The DSC PC5108 Zone Expander is used to add additional hardwired zones to your existing control panel. Each expander module has jumper settings that can be set for the desired zone numbers. For example, if you are using an expander to add zones 9 through 16, you would make sure that jumper 1 is off, jumper 2 is on, and jumper 3 is on.
If using any wireless devices on your system, be sure not to include any wireless zone on a module that has been designated for hardwire devices. The zone sets would be: Zones 1-8 (main panel), 9-16, 17-24, and 25-32…
Zone expanders are easily installed and will connect directly to the same keybus terminals as the keypads (red, black, yellow, green). You must also run a small wire from the “TAM” terminal on the expander module to the “Black” terminal, also on the expander module. Failure to jump the “tam” to “black” will result in a General System Tamper.
As many people are starting to get rid of their home telephone service, they are in search of a cellular or gsm alarm communicator so their system can report alarms to the Central Station.
When it comes to choosing a cellular communicator, aka GSM, there are many options to choose from. The one I would like to introduce and is very popular is the Uplink 2500. This is a universal Communicator and can be used with any alarm system. There is no need trying to figure out which communicator is needed.
The Uplink 2500 cell communicator module is an alarm communicator that sends alarm data to a central monitoring station over the cellular network. The Uplink 2500 hooks into your siren terminals. Depending on what signal is being activated by the terminals, depends on what signal is sent to the central monitoring station. If a burglary signal is activated, the unit would report a burglary alarm to the monitoring station and the same goes for fire.
All GSM and Cellular Communicators usually require a service fee. This fee is typically a separate fee that is required. Some companies will offer a combined fee for monitoring and the gsm fee. Some companies will advertise monitoring for $44.99 which would include the central station monitoring and the cellular fee. When dealing with wholesalers, the fees may be separate. For example one company may charge $8.95/month for central station monitoring, but if you are using a gsm or cellular communicator, you must then also have the gsm cellular service fee. Wholesale price for that fee is typically around $12.50/month. So when you add the two together, you would get $21.45/month for central station monitoring and cellular service. $21.45 is still over 50% less than $44.99 that some companies charge.
So if shopping around and you see two fees for monitoring, do not be alarmed. Not everyone needs both services and they separate the two fees.
The BT 600 is a nice little terminal expander used to keep the amount of wires limited in a terminal.
After several questions from customers asking, “how do I fit all these wires in one terminal”, we would like to introduce to you the Terminal Expander by ATW.
Lets say for example you have six wires in your “Aux -” and six wires in you “Aux +” terminals on you main control panel. The BT-600 will allow you to eliminate that clutter. You would run one wire from you “Aux -” to one side of the BT-600. All the wires in your “Aux -” will go on the same side as the wire you ran. The same goes for “Aux +”. Each wire will have it’s own terminal and will allow for better connectivity and less clutter.
If you have multiple keypads or devices that require power, you can add another BT-600 for the data wires of your keypads and you clean up the terminals on the main board. These are a great alternative to our 4 port wire connects or the 8 port wire connects.
There are several times people get confused on programming their zone definitions into the DSC security systems. It is fairly easy to do, but can also be really confusing. Zone definitions basically tells the system how that zone is to respond to that device being triggered. In other words, the definition tells the system how to function for that zone. The only thing to remember when doing your definitions is to know that you will not enter a zone number, but only a definition. You must also know how to count, because each time you enter a 2-digit zone definition, the system will do a quick triple beep and then you are ready to input the definition for the next zone.
