Napco Magnum Alert 850 problem


  #1  
Old 07-16-03, 09:26 AM
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Napco Magnum Alert 850 problem

We have a 15 year old Napco Magnum Alert850 system that worked fine up till 3 weeks ago. We had a power outage and the back-up battery was bad. When the power came back on we no longer can arm and we guess disarm the system. Everything else appears OK. We have the Users Manual which does not address this. The alarm company folks checked out our system 10 years ago and unfortunately went out of business 5 years ago.
Emails to Napco have not be answered. Any help with this would be appreciated.

mr bill
 
  #2  
Old 07-16-03, 01:10 PM
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Hmm, reading over the manaul, I think I see what your problem may be - unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be an easy solution to your problem.

Here's a few excerpts from the MA850 Installation Manual:
Fallback Code
After an extended power failure (longer than battery stanby
capacity), all personal codes will be erased. Should this occur,
the will fail to respond to any personal code, but will
respond to the 4-digit Fallback Code that is programmed into
PROM locations 244-247 until the personal codes can be restored.
The Fallback Code will only function when all personal codes have
been lost. To prevent unauthorized entry using the Fallback
Code, personal codes should be restored as soon as possible.
The really bad thing about this system is that there is no way to do any programming without a PROM programmer (an expensive piece of equipment.) And, without getting into programming, there's no way to know what that Fallback Code is (unless you get really lucky and it's mentioned in your paperwork somewhere - but who keeps paperwork for 15 years???)

The only other thing you can do is try calling Napco - I found this info in the manual:
For technical assistance, sales, or repairs, call toll free:
(800) 645-9445
In New York:
(800) 832-5688
Unfortunately, that's the best I can do for you. If all else fails, you could just replace the panel and keypad(s) with something like an ITI Concord Express or similar system (which is probably your better bet anyway.)

Good luck! And let me know how it goes, I'd be interested to hear the solution.
 
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Old 07-17-03, 02:54 AM
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I was really afraid of that. Napco so far has not come thru.
They replied to an email after 4 days that I needed to replace the back-up battery. I did that. All I really need is a basic unit.
No telephone hook-up.

Could I purchase just the GE board and keyboard?
I looked at the main board last night. There are 6 zones plus 1 more for a smoke detector which I don't think works anymore.
We use battery smoke detectors units thruout the house.

mr bill
 
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Old 07-17-03, 08:36 AM
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Could I purchase just the GE board and keyboard?
I looked at the main board last night. There are 6 zones plus 1 more for a smoke detector which I don't think works anymore.
We use battery smoke detectors units thruout the house.
Certainly. The GE Concord Express comes with 6 hardwire zones (your smokes may not work with it anyway) and 16 wireless zones, so future expansion is as easy as programming a sensor.

As long as you mark all your wires clearly, replacing a control panel is really not difficult at all. Some boards vary slightly (mostly in the way the Auxiliary power is connected - maybe the Siren too), but for the most part all your wires just move from one board to the next. You do have to disconnect all the wires from the panel and take them out of the "can" to replace a system, so that is why I say make sure you mark your wires very clearly.

Other than that, everything should work fine on a new system - all the contacts, motions, etc. Of course, you do have to replace the keypad(s) too. And also, make sure if you get a Concord Express that you get one with the 2x16 LCD keypad, not the Fixed English Keypad, you want to be able to program it yourself.

Good luck! Let me know if there is anything else I can help you with.
 
  #5  
Old 07-17-03, 10:15 AM
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Would a Concord Hybrid be an option?


I am not planning on any new sensors, no
monitoring, no wireless sensors.
What do I gain/ lose with the Hybrid versus the Express?

mr bill5
 
  #6  
Old 07-17-03, 11:24 AM
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Sure, a Hybrid would do it. There are not a whole lot of differences between the Concord Express and Concord Hybrid (RF Integrated is just a Hybrid with wireless built in.) One of the main features of the Hybrid is that it supports X-10, where the Express does not. It also has 2 partitions instead of 1 (kind of like having 2 security systems in 1.) It has 8 hardwire zones instead of 6. There are a few other features that the Hybrid supports and the Express does not. However, for a residential installation, they are basically the same (for your purposes they would be.)
 
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Old 07-17-03, 11:35 AM
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I am going to punt with the Napco system.
I just know that they will say I am SOL.
Even if I do get it going again when is the next thing going to go bad??????

I am planning on purchasing a basic Hybrid system from you next week.
Got to go to the credit union to get the school tax funds and I will get a few more bucks at that time.

Many thanks for your candid replies.

mrbill5
 
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Old 07-17-03, 11:51 AM
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I think that's a wise decision - and you have a good point, what about next time??? You don't want to have to keep sending it to Napco to have it repaired (if that's even an option.)

I'll be more than happy to help out. If you have any questions specific to our products or our site, please e-mail me (technically we are not affiliated with DIY.com - I just work here too )

Good luck!
 
  #9  
Old 07-18-03, 03:51 AM
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Is there a place I can see the Express or Hybrid main board in some detail?

