RedStorm 2.0 - Planning
The RedStorm System is a stand-alone RS-485 network consisting of a RedStorm SuperMaster
Control Center, Differential Zone Counters (DZ Counters) and Space Available Signs which
interface with commercially available vehicle detection equipment (typically sensors or inground
The RedStorm 2.0 System is flexible enough to support a small surface lot or a multi-level
parking structure. It is not required to be tied-in with the main parking facility network and is
the ideal system to integrate with existing loop detection.
Using sensors or loop detectors the DZ Counters keep a running count of the vehicles
entering and exiting defined levels or zones of the parking facility. The SuperMaster Control
Center takes this information and uses it to display available space counts on the system
signage. Each loop detector or pair of sensors is hard-wired to a DZ Counter. Refer to Page 3
for typical network topology.
How it works
As the vehicle enters the parking garage or lot it passes over a pair of in-ground loop
detectors or between a pair of sensors that can detect direction of travel. The RedStorm 2.0
SuperMaster Control Center is pre-loaded at the factory with the total number of available
parking spaces for each zone or level to be counted. This becomes the baseline of available
parking spaces within the system. IN/OUT counts are adjusted from the baseline and
displayed on the system signage.
RedStorm 2.0 is not an individual space counting system. The system does not recognize if
a space is parked in or not. RedStorm 2.0 only recognizes when a vehicle enters or exits a
parking level or zone and either subtracts one vehicle entrance or adds one vehicle exit.
The SuperMaster Control Center is the central control point for the RedStorm 2.0 System.
It gathers the vehicle count information from the Differential Zone Counters (DZ Counters)
on each of the levels or zones; controls communication sequencing; and communicates the
vehicle count information to the system signage in real-time.
In summary, the RedStorm 2.0 System works by deducting a space from the available space
count when a vehicle enters a level or zone and adds an available space back on when a
vehicle exits the level or zone.
Typical RedStorm 2.0 Network Topology
RS 485 Network
- Daisy-chain network topology is required.
- Must conform to EIA/TIA-485-A standards.
- Maximum communication cable length NOT to exceed 4,000 feet for each RS-485 Network.
- Each RS-485 Network can support a maximum of 32 devices. DZ Counters and signs are
considered individual devices.
- Communication and power wiring MUST be run through separate conduits to avoid cross-over
interference. All wiring must be grounded. Additional protection against voltage transients
on the network is highly recommended.
Planning and Site Prep Considerations
- Physical lane delineation should be installed by others at all vehicle count transition
points, entrances and exits. When designing the traffic flow, ensure that all vehicles are
directed to travel over loop detectors or within the sensing range of the sensor pairs.
Clearly designate separate travel areas for pedestrian and vehicular traffic. Crossing
pedestrian and vehicular traffic may interfere with vehicle counts.
- When using sensors they should be mounted in pairs and protected from weather
elements. Since sensors use A/B logic to detect vehicles and their travel direction;
installation / placement should be consistent throughout the garage. Sensors should
be installed in pairs a minimum of 48" to a maximum of 60" apart for proper vehicle
detection. The maximum length of wire between a DZ Counter and sensor or loop
detector pair should not exceed 350 feet. Connections between DZ Counter and sensors
or DZ Counters and loop detectors must be hard wired. A pair of sensors or loop detectors
should be installed at each vehicle transition point within the garage or lot. The scanning
field for each sensor in a pair is 7 feet side to side and up to 9 feet above the finished
floor; optimal scanning height is 7'- 0" to 7'- 6" above finished floor. Sensors MUST NOT
be located adjacent to parking spaces. When sensors must be placed next to parking
spaces, the adjacent spaces should be removed from use through permanent delineation
to maintain count accuracy. Also to avoid vehicle count errors, sensor brackets must be
securely fastened to structural supports to prevent sensors from shifting from ambient
vibration during actual use.
- Avoid placing sensor pairs in close proximity to fluorescent lighting fixtures. Reflected
light and flickering from fixtures may cause sensors to trip which will affect vehicle
- The SuperMaster Control Center Enclosure is approximately 24"w X 24"h X 6"d with
mounting tabs at the top and bottom. It should be located in a controlled area to
prevent unauthorized access to the system controls. Mounting hardware is not included.
- The DZ Counter Enclosure is approximately 12"w x 13"h x 8"d with mounting tabs at the
top and bottom. Mounting hardware is not included.
