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Gallagher F Series Controller: Power to the People

Gallagher’s latest F Series powered fence controllers make an excellent perimeter security solution even more capable. If you have a security application that demands proactive defence, either integrated with existing alarm systems or as part of a Gallagher security management system, this is the solution for you. 

I’VE always had a healthy respect for Gallagher powered fences, a technology which first came to my attention when my sister Elisabeth was born in October 1971. While mum resided at Franklin Memorial Hospital, my younger brother and I billeted at the dairy farm of our parents’ friends, the Muirs, near the mouth of the Waikato River. During our fortnight in the country, the Muir boys introduced their Waiuku visitors to an air rifle, their maniacal brake-less billycart and a Gallagher powered fence. It only hurts a wee bit, the Muirs urged, with gleams in their eyes. 

Neither of us ever forgot the dead thump of conjoining with an electrical circuit and I recalled it again at Security 2016 when jokingly encouraged by a bright spark in an orange shirt to touch a Gallagher ‘energized platform’. There are serious lessons in my childhood experience for thoughtful security practitioners. Gallagher powered fences are excellent perimeter security solutions that turn static perimeter barriers into proactive defence mechanisms. They detect and report intrusion attempts while encouraging compliance in a completely safe but entirely unforgettable way. And with the latest iteration of Gallagher’s F Series Controllers, this encouragement is malleable – it can be increased automatically if extended contact is made with an energized strand. 

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Gallagher manufactures 2 F Series Fence Controller variants, the F31 and F32 – the F31 has 1 zone and the F32 has 2 zones. And just released are the new F41 and F42 controllers, which have Gallagher’s calls HD Pulse. What this does is detect people climbing up the fence via a change in voltage threshold. If a change is detected, the controllers automatically increases the voltage from 7kV to 10kV, or if it’s dual pulse fence, from 16kV to 20kV. The controller then keeps the fence at the elevated voltage for 20 minutes before re-setting itself. To demonstrate the effect, Gallagher’s Karl Harris touches the fence with an insulated metal tool. SNAP!

“The controllers are either a standalone solution which works with any alarm panel or security management solution available on the market,” Harris explains. “But when it’s installed with a Gallagher system it becomes a network product, another device linked to a head end that’s fully embedded into the Gallagher system with no integration needed, and controlled by a mobile app or directly through Command Centre or one of our T20 controllers.” 

Features include 2.3J output per circuit, single or dual and there are alarms for fence zone, battery missing, battery test failure, tamper, over-temperature, LV signal loss, conflicting sync masters, or service mode enabled. You also get a 5-day historic alarm retention, there’s support for external power management options, voltage and internal temperature reporting and automatic software upgrades.

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F Series Fence Controllers are delivered in stand-alone configuration and can easily be configured as networked fence controllers via a simple on-board switch. The stand-alone configuration is designed to integrate with a customer’s existing alarm panel using simple I/O connections. This allows arming, disarming, and alarm management. Configuration of the device is via internal switches, control is via input signals, and monitoring is via alarms (visible on the cover display) and relay output signals to an alarm panel or other indicator devices. Stand-alone systems may consist of an individual fence controller or multiple fence controllers which are synchronized. 

F Series Fence Controllers can be connected via HBUS to Command Centre software, where alarm monitoring, hardware/software configuration and data reporting can all be undertaken. F Series Fence Controllers use Gallagher’s HBUS protocol for secure communication to a Controller 6000 which communicates to the server/workstation (Command Centre) via a TCP/IP network.

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While checking out the new controllers, I also get a look at the new Gallagher pull-through and a new high-gloss insulator, the former eliminates the stresses and strains imposed on the wheels used to tension and change direction, the latter sheds dust and dirt, reducing environmental resistance. The team also shows me the integrated taut wire sensors that allow the fence to report climbing attempts when in maintenance mode, a mode which can be activated and deactivated with a small wireless key. All these things make installation easier and quicker and add value to what was already an unforgettable perimeter security solution. ♦

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