An open letter to EAS CAP encoder/decoder/receiver manufacturers:
In light on the revised EAS/CAP rollout I’d like to take a moment to encourage the legacy manufacturers to rethink your product offerings in order to bring them into the modern age. New encoder/decoders should have at a minimum the following features:
A. An IP-addressable internal Web page for network configuration; multiple e-mail/text/pager alert settings for multiple alert levels (RWT, RMT, etc.). The e-mail/text feature must support modern server security features such as user log-ins/passwords, SSL and alternate IP ports.
B. Pre-scheduling of weekly tests (RWTs) with operator pre-warn via Web browser with text import capability.
C. Support for the configuration of multiple closure inputs and outputs, configurable for a multitude of features.
D. An option to print to any standard IP/USB network printer with network/USB printer configuration and testing.
E. IP-based NTP automatic time setting configurable for local time zone/DST. No longer should we have to rely on a 60 Hz AC line input in an attempt to hold an accurate time.
F. Permanent alert/event capture buffer for all events, with report generation and printing (weekly/monthly), upon demand.
G. RS-232 output support for Beta Brite-type signs/annunciators.
H. RS-232 output for manufacturer/third-party EAS monitoring software.
I. Ethernet-based e-mail/text/pager alerts for failed events, i.e. no RWT for eight or more days.
J. Timely online 24-hour access to full equipment documentation.
Further, no longer should those of us in charge of ensuring the proper operation and compliance of the EAS/CAP system have to endure a printer that looks and operates like it came out of a 1970’s-era calculator, utilizing a paper roll that is about 10 feet long and a ribbon that lasts about a week. In this day of ubiquitous IP/USB network printing, utilizing and relying on the above outdated technology simply makes no sense at all.
B. Robert Clark
Director of Engineering, IT and Communications
Taxi Productions Inc.