Frequently Asked Questions about Alpha LED Signs in Call Centers


To connect a single wall board to a PC do I need a Converter Box, or do I just plug the RJ11 jack into the wall board and the other end to the RS232 PC port?

A Converter Box may be used, but it is not required unless (1) multiple Alpha signs are being used or (2) the distance from the RS232 PC port to the Alpha sign is greater than 100 feet.


How do I connect the Converter Box, RS485 wire, RS485 cables, RS485 Network Adapters, and Alpha signs in a multiple sign RS485 network?



What is the Alpha Call Center System, and how does it work?

The Alpha Call Center System is software, hardware, and connectivity items, installed by our experienced staff. These items are usually installed at the facility where the phone system is located.

The Alpha Call Center System displays real-time ACD statistics and Supervisor messages in any location that has access to the company's network.

Alpha Call Center System software connects to the ACD phone system using a variety of methods. It then gathers various ACD statistics, such as Calls Waiting, Longest Call Waiting or Oldest Call, Agents Staffed, Agents Not Ready, Agents Available, Agents on ACD Calls, Service Level, Abandoned Calls, Total Calls and Average Speed of Answer, from your ACD system and it displays those ACD statistics on one or more ACD readerboards in a format that you have specified. The Alpha LED ACD readerboards continuously alert your Agents to changing conditions by changing the color of displayed statistic fields, by flashing the information, and by triggering audible alerts.


When our ACD readerboards aren't updating, should I reboot the computer to fix the problem?

Rebooting is not a recommended first response to your problem. Rebooting won't fix the most common problems, and rebooting the system can actually create new problems. The best solution is to take time to figure out exactly what part of the system isn't working and to fix that problem. Our staff is available by phone to help you, 24 hours a day.


What is the current configuration of the Alpha ACD Server PC?

  • Pentium 4 or equivalent (faster is better)
  • At least 512MB RAMVideo Graphics Card capable of displaying 1024x768 resolution in High Color
  • Serial Ports with non-conflicting IRQ's may be required as follows:
    • at least one port, if the Alpha Call Center System will be gathering ACD statistics via a Serial Port of your ACD system one port, if the Alpha Call Center System will have RS485 connectivity to the Alpha displays.at least one port, if the Alpha Call Center System will be reading ACD statistics from a sign port on the ACD system.
    • one port, if an External Modem will be connected to the Alpha Call Center System for Remote Support.
  • Ethernet Network CardSuper VGA Color Monitor (CRT or Flat Panel)
  • MouseKeyboard
  • CD-ROM Drive
  • Sound Card (optional)
  • 1.44MB Diskette Drive
  • 40GB Hard Disk Drive
  • VPN for Remote Support
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional, Microsoft Windows 7 Professional, or Microsoft Windows 2003 Server
  • Windows IIS installed
  • All Service Packs and Critical Updates applied
  • Java Runtime installed

How do I program my Alpha (or BetaBrite) sign?

Each Alpha and BetaBrite LED Sign is shipped with a Remote Control Keyboard that can be used to program messages. The Remote Control Keyboard will invoke most of the features built into the Alpha and BetaBrite models.

In most cases it is more convenient to use a computer to program messages. For this you need a messaging software program.

There are several messaging programs that you can purchase, or you can develop your own software.


What questions do you ask someone who is thinking about using your Alpha ACD system and readerboards?

  • What ACD phone system do you use?

  • Does the ACD phone system provide a readerboard connection already? A few phone systems do. Most don't. Avaya (formerly Lucent and AT&T), Nortel Meridian 1, Nortel Symposium, Rockwell, Siemens, and Aspect all don't.

  • How many queues (also called skillsets, application areas, splits or groups) do you have? Note: these are your groups that answer calls. Examples: English and Spanish, or Customer Service, Loan Processing, Activations, etc.

  • How high are the cubicles that agents sit in? Note: if they are high, then you'll several smaller readerboards, probably Alpha 215's or Alpha 220C's. If the partitions are lower, then one or a two Alpha 4160's or Alpha 4200's could do nicely. Sit in the agents' chairs. Figure out where the signs should be.

  • What ACD statistics do you want to see? This helps us to determine what readerboard they will need. Calls in Queue, Longest Call Waiting, Agents Available and Service Level are the most asked for statistics.

I have a problem sending messages to the Director using the AMS Alpha Messaging software.

I've had customers who had reported problems like yours until I visited them. I always start out by clearing the memory on their Director using the Remote Control Keyboard, and deleting the old message files from their BetaBrite software directory using Windows Explorer, after first dumping their contents into Notepad, if the contents are important.

If you use the BetaBrite Messaging or Alpha Messaging software, remember, they are inexpensive programs. Keep things simple...


I have a problem trying to hook up my sign to a PC that is some 80 feet away.

Your overall cable length shouldn't be a problem if you shorten the cable in your office between your computer and the wall jack in your office. You wrote that you're using the AMS 25' Modular Serial Cable. 25'+75'+6' is pushing the envelope on cable length. So cut off what you don't need in your office. Be sure to put the new six-conductor RJ11 plug on the end correctly. When holding both ends of the cable side by side, the blue wire should be on the same side on both ends. Check out the end you cut off, and put the new plug back on the same way. Or order a short, straight-through cable from Alpha-American Programmable Signs or from somebody who can make you one...