GSM Birth Alarm – User Manual
2. ASSEMBLY AND INSTALLATION
3. INSTALLATION OF THE GSM MODULE
4. CHECKING SYSTEM OPERATION
7. TECHNICAL DATA
Thank you for purchasing Birth Alarm GSM. Birth Alarm GSM is an extremely reliable alarm system for foal births. Before you start to use the system we recommend that you read this manual through carefully, since proper assembly and operation are essential for the system to function correctly.
Gallagher Power Fence Ltd
Curriers Close, Canley
For 2 years after the date of purchase. Guarantee does not apply to breakage, water damage and/or other types of damage. Neither the manufacturer nor the importer is liable for any damage whatsoever resulting from the use of Birth Alarm GSM.
Birth Alarm GSM® is patented and it is a registered trademark.
This product uses the GSM network. To get the best from it, you must determine its maximum range.
If you have any GSM network problems in your region, we cannot guarantee 100% efficiency. You should also test the product thoroughly before use and if necessary, get advice from your provider at the time of installation and be sure to read the manual.
If, when simulating an alarm, the red LED on the case flashes more than once per second, this indicates weak signal strength, so using the product is not recommended.
A call may be missed during temporary overloading of the GSM network (e.g. during the hour after New Year).
Always check that the system is working correctly before placing the unit on the mare.
2. ASSEMBLY AND INSTALLATION
The transmitter must be mounted on the anti-roll bar. All the parts and fittings are included in the packaging.
On and off
There is no on/off button on the transmitter. The principle is simple: when the battery is connected the transmitter is always in standby mode (the power consumption in standby mode gives a maximum life of 3 months).
The transmitter only transmits when it is vertical (in other words as soon as the mare lies down completely flat). The red signal light on the transmitter will then come on.
In order to prevent the battery from being unnecessarily drained which could cause leakage, it is advisable to take the battery out of the transmitter if it is not being used for a long period. Otherwise always hang up the transmitter in a horizontal position when it is not being used.
The transmitter is damaged…
… Return the transmitter to us immediately. We will test the transmitter for you and replace any damaged parts.
Tip – how to use the girth Make sure the girth is well positioned. The girth should be just a bit looser than a saddle girth. If the girth is too loose, the Birth Alarm GSM can slip partly off the mare’s withers when she is lying against the wall. This results in false alarms or no alarms at all.
Get the mare accustomed to the girth beforehand.
Use the supplied belly strap (or a soft alternative). The girth might move to just behind the front legs because of the shape of the pregnant horse. If any irritation arises use a girth protector. Take the girth off the mare regularly. Clean the girth and brush and tend the skin. It is particularly important not to forget this in the spring when the mare is moulting.
For miniature Shetland ponies it may be necessary to fit a tail strap to the girth so that it will stay in place.
The anti-roll bar with transmitter can stay on during foaling.
3. PROGRAMMING AND INSTALLATION OF THE GSM MODULE Important:
It is advisable to use a pre-paid card in your BA GSM system. These offer a number of advantages, including:
- you can program the pre-paid card with a pre-paid phone. It is advisable to buy a card from the same provider
as you have for your pre-paid phone - you can program the pre-paid card from all other providers with a SIM
Regarding the SIM lock: Any unit with a SIM lock can be made SIM lockfree at no charge by your provider if the SIM lock
has been installed for one year or longer. Contact your provider for details (the SIM lock is on the GSM unit, not the SIM card).
You should choose a provider known to provide good coverage in the area where you will be using the BA GSM
(see also “Pan Test”).
Instructions for programming a (prepaid) SIM card
Buy a (pre-paid) SIM card from a GSM supplier.
Install the SIM card in your GSM phone. As mentioned It is advisable to buy a card from the same provider as you have for your pre-paid phone.
New SIM cards from some providers have pre-programmed numbers and provider service numbers. You can delete these yourself or get the sales outlet or provider to delete all numbers from the SIM card for you.
