Indoor Programmable Electronic Message Center Signs and Software

Alpha 215R LED Display

The Alpha 215R is an indoor LED message center designed for light industrial, commercial and office use. It displays red text and graphics on one line. The Alpha 215R is one of the brightest and sharpest indoor displays available.

Use the Alpha 215R to convey information about your business, products, services and specials to employees, customers, visitors, students, patients and guests. The Alpha 215R can be used to display employee communications that build company loyalty, boost morale and encourage teamwork. Display the company stock price, emphasize safety issues, advertise company-wide events, promote cafeteria specials, announce birthdays and anniversaries, and publish production goals and attainment.

The Alpha 215R is frequently used in call centers to display ACD statistics; at airport gates to announce arrivals and departures; as point of sale displays in restaurants, specialty shops, car washes and retail businesses; in auto dealerships to announce special promotions and new features; in waiting rooms to inform patients; and in hotels, motels and convention centers to announce meetings and meeting locations. It is often incorporated into casino gaming devices, ticket and postage vending machines. It is an inexpensive solution for displaying messages in several locations on a education or business campus.

For applications that require multiple LED message centers, any number of Alpha 215R displays can be connected together to form an integrated system, along with a computer, displaying important information instantly where it is needed, throughout a business or sales organization, manufacturing facility, distribution operation, health facility, school campus, prison, transportation terminal, hotel or hospitality complex, convention center or government office building.

Messages can be entered using a remote control keyboard that is as easy to understand and use as an ordinary calculator. Our unique Automode programming features eliminate the need to learn complicated programming procedures. Within seconds, anyone can create attractive visual messages with attention-getting impact.

Messages may also be entered using a computer and special messaging software.

Messages are enhanced by 26 built-in display modes, multiple text sizes and fonts, preprogrammed animations, user-designed graphics, day, date, time of day and many other special features.

Alpha 215R Features

  • One Line – The Alpha 215R is a one-line model. It displays text and graphics on one line.
  • Red – The Alpha 215R is a single color model. It displays red text and graphics.
  • 15 Character Display – The Alpha 215R displays 15 characters in all modes except Condensed Rotate mode. In Condensed Rotate mode, it displays 30 characters.
  • 7K Memory – The Alpha 215R will store up to 7,000 bytes of messages, programming instructions and graphics. A memory upgrade option is available to expand total memory to 31,000 bytes.
  • 2 Character Sizes – Characters can be 1.5" (5 pixels) or 2.1" (7 pixels) high.
  • 2 Character Fonts – Text can be displayed in two fonts – serif (fancy) or sans serif (block).
  • 3 Character Widths – Text can be displayed in three widths – normal, wide or double-wide.
  • Fixed or Proportional – Text can be displayed using fixed or proportional spacing.
  • 9 Character Styles – The two fonts, two character heights, and three widths can be combined to produce nine character styles:
    • 2.1" Sans Serif Normal
    • 2.1" Sans Serif Wide
    • 2.1" Sans Serif Double-Wide
    • 2.1" Serif Normal
    • 2.1" Serif Wide
    • 2.1" Serif Double-Wide
    • 1.5" Sans Serif Normal
    • 1.5" Sans Serif Wide
    • 1.5" Sans Serif Double-Wide
  • Store 81 Messages – The Alpha 215R will hold up to 81 messages files at one time. Each message file can be any size. The Alpha 215R dynamically allocates memory to each message file as needed up to the total amount of memory available.
  • Battery Backup – The Alpha 215R has battery backup for messages. Messages are retained in memory for up to a month when the Alpha 215R is unplugged.
  • Sequence 128 Messages – Up to 128 messages files may be run in a sequence. Messages files may be listed more than once in the sequence.
  • Message Scheduling – Each message can display on its own schedule, automatically turning on and turning off at specified times on specified days without human or computer intervention. Each message can be programmed with the day and time to start running and the day and time to stop running. Daily recurring messages, such as Lunch Time Specials and Coffee Break Specials or messages coordinated with public transportation arrival and departure schedules, can turn on and turn off at the appropriate times each day. Safety-oriented messages, such as "Lift With Your Legs, Not With Your Back" or "Don't Forget To Wear Your Safety Goggles" can be scheduled to display at different times, instead of at the same time, to achieve maximum effect and variety.
  • Wireless Keyboard – The Alpha 215R comes with a remote control keyboard. The remote control keyboard emits infrared light that controls many Alpha 215R functions. The remote control keyboard can be used up to 30 feet away from the Alpha 215R. It can be used to:
    • turn the Alpha 215R on and off
    • turn off and on the programming keys beep feature
    • program messages
    • run messages
    • delete specific messages
    • insert display modes, special effects and features, and international characters into messages
    • compose dot graphic files and incorporate them into messages
    • set the message file run sequence
    • set the start and stop times and dates for each message file
    • set the time, day and date
    • clear display memory
    • password protect the messages
    • change the address of the Alpha 215R
    • run the built-in diagnostic tests
  • Password Protection and Message Locking – These features are provided to prevent unauthorized messages or changes to messages in the Alpha 215R.
  • International Character Set – Messages may contain all the upper and lower case letters (A - Z and a - z), the numbers 0 - 9, and the special characters:

