Energy Management System (EMS) product update – new feature: triple alternating beacon flash pattern "0.5A3"

This article details the triple alternating beacon flash pattern "0.5A3" EMS feature update: when it occurred, the firmware version required, how it works, and more.

Product applicability

The following products are discussed in this article:

  • E Series: R247-E and R829-E
  • F Series: R247-F and R829-F
  • G Series: R247-G and R829-G

When did this update occur?

Starting in late 2020 Q1, all systems above received this update. This includes all replacement Energy Management System (EMS) boards. The new flash pattern will show up as 0.5A3 under the flash (FLAS) menu. 

What firmware version is required?

This flash pattern is supported starting with firmware version 1.1.3.0.

Theory of operation

The primary application for a triple alternating beacon setup is for a confirmation beacon. Two beacons would flash in an alternating pattern facing traffic while the third beacon would face away from traffic. This setup could be used in a school zone, for example: the rear-facing beacon would notify school personnel the beacons are on and that the reduced school speed limit is in effect.

What has been improved?

Building this feature into the firmware of the EMS has numerous benefits:

  • Cost reduction: Flash pattern can be used on smaller systems and product configurations (feature is standard)

  • Radio add-on not required

  • Simplified and pre-wired from the factory

  • Frees up G Series cabinet space to take advantage of third-party add-ons, such as monitoring or time switches (this space was previously taken up by a second EMS which was required to make a triple alternating beacon function)

The LED wiring and intensity setting must be configured correctly for this flash pattern to work properly. Refer to the full product manuals here for more information on setting up a triple beacon system. 

Contact Carmanah if you are unsure what intensity setting you should be programming into the EMS. If you set the intensity too high, it could prematurely drain the battery on a solar-based system.

The Energy Management System (EMS) is factory programmed and the firmware cannot be updated in the field.