- The SuperMaster Control Center and DZ Counters MUST be mounted inside a NEMA
4X enclosure or approved equal. Each of these ship from the factory with an approved
enclosure, we strongly recommend using these enclosures during installation. Enclosures
should be mounted in an accessible location at eye level for ease of maintenance. They
should also be located in an area that is protected from environmental elements. All
electrical connections should be made through the bottom of the enclosure and sealed
to prevent moisture from entering enclosure. Holes made elsewhere will void the system
- Communication and power wiring MUST be run through separate conduits to avoid
cross-over interference. Communication network should be protected with transient
- For proper vehicular detection to occur maximum vehicle speed should be less than 20
- Vehicle counts are updated in real-time. Updates are not instantaneous, delays up to 10
seconds may occur.
- The RedStorm 2.0 System can support up to eight RS-485 networks. A network can support
a maximum of 32 devices. DZ Counters and signs are considered individual devices. At a
minimum, we recommend running a separate RS-485 network for the SuperMaster Control
Center to DZ Counters; one for the SuperMaster to Interior signage; and a third for the
SuperMaster to Exterior Signage. Refer to Page 3 for typical network topology.
- We recommend using a RS-485 network-knowledgeable installer to run the cable for the
- At a minimum, a 4 conductor, 18 gauge cable must be used between sensor or loop
detector and DZ Counter. Communication cabling lengths MUST be kept as short as
possible. The length of each RS-485 cable BUS MUST NOT exceed 4,000 feet. Use proper
terminating and bias resistors. Refer to the TIA/EIA-485-A guidelines for additional
- The RedStorm System MUST be connected to an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) to
prevent vehicle count interruption during a power disruption. The UPS is not part of the
RedStorm System and MUST be provided by others.
- Due to their size, motorcycles will not be accurately detected.
Environmental Factors Which May Interfere With Proper Vehicle Counts
- The flow of pedestrian traffic through the vehicular sensing zones. Large moving objects such
as a person pushing a wheelchair or shopping cart, large group of people or a person pulling
luggage may be counted as a vehicle. Single individuals will be detected but not counted due
to the DZ Counter’s filtering capabilities.
- Disruption of power. A power disruption will stop the counting of vehicles. To maintain
accurate counts during these periods the RedStorm System MUST be connected to an
uninterruptible power supply (UPS) installed by others.
- Fluorescent lights in the sensor detection field. The flickering of fluorescent bulbs may
interfere with accurate vehicle counting. We recommend installing sensors away from
- Dirty sensors. Sensors should be cleaned routinely with soap and water; sensors must not
be pressure washed.
- Standing water directly in the sensing field may cause a sensor to trip and affect vehicle
counts. We recommend adjusting the angle of the sensing field slightly away from the
floor to avoid reflective miscount situations.
- Vehicles traveling faster than 20 mph in the parking facility.
Critical Factors for Proper Operation of The RedStorm System
Failure to address these factors in the planning and installation of the system will directly affect the accuracy of the system.
- Proper sensor placement
- Sensors MUST be installed in pairs and placed at least 48" apart but no more than 60"
- Sensor height MUST NOT exceed 9'- 0" above the finished floor; ideal height is 7'- 6" above finished floor.
- Adequate lane delineation
- Physical lane delineation must be present at all sensor and loop detector locations to
ensure that vehicles travel within the sensing range of the sensor. Vehicles that travel
outside the sensing range will not be counted.
- Clearly designate separate travel areas for pedestrian and vehicular traffic. Crossing
pedestrian and vehicular traffic may interfere with vehicle counts.
- Proper Differential Zone Counter (DZ Counter) placment
- Each DZ Counter MUST be mounted inside a NEMA 4X enclosure or approved equal.
- Conduit MUST enter through the bottom of a NEMA 4X enclosure to prevent water
damage to the electronic components. All connection points MUST be properly
sealed to prevent moisture from entering the enclosure.
- The maximum length of wire between a RedStorm Controller and sensor or loop
detector pair is 350 feet when using 4-conductor, 18 gauge wire.
- Proper network communication installation
- Daisy chain (series connection) network topology is required.
- The length of each RS-485 cable BUS should not exceed 4,000 feet. Refer to the RS-485
guidelines TIA/EIA-485-A guidelines for additional requirements.
- Communication wiring MUST NOT be run in same conduit as power. All wiring MUST
- Communication network MUST be protected with transient voltage suppression and
UPS to prevent vehicle count interruption.
For more information on RedStorm, contact us today!