Carbon Monoxide, LPG Gas, Power Supply

& 4-Zone Intruder Alarm System 

Reporting by SMS to Wherever You May Be
Alarm Control Unit
Alarm Control Unit

The central pillar of the VanSecure System is its ability to notify you of any alarm condition by sending an SMS to any user-designated mobile phone.  This SMS message will find you in any area that has network coverage from where you can initiate immediate action.

The alarm system monitors a carbon monoxide detector, two LPG gas detectors, 4 intruder alarm zones, and an ultrasonic scanner. Reporting is by a local buzzer, mobile phone screen messages, and SMS to a designated SMS- capable device. The alarm zones can be individually disarmed by panel-mounted switch, and the entire system is armed/disarmed remotely from a mobile phone. Zones 1 - 3 have a Normally Closed (NC) input, Zone has both an NC input as well as a Normally Open (NO) input. All zones have a 1 second debounce delay. The alarm buzzer sounds for 1 second when an alarm zone is tripped but can be muted by a toggle switch. The two gas detector alarms cannot be disarmed - but they can be unplugged in the unlikely event of malfunction. The ultrasonic scanner is only disarmed by the master armed/disarmed setting, but it can be disabled by covering the transmit and receive ports with sticky tape, as they are when the scanner is exposed to the weather and need protection from it..

Available extensions:

CO Gas Alarm
CO Gas Alarm

Carbon Monoxide Alarm 

Carbon monoxide is a lethal gas that has no colour or smell - it is undetectable by any human sense organ but can kill you while you sleep. This detector cannot be disabled or bypassed - it will sound a buzzer as long as there is CO in the room, and send a text SMS to the designated phone as well.

LPG Gas Alarm 

Alarm Display
Alarm Display

The controller can monitor two LPG gas detectors and notify via a local buzzer, a mobile phone screen indication, and an SMS sent to a designated device with SMS capability. The second Gas Alarm channel is used to monitor the storage compartment where the cylinders are stored. The Gas Alarm cannot be disarmed but unplugging it closes the detection channel. As long as the SIM card has prepaid credit and power is applied the unit will always generate a Caravan LP Gas Alarm SMS. To generate a Caravan LP Gas alarm annunciation requires that a mobile phone be connected via Bluetooth.

Power Failure Reporter

The unit will send an SMS text message to the designated mobile device when the 230VAC input power fails, and another one when the power supply is restored. The state of the power supply is determined from a 12VDC adaptor plugged into the a 230VAC outlet. When the power fails the loss of 12V is detected in the control unit.

Intruder Alarms

The controller can monitor up to 4 intruder alarm circuits and notify via local buzzer, mobile phone screen indication, and a caravan intruder alarm SMS sent to any designated device able to receive SMS messages. The alarm circuits are normally closed in SAFE condition and can be overridden by panel-mounted switches. There are LEDs indicating which zones are overridden and which are in ALARM state.
Alarm circuits usually maintain a Normally Closed state while SAFE, that is to say the there must be an effective short circuit, which means a broken wire or loose connection will indicate ALARM. However certain devices, such as pressure mats, lend themselves to maintaining Normally Open while in the SAFE state, and close when they detect an intruder. To accommodate these devices Zone 4 has a dual input, one Normally Closed, and the other Normally Open (labelled Zone 4 Alt). Either of these inputs can be used while the unused input is left in the ALARM state.

Ultrasonic Scanner

The Alarm System can connect one ultrasonic scanner, primarily intended for use in the side tent where other intruder detection devices are difficult to implement. The ultrasonic scanner needs an entirely clear field of view because any object within the scanning range will reflect a sonic pulse and generate an alarm, whether it is hot, old, moving or stationary. 
The scanning sensor is attached to the outer wall of the caravan at a central spot and at chest height, looking into the side tent. Any object that approached within 2 metres of the sensor for longer than a second will generate an alarm SMS to the designated mobile phone, as well as an alarm display on the Bluetooth connected mobile phone. The ultrasonic sensor cannot be individually disarmed but is armed/disarmed by the master setting on the controlling mobile phone. 
The sensor is held in a lightweight housing that is weatherproof except for the transmit and receive ports which must be open to the air in order to function.  When exposed to the elements, such as when travelling or in outside storage, these ports can be covered with small pieces of masking tape to prevent ingress of water. Leaving the ports taped will render the ultrasonic sensor ineffective.
The UltraSonic Scanner, which weighs just 25g attaches to the caravan sidewall with double-sided mounting tape and requires only one 4mm hole for cable access to the interior of the caravan.

Arming the Alarm System 

Gas Detector
Gas Detector

Individual zones are armed/disarmed by a toggle switch on the VanSecure controller. A disarmed circuit will show a yellow LED indication if it is in the ALARM state, or green if it is SAFE.  Once the entire caravan is closed up the Alarm System is armed from the mobile phone by double clicking a button on the screen. The VanSecure controller will maintain its Armed/Disarmed state even if it temporarily loses power. On your return the mobile phone is Bluetooth connected to the controller and the system is Disarmed by double clicking the screen button.
When the system is armed from the mobile phone any Zone that is not disarmed by front panel switch will generate a caravan intruder alarm SMS (as long as there is prepaid credit on the SIM card), and annunciate a caravan intruder alarm on the mobile phone (as long as they are connected via Bluetooth).

