JUST released by Honeywell, Galaxy Dimension is a modular solution that takes advantage of Honeywell’s big spread of alarm and ancillary equipment to offer bigger domestic and small commercial sites a simple system that’s long on features and capable of remote management and integration. 
This Galaxy Dimension panel is based on the Galaxy 3 alarm panel with the inclusion of access control capability allowing alarm installers to offer customers a greater spread of functionality. What’s nice about Galaxy Dimension is that the system’s overall capabilities are extremely well balanced. Often a solution like this one will be skewed in one direction or another but Honeywell got it right with Galaxy Dimension.
Now let’s take a look at capabilities, starting with access control. Galaxy Dimension supports 64 doors, 1000 users and 32 groups. There are 67 weekly schedules available, each with 28 events a week linked to access control, auto-setting and output functions. There are also 32 annual holiday schedules with 20 periods.
When it comes to operation, door access is controlled by access templates and door set status, while areas behind a door can be unset automatically using a card reader. Access groups can be set with the menu recall button. The access event log has 1000 events. 
Additional features include evacuation control that allows doors to release in the event of fire and the capability for a system keypad to be linked to a given reader for menu recall function control. There are up to 32 audio verification channels, multiple language interface and compatibility with all 8-bit Burst mode Weigand keypads. 
When it comes to alarms Galaxy Dimension offers 32 independent protected areas, 520 detection zones and a separate alarm event log. There’s support for 32 keypads, as well as 32 audio verification listen-in channels. Supporting the alarm side of the system is a PC-based central management solution that allows operators to monitor alarm events. 
That audio verification capability allows the Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC) to listen in using independent audio channels to identify the specific location where an alarm has been triggered and verify source and cause. This has the potential to reduce false alarms and increases system reliability.
Wrangling alarms and access control from the point of view of end users is the centrepiece of this system – a new graphical touch-screen control centre called TouchCenter that’s designed to simplify operation and reduce operator error. 
The layout of TouchCenter allows users to view full system status at a glance thanks to a large, colour touch-screen with crystal clear graphics. The system’s simplicity and use of operation means users get familiar with the system’s operation quickly and without long training courses. The intuitive menu gives clear options and make selections easier such as when setting groups. Meanwhile, event logs are displayed as a scroll list for easier comprehension. 
Installers can customise the screen background with their own and the end-user’s images and logos. Enhanced controls allow simple centralised operation of electrical appliances such as lights, heating, or window blinds either manually using the touch-screen or automatically via timer control. Galaxy Dimension TouchCenter features large touch screen buttons with better guidance with engineering access available via virtual emulation of standard keypad. 
Supporting TouchCenter from an operational point of view, are swipe or touch and go readers, allow end user staff to gain access to assigned parts of the building. These are the MK7 LCD keypad/keyprox with 2 x 16 alphanumeric character displays and an integrated ASK prox reader that allows the system to be set and unset by use of proximity card. Using the same readers, security officers or administrative staff can arm and disarm intruder alarm functions. 

Simplicity of operation

Remote servicing options ensure Galaxy Dimension consistently operates at its optimum level, and can alert maintenance technicians to issues between service intervals. Honeywell’s Remote Servicing Suite uses a common database to communicate with all Galaxy panels from one program. A networked version of the Remote Servicing Suite is also 
available to allow access to up to date records for all users. It guarantees secure management of information in one central location.
The Galaxy Remote Servicing Suite provides complete remote servicing capability including off-line programming, real time control and diagnostic reporting. Meanwhile, the User Management Suite is a powerful PC package that can control and administer an installed Galaxy locally via a PC network or multiple systems remotely around the globe using available WANs.  
To allow upgrades of the existing install base, the Galaxy Dimension PCB is fully interchangeable with G3 so the new series of control panels is compatible with all previous Galaxy installations. Programmable zone configuration also allows easy replacement of competitor’s panels in many cases.

Modular expansion

Galaxy Dimension is a modular beast that leverages all Honeywell’s vast product range and it’s worth running an eye over the modules and expanders that combine to give this solution its balance of capabilities. 
There’s a wireless system expander module – the RF RIO (Remote Input/Output) – that supports up to 32 wireless zones and 4 hardwired outputs. There’s also the Galaxy zone expander RIO that provides 8 fully programmable zones, 4 programmable outputs, tamper protection and a rotary switch for setting module addresses.
Another useful expander is the Door Control Module with two wiegand inputs to allow management of 2 doors, as well as offering an off-line mode that supports the previous 100 valid users. This DCM allows users to be assigned to an Access Template giving an access time zone to each group (64 Access Templates available on G520).
Next there’s the proximity reader – MAX3 – which is a complete door control in a single unit that can be used as standalone or integrated into the Galaxy control system via an RS485 bus. Then there’s the Audio Controller PCB which connects to the panel motherboard and the PSTN phone line. This offers 2 audio channels as standard while a digital audio bus allows 8 additional audio MUX units. Each MUX unit allows 4 analogue audio channels and each audio channel is mapped to 1 system group. An optional 5-10 seconds of pre and post-alarm recording is stored.
Handling remote comms is an ISDN module which offers an optional communication module for alarm signalling and remote servicing over ISDN networks. Finally, teh Galaxy Ethernet Module provides alarm signalling and remote servicing support for Galaxy systems via 
10 Base T Ethernet LAN/WAN supporting TCP/IP protocol.

What’s nice about Galaxy Dimension is that the system’s overall capabilities are well extremely balanced. Often a solution like this one will be skewed in one direction or another but Honeywell got it right with Galaxy Dimension.