Almost all GSM phones and providers are set up such that if there is no response or the number is engaged or the like, the re-routing function is activated. In order to save on call costs and for optimal operation of the Birth Alarm, it is recommended that this function be switched off (see phone operating manual).
Switch off the mailbox service or voicemail (or have it switched off for you) to save on call costs and battery life. Follow the instructions in your GSM's manual for programming the number or numbers to be called.
Important: Remove the PIN code from the SIM card!
Activate the SIM card in accordance with the directions given in your provider manual.
For used SIM cards: Make sure that you have sufficient credit on your card (see provider manual).
Note: If you live in a border area and want to be alerted in the other country as well, make sure that your SIM cards
works on the other side of the border!
Programming numbers to be called
You should now program the SIM card in your GSM with the phone numbers the Birth Alarm transmitter is to call in the event of an alarm. You can enter a maximum of 2 phone numbers in the phone book for calling (after programming) in the event of an alarm (if you program in just 1 number, only that number will be called).
Give the programmed phone number/numbers a name/names: AA and BB (upper or lower case, but do use “AA”!).
There should be no other entries in your telephone book which start with AA, Aa, aA, BB, Bb or bB!
In the event of an alarm, these are phoned in the above order (e.g. if only one number has been programmed (“AA”), only that number will be called). Insert the SIM card in the Birth Alarm.
In the event of an alarm and no response being received, the Birth Alarm will be stopped automatically in ± 10 minutes, i.e., after trying the programmed numbers 8 times in sequence.
See the instruction manual for how to stop the alarm before this time has elapsed.
Once the numbers have been programmed on the SIM card, remove the card from your GSM phone and place it in the Birth Alarm transmitter.
To do so, remove the cover on the transmitter and insert the SIM card in the card holder as follows.
Slide open the clip, then insert the SIM card in the holder (copper-coloured side down).
Close the clip, then push the slide in the direction of the arrow (LOCK).
Insert the 9-Volt battery supplied in the transmitter. Use only a new, non-rechargeable Duracell battery.
Safety precaution: insert a new battery after each foaling/birth!
Replace the cover and set up the transmitter correctly (horizontal), otherwise the alarm will go off.
Assembling the transmitter (on the antiroll bar)
Pull the three (or five if required) tie clips through the gaps in the transmitter section. Make sure the ribbed side of the tie clips is on the inside. You can feel them with your hand.
Make sure that the closing system on the tie clip is not on top of the rolling bar. In doing this you can prevent the tie clip from being damaged, for example when the mare rolls over. Cut or snip off the loose ends of the tie clips leaving 0.5cm.
Test the Birth Alarm GSM now for a proper operation (see testing the Birth Alarm GSM, page...)
Place the transmitter upright on the anti-roll bar. The flat base of the transmitter MUST BE COMPLETELY horizontal.
Attach the two hose clamps only around the antiroll bar of the girth, in such a way that they are pressed right up against the two lowest tie clips. If this is done the transmitter will be firmly attached and it can no longer shift out of position.
Undo the 10 cross-head screws at the front of the transmitter case.
Attach the 9V battery which is included, and press it firmly onto the battery contact clip to ensure a good connection. Then tighten the screws again and make sure the packing on the lid is in place. If assembled properly, the transmitter is now watertight.
The transmitter is now ready for use.
Tip: Also program the number(s) on the Birth Alarm transmitter to which the alarm should be sent in your own GSM phone and give them a clear name such as “Alarm”. If the alarm is triggered, it will be clear on your screen that this has happened. This also makes it easier to ring back and cancel the alarm.
Your Birth Alarm GSM is now ready for use.
Setting the transmitter
There is a black rubber button and a red LED on the back of the Birth Alarm transmitter. If you press the button briefly, the LED will flash 2 or 3 times.
- If the LED flashes once, the Birth Alarm mode is set for normal foaling (status 4a – see Birth Alarm manual).
- If the LED flashes 3 times, the Birth Alarm is set to horizontal foaling mode (status 4b – see Birth Alarm manual).
To change modes 4a and 4b, press the rubber button for ± 4 seconds until the red LED goes out.