My Napco board has the left side for the keyboard connections,
the bottom is the sensor hookups and the right side is power
hookups.

mrbill5
 
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Old 07-18-03, 07:20 AM
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I PM'd you some info on the manuals and how to access them.
 
  #11  
Old 07-21-03, 05:17 AM
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I ordered a basic Concord Express kit this morning.
I have the transformer, backup battery, sensors.

A few questions.
The current box has 2 pieces of conduit about 18" long with all the wiring passing thru them. Is this what is corrently used these days?

I take it that all I have to do with this new system is basically
install the new box and LCD touchpad and all the programming is via the LCD touchpad???

The current touchpad had 6 wires. How many on the new touchpad?

And, any idea what kind of sensors Napco used?
Are they NO or NC type?


Many thanks for your help with this. It is great to get some
timely response and truthful info on a product.
Napco has been very unresponsive.

mr bill
 
  #12  
Old 07-21-03, 08:00 AM
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The current box has 2 pieces of conduit about 18" long with all the wiring passing thru them. Is this what is corrently used these days?
Very unusual that an installer would use conduit in a home, but not necessarily unheard of either. It really depends on what is close to the wires (like electrical wires maybe?) But, typically, the wiring just runs to the box. I'd really have to see the job to see why they may have done that. If the conduit is actually attached to the box, you may have to move your Concord panel around a bit to accomodate, but you shouldn't have any problems getting wires to the concord - it has a few knock-outs on it too.

I take it that all I have to do with this new system is basically
install the new box and LCD touchpad and all the programming is via the LCD touchpad???
That's basically it. Just make sure you follow the wiring for the Concord Express very closely - it will be slightly different than the Napco system - also make sure you take off the old resistors and use the new ones with the Express kit.

The current touchpad had 6 wires. How many on the new touchpad?
Concord uses 4 wires on the keypads - it actually doesn't matter how many wires the Napco has, as long as you connect the correct wires on the Concord Express (ex: use Red to Red at the keypad, then Red will go to the 12V+ at the panel - Black to Black at the keypad, then Black to Gnd at the panel - etc.) Just use the same 4 wires in both places and the rest are not used.

Looking at the MA850 manual, it looks like there are up to 9 or so wires that can be used for the keypad:

So, it looks like you have plenty of wires to work with, just put 4 aside for the keypad connection and tie off the rest. If, for some reason, 2 of the wires are used for a door contact, no problem - just connect those 2 wires to a zone loop back at the panel - but with only 6 wires, that's probably not the case.

And, any idea what kind of sensors Napco used?
Are they NO or NC type?
It could be either, but more than likely they are NC loops. The manual doesn't really help me out here, it could go either way, but most of the time NC loops are used. The easiest way to tell, is to look at the resistors to see if they are parallel (NO) or in series (NC) - same for any loops that have more than 1 wire, if they are parallel (NO), if they are in series (NC).

Many thanks for your help with this. It is great to get some timely response and truthful info on a product.
Napco has been very unresponsive.
No problem, glad to help. I've never had to talk to Napco TS, but typically alarm manufacturers and distributors are not very responsive to end-users. The whole alarm industry is this way - they want you to go through the dealers. Not to mention it's about a 20 year old panel, so the young guys working there probably know nothing about it

Let me know if there's anything else I an help with.
 
  #13  
Old 09-20-05, 07:54 AM
Acky
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re: your Napco unit & key pad

Hi MrBill5,

I came across your post while searcheng for help for a problem with my Napco 850.

I had the exact same problem that you did but in my case, I was able to re-input the codes so it works but the sirens are not loud the way they used to be. I'm trying to fix this problem and I wanted to install a second key pad near the back door, when I find one.

Did you fix the problem with yours?

If you replaced the Napco, do you still have it or the key pad?

Please let me know.

Thank you,
Acky
 
  #14  
Old 09-23-05, 12:12 PM
edso
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Very similar problem

Originally Posted by Acky
Hi MrBill5,

I came across your post while searcheng for help for a problem with my Napco 850.

I had the exact same problem that you did but in my case, I was able to re-input the codes so it works but the sirens are not loud the way they used to be. I'm trying to fix this problem and I wanted to install a second key pad near the back door, when I find one.

Did you fix the problem with yours?

If you replaced the Napco, do you still have it or the key pad?

Please let me know.

Thank you,
Acky

Hello,
I moved into house well wired with NAPCO 850, but previous owner had died and I have no idea what codes were. I have disconnected backup battery and killed power to alarm for 48 hours or so. I would like to get alarm working by using fallback codes and setting my own. Of course I don't know what the fallback codes are. Any help most appreciated. Thank you.
 
  #15  
Old 09-25-05, 06:36 PM
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The code is something programmed in at system setup. If you have not records of what was programmed in (often installers write it somewhere inside the system cabinet), short of a lucky guess, you are stuck.

It takes a stand-alone eprom programmer to change these things. Truthfully, your best bet is to replace the keypad(s) and control.
 
 

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