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George’s CBAS Tips, August 2022


Activity View

Keeping with the Text View menu items theme for the past few months, I will talk about Activity View this month. Activity View was developed for situations where someone monitors activity, especially Alarms and Troubles, during the day or night. Usually, it’s the engineering staff or the officers at the security desk in the lobby. Some larger buildings have 24-hour security personnel that monitor the system and watch for anything unusual. Most of what they are looking for is security-related, but will sometimes notify engineering staff in the case of an HVAC alarm.

Activity View was originally intended for CBAS systems using Card Access Control for the doors in the building. Activity View can show every card used at every door in the building or just for certain doors. It can also show pictures if the building is associating pictures of the cardholder with the cards. Using this feature, Security personnel could compare the picture with the actual person gaining access at the main entry door. You can also click a line showing a card scan and see how that card is configured. The line will also show whether the card was granted access, denied (and for what reason), or if it is an unknown card (not programmed in the database).

In order to set up how pictures are displayed and not displayed, go to System, then Configure Workstation. In the Activity View Setup section, click Picture Setup. There are lots of other things related to Access Control on the next screen but look at the Picture Setup section.

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On each card scan that is shown in Activity, you can choose to show the card number and Company. You can select to show card scans only at certain doors. This way the security people get the activity from the doors that are most important. You can choose to show pictures of the last 1 to 4 cards that were used.

However, most of you won’t be using Access Control. Various other info can be shown in Activity View depending on how you set it up. Go back to the Configure Workstation screen by right-clicking or pressing the ESC key on the keyboard. Refer to the Activity View Setup section.

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Show Automation Alarms/Troubles/Return to Normals applies mostly to alarms that are set up on HVAC equipment and temperatures in spaces. However, many buildings have contacts on doors that show whether they are open or closed. Usually, these are areas that are off limits like stairwell doors.

If you have a CSimon Fire Alarm system in the building, you can choose to show Alarms and Troubles relating to smoke and heat detectors, etc.

If you have an interface to CSI brand controllers, you can choose to show that activity by checking the box and selecting what types of events you want to show.

One other thing is that Security desk users can be set up with a username in CBAS that restricts them to only see Activity View and Alarms as well as Acknowledge alarms. Do this by going to System and then Program Passwords. Either insert a new user or Edit an existing user and only check those 3 boxes.

So that the security user (probably multiple users) does not have to log in, go to Configure Workstation on the security desk computer only. At the top of that screen, where it says Use Inactivity Timeout, change the Default User to the Security User. It should always show the Security user logged in unless someone else logs in.

More to explore