GE Simon (ADT) and sensor failures

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Old 02-12-07, 09:42 PM
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GE Simon (ADT) and sensor failures

First time here...I searched many times for this info, so I hope to not be repetitive with this, but I need help.

We purchased the GE Simon wireless system about 18 months ago. Since doing so we have had 5 of 15 sensors fail and had them replaced by ADT at $25 a pop. I know it's not unusual for a sensor to go bad, but 1/3 of them within 2 years seems excessive to me. I don't have any recourse as ADT monitors the system, a 3rd party company installed them. Regardless, I need help from you all with a couple things.

First, is my problem with this system or these sensors out of the ordinary? If not, what's the story?

Second, how do I disable a sensor or bypass it so I can still set my alarm, but not have it go off because of the sensor failure? I've tried following the manual for direct bypass, but it does not seem to work. I also read a post here about deleting the sensor which makes sense, but I am worried about the impact regarding ADT once deleted or when they come out to fix another sensor.

I am not trying to get away with anyhting here or get something for nothing...I just want my system to work and not have to pay $100 per year on top of my monitoring charges to replace failed sensors.

Please advise and thanks in advance for your help.
 
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Old 02-13-07, 01:53 PM
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That's _very_ unusual. Those ITI transmitters used on the Simon systems are typically _very_ reliable.

I _hope_ that they aren't part swapping you when all you need are batteries.

Before we get into trying to remove devices from the programming, what are these transmitters _doing_ that is causing you to have an issue? Are you getting false alarms? Troubles? The answer may vary depending on the response.
 
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Old 02-13-07, 08:06 PM
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Issues

The control panel says sensor failed. When we have adt come out they say the sensor is bad. One guy who was nicer said that the sensors originally installed were older style and not so good. At that point they started replacnig them with newer, suposedly better ones. It's very frustrating having to pay $25 each tie one of these old ones fail. They won't replace them all for us without charging us a lot of money. So they can continue to milk us for the money. I guess my options are:

Continue to pay for each sensor one at a time when they fail.

Disconnect the ones that fail and wait to pay one fee to have multiple sensors replaced. Not sure how this plays out with ADT and their monitoring agreement.

Have them all replaced by ADT for a large expense.

Replace them on my own...not sure how this affects the agreement with ADT and their monitoring?

Thanks for the response, please advise.
 
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Old 02-13-07, 08:21 PM
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My gut reaction is that their explaination sounds kinda fishy, but really if you get a copy of the install instructions deleting and learning in a new transmitter for one of these systems isn't a big deal. Their monitoring agreement with you has no restrictions on you performing your own maintainance. ADT doesn't make these systems, they simply pay ITI to put their logo on the box and make a few minor changes to the core software (mostly disabling certain features that are seldom used in any case).

There are older transmitters that aren't fully compatible with the newer panels that sometimes have issues. I know that there is one version of the ITI transmitter that was a smaller than usual model that had a permanent battery and you had to replace the whole unit when the battery ran out; but without model numbers or more specific information it's just guessing. Another common problem that the standard transmitters have is that there is a tamper switch for the cover. Over time, the spring that the cover presses against to keep the switch closed gets compressed, and the tamper switch opens. All you do to fix it is twist the spring off of the switch and stretch it a little and twist it back on.
 
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Old 02-13-07, 08:24 PM
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Sensors

I have checked the sensors out...they have a small battery and I believe there is a spring. Where can I get an installation manual to try this out? Does the manual have info about adjusting the spring, etc.?

Thanks again.
 
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Old 02-14-07, 04:40 AM
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Do a websearch for "Simon 3 Installer manual" (I'm assuming that you have a simon 3, if not, use the appropriate model number). These are pretty common panels. Most of the sources that come up will charge a small fee for the download (bandwidth isn't free, you know...), but there is a decent chance you will find a free one.

The bit about the spring isn't in there. That comes from working with this stuff in the real world.
 
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Old 02-14-07, 09:48 PM
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Sounds like the installation company may be trying to unload some of their older crystal door/window sensors on you...If these sensors are 58bit transmitters, they will NOT work with the Simon 3 (they worked on version 2). The newer sensors from GE (ITI) are all 63 (or 80 bit) transmitters. Take a look at the sensor circuit board. There is a chip on there with a sticker, if the sticker says 15-163, it is an older 58 bit sensor.
 
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Old 02-15-07, 08:05 AM
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There has been a recall on some GE wireless transmitters. See http://www.gesecurity.com/portal/site/GESecurity/menuitem.0abf091ed1710c6ad0f3d010c4030730/?vgnextoid=f3f2e1015726e010VgnVCM100000592d7003RCRD
I don't think it's the recall thingy though because 18 month-old batteries would not need replacing.

IMO it sounds more like a communication issue. See your user manual for how to do a sensor test. You don't have to follow the panel prompts - you can test whatever sensor you want. Remove one of the failed sensors and repeatedly trip it in your hands as you walk around in sensor test mode. Start near the panel and count the number of beeps. 7-8 beeps is good communication - anything lower means the panel, the panel's antennae or the sensor should be moved or re-orientated. I'm guessing you are going to find poor communication in certain areas of your home. Try pushing the free end of the antennae (white wire along inside panel edge) into a hole you drill in the wall behind the panel. If you have a 2.4 GHz wireless phone or router in the house try repositioning them also to see if they are effecting your sensor test results (or anything electronic right next to the panel).
 