    ! @ # $ % & * ( ) _ - + = | \ { } [ ] : ; ? ? < > , . ? / `

    The following international characters and symbols may also be displayed:

    These characters and symbols allow you to compose messages in more than one language, in English and in Spanish, for example, so you can display the messages in an alternating language message sequence.

  • 26 Display Modes – The Alpha 215R has 26 display modes that control how the characters of each message enter, display and exit. Using a variety of display modes in a message gives "eye-appeal" to the message:
    • Automode – Characters enter, display and exit under control of randomly selected display modes.
    • Roll (Up, Down, Left, Right, In, Out) – Characters move onto the display down from the top (Roll Down), up from the bottom (Roll Up), from the right end to the left (Roll Left), from the left end to the right (Roll Right), from the right and left ends to the center (Roll In), and from the center of the display to the right and left ends (Roll Out).
    • Wipe (Up, Down, Left, Right, In, Out) – Characters are revealed as each horizontal row or vertical column of pixels is lighted row by row or column by column – from the top row of the character down (Wipe Down), from the bottom row of the character up (Wipe Up), from the left column of the message to the right (Wipe Right), from the right column of the message to the left (Wipe Left), from the center column of the message to the right and left columns (Wipe Out), or from the right and left columns of the message to the center column (Wipe In).
    • Scroll – Characters move up onto the display from the bottom, and any displayed characters move up and off the display.
    • Rotate – Characters travel from right to left across the display in the familiar stock market ticker display mode.
    • Condensed Rotate – Characters travel from right to left across the display in a horizontally-compressed font in the familiar stock market ticker display mode.
    • Hold – Characters display without effects or motion for a specified length of time. The length of time the message stays on the screen is determined by the Speed code.
    • Flash – All characters blink on and off simultaneously several times.
    • Twinkle – The pixels of the displayed characters oscillate their intensity.
    • Sparkle – New characters appear as their pixels turn on randomly and pixels in existing characters randomly turn off.
    • Snow – Lighted pixels sprinkle down from the top pixel row, building new characters from the bottom up, like accumulating snow.
    • Interlock – The 2nd, 4th, and 6th horizontal rows of pixels in the characters move rapidly from the left end to the right, while the 1st, 3rd, 5th, and 7th horizontal rows of pixels move rapidly from the right end to the left, forming the message on the display.
    • Switch – Every other character, i.e., the 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th, etc., moves onto the display from the top down, as the remaining characters move onto the display from the bottom up, pausing momentarily to display the message.
    • Slide – Characters slide rapidly across the display, one at a time, from right to left, building the message from left to right.
    • Spray – The pixels of characters move across the display from right to left in a spray effect, forming the characters from left to right.
    • Starburst – Several star-patterns display randomly, then form new characters, replacing any previously displayed characters.
  • 6 Speeds – The Alpha 215R has six Speed codes that control how long characters stay on the display in Hold mode, how long characters stay on the screen in the various Roll and Wipe modes, Interlock mode, Switch mode, etc. The fastest speed code is used with Hold mode to create user-designed animation effects.
  • 9 Built-in Animations – The Alpha 215R has nine built-in animations that can be inserted into messages as special effects:
    • Cherry Bomb – The fuse on a cherry bomb burns down, and the bomb explodes with a beep. The beep is an attention-getting Audible Alert when it is incorporated into a message.
    • Don't Drink and Drive – A car collides with a bubbling cocktail glass, tossing its passenger and displaying the message "Please Don't Drink and Drive."
    • Fireworks – Firework patterns explode and cascade on the display.
    • No Smoking – A burning cigarette is extinguished, flipped with a finger and replaced with the international No Smoking symbol.
    • Running Animal – An animal resembling a horse runs across the display from right to left.
    • Slot Machine – A slot machine spins with random outcomes.
    • Turbo Car – A car appears and races across the display.
    • Thank You – "Thank You" is written in script from left to right.
    • Welcome – "Welcome" is written in script from left to right.
  • Automatic Message Centering – Messages are automatically centered on the Alpha 215R display in all display modes, except when the Fixed Characters code is used. The Fixed Characters code left-justifies messages, and uses fixed (equal) character spacing from left to right. The primary use of the Fixed Characters code on the Alpha 215R is to display similar fields of data on consecutive screens in the same pixel positions.
  • Display Graphics – The Alpha 215R will display user-designed graphics and logos, up to 7x90 pixels each, with your messages. You can create and store graphics in the Alpha 215R using the remote control keyboard, or you can use a computer and special software. Using a computer, compose or scan bitmap (.bmp) graphics and save the bitmap files on disk. Then use software, such as AlphaNet for Windows, to send messages and graphics to the Alpha 215R.
  • Display Custom Animations – The Alpha 215R will display user-designed animations – sequences of user-designed bitmap graphic files. The animations may play alone, or they may be included with a text message.
  • Real-Time Clock – The Alpha 215R has a built-in, battery backed up real-time clock. The time and date (day, month, year) can be set using either the remote control keyboard or using a computer with software that sends the computer?s time and date to the Alpha 215R. The day, date and time are retained in Alpha 215R memory for up to a month when the unit is unplugged.
  • 12- or 24-Hour Time Display – The Alpha 215R can display the time of day in either 12-hour or 24-hour format.
  • 5 Counters – The Alpha 215R will automatically count up or down in any increment, updating every minute, hour or day. Up to five different counters may be active in your messages at the same time. Counting may begin at any value between 0 and 99999999. Messages can display the number of days, minutes or hours until a special event; the number of days or hours since a lost-time accident; or a numeric value that increments or decrements by the same amount every minute, hour or day.
