How to configure serial ASCII alarms on a Digital Sentry (DS) system.


How to configure serial alarms on the DSSRV.

Product Line

Pelco Video Management


  • DSSRV2
  • DS NVs
  • Digital Sentry
  • DS ControlPoint
  • Serial Alarms (uses RS232)
    • Continuous recording
    • Trigger recording
    • DS Control Point alarm pop
    • Trigger alarm PTZ preset


Configuration of serial alarms with unique alarm text and alarm popup using DS ControlPoint.


How to enable the serial port (DSSRV only)

  1. Reboot the DSSRV.
  2. Start pressing the Delete key when the unit is powering up to enter the BIOS.
  3. In the BIOS use the arrow keys on the keyboard to navigate to the Advanced menu.
  4. In Advanced select NCT6776F Super IO Configuration press Enter.
  5. In the NCT66776F Super IO Configuration select Serial Port 1 Configuration and press Enter.
  6. In Serial Port 1 Configuration select Serial Port press Enter, select Enabled from the dropdown list and press Enter.
  7. Press F4 to Save & Exit.
  8. At the prompt select Yes and press Enter.
  9. Wait for the DSSRV to boot back into Windows.
  10. Open the ControlPointCache file.
    Note: Make Sure DS ControlPoint is closed before proceeding.
  11. Click Start > Run
  12. Type %appdata% and hit ENTER.
  13. Open Pelco folder
  14. Right-click ControlPointCache.XML  select Edit
  15. Press CTRL + F and do a search for COM1
  16. Change the COM1 to an Unused COM#
    Note: The COM# does not have to physically exist.
  17. Save the File.


Configuring DS Admin for serial alarms

  1. Once back in Windows log into DS Admin using a account with administrator privileges.
  2. In DS Admin click the + next to the computer name under available systems.
  3. Click on the computer name.

    DS Admin Computer Name

  4. Click the + next to the VAU.
  5. Under the VAU click on the VAU computer name.
  6. On the right side click the Serial Ports tab.

    VAU Serial Ports
  7. Under Unused COM Ports scroll down to COM1 and click it, click ADD>> to move COM1 to Assigned COM Ports.
  8. Under Interface Type make sure its set to Monitor.
  9. First, Second, and Third End line character set to @
  10. On the bottom of the Serial Ports tab checkmark the Active box.
  11. Click on the Port Settings tab, verify ComPort is COM1, Baud Rate 9600, Parity None, Stop Bits 1.
  12. Click on the General tab (Reset Text tab on older versions of software), type in the text that will reset the alarm and then click Add.
    *The tab will say general however the text entered here is what will reset the alarm. This text is generated from the ASCii device to stop recording.

  13. Click the Required Text tab, type in the text that is required for the alarm then click Add.
  14. Click the Alarm Text tab, type in the alarm text that will show on the alarm and then click Add.
  15. Click the Normal Text tab, type in the normal text and then click Add.
  16. Click Save.
  17. On the left-hand pane of DS Admin right-click Zones, click on Add Zone.
  18. At the Add Zone dialog box give the Zone a name, a description can also be entered but is not required.
  19. Once the Zone has been added click the + next to Zones, click on the Zone name for the zone previously entered in step 17.
  20. Click on the Cameras tab for the newly created zone and add the cameras by clicking on them selecting Add this will move them to Cameras Assigned.
  21. Click on the Serial Input tab, verify that Serial Ports shows COM1 under Unique Zone Text type in the text previously entered Alarm text in step 13. (Note: Generally should be unique to each zone if more than one zone is required)
  22. Click on the Schedule tab, verify Fast is selected.
  23. The COM1 port and the Unique Zone text will now appear under Unique Zone Text Assigned.


Configuring Alarm Popup on DS ControlPoint

  1. Open DS ControlPoint and click on the Setup icon DS ControlPoint Setup Icon
  2. In Setup click on Alarm Popup.
    *If Alarm Popup is disabled clicking on it will enable it.
  3. In Alarm Popup checkmark Show serial alarms.
  4. Click Return to Setup.
  5. Click the Live tab to return DS ControlPoint to the Live video view.


Testing the Serial Alarm

  1. Connect a null modem serial cable to the COM ports on each machine.
    *Null Modem cable must be used a straight through will not work.
  2. On the machine that will send alarms open Windows HyperTerminal or PuTTY.
  3. Set the COM port when prompted to Baud Rate 9600, Data Bits 8, Parity None, Stop Bits 1.
  4. Type in your alarm text previously entered in step 13.
  5. Press Enter, this will generate the alarm and the DS ControlPoint pop-up
    • Check the log file (in C:\Digitalsentry\logfiles) to verify that the information sent through the com port was received by the DS system.


NOTE: To have an ASCII string control PTZ funtions on a camera, you will need to configure a Zone and have the Required Text match the Unique Zone Text using DS Admin.

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