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Old 09-30-08, 06:39 AM
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Question

Good day. I would like to add that Sat. night around 2am our Simon 3 also started giving us a sensor failure for one of our window sensors. A short while later the system was reporting 2 window sensor failures and motion detector failure. By morning the system was reporting sensor failure for all 3 windows, 3 doors, motion sensor and key chain remote. That same morning none of our garage door remotes would open the garage door anymore. We were gone all day so the next day I took all garage door opener remotes in the garage and relearned them to the garage door opener. They worked in the garage, but step out of the garage and nothing happened. ADT came out the next day and checked all of the sensors. He felt interference was the issue. He pulled out the white antenna wire from inside the box so that it was exposed and was able to reset all sensors. The next morning one window sensor was failing again. This window sensor is street side on the same end of the house as the garage and fairly close to the Simon 3. Another interesting note this morning was that my van keyfob would not open the van until I was about 5 feet from the van.

What in the world could affect all of these systems?!? Even scarier, if someone can generate interference to cause sensor failures, my house doesn't seem so secure anymore. GI2
 
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Old 09-30-08, 07:49 AM
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Originally Posted by ahaynes106 View Post
Good day. I would like to add that Sat. night around 2am our Simon 3 also started giving us a sensor failure for one of our window sensors. A short while later the system was reporting 2 window sensor failures and motion detector failure. By morning the system was reporting sensor failure for all 3 windows, 3 doors, motion sensor and key chain remote. That same morning none of our garage door remotes would open the garage door anymore. We were gone all day so the next day I took all garage door opener remotes in the garage and relearned them to the garage door opener. They worked in the garage, but step out of the garage and nothing happened. ADT came out the next day and checked all of the sensors. He felt interference was the issue. He pulled out the white antenna wire from inside the box so that it was exposed and was able to reset all sensors. The next morning one window sensor was failing again. This window sensor is street side on the same end of the house as the garage and fairly close to the Simon 3. Another interesting note this morning was that my van keyfob would not open the van until I was about 5 feet from the van.

What in the world could affect all of these systems?!? Even scarier, if someone can generate interference to cause sensor failures, my house doesn't seem so secure anymore. GI2

Additional note. When on cell phone in the vicinity of the Simon 3 and cellular back up box, calls get dropped.
 
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Old 09-30-08, 11:08 AM
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Is the Simon panel near a wireless router or cordless phone? Certain kinds of both of these models have been know to cause RF interference with regards to RF security systems....
 
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Old 10-01-08, 05:47 AM
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Originally Posted by GEGUY View Post
Is the Simon panel near a wireless router or cordless phone? Certain kinds of both of these models have been know to cause RF interference with regards to RF security systems....
For me both of those items are on the opposite side of the house. They have all played well together the last 8 months - that's when the alarm system was installed. I have the cellular backup device that links to ADT (no hard line in the house). Could that be on the fritz and generating a signal that is interfering with the sensors and garage door opener?
 

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Old 10-01-08, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by ahaynes106 View Post
For me both of those items are on the opposite side of the house. They have all played well together the last 8 months - that's when the alarm system was installed. I have the cellular backup device that links to ADT (no hard line in the house). Could that be on the fritz and generating a signal that is interfering with the sensors and garage door opener?

What kind of cell backup unit is it?

I have experienced (on one occasion) a cell unit interfering with a garage door opener (it was too close to it). The problem was solved by putting the cell unit in a metal enclosure.
 
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Old 10-01-08, 05:37 PM
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Sweet! I wasn't sure if the metal box you mentioned needed to be tied to ground somehow or not. As a quick test, I just wrapped the cellular unit completely in aluminum foil leaving only the antenna and LEDs exposed. Garage door is working perfectly and so far all sensors are working again. Talked on my cell phone for a few minutes while standing next to it and no dropped call. Everything appears to be back to normal.

Should I have the cellular unit replaced since it has been functioning for 8 months without causing these issues?
 
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Old 10-01-08, 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by ahaynes106 View Post
Sweet! I wasn't sure if the metal box you mentioned needed to be tied to ground somehow or not. As a quick test, I just wrapped the cellular unit completely in aluminum foil leaving only the antenna and LEDs exposed. Garage door is working perfectly and so far all sensors are working again. Talked on my cell phone for a few minutes while standing next to it and no dropped call. Everything appears to be back to normal.

Should I have the cellular unit replaced since it has been functioning for 8 months without causing these issues?
You read my mind...the other fix for the problem was to wrap the unit in foil if you didn't have a metal enclosure!

Does the cell unit work??
 
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Old 10-01-08, 09:11 PM
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Not 100% positive. According to the LEDs all is ok. ADT will be here in the morning. I am sure he can check out that part with the monitoring folks. Will beinteresting to see what he says about my foil wrapping.
 
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Old 10-02-08, 02:58 PM
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Just a heads up...it sounds like you have the extended service plan sold through an ADT dealer. That is why you are paying a $25 trip fee. Here's the thing, ADT warrantys their service calls for 90 days--if you are having the same issue within that time period, then you can recall service without paying the trip fee again.
 
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Old 10-09-08, 05:37 AM
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Originally Posted by GEGUY View Post
You read my mind...the other fix for the problem was to wrap the unit in foil if you didn't have a metal enclosure!

Does the cell unit work??
Had the system and checked and the cell unit is working just fine. Guess I'll leave the foil on it until I can come up with something a little more visually appealing. The service guy had never seen that before, but verified the system is operational.
 
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