Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How can I determine if FST Wireless Remote Switches will work in my structure?
A: If you can reliably receive and make cell phone calls from your building (with doors closed) on the AT&T cell system, an FST Wireless Remote should work quite well. If in doubt FST can check your user location against the AT&T coverage map or FST can check for you. For best reception you may have to attempt calls from various locations in the building to determine where the most reliable signal is received. In steel buildings this may be near a door, especially if it has a window. If you can send and receive calls with the doors open, but not with them closed you will need a Remote Antenna, available from FST LLC.
The REGAL PRO, can be interrogated for cell signal strength and will return a signal strength value. The REGAL PRO can also be equipped with a Remote Antenna that can be mounted on the outside of a building in an area of best reception. Note: A remote antenna will get the cell signal into a cell resistant structure, but a use-able signal must be present in the area.
Q: How much will it cost to operate FST wireless remotes on a monthly or yearly basis?
A: FST cellular remotes use GSM (cell phone) technology and come with an active, non-contract, cell phone account on the AT&T network. Cell accounts are established by FST, a Direct Representative of the cell carrier AirVoice Wireless.
FST remote switches use AirTime for simple activations and texts in the form of brief text messages for programming and responses to interrogation. The monthly charges can be less than $3.50 per month depending on interactive use. FST also offers CMS, a cell account subscription to relieve users of direct account management.
Q: How long should it take for a unit to respond to a command?
A: A unit should respond within a few seconds but sometimes if there is cellular network congestion or if you send multiple commands within a few seconds it may take up to 5 minutes for the unit to respond to a command. Patience is a virtue.
Also, if the unit can’t reach the cellular network (temporarily bad signal) the network will hold the text messages in the cellular system till it becomes available and then it will act on them as quickly as it can. Therefore sometimes you will get responses hours later or multiple responses.
Q: Can I use an FST Remote outdoors?
A: Currently all FST products are designed for indoor use only.
Q: What do I get with purchase of an FST Remote Switch?
A: The FST product package includes the product (built in the U.S.), an active cell service on the ATT network, free smartphone control Apps, access to manuals, and free customer service by phone, text, and email.
Q: What general precautions should be taken when using FST Remote Switches?
A: Assure that all electrical cords have grounded plugs, are in good condition and will carry the required electrical load per NEC code requirements. Place the unit on a platform at least 12 inches above the floor for protection from moisture and corrosive or flammable liquids and vapors (a 5 gallon bucket is a good platform). Do not use remote units to control life support or other critical equipment.
Q: What do I do if I experience problems with my FST Remote?
A: First consult the trouble shooting section of your owner’s manual. Next you can email FST anytime at [email protected] or you can also call/text FST at 262-412-7580 during office hours (see our contact us page for more information) to speak to our technical representatives.
Q: How long should I preheat my engine(s) before startup?
A: Preheat time depends on a number of variables such as: ambient temperature, local air currents, quality/security of engine cover insulation and how warm your particular engine needs to be for easy starting. Some preheat manufacturers provide guidelines for preheat time versus temperature on their websites and other recommendations.
Aluminum fixed-pitch propellers are an often overlooked factor in preheat times. Props are large heat sinks that can dissipate heat into the surrounding air. Prop covers can reduce this loss.
Q: What does “Free Customer Service” actually mean?
A: FST Customer service is provided by email, phone, and text for free as long as the original purchaser contacts us with the request for the product. Specifically, FST will make changes to system settings such as the approved user and administrator lists. As a representative of the cell carrier, FST can also handle service replenishment and other cell service inquiries.
Q: What is the difference between the discontinued REGAL WDR and the New REGAL PRO?
A: Both units are interactive, using Smartphone Apps or text and phone calls to turn the power outlets ON and OFF. Both can also be interrogated for current system settings and operating status. Both have 1700 Watt switching capacity allowing a single unit to serve two aircraft independently.
