Author: Jiří Osoba
The JABLOTRON 100 Innovative Keypad
T he main idea behind the JABLOTRON 100 alarm is easy operation together with a clear and comprehensible display of the state of each section and each controlled output. With one push of a button a user switches the status and sees it comprehensibly displayed in red and green, the same as traffic lights. This very simple principle, however, entailed a whole number of design challenges. Segments Primarily it was necessary to decide how to link the individual segments, which was not in any way simple from the viewpoint of mechanical design. The anchor points that hold the segments level on the wall were then designed. Their design may be mechanically simple, but because of them there was not much room for electronics in the segments. Even the Electronics of One Segment Are Very Sophisticated When developing the electronics it was necessary to take into consideration requirements for adding or taking away segments in accordance with user needs. During the intensive work on the most suitable solution other necessary alterations were necessary to the surface. One of them was, for example, synchronisation of the flashing of segments, because in the event that more than one segment was indicating at the same time (for example the alarm was going off in four sections), the flashing could not be chaotic and different in each segment. We also focused on managing the brightness, which can be changed in all the segments. The brightness has to be the same on all the connected segments, so that the keypad looks good. On the first prototype segments it was found that not all LED diodes were permanently lit the same. The producers of these parts cannot supply a whole batch of diodes that are completely the same, which is visible in the green colour spectrum. We had to find a way during the production of the diode to calibrate a segment in the tester so that all the finished segments connected on top of each other were permanently lit the same way. Today the tester is used to check the spectrum and brightness, which is set in accordance with needs and controlled by the processor. The Lower Part of the Keypad Design understandably played a big part in the development of the keypad. The internal structure, in particular, had to adapt to this. The slightly convex appearance is due to the fact that inside there is relatively little space for taller components. We had to deal with this during development. Boards with components are therefore assembled as a sandwich so that inside everything fits together in height terms. A unique solution in the case of a wireless keypad, which provides users with a big advantage, is its waking up from sleep mode directly after a transmisson. In practice this means that the keypad starts to signal an entry delay as soon as you go into the room, even though prior to this it was saving battery power and was in sleep mode. It is therefore easier for a user to determine whether the system is set our unset. We spent a long time tuning this function and are justly proud of the solution, because other wireless systems do not have it.
The View of Designer Jan Tuček The rule for Jablotron products is that a product has to be pleasing to the eye, as well as being defect-free and user-friendly. In the case of a keypad, which a user comes into contact with practically every day, this applies much more. “This time we got a fairly precise assignment from Mr. Dědek, the owner-founder of Jablotron Group. His vision was a control keypad that could be expanded depending on the number of security zones. Very much like a Lego set. Each zone has its own independent segment with easy control using two buttons – red for setting, green for unsetting. Traffic lights were the inspiration here” said the author of the product’s design Jan Tuček, currently one of the most sought-after technical designers in Europe.