To check whether 4a or 4b is set, press the rubber button and note how many times the LED flashes.
Testing your Birth Alarm GSM
Set the transmitter to mode 4a. Hold the transmitter vertical for at least 10 seconds. The red LED should come on for ± 8 seconds, then start flashing.
The Birth Alarm GSM transmitter should now be active, and the provider can try to call the first programmed number (red LED will be on continuously if the provider is found).
This procedure takes about 30 seconds. The first programmed number is then called.
You now have 2 options:
1- You answer your phone and hear peep-----peep-----peep-----etc. (and/or you see the Birth Alarm number on the screen). You then hang up and call the Birth Alarm GSM number, let the number ring twice, then hang up.
This is how you stop and reset the Birth Alarm GSM.
2- You do not answer your phone – you see the Birth Alarm number on your screen. The alarm stops after ± 10 seconds. One minute later, the next number is called if more than one number has been programmed in. Otherwise, the first number is called again.
Here too, you call the Birth Alarm GSM number, let it ring twice, then hang up.
This is how you stop and reset the Birth Alarm GSM.
Option 2 (not answering) saves you using the credit on the Birth Alarm SIM card and saves the battery.
If, when testing the system, you want to switch off the red LED and/or reset the Birth Alarm, just press the rubber button briefly until the LED goes out.
4. CHECKING SYSTEM OPERATION
The Birth Alarm GSM is fitted with a built-in battery monitor.
If you hold the anti-roll bracket in your hand, turn the transmitter to the vertical position and see the red LED come on continuously for ± 8 seconds,next it will flash and then the battery is OK.
However, if the LED flashes slowly right away, the battery should be replaced.
If the LED does not come on at all, the battery is flat and should also be replaced.
NB: A fully loaded battery should be good for 50 calls.
- that there is enough credit on your SIM card
- that the Birth Alarm GSM is working, by simulating an alarm by holding the transmitter vertical for ± 10 seconds.
Birth Alarm alerts use transmitter power and put a peak load on the battery. This is different from the use of a flashlight, for example, which only gradually uses battery power. A high-quality (alkaline) battery will provide a high level of power until it is
almost flat. The power then drops sharply and the battery is dead.
A standard (zinc) battery delivers a constantly high level of power for a short time, then the power gradually drops until the battery is dead.
After testing various kinds of batteries, we have found that only high-quality batteries are suitable for use with the Birth Alarm, because they supply sufficient power, maintain it at a high level for a long period, and are, therefore, reliable. That is why we recommend using (alkaline) Duracell or (alkaline) Panasonic batteries.
Don't risk it: insert a new battery after each new foaling/birth!
NB: Do not dispose of Birth Alarm batteries which have only been used once. They are probably not flat and can be used for flashlights, toys, radios, etc.
Do you want to know whether the GSM is receiving satisfactorily? Try the Pan test below.
Every GSM phone has a signal strength indicator on the screen (often shown in the form of bars).
If the signal strength is not at its best at the location where foaling will take place, the pan test is an option for determining whether the GSM will receive properly.
- Place a GSM phone with the Birth Alarm SIM card in an iron pan.
- Hold the pan vertical (on its side) and turn it slowly through 360º (take at least 3 minutes), keeping the phone's signal strength indicator visible.
- If enough signal strength shows on the screen through the entire 360º, you can be sure that a horizontal birth will be signalled by the Birth Alarm at that location.
Warning: exposing the Birth Alarm GSM to water is disastrous for the sensitive technology inside Birth Alarm GSM.
You can avoid damage to the transmitter, for example by making sure that the transmitter is out of reach of other horses.
A pregnant mare normally gives birth when there is nobody around. This is a natural behaviour of horses.
A foaling stall (for a single horse) must be at least 3.5 square metres and must not contain any obstacles or protrusions which might damage the transmitter and/or the horse.
It is well known that foaling out of doors is always preferable for reasons of hygiene, space etc.