  • Target Messages – Upon reaching specified Counter "target" values, specific target messages can be displayed automatically. For example, a message might display "10 DAYS WITHOUT AN ACCIDENT!" and on the next day automatically display "11 DAYS WITHOUT AN ACCIDENT!" followed by the target message: "A NEW RECORD... CONGRATULATIONS!"
  • Computer Connection – The Alpha 215R may be attached to a wide variety of computers, control equipment and communication devices.
  • Supports Multiple Communications Protocols – The Alpha 215R supports multiple communication protocols. RS232 and RS485 and two RJ11 attachment ports are standard features. Ethernet and POCSAG attachment options are also offered. Numerous cable, network, wireless and modem connectivity options are supported by the Alpha 215R – click here for more information.
  • Address Each Display – Each Alpha 215R can be given a unique address, so that messages and data may sent by computer or control devices to different displays on the same cable, wireless channel, modem phone number or TCP/IP address. 255 addresses are available, and the Alpha 215R address may be set or changed easily with the remote control keyboard or using a computer and special software. The Alpha 215R enclosure does not have to be opened up.
  • Message Verification and Error Checking – Built-in features ensure that messages are received accurately when a computer or control equipment sends messages or data to the Alpha 215R by cable.
  • Priority Message – The Alpha 215R has a 125-byte Priority message file that can be activated by special programming. When the Priority message file is activated, all other message files that are currently running stop being displayed. When the Priority message is terminated, the other messages resume displaying.
  • Audible Alert – A Tone feature may be invoked to beep the Alpha 215R as needed. Several tone control programming options are built-in.
  • Program with both Computer and Keyboard – The Alpha 215R may be programmed by computer and by remote control keyboard without either the computer or the remote control keyboard disrupting the messages programmed by the other device. You may define how much of the storage capacity of the Alpha 215R is reserved for programming by the remote control keyboard. You can also allow or deny remote control keyboard access to message files transmitted to the Alpha 215R by computer.
  • Non-Blinking String File Updates – The Alpha 215R supports "String Files" and real-time updating of String Files without blinking the messages displayed on the sign. String files are memory areas set aside in sign memory by special programming. One use of String Files is to store changing data being updated by an external device or computer. For example, the Alpha 215R could be programmed to display five (or more) ACD statistics fields for each of ten (or more) ACD queues. As the real time values change for each of the 50 variables (5 x 10), the updated values can be transmitted into the Alpha 215R instantly, without causing the Alpha 215R to blink and without affecting the information currently being displayed. String Files can also be used to save sign memory. For example, if the same data is displayed multiple times within a message, the data can be stored once in a String File and recalled from its String File location each time it is needed.
  • Nested Commands – For programmers writing control sequences using native sign communication protocol, multiple commands can be repeated or "nested" within a transmission frame.
  • Clear Memory Easily – When debugging and testing software and messages features, the remote control keyboard can be used to clear the memory of the sign quickly and conveniently, without opening the Alpha 215R enclosure or taking it down from where it is mounted. Clearing memory removes all messages, graphic files and the password that have been programmed into the Alpha 215R.
  • Supports Wireless Applications – The Alpha 215R supports POCSAG or pager transmission format. It can be programmed for wireless applications.
  • Wireless News and Sports Service – The Alpha 215R can be equipped with a wireless broadcast receiver that will display the latest news headlines, financial market summaries, sports information and scores, in addition to your own messages. The receiver and news service are extra charge options.
  • Update Firmware Easily – When new features or firmware improvements for the Alpha 215R are announced by Adaptive Micro Systems, firmware upgrades may be purchased and easily installed. Alpha 215R firmware is provided on a chip conveniently mounted in a chip carrier that literally snaps into a socket behind an access door on the back of the Alpha 215R.
  • Keyboard Programming Manual – A programming manual describing how to use the remote control keyboard is provided with the Alpha 215R. It is well-written, well-organized and easy to use. It includes tutorial exercises and feature reference tables. A Spanish translation of the manual is available. Both English and Spanish manuals may be downloaded at no charge.
  • Technical Assistance and Support – Ongoing limited customer assistance for installation issues and technical support are provided by Alpha-American Programmable Signs at no additional charge.
  • Programming Assistance and Training – Our experienced instructors and technicians are available by telephone or on site in your location.
  • Internet Support – Both the manufacturer, Adaptive Micro Systems, and distributor, Alpha-American Programmable Signs, have informative web sites.
  • 110 or 220V – The Alpha 215R is completely solid-state. It has a removable power cord with in-line transformer, and it plugs into a standard 120V AC electrical outlet. For a more attractive installation, if possible, locate your electrical outlet out of sight behind the Alpha 215R or above the drop ceiling, if the Alpha 215R is being mounted near the ceiling.
  • Attractive Enclosure – The Alpha 215R has an attractive Eurostyle case design that will compliment any business environment.
  • Mounting Hardware – Each Alpha 215R includes mounting hardware for wall, counter top and ceiling installations. Back-to-back mounting hardware for ceiling-mounted configurations is available as an extra charge option.
  • Two Year Warranty – The Alpha 215R has a one-year USA factory warranty. We extend the warranty to two years for our customers. After the two-year warranty expires, the Alpha 215R will be repaired and returned for flat rate of $95.

