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Ampac FireFinder Product Obsolescence

The Ampac FireFinder has been with us as one of Australia's most popular fire panels for over 20 years. The earliest verifiable reference I could find was the ActivFire Certificate of Conformity AFP-1160 going back to October 1998. As with all good things, Halma the owners of Ampac Technologies has advised that the FireFinder range of panels will be made obsolete, with last orders being received on November 1, 2021.

CEO, Firewize
13 Sep, 2021
Ampac FireFinder

The Ampac FireFinder range of Fire Detection and Alarm Systems has been serving the Australian community for over 20+ years. Today however, Halma the Parent Company of Ampac Pty Limited announced that the FireFinder range of fire panels will be made obsolete.

In their announcement Halma noted that;

Over the last five years, we have experienced many challenges due to electronic technology changes and components becoming difficult to purchase which have had various impacts on our ability to continuously manufacture the product.

Unfortunately, with the recent global pandemic and economic situation these challenges have escalated to levels not seen before and the list of components used in the FireFinder that are now discontinued is ever growing

With the announcement Adam Skellham, Global Product Manager for Ampac noted that Ampac have a limited selection of FireFinder panel product codes (i.e. specific product combinations of features including cabinet size and factory fitted options). Specific details of what is available for order must come from your local Ampac branch. According to the release notice, the last orders will much be placed and received by Ampac (subject to availability) by November 1, 2021.

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Upgrade path

Like other manufacturers of fire detection and alarm systems such as the Vigilant F4000 and Notifer AFP 2800 which have also been made obsolete in the past couple of years, Ampac do have a clearly defined upgrade path with backward compatibility for existing FireFinder systems.

According to the ActivFire Certificate of Conformity (AFP-2954), the newer Ampac FireFinder Plus was first registered in September 2014 and retains significant device compatibility with the older FireFinder. According to the Certificate of Conformity the FireFinder Plus  in an analogue / addressable and conventional fire alarm control panel capable of supporting;

  • Apollo Discovery and XP95 intelligent detectors;
  • Addressable initiating devices;
  • Conventional two wire zone detector circuits;
  • Multiple input/output devices
  • Agent release, fan controls, high-level interfaces, a smart graphical user interface, smart terminals and remote LED mimic panels.

The system can support a maximum of 8 slave CPU's for any one controller with a maximum of addressable 16 loops.

Product Support & Spare Parts

While Ampac announced the FireFinder has been made obsolete, they went on to say that;

After this date (November 1, 2021) replacement parts will be available whilst electronic components remain available, and manufacturing remains viable. Alternatively, our sales team will be happy to discuss panel and system upgrade solutions to our “FireFinder Plus” range of control and indicating panels.

In respect to the FireFinder the most common parts that may likely to be required include the following due to expansion of existing systems or failure of an existing component;

  • Main Board (Master)
  • Slave CPU Cards
  • Addressable Loop Cards 
  • Network Interface Cards

There are many other cards and components that may be required over time and Ampac appear to place some limits on these components subject to "electronic components remaining available and manufacturing remains viable".

Related Information

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