Here are the most common Zone Definitions:
- Definition 00 = Not Used (null, turned off)
- Definition 01 = Delay 1 (ie: entry/exit doors)
- Definition 03 = Instant (ie: window sensors, non entry doors, glass breaks)
- Definition 05 = Interior Stay/Away (motion)
- Definition 08 = Delayed 24hr Fire (hardwired)
- Definition 88 = Standard 24hr Fire (wireless)
To program your zone definitions, you must:
- Enter Programming by pressing ” * 8 + Installer Code “
- Enter Section 001 (Section 001 is used for Zones 1 – 16 only… If you have more than 16 zones, you will use 001 for the first 16 zones, then you will use section 002 for zones 17-32)
- Now you will enter Zone 1′s 2-digit definition
- The system will triple beep, and now you will enter zone 2′s definition
- When you are finished entering the Zone definitions, you will hit # # #
So let’s, for example, say we want to make:
- Zone 1 and entry door with a delay
- Zone 2 a back perimeter door, no delay
- Zone 3 a living room motion
- Zone 4 a bedroom window
- Zone 5 a hardwired smoke detector
- Zones 6, 7, 8 not used
I will use the definitions above and program my zone definitions as follows:
- * 8 + Installer Code
- 001 (enters section)
- 01 (delay 1 for entry door)
- 03 (perimeter back door)
- 05 (motion sensor)
- 03 (perimeter bedroom window)
- 08 (hardwired smoke)
- 00 (zone 6 not used)
- 00 (zone 7 not used)
- 00 (zone 8 not used)
- # # # (to exit)
Now you have defined all eight zones. Please note that you must start with zone 1 and proceed in order with the other zones. There is no way to just start with zone 5 or just enter one zone, without starting at the beginning of the section (unless you start in a whole different section for higher zones, but if using less than 16 zones, you will only be in section 001). Notice that we did not enter the zone numbers, just the definitions. The system knows that the first two digits you enter in section 001 will be the definition for zone 1, the next two digits will define zone 2, etc.
Depending on the type of keypad you use, depends on how easy it is to program your system. If using one of the PK5500 fully alpha-programmable keypads, this keypad will show you everything the system is asking for, as well as display the number of digits required for that section. If using an older keypad or a PK5501, the keypad will not display anything and you have just the beeps to go by.
DSC has released version 4.6 of the 1864 panel. The new updates in this version consist of:
- 64 Wireless Zones using the version 4.6 and the new RFK5564 keypad
- Easy wireless device enrollment process (using ver 1.3 of the RFK5564 or the RFK5500)
- Word library for programming zone labels (available with ver 1.3 of the RFK5564, RFK5500, or PK5500 and available in English, French, Portuguese, and Spanish)
The 64 zones of wireless capabilities will only be offered in a keypad version using the RFK5564 and not as a “stand alone” receiver. The RFK5564 will not give you 64 wireless zones on a 1616 or 1832 (it can be used with these panels, but will only give you 32 wireless zones), it will only give you 64 wireless zones on a 1864 ver 4.6 panel. If you have an older panel, you cannot flash upgrade to the new 4.6.
Rather you are replacing or installing the WT4911Bat (battery) in the WT4911 outdoor wireless siren, you must follow certain directions. Failure to follow instructions during this installation process may damage your battery and your siren may not work.
When dealing with this certain type of battery, it must go through a depassivation mode. The purpose of this is to pre-condition the battery so that it won’t drop below the minimum voltage of the device once a load has been applied. This is done by advancing the discharge past the point of the voltage dip.
Before connecting your battery in the DSC WT4911, please read and follow theses instructions:
- Hold the tamper switch down and plug in the battery (continue holding tamper)
- Continue to hold the tamper switch down for 10 seconds and then release
- Once the tamper switch is released, the strobe lights on the WT4911/WT8911 will flash different patterns to indicate that it is in depassivation mode.
- When depassivation is complete, the strobe lights will shut off and the siren will begin to beep three (3) times every five (5) seconds. (Note: It can take the unit up to 30 minutes to fully depassivate. If at the end of 30 minutes the unit could not depassivate the battery, the unit will stop trying and begin to beep once every (5) seconds. If this occurs, the battery should be replaced).
- When the system begins to beep 3 times every 5 seconds, then press and release the tamper switch on the unit. At this point, the WT4911/WT8911 should flash the strobe lights and beep six (6) times. The unit is now in the normal power up stage.
- The WT4911/WT8911 is now ready to be enrolled into your DSC Wireless Alarm Panel, or returned to service.
DSC places a depassivation sticker on all new WT4911 wireless siren that are manufactured. A pdf copy of the sticker can be seen Here.
As more and more homeowners are wanting to install their own system, they start to ask questions on what type of system to get. Most Do-It-Yourself people are wanting a wireless alarm system.
Lets get one thing straight, no professional grade alarm system is completely wireless. What I mean by that is, you will have at least one wire (18/2) needed to power your system. This goes for any wireless system. you will also need a phone line to your system, if you plan on the system calling out. If you don’t have a land-line then you could always go with GSM or IP communication.
I have worked extensively with four (4) wireless home security alarm systems. They are the Honeywell Lynx (R, R2, Plus, and Touch), the DSC Alexor and DSC Impassa, as well as the GE Simon XT. Below is a quick review and my personal opinion of each one.
