Guide to Avtech Software Sensor Types

Avtech Software Room Alert monitors all have built-in sensors that cannot be removed from the unit. To give the monitors extra flexibility to tackle a wide range of tasks, each monitor also supports a wide range of external sensors that can be connected to each monitor. There are a wide variety of different external sensors you can attach to each Room Alert monitor. See the Sensor Compatibility Summary table for an idea of all of the different sensors that are available.

Each model in the Room Alert range have slightly different set of ports into which to plug your external sensors. Simply put, the higher end monitors support more external sensors than the units further down the range. Please see the External Sensor Support Summary table further down the page.

Avtech Sensor Types

AVTECH Software have three types of sensors that you can fit to your Room Alert monitor. Each of the different sensor types suit the different purposes that the sensors fulfill.

Digital Sensor

Digital ConnectorA digital sensor is the most commonly sold sensor for your Room Alert monitors simply because temperature sensors are the sensor most commonly attached to a Room Alert monitor. A digital sensor is able to measure a range of values within a range of values specific to the sensor. A temperature sensor will provide a temperature reading within the quoted temperature range for that sensor type for instance. The connector used on the digital sensors is a RJ-11 connector (see image to left). When a digital sensor is plugged into a Room Alert monitor it is automatically detected by the monitor and data is recorded appropriately. For instance, if a temperature sensor is plugged in then temperature data is logged. If a combined temperature and relative humidity sensor is plugged in then temperature and relative humidity data will be logged.

Switch Sensor

Switch Sensor ConnectorA switch sensor is always in one of two states. It is either in a normal state or an alarm state. A switch sensor is not suited to measuring across a range of values. It is designed to measure when something has gone wrong like a smoke sensor or a water sensor.

There are two main types of switch sensors: Normally Open (NO) and Normally Closed (NC). In simple terms Normally Open and Normally Closed are interpretations of the state of the voltage sent from the sensor to the monitor. A Normally Open sensor keeps voltage on the line when everything is okay i.e. the smoke sensor has not detected smoke or the water sensor has not detected water ingress. A Normally Closed is the opposite. It does not have voltage on the line when the switch is okay. Normally Open is the most common usage given the nature of Room Alert switch sensors. Normally Open is safer from the perspective that failure / disconnection of the sensor will automatically be detected as an alarm condition due to the voltage on the line disappearing.

Analog Sensor

Analog ConnectorAnalog sensors are similar to digital sensors in the sense that they are able to measure from a range of values. The most common analog sensors are the extreme high and low temperature sensors.

Analog sensors are compatible with the Room Alert 12S / 12SR, 12E / 12ER as well as the Room Alert 32S / 32E. Analog sensors can also be fitted to Room Alert 3S / 3E and Room Alert 4E / 4ER by using the analog port on the Digital Temperature & Analog Sensor.

0 – 5VDC analog sensors connect to Room Alert via low-voltage two-wire cable, such as speaker wire.

Analog sensor cable is polarized (+/-).

Monitor Channels

Room Alert 3E Sensor Connectors

The above photo of a Room Alert 3E is annotated to show the sensor channels. The Digital sensor is marked as an External Environment Sensor Channel and the switch sensor is labeled as a Switch Sensor Contact Set.

The digital sensor is the simplest sensor to attach to the monitor. Simply insert the RJ-11 connector into the connector marked as External Environment Sensor Channel. The digital sensor will then be auto-detected by the monitor.

The switch sensor is slightly more complex. You need to insert the two wires at the end of the switch sensor into the Switch Sensor Contact Set.

Sensor Compatibility Summary

  Sensor Type Room Alert 3 Wi-Fi Room Alert 3E Room Alert 3S Room Alert 12E Room Alert 12ER Room Alert 12S Room Alert 12SR Room Alert 32E Room Alert 32S
Temperature Digital
Outdoor Temperature Digital
Fluid Temperature Digital
Extreme Temperature Digital
Temperature / Humidity Digital
Spot Flood Switch
Rope Flood Switch
Mains Power Switch
Active Power Sensor Digital
Mini UPS Switch
Current Loop Analog [1] [1]
Air Flow Switch
Smoke Switch
Motion Switch
Room Entry Switch
Fuel Level Switch
Water Level Switch

[1] You can attach analog sensors like the extreme high and extreme low temperature sensors by using the Temperature & Analog sensor connector attached to a digital port.

External Sensor Support Summary

  Room Alert 3 Wi-Fi Room Alert 3E Room Alert 3S Room Alert 12S Room Alert 12SR Room Alert 32S
Max Digital Sensor Ports Digital sensor ports only support connecting digital sensors. Digital sensors measure within a range of values, like a temperature range. 1 1 1 3 3 8
Max Switch Sensor Ports Switch sensor ports only support connecting switch sensors. Switch sensors only measure one of two states, the normal state and the alarm state. Take the smoke sensor as an example, it has a normal state which indicates no significant smoke is present and an alarm state that indicates that a significant amount of smoke is present perhaps indicating a fire. 1 1 1 4 4 16
Max Analog Sensor Ports Analog sensors provide values as voltages between 0-5VDC. Common analog sensors include current loops and extreme high and low temperature sensors. The Room Alert 3 WiFi and Room Alert 3E do not support analog sensors, but you can buy the Digital Temperature & Analog Sensor to add support at the cost of one of your digital sensor ports. 0 0 0 1 1 2
Built-in Sensors Temperature Temperature Temperature Temperature Temperature Temperature, Humidity, Power Presence
Included External Sensors None None None 1 x Digital 7.5m Temperature / Humidity Sensor 1 x Digital 7.5m Temperature / Humidity Sensor 1 x Digital Active Power Sensor
1 x Digital 7.5m Temperature / Humidity Sensor

What Now?

If you have any more questions or need some help or advice with building your environment monitoring system, please get in touch.

Categories: Guides AVTECH Software