based upon application requirements. When pet immunity is turned off, the detector provides superior catch performance identical to the non-pet models. When pet immunity is turned on, the detector can distinguish between signals caused by humans and signals caused by pets. It ignores signals caused by one or two pets up to 20kg (45 lb) or numerous rodents.
The Tritech detector also features Microwave Noise Adaptive Processing that adjusts to background disturbances, reducing false alarms without any impact on intruder detection sensitivity.
On the technical side these sensors comply with EN50130-5 Class II, can handle relative humidity from 0 to 95 per cent non-condensing or for UL-Listed products, 0 to 85 per cent, non-condensing. The operating temperature is -30C to +55C, dimensions are 105mm x 61mm x 44 mm, material is high-impact ABS plastic and there’s RFI immunity (150 kHz to 2 GHz at field strengths less than 30 V/m). There’s also a connect tamper circuit to provide 24-hour protection circuit.