Alpha 215R Specifications

  • AMS Part #: 1026-1211
  • Display Array: 90 pixels wide x 7 pixels high
  • Number of Lines: 1
  • Maximum Character Height: 2.1" (4.3 cm)
  • Maximum Number of Characters on Sign Display: 15 characters in all modes except Condensed Rotate mode; 30 characters in Condensed Rotate mode.
  • Pixel Size (diameter): 0.2" (.05 cm)
  • Pixel (LED) Color: Red
  • Center-to-Center Pixel Spacing (Pitch): 0.3" (0.8 cm)
  • Character Set: Block (sans serif); Decorative (serif); Upper and Lower case; Normal, Wide and Double-Wide
  • Automatic Centering – Messages center in any mode, except when Fixed Characters is specified. Fixed Characters left justifies messages in any mode.
  • Power: Input 5A, 35W, 7 VAC. 120 VAC or 230 VAC adapter available.
  • Power Cord Length: 10 feet (3.3 m)
  • Keyboard: Handheld, Eurostyle, Infrared-Wireless, Remote operated
  • Case Material: Molded plastic
  • Display Area Size: 24" L x 2.1" H (68.6 cm L x 5.3 cm H)
  • Case Size: 28.9" L x 2.1" D x 4.5" H (73.4 cm L x 5.3 cm D x 11.4 cm H)
  • Weight: 6.25 lbs (2.84 kg) including display, power supply, and remote control keyboard
  • Limited Warranty: One-year parts and labor, factory servicing
  • Agency Approvals:
    • 120 VAC Model: Power supply has UL/CSA listing.
    • 230 VAC Models: Complies with EN 60950: 1992 (Europe)
    • FCC Part 15 Class A
    • CE Marked
  • Operating Temperature: 32? to 120?F, 0? to 49?C
  • Humidity Range: 0% to 95% non-condensing
  • Current Firmware Revision