In addition to the historic features of the WDR, the PRO has a new clock-based activation feature, allowing users to set a unit’s outlets to turn ON at a specific time of day and turn OFF after user selected Run times expire. PRO also advises users when a power outage has occurred, prompting them to re-set the on-board clock and/or cancel any active commands that were canceled by the outage.
Q: What is the advantage of having “Replaceable Relays” in the REGAL units?
A: FST uses relays that are replaceable so that there is a higher reliability and easy way to repair a Regal unit should one fail. They are one of the only items that wears on a unit through use. They also allow us to achieve higher switching capacities then are possible with board mounted switches as well.
Q: Why does it take so long to ship an FST product?
A: All FST products are assembled to your order to assure quality and compliance with customer requests. Also the phone numbers must be obtained. Then the carrier features modified for use by our systems. Additional each unit is custom programmed to the customer’s order and operationally tested. The units commands and interrogations are tested for operation.
Q: What is “Active” security?
A: The REGAL PRO has high level, active security that requires a password for programming and interrogation and only accepts calls from phone numbers authorized/programmed by the owner/user (when not deactivated).
Q: FST Remote switches are said to be “Interactive”, what does this mean
A: All FST Remote switches have two-way communication. Your Remote can automatically confirm that your commands have been acted on through a text message. Also you can interrogate the device with commands and it will respond to you by text message with a confirmation or other information you have requested (cell signal strength, for example).
Q: In the product documentation, you mention that allowing the lapse of the cell service account is a problem. Why is this?
A: If the account is unpaid for an extended period, usually 60-90 days after service expiration, the phone number may be reassigned by the carrier. If a new phone number is needed the unit must be returned to FST to have a new number assigned. This can entail a $25.00 service charge. All shipping is at customer expense always.
Q: Should I turn my Wireless remote OFF when not in use for extended periods?
A: There is no harm in turning your Remote OFF when not in use.
One exception to this would be if you have a unit with optional Battery Backup. In this case power should remain ON at all times to assure the Backup Battery remains fully charged. The power used by the remotes when in standby is minimal, no more than a normal cell phone charger.
A: REGAL PRO has more switching capacity, 1700 Watts versus 1000 Watts for U-Phone-iT. The REGAL PRO also has a clock based activation program, able to turn its outlets ON at a specific time of day and remain ON for periods selected by the user. Both REGAL PRO and U-Phone-iT can be remotely activated for specific run times or turned ON and OFF by App control or text messages. Both also have resident programs that activated stored RUN programs that are activated by a phone call from Authorized phone numbers (Cell or Landline).
Q: Can I return my FST product for refund?
A: If an FST remote switch cannot be made to work at the location it was purchased for, it can be returned for a refund of the product price minus 10% of purchase price, if returned within 30 days of receipt. Other returns are subject to a 20% or more return/restock fee at our discretion. Note: All shipping is at customer expense.
Q: Are FST Remote Switches ready for use when received?
A: Yes, all FST Products are ready to use right out of the box. Cell Service is active and pre-paid for at least 70 days. Plug the unit in, turn it ON and you are ready to go.
Q: What types and makes of Aircraft Preheaters can be controlled by FST Remote Switches?
A: Any that are within it’s wattage/amperage range of control. This is why we offer different wattage capabilities with our GSM switches.
Q: Why is PRO-MAX called a “Universal” remote switch?
A: The 2,400 Watt switching capacity makes REGAL PRO-MAX the only remote switch capable of controlling any preheat system currently available from all known manufacturers. The high switching capacity also allows REGAL PRO-MAX to service multiple aircraft engines and avionics heaters at one time.
Q: What kind of connection does your unit use for the antenna?
A: We use a SMA style cable connection.
The units all use a SMA-Female connection that has a male threaded body but a female/socket contact. https://preheatremote.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/SMA-female.jpg
The Antenna uses a SMA-Male connection that has a female threaded nut connection with a male/pin contact. See link for picture of connection. https://preheatremote.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Antenna-SMA-connector.jpg