The Target SMS Phone Number

The number of the mobile phone that will receive the Alarm State SMS messages is stored in the controller as well as the mobile phone that serves the controller. The mobile number can be edited at any time and will be automatically transmitted to the controller when the Bluetooth link is established.
To edit the target SMS number double click the Caravan Pilot title. The currently stored number will be displayed. Tap the number to bring up the keyboard, and double click the red underscore to the right of the number when done. 
If the controller is online to the controller the new number will be transmitted immediately, otherwise when the next Bluetooth connection is established. The phone number consists of only the 10 digits directly attributable to the phone - no country code is entered here.

Soft Alarm Zone Names 

Alarm SMS
Alarm SMS

Alarm zone names of up to 12 characters in length can be edited to better reflect the source of the alarm condition. Zone numbers are still used, but zone names can be user-edited for additional clarity. To edit the alarm zone names double click on the Caravan Pilot title at the top of the screen. The existing alarm names will be displayed as well as a Check Box asking whether you want to reset the counter. If you tick this box and double click on the red line under the SMS target phone number a command will be issued to the controller to reset the counter to 1.

When Dual Controllers are implemented the Soft Alarm Names are differentiated as well. Each Controller has it's own unique Alarm Names, but the Target SMS Phone Number remains common to both Controllers. Each Controller also maintains it's own SMS Serial Number.

Extended Antenna

It is often desirable to locate control equipment low down in the caravan under the dinette or near the battery, and this is not always the most favourable position for acquiring network signals. For that reason we can supply antenna extension cables which allow the antenna to be mounted a distance away from the control unit where the RF reception is better.

SMS Credits on the Network

The GSM module in the controller contains a standard network SIM card to which are credited a number of SMS messages either through airtime or by an SMS bundle. If there are no SMS credits on the SIM card then no SMS alarm messages will be sent. There is no way for the GSM module in the controller to determine how many, if any, SMS credits the SIM card currently possesses. It is up to the user to ensure that there are sufficient SMS credits on the SIM card.
 To make it a little easier to keep track of SMS credits the controller keeps a count of the number of SMS messages it sends and this count is displayed on every SMS sent. The count will increase to 200, and then reset to 1. It is also possible to reset this count to 1 from the mobile phone.
By resetting the counter when a new SMS bundle is credited to the SIM card it is possible to anticipate when this bundle is nearing depletion.

SIM Card Auto-Cancellation

Al mobile phone networks will cancel a SIM card after 3 months of inactivity. Once cancelled the SIM cannot be restored - it must be replaced with a newly RICA-ed card. The SIM card is located underneath the GSM module inside the controller housing and does not lend itself to easy removal or insertion. Therefore the SIM card should be exercised at least once every 3 months, either by forcing it to generate at least one SMS message by simulating an Alarm condition (for instance blowing butane gas onto the detector), or adding SMS credit to it.

The SIM card should be checked for operability at a safe interval before departure so that corrective action can be taken in the event of its cancellation by the network.

Replacing the SIM Card

SIM Card Slot
SIM Card Slot

After 3 months on inactivity the mobile network will cancel a SIM card and recycle the mobile telephone number. There is no way to restore the SIM card to operation, it must be replaced. The SIM card is held in the GSM module inside the controller housing and can be reached through an access port behind a screwed-on cover. 

To replace the SIM card remove one of the 2 screws that secure the cover, and slightly loosen the other. Swing the cover away from the slot and the edge of the SIM card will be visible. Press the SIM card lightly into its slot and release. The SIM card will emerge from its housing and can then be removed and replaced. Press the new card gently into the slot (taking care to keep the correct orientation) as far as it will go, and release. The visible edge of the SIM should be flush with its socket. Return the cover and screws to their place.

The SIM card must be RICA'ed and the phone number discovered before the card is inserted. Mobile networks offer a self-RICA-ing system that is sometimes successful, otherwise a visit to an agent is needed.

GSM Interference with Bluetooth Network Communications

The GSM transmitter that sends the SMS is comparatively powerful and is located near the Bluetooth module. Though it works on a different frequency, the power of the GSM radiation is sufficient to swamp the Bluetooth communication and render it temporarily unusable. Since the purpose of sending the SMS is to alert you while you are at some remote location it is unlikely that you will be connected via Bluetooth when this event takes place, so it will be of little consequence and the Bluetooth system will recover after a short time.

Mounting the Magnet & Switch at the Door. 

Mounting the Switches
Mounting the Switches

The magnetic switches and their actuating magnets are commonly available from any electrical or security shop, but the pair of mounting brackets are made by us according to dimensions supplied at the time of ordering. One pair of brackets is included in the price of the unit. (See prices below.)


VanSecure Schematic
VanSecure Schematic