Related Accessories and Replacement Parts

  • Optional RAM Upgrade to 31K
  • External Power Supply
    • USA, 35W 120VAC Input 7V Output
    • Europe, 25W 230VAC Input 7V Output
  • Firmware Update
  • Broadcast Receiver and News Service
  • Back-to-back Mounting Brackets
  • 230 VAC Power with European Line Cord
  • Remote Control Keyboard (with English labels) with 4 AAA Batteries Included
  • Remote Control Keyboard (with Spanish labels) with 4 AAA Batteries Included
  • Infrared Message Loader with 9V Battery and 3' Cable
  • 25' RS232 6-conductor Modular Cable with RJ11-06 connectors on each end
  • RS232 Serial Adapter (DB25F to RJ11-06) for 25-pin Serial Ports
  • RS232 Serial Adapter (DB9F to RJ11-06) for 9-pin Serial Ports
  • RS232 Serial Adapter (DB25M to RJ11-06) for Modem use
  • RS232 Serial Adapter (DB25M to DB9F) Gender changer for 9-pin Serial Port
  • RS232 Serial Adapter (DB25F to DB9M) Gender changer for 25-pin Serial Port
  • 25' RS232 6-conductor Modular Cable with RJ11-06 connectors on each end
  • 50' RS232 6-conductor Modular Cable with RJ11-06 connectors on each end
  • 6-Conductor RJ11 Coupler for connecting RS232 Cables together (Maximum 50' length)
  • Converter Box III with two End of Line Terminators (without Power Adapter)
  • Converter Box AC Adapter, USA, 10W 120VAC Input 9V Output
  • Converter Box AC Adapter, European, 14W 230VAC Input 9V Output
  • Converter Box AC Adapter, United Kingdom, 14W 240VAC Input 9V Output
  • 10' RS232 Serial Cable, Type A9, DB9F to DB9M for Converter Box to PC
  • 10' RS232 Serial Cable, Type B9, DB25M to DB9M for Converter Box to Modem
  • 1000' Spool of Shielded RS485 Network Cable
  • 100' Spool of Shielded RS485 Network Cable
  • RS485 Modular Network Adapter - Connects RS485 Modular Cable to Shielded RS485 Network Cable
  • 8' RS485 Cable with Ferrite Core; has RJ11-04 jacks on each end
  • 1' RS485 Cable with Ferrite Core; has RJ11-04 jacks on each end
  • 8' RS485 Cable with three RJ11-04 jacks for back-to-back Alpha sign configurations
  • MSS100 Ethernet Serial Server – 10/100 Base
  • MSS485 Ethernet Serial Server – 10 Base
  • Alpha Ethernet Adapter Kit - 10 Base
  • Alpha Ethernet Adapter – DB25F to RJ11 Connector
  • Alpha Ethernet Adapter Cable
  • Alpha Discrete Input Interface CPU Module
  • Alpha Discrete Input Interface Power Supply
  • Alpha Discrete Input Interface Kit (Sink Mode Additional Input Module (Sink Mode)
  • Alpha Discrete Input Interface Kit (Source Mode)
    • Additional Input Module (Sink Mode)
  • End of line Terminator for Converter Box III and Alpha RS485 port
  • Network Repeater Box
  • Packing Materials for Alpha 215 Series – Carton and Styrofoam

Related Documentation

Software Available

Technical Support

  • Hardware:
    • From Distributor, Alpha-American Programmable Signs
    • From Manufacturer, Adaptive Micro Systems
  • Software:
    • From Alpha-American Programmable Signs
    • From Adaptive Micro Systems
    • From other sign software providers

Ordering Info

  • For prices, please call Alpha-American Programmable Signs at (800) 223-4636 or use our Request Form.
  • 7.75% California Sales Tax is added to sales of items delivered in California, unless other arrangements are made.
  • Shipping charges are added to each order.
  • Submit orders by fax, mail, e-mail or telephone.
  • Various terms are available.

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Alpha-American Programmable Signs
2445 Morena Blvd., Suite 100, San Diego, CA 92110
Toll-free: (800) 223-4636     E-mail:
Phone: (858) 273-3036     Fax: (858) 273-3040
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