Warning: Avoid sloping or uneven ground if you let the mare move around freely outside, since sloping or uneven ground may have a negative effect on the function of Birth Alarm GSM.
If the alarm sounds and the birth is about to happen, try to leave the mare alone perhaps watching the birth via CCTV or similar.
Check if the front legs of the foal are in the right position and clean the mouth of the foal after the head becomes visible. However try to leave the mare alone as much as possible until after the birth. The mare will get up by herself. In that way the blood can still flow to the foal via the placenta.
After the mare stands up the umbilical cord will break at the weakest point, a few centimetres from the foals belly.
Don’t have too much bedding in the stall. The young foal will have trouble moving about in it.
Have some wood shavings and sand available close to the stall.
After the birth put some wood shavings on the wet spots in the bedding behind the mare. If you are using straw in the stall spread some sand on it. The sand will fall through the straw on the stall floor and prevents the foal from slipping when trying to get up.
Get the mare used to the barn lights you are using during the birth by switching them on at unusual times during the evenings before the birth.
A perfect bedding can be made by using wood shavings in a layer of 10 cm. Prepare this bedding about 2 weeks before the birth.
The advantage is that the mare doesn’t get injured by this type of bedding. No slippery floors because it absorbs the amniotic fluids. The foal gets up easier and learns to walk faster and easier than in a thick layer of straw. As a result of this the foal is less likely to get injured by repeatedly getting up and falling down.
Red LED on constantly: Signal strength OK
Red LED flashes very quickly: Signal strength too weak.
When the transmitter is held vertically (activating the alarm), the LED indicates the following starting states:
First second: nothing; then, the red LED either:
Flashes = low battery.
Burns continuously for 10 seconds (= 7 seconds to activate the alarm + 3 seconds to check the internal mobile module).
NB: After being held vertical for 7 seconds, the transmitter can be returned to a horizontal position while it runs through the entire alarm procedure. If there is something wrong with the module, the transmitter will try 6 times (i.e. for 30 seconds) to activate the module. If there is nothing wrong, the transmitter switches off and returns to its rest state (=>LED goes out).
The transmitter now looks for the numbers of the SIM card and the provider's network. This is indicated by the LED flashing at the normal rate for 20-40 seconds.
If the reception is poor, the LED flashes very fast for a longer period.
If everything is working properly (provider network found, signal strength and SIM card OK), the transmitter dials the first programmed number.
The Birth Alarm is now in the calling phase.
At the start of the calling phase, the LED is on continuously.
During calling, it flashes at a 5 seconds on/1 second off tempo. The calling phase lasts for about 20 seconds.
NB: The flashing of the LED does not indicate that the call has actually been successful.
At the start of the calling phase, it can take the number called about 5 seconds to ring.
If the transmitter makes contact with the number called, the LED flashes very slowly for 13 seconds. The number also rings for 13 seconds. If it is not answered, the calling phase is repeated after 90 seconds.
NB: There is no signal strength check during the calling phase.
In the rest phase, the LED stays on continuously (if not called back), and the transmitter checks the signal strength for the 90 seconds:
The red LED can indicate 3 important phases if the transmitter is held vertically:
Red LED immediately starts flashing at normal rate during testing: Battery low.
Red LED flashes very quickly: Poor reception;
Red LED flashes for one minute, then repeats the program: SIM card faulty (e.g. not properly programmed).
Things to know:
Birth Alarm GSM is patented in the Netherlands and has been on the market since 1990. Since its introduction more than 80,000 foals have successfully been born using this system.
Birth Alarm GSM is used worldwide and is without a doubt market leader in its area. Even the very first systems are still being used year after year to the full satisfaction of the user.
Using the Birth Alarm GSM in combination with low cost CCTV systems is a good alternative.
7. TECHNICAL DATA
Transmitter – single-channel transmitter
Frequency : GSM 1800
Operational temp. : -15°C to 55°C
Power supply : 9V – DC (battery)
Power consumption : max. 40 mA
Dimensions : 13.0 l x 4.0 w x 9.0 h (cm)
Weight : Approx. 200g