Honeywell Lynx Series
This is a great system for self-monitoring. You can program a number for the system to call. When the system calls you, it has a voice recording saying, “Alarm, Front Door, Alarm, Back Door, etc…” It tells you exactly what zones had been tripped. The new Touch Series (Touch Screen) has a real nice look. The touch screen makes it easier to program the system. It is really difficult to hook any hardwired sirens to this system because the outputs are such low voltage, but it can be achieved with a relay and a power supply setup. Honeywell does make a wireless indoor siren for this system, but not out-door. The Lynx Plus would be the easiest to hook a hardwired siren up. There is a hardwired low-draw, low current siren, GE 13-950 or Wave2-Ex, you could use (for Lynx Plus only). The Ademco / Honeywell Lynx panels are all self-contained. This means the main brain of the unit, indoor siren, and keypad are all in one unit. The body of the panel is strong and sturdy and is high in quality. On a scale of 1 to 10, I rate the Lynx Plus an 7.5, and the Lynx Touches an 8.5.
DSC Alexor (PC9155)
The Alexor is a great system. Unlike the Lynx, the Alexor has a main brain and panel that can be completely hidden. You can place the panel in a utility closet, hall closet, etc.. If a burglar were to break in, they could not disable the system by hitting the keypad, unlike the Lynx panels. The system is great if you plan on having monitoring. I have been able to find a good monitoring service for $8.95 a month. The DSC Alexor can be used for self-monitoring, but when it calls you, it does not inform you of what zone has been triggered; it only gives you DTMF tones. This DSC system along with the Impassa are the only two wireless systems that have a compatible outdoor siren. The Wt4911 comes with a built-in Blue or Red strobe light and a temperature sensor, which will allow the keypad to display the outside temp. The Alexor is made great and is one of my most favorite systems. On a scale of 1 to 10, I rate the Alexor an 8.5.
The DSC Impassa is great and just like the Alexor, however, the Impassa is a self-contained unit (just like the Lynx). The main brain, siren, and keypad are all in one unit. This system will also work with the bi-directional key fobs, outdoor wireless siren, as well as all other DSC wireless devices. On a scale of 1 to 10, I rate the Impassa a 7.
GE Simon XT
The GE Simon is a self-contained unit, just like the Honeywell Lynx and DSC Impassa. The GE Simon has the ability self-monitor as well. If you want an outdoor siren, there is not a wireless one, but there is a hardwired low-draw, low current siren, GE 13-950, you could use. The GE Simon has had a higher failure rate for me. The body and plastics appear to be flimsy and more easily broken. I have had many customers return the GE Simon XT due to poor quality and failure. On a scale of 1 to 10, I rate the GE Simon a 4.5.
Overall, if you want monitoring, I’d suggest the DSC Alexor and if you plan on self-monitoring, I would suggest the Honeywell Touch (L5000 or L5100). Both Systems are great and I would put either system in my home at anytime.
Many people call and state that they have a trouble light or a triangle lit up on their keypad. If either of those are lit up, then your system is letting you know that something isn’t right. Here is an easy way to tell what the trouble may be.
On your DSC Keypad, hit ” * 2 ”
Zone light will turn on showing trouble
Zone Light 1 Service Required, Press 1 again to show exact trouble
- Light 1 = Low Panel Battery
- Light 2 = Bell/Horn Trouble
- Light 3 = General System Trouble
- Light 4 = General System Tamper
- Light 5 = General System Supervisory
- Light 6 = Not Used
- Light 7 = 5204 Power Supply Module Low Battery
- Light 8 = 5204 Power Supply Module AC Fail
Zone Light 2 AC Failure
Zone Light 3 Telephone Line Trouble
Zone Light 4 Failure to Communicate
Zone Light 5 Zone Fault, Press 5 again to show zone
Zone Light 6 Zone Tamper, Press 6 again to show zone
Zone Light 7 Zone Low Battery, Press 7 again to find which zone
Zone Light 8 Loss of System Clock (* 6 + Master Code + 1 + Time and Date (1pm 12/26 2000 would be 1300122600)
If no lights show possible Fire Trouble
To Reset Smoke Detectors hit * 72 (If this does NOT reset smoke detector set for service, smoke is bad)
This is exactly how techs check to see what is wrong with your system. From this point on, you can take the information you found and take it to the next step. If your system has been fine for several years and then all of a sudden you get a trouble light, the majority